Driveway pavers are more than just functional stones in your abode. They elevate the appearance of the house and add more value to it. Besides using the space for vehicle movement, driveways often double as walkways, garden trails, entryways, and paths leading to storage.
The goal of these pavers is to create a beautiful entrance to your home which is durable enough to withstand the weight of vehicles without cracking or shifting. Thus, choose these pavers mindfully. Here are the most important factors to consider while selecting driveway pavers.
Size of the paved area
The number of driveway pavers, their installation time, and the cost depends on the size of the driveway pavers. Since these pavers are sold per square meter, you might want to calculate the total square meter area.
Generally, a professional landscaper does this job. However, if you are doing it without professional help, then use a measuring tape to calculate the total area and the stone supplier or landscapist would help you assess the size and the quantity of the driveway pavers that are required.
Knowing the size of the paved area is of utmost importance since they also consider cut stones. These are the edges or corners where pavers don’t fit in and are required to be cur and fit in those places. Pavers that are cut can be used in multiple places. Your contractor might be able to suggest any extra material or product that you should order.
The choice of driveway paving material would primarily depend on three main factors. The first is the load-bearing capacity as the material must be sturdy enough to take tons of weight from your vehicle. The second factor is durability, and lastly, the appearance of the pavers.
For long-lasting driveway pavers, you must choose Granite or cobblestones. Granite is among the toughest natural stones known for its robustness, density, and durability. Outdoor pavers and driveway pavers with high traffic or footfall are made of Granite. They are low maintenance and endure wear and tear with ease. The only thing to bear in mind is sealing the stone during installation.
Cobblestone is another choice for driveway pavers. The rounded stones were once an upgrade to dirt paths. They do not allow water stagnation and rut formation. Cobblestone driveways are robust and last long. Bluestone, Limestone, Travertine, and Sandstone are other options in natural stones to consider for driveway pavers, provided they are 30 mm or more in thickness. The thicker the stones the lesser the chances of breakage.
You can also choose concrete slabs for paving your driveway. They are easily available, easy to install, and economical. However, they fade over time and may crack under extreme temperatures. Natural stone driveways last longer if sealed and maintained well.
The pattern of driveway paving
Herringbone- This pattern is the most durable and the most versatile. Rectangular paving stones are laid at 45 or 90 degrees, creating a zig-zag layout. The Herringstone pattern is durable because the stones displace the weight of vehicles uniformly, preventing excess load on single pavers.
Basketweave pattern- As the name suggests, the driveway pavers are laid in a manner like baskets are woven. Strands of bricks seem to disappear under other bricks, meeting perpendicularly and becoming visible on the other side.
Running bond pattern- Driveway pavers installed in the Running Bond pattern reminds us of old-world European style paving. The pavers are arranged in a linear side-by-side pattern but staggering every other row.
This pattern is timeless, extremely simple, and requires minimal cutting. This leads to less wastage and less installation cost. The pavers can be tilted by 45 degrees to create an illusion of a complex design pattern.
There are several other patterns that you can choose from. Patterns are an important consideration as they will help you analyze the kind of pavers you select, and the cutting involved in the same.
Preparation before laying
Laying a solid foundation and preparing a good base are of absolute necessity for driveway pavers. Perhaps this is the first and the most important step before installing these pavers.
Start with a compatible sand sub-base of a minimum 50 mm thickness which should be levelled and tamped down firmly with a compactor. The next step is to spread sand. Start with laying two runner boards over the area and loosely spread the sand. Screed the sand using a notched screed board on the runner boards, levelling the sand nicely. Use a spirit leveller to check if the level is balanced.
At this point in time, you must start laying the pavers. Begin from a straight edge and lay them as per your planned design. As you place the paver stones onto the sand, tap lightly with a rubber mallet or hand tamper.
There should be a gap of at least 2 mm between each paver to fill with sand later. If you are installing the pavers on your own, choose a simple design. If you have hired a professional for driveway pavers installation, go with any pattern you want to, provided your contractor has the capability to execute it.
This process is followed up with compaction and joint filling. The joints are filled with sand between the gaps and all points are locked. Don’t forget to make an edge restraint barrier around the pavers to prevent the pavers from spreading or shifting under vehicle load.
The base preparation steps are like laying Travertine pavers around pools.
The last word
The installation cost of driveway pavers depends upon site conditions and market variables. Availability of pavers, quality, and quantity are important roles that govern the cost of the project. We recommend finding a qualified contractor for the best quote. The above-mentioned factors would prove useful when you select the driveway paving stones.