We bet that you probably thought paving slabs would be one of the easiest parts of your new landscaping project. Instead, you need to do some research to make sure you get the paving that fits your project perfectly.
There are so many different things to consider. What style of paving do you have in mind? And will it complement the rest of your home? Once that’s been established, which colours work? Which ones definitely don’t? And should you be enhancing the look of your new paving with aggregates and other attractive features?
Choosing the right material
When it comes to choosing the right paving for your garden, few things are more important than the paving material. First of all, you want to make sure that it fits the look you have in mind.
But there are other equally important factors to consider. The paving material needs to be durable. Depending on where you live, it might need to be weatherproof too. Mould, algae, and moss can grow on certain materials.
These are the three most popular paving materials you are likely to choose from:
Concrete is the cheapest paving that you can buy. But just because it’s cheap, that doesn’t automatically make it ugly or uninspiring. Concrete can be mixed with other paving styles to create an interesting finish. Choose from minimalist concrete, smooth concrete, contemporary concrete, or even textured concrete to complete the look you have in mind.
Unfortunately, concrete will stain quicker than other materials. It doesn’t typically last as long as natural stone or porcelain and it will always need sealing.
If you’re looking for a great mid-range option, then natural stones are probably for you. Traditionally, natural stone is the most common paving slab used for an attractive, easy-on-the-eye arrangement. Limestone, granite and sandstone all come under this category.
Some of these natural materials – such as sandstone – are unique. Every slab is different and this can create highly desirable layered effects. Sandstone will also work with just about every building, comes in a huge choice of colours and is extremely strong. Limestone also comes in various colours with a slightly less riven surface, while granite makes for a contemporary look for those who like nice straight lines.
For the most durable, indestructible, weather-proof paving slab, you’ll be looking for slabs made from porcelain. They are man-made and are therefore highly adaptable so can be made to look like natural stone, granite, slate or just have their own unique design to suit.
Porcelain slabs have been scientifically engineered to combat frost, algae, and stains and also to have a totally non-slip surface. They’ll last significantly longer than other materials and come in every style, colour and shape imaginable. Most people won’t be able to tell the difference between porcelain finishes and a natural look, depending on the look you are going for.
This low-maintenance and high-end finish does come at a cost though. Porcelain will usually be more expensive, but it requires little or no maintenance.
Remember that it is possible to use a combination of materials in your garden. This breaks up the monotonous look of one material, and provides different textures and finishes for a unique and stylish look.
Colour is important, too
Deciding on the colour of your paving slab normally coincides with your choice of material. Naturally, each material has a different look and a different colour. You want to make sure that the colour works with the rest of your garden and your home.
Do you want your new paving slabs to contrast with the colour of your home and garden? Or is it more important that the new slabs complement the structure that’s already there? You’ll normally be satisfied with a natural, subtle finish. An unspoken rule is that less is more when it comes to colour, whether you’re using the rustic buff colours, or the more modern and stylish greys and anthracites.
What will your paving be used for?
All we’ve spoken about so far is the look and suitability of your paving slabs. But what’s the primary function of your new landscaping? Depending on the main use of your new paving, you should consider different styles and layouts.
Driveways should blend in. This is usually in the front garden and a showpiece that should complement your home. You’ll be contributing to the look of the whole area. When it comes to patios, functionality is more important than style. Of course, it should still fit in with the look and style of your garden, but anti-slip surfaces, durability, and maintenance are also important.
Don’t choose a style that detracts from the rest of your property. It’s also a good idea to use smaller slabs or mixed sizes in smaller spaces, and larger slabs in the larger spaces, so that it doesn’t become too ‘busy’.
If you still think your layout needs a finishing touch, why not include some decorative stones or aggregates? Pebbles and granite stones will contrast or complement an otherwise-plain design. Sometimes it’s the best way to fill a small gap, and creates a new opportunity to include colour as well.
RF Paving have the perfect paving slabs for you
At RF Paving, we’re one of the UK’s leading paving suppliers. And when it comes to paving, we have got you covered. Feel free to drop by one of our stockists and get all the inspiration you need. We only use the highest quality materials and they are all sustainably and ethically sourced.
If you already have something in mind but can’t decide on colour, style or material, then our team are here to help. Each staff member has the experience to help you find the perfect paving for your garden and home. Whether it’s for a driveway, a durable patio, or showpiece landscaping, we can give you the right ideas and solutions.