If you surveyed homes or businesses nationwide, you would find most have some kind of paving in their landscape. Paving improves aesthetics and provides walkways, driveways, and parking areas.

    Paving was an early invention that has evolved a lot over the years. Many paving options exist, including hidden, permeable, heated, and more.

    The paving you implement impacts the area’s surroundings, appeal, and functionality. If laying pavement on your property, consider these five types and how they compare.


    1. Brick Paving

    Brick is among the most beautiful paving. Red bricks have a classic appeal that is hard to match with any other material. Properly built, brick pavement lasts up to 100 years if maintained. Although red is the most popular, bricks come in various colors and patterns, creating unique visuals.

    Brick Paving
    Image Credit: Adobe Stock

    Clay brick is eco-friendly and recyclable. But significant maintenance is needed. Constant resealing is required, especially on driveways. Bricks are also fragile and sometimes expensive. Alone, brick is usually impermeable.

    Weigh your priorities and maintenance tolerance as you consider this beautiful, classic paving material.


    2. Concrete Paving

    Concrete is likely the most common pavement. It is inexpensive and available in diverse colors, sizes, and shapes. Concrete pavers tend to outlast poured concrete and install fairly easily.

    Some of the biggest drawbacks include:

    • Handles temperature changes poorly
    • Fades quickly
    • High maintenance
    • Chemically breaks down over time.

    Concrete offers affordability and pattern versatility but needs resealing on driveways to prevent deterioration.


    3. Bluestone Paving

    Bluestone is a unique sandstone that you can shape into basic forms. Some find its magnificent blue rivaling similar materials like brick, marble, or quartz. Bluestone also complements other paving types well.

    Bluestone Paving
    Image Credit: Adobe Stock

    Unfortunately, sunlight fades the blue color over time. Proper sealing maintains its signature color. 

    Genuine bluestone is scarce and expensive. If budget allows, bluestone creates stunning patios or pathways that accent other landscape features. 


    4. Flagstone Paving

    Flagstone is a natural stone paver used for patios and walkways. Since it is thin, flagstone cannot withstand heavy pressure and cracks when used for driveways.

    On the other hand, its varying earthy tones and interlocking shapes provide natural charm. Flagstone offers non-slip durability exceeding concrete and vast design versatility.

    Flagstone Paving
    Image Credit: Adobe Stock

    Precise designs prove difficult with flagstone’s organic, irregular forms. This beautiful stone is also very costly.

    For patios and garden paths, flagstone lends an organic, free-flowing aesthetic well-suited to natural landscapes. Potential drawbacks include precision fitting and expense.


    5. Permeable Plastic Paving

    Permeable plastic pavers from recycled materials plus gravel or limestone are an aesthetically pleasing, eco-friendly, versatile, and inexpensive option. 

    You can install these pavers quickly, offering flood control through their permeability. They pair well with other paving types for unlimited walkway, patio, and driveway styles.

    Permeable plastic enables hidden driveways, fire lanes, grass parking lots, etc. Despite excellent durability and functionality, it requires minimal maintenance, the lowest of any material. With sustainability, flood control, and design versatility, permeable plastic excels over traditional paving if budget permits. Lower lifetime costs result from reduced maintenance needs.


    Best Paving for Your Needs?

    For optimal performance, permeable plastic paving excels. It achieves any style sustainably and inexpensively while being quick to install, durable, and flood-resistant. It also protects landscapes from erosion.

    More traditional materials offer a timeless visual richness that permeable plastic does not match. However, each paving option requires up-front and ongoing maintenance costs. Consider the lifetime care you will invest in, along with desired aesthetics. This step narrows down the options so that you can select your specific property’s ideal paving solution.


    Paving Material FAQs

    Most Cost-Effective Paving?

    Concrete is generally most affordable followed by brick and stone. Permeable plastic can be competitive depending on the product. Asphalt is the cheapest for roads.


    Paving Lifespan?

    With proper installation and care, brick, concrete, and stone last over 50 years. Asphalt driveways average 10 to 25 years. Permeable plastic lasts at least 25 years.


    Best Paving for Driveways?

    Asphalt is traditional, while concrete is more durable. However, permeable plastic grid systems match the durability and add stormwater drainage that asphalt and concrete lack.


    Should You Seal Pavement?

    Sealers protect concrete and asphalt by filling cracks, blocking UV rays, and reducing moisture penetration. Reseal pavement every two to four years as needed based on wear. Brick, stone, and other materials benefit from sealing, too.


    Can You Decorate Paved Areas?

    Yes, creative designs make pavement visually interesting. Options include stamping patterns into wet concrete, contrasting paver colors/textures, stenciling over dry pavement, embedding rocks and tiles, and more.


    Editorial Contributors
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    Jonathon Jachura

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    Jonathon Jachura is a two-time homeowner with hands-on experience with HVAC, gutters, plumbing, lawn care, pest control, and other aspects of owning a home. He is passionate about home maintenance and finding the best services. His main goal is to educate others with crisp, concise descriptions that any homeowner can use. Jon uses his strong technical background to create engaging, easy-to-read, and informative guides. He does most of his home and lawn projects himself but hires professional companies for the “big things.” He knows what goes into finding the best service providers and contractors. Jon studied mechanical engineering at Purdue University in Indiana and worked in the HVAC industry for 12 years. Between his various home improvement projects, he enjoys the outdoors, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with his family.

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    Amy DeYoung

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    Amy DeYoung has a passion for educating and motivating homeowners to improve their lives through home improvement projects and preventative measures. She is a content writer and editor specializing in pest control, moving, window, and lawn/gardening content for Today’s Homeowner. Amy utilizes her own experience within the pest control and real estate industry to educate readers. She studied business, communications, and writing at Arizona State University.

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