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4 Questions to Answer Before Picking your Patio Paver

Jul 1, 2021 | Patios

Is selecting the right patio paver giving you a headache? Are you having trouble deciding between materials, colors and designs? Pavers are the most essential building block of your outdoor patio. They’re big-ticket items, much like kitchen counters or carpets, so getting it right the first time can be pretty taxing. You don’t want to regret this decision in five years.

With so many paver options for you to choose, how do you know what is best for your situation? We’ve created this guide to help.

There’s four critical questions you’ll need to answer to make an informed decision on which paver to use for your patio.


How will you use your patio?

Outdoor patios are increasingly becoming a trendy way to expand your living space, but homeowners use that newfound space in many different ways. When selecting your paver, you need to make sure the form follows the function. With that in mind, here’s several possible uses for your patio with examples of how the styles of paver can help enhance those uses.


Synthesizing with the landscape

Some homeowners use their outdoor patios as transition spaces from their homes into verdant, meticulously maintained backyards. Pavers that replicate the look of natural stone make a great choice for these types of outdoor patios, because they complement the landscape. A flagstone patio, for example, adds rich and natural texture and color to your home while blending seamlessly into your garden or lawn.


Multi-use spaces

Many homeowners have multiple uses in mind when planning their outdoor patio. Some put their grills on their patios, have chaises for lounging or install small dining tables for al fresco parties. If you plan to design your patio for multiple uses, consider a paver that won’t be scratched by shifting furniture, but is also easy on bare feet.


Embedded fire pits

Another major trend in outdoor living is fire pits. We’re seeing more and more patios that accommodate fire pits, either built right into the patio or installed on it. You’ll likely use stone for the fire pit as the material is naturally non-flammable. Other popular trends to consider instead of or in addition to a fire pit include fireplaces and outdoor brick ovens. With these projects, you’ll want pavers that accentuate the structures and can stand up to the stresses associated with heat.


Container gardening

Lots of homeowners are opting to add small container gardens to the edges of their patios to mix the patio space with the yard space. Herb gardens are popular, as it is easy to come out and take a clipping of fresh herbs to use for dinner. If you intend to keep a small garden on your patio, you’ll want to ensure you pick pavers that are easy to clean. You want to be able to hose all that extra dirt off your patio rather than have it settle in nooks and crannies between pavers.


Nighttime fun and relaxation

If you plan to use your patio to unwind after a hard day’s work, you’ll want to consider the effect your lighting will play in your paver choice. At night, your patio can be difficult to use if your lighting clashes with your paver. We’re also seeing a lot of patios these days factor in LED lighting, which does not consume a lot of power and lasts a long time. If you foresee frequent nighttime usage, your pavers should be a bright color that reflects your outdoor lighting well and should be smooth to get an even reflection.

What style and shape will your patio be?

paved front yard near a brown house

While a patio can be an excellent way to make the most of the square footage of your backyard and have a space to enjoy with friends and family, it’s important that you take the time to look into all of the unique variations for outdoor patios so that you can pick a style of paver that helps it meld with your home beautifully.

The shape of your patio can vary greatly, from a standard rectangular design to unique curves and even several levels with steps. The options are endless for your patio, so it is a good idea to browse through our photo galleries to gather inspiration. You may find interesting ideas such as stairs or water features. Having an idea of what style and shape you want allows your landscape designer to narrow the plethora of paver options so that your outdoor patio can be built with your specific needs in mind and add a personalized element outside.

Patio pavers offer a smorgasbord of options. With myriad choices for paving for your patio, it’s important to discuss the variations in terms of appearance. Understanding how you want your patio to look once the construction has been completed can help you determine which styles stand out the most so that your patio is a beautiful addition to your home. Due to the close proximity to your home, it’s often best to choose a type of paver that is going to look great with the exterior of your home.

If you’d like a round patio, perhaps you want your pavers cut and laid in concentric circles with contrasting colors for each layer. For a small space that you’d like to appear larger, you can consider rectangular pavers set in a running bond pattern that gives the illusion of length or width. If you want an elegant pattern that will wow guests, the European fan pattern might be the right one for you. Different pavers will work best for each pattern.


Will my patio connect to a walkway?

Paver walkways can drastically expand the footprint of your patio, connecting the patio’s function to a large garden, pool or driveway gives your outdoor space a feeling of congruence and symmetry. While many materials can be used to create outdoor walking paths, patio pavers are one of the most beneficial options to homeowners, for several reasons.



With pavers, you will have a wide variety of options to choose from. With pavers being available in different colors, shapes, patterns and sizes, you will be able to pick an option that best fits the function of both your outdoor patio and your walkway.



When you’re talking about growing the footprint of your patio, you’re also talking about growing your budget. Fortunately, pavers have a large price range, and for the most part, pavers are a great option for any budget. Unlike other walkway building materials, the broad price range helps to ensure that homeowners are able to find something that will fit their budget as well as their style.



Paver walkways are extremely low-maintenance, as they generally only require periodic sweeping and occasional pressure washing. Furthermore, unlike other types of walkways, which may require costly repairs after settling, paver walkways can be easily reset. This makes paver walkways one of the cheaper options in the long run, as you will not have to worry about having to pay for costly repair work or time-consuming maintenance like adding polymeric sand.



One of the problems with many types of walkways is that they can become extremely slippery when wet. This can make these walkways a hazard for children and/or the elderly. Pavers on the other hand are naturally slip-resistant. They provide a stable surface for your loved ones to walk on even when wet, making paver walkways a safe option.

Paver walkways can be a great option for homeowners as pavers provide a wide variety of options to homeowners at an affordable cost. Furthermore, the safety of pavers, as well as how low-maintenance they are, makes them the favorite of many homeowners. Contact us to find out more about the benefits of using patio pavers to create walkways on your property.


Have you considered all the practical limitations?

While it’s great to have a wishlist of features for your perfect patio, practical concerns should also play a factor in your patio paver decision.



Pavers are investments, like all things you do to spruce up your home. Selecting based on value may be your best option in the short-term, but consider that if you do decide to pick a material that doesn’t promise longevity, you’ll need to plan apply a proper sealer multiple times throughout your patio’s lifespan.



Are you adding a meandering, whimsical footpath around your home? Will a wonderfully beautiful pathway circumnavigate your pool and connect to your rear patio? No matter your answer, pick the paver for the placement. Sometimes necessity dictates such decisions, and it can be easy way for your landscape designer to help you make a selection.


Material features

Sometimes your need can be amended by the generous features a material has to offer. Thus, if you are looking for safety, select a paver that is textured and thus more slip-resistant. If it is a place where your bare feet are a consideration, don’t select rough textures like gravel (ouch!). If you plan to drive a vehicle on it, select for durability.



Although patio pavers appear indestructible, which is only mostly true, picking a paver for the climate will save you a lot of future headaches. Consider, before you install, if the patio paver will see a lot of sun or if it will be in constant contact with water. In many instances, the appropriate paver will select itself.

Have you answered all these questions? If not, don’t sweat it! Feel free to contact us to discuss how our service can help you with all of your outdoor needs.

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About the Author

Matt Johnson grew up in a family of landscapers and gardeners as the grandson of Raymond Johnson (Founder, 1933, Johnson's Florist and Garden Center) and son of James and Carol Johnson (Founders, 1960, Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc.). Since 2007, he has led Johnson's Landscaping Service with his brother, Charlie.  Matt and his wife Jaime live in Petworth in Northwest DC with their 3 sons and 2 big dogs.

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