Have you recently decided to change the look of your patio or driveway? Read this first!
Photos by: Stock Images
If you are still looking for paving material, natural stone is hands down the best option on the market. Not only does it offer a timeless look and a stylish finish, it also offers homeowners longevity, low maintenance and sustainability. It stands the test of time by looking even more charming over the years. Compared to concrete, this paving material is much more environmentally friendly. Its elegant appearance can be maintained easily and without great effort. We hope the guide below answers all of your natural stone paving questions.
What is it?
Natural stone paving represents a type of outdoor paving that is used for driveways, patios, and sidewalks. The materials used in the production of these paving stones are not produced in a factory, as is the case with concrete, but are extracted in quarries. Such paving slabs are made of different types of natural stone such as marble, granite, sandstone, slate and limestone. Find out about the origin, occurrence, use and physical properties of granite.
After the decomposition process has been completed, the material is cut into the correct shape using a special technology. The combination of strong pressure and heat from the earth's core creates natural stone blocks in the course of the rock cycle. These rocks can be inventive, metamorphic, or sedimentary, according to the different stages of the rock cycle. Usually the thicker rocks are used in the manufacture of these paving stones.
For example, granite is a very preferred choice because of its durability and its remarkable integral density and strength. These properties contribute to its low maintenance. In contrast, limestone is mainly used by paving professionals as it comes in a range of unique colors. Sandstone, on the other hand, is not only suitable for terraces, but also for sidewalks and back gardens.
Natural stone paving is versatile due to its high wear resistance. Its high resilience makes it suitable for walking, doing sports and running. Many homeowners also prefer it as a material for their driveways. Due to its non-slip properties, it can also be used in swimming pools.
Some pavers are inherently non-slip, such as slate. Sandstone and limestone, on the other hand, are thermally refined, which makes their surface non-slip and robust. This is why many homeowners choose natural stone paving around their pool to prevent slipping and falling accidents when getting out of the pool. Some homeowners choose to use it to create tiled walkways or outdoor fireplaces.
How is it laid?
When it comes to laying natural stone paving, homeowners should put that task in the hands of experienced installers. There are numerous suppliers and installers of natural stone paving, such as https://www.drivewaysbydesign.ie/natural-stone-paving/, who offer a wide range of paving options. These professionals start the projects with a planning phase by calculating the number of pavers needed based on the square footage. They always contain additional plates to account for the odd spaces and curves.
In addition, professional contractors will ensure that the area is sloped enough to allow proper drainage and prevent puddles. Then mark the intended area and dig it out as a preparation step for laying the sub-floor. In general, a base material 10 to 15 centimeters deep is sufficient for an area intended for normal pedestrian traffic. The base used by installers is made of coarse gravel that should be manipulated to reach a level. It should then be followed by a sand bed at least 1.5 inches thick.
As soon as the subsoil and the sand bedding are installed, professionals begin laying the slabs. It is normal for some sand to rise when compacting, but this can be redistributed with the help of a brush. After all the panels have been installed, the plumbers spray them with water before using a sealant. Sealing is essential to prevent water corrosion of the material.
As already mentioned, natural stone paving is popular with many homeowners because of its easy-care character. It takes little time and effort on the part of the individual. You can clean your driveway or patio as often as you want without worrying about scratching the panels. If you discover a stain, you can remove it with a hose.
Such a form of high pressure washing is also recommended for removing moss, mold and mildew. Homeowners are also advised to use a neutral cleaner to remove any dirt left behind by wiping and dusting.
The advantages of natural stone paving compared to concrete are innumerable. These paving stones offer timeless elegance as each piece is unique due to its color and texture. You can opt for beige sandstone or dark granite, depending on how you want to give your patio, garden and the entire landscape a feel. In addition, natural stone pavers do not tend to develop cracks. Even if they do, these panels can easily be repaired or replaced. Because of the small sand joints, the chances of seed germination are almost zero.
Natural stone has an incredibly long lifespan of up to a hundred years. Most importantly, it ages nicely as paints are not pigmented like concrete. The panels retain their beauty regardless of how much they ripen, fade or age. In terms of style, individuals are offered a wide range of choices. So you have no problems finding the right material for your landscape project. Natural stones also come in different shapes, including diamonds, rectangles, triangles, etc. This paving material is sustainable, environmentally friendly and recyclable. Stone resources are abundant because the process of their regeneration is endless.
One last note
Your garden deserves an elegant and timeless look.
Natural stone is by far the most amazing paving material!