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Introduction

Pavers come in many shapes and sizes. The most common materials used are Concrete, Clay, and Natural Stone. Each type of brick is unique and has its own special use. Price differences are common between materials but do overlap in some instances. In this blog we will discuss the pros and cons to each type of paver to help you decide which will be best for your home.

Paver materials

Concrete Paver

Willow Springs, IL 2017

Above all, the most common material used in flatwork construction is the concrete paver. This is because the concrete is typically a very affordable option and comes in several colors and shapes. Customization of this product is extremely easy. Trends come and go in landscape design such as any other industry. It is effortless to create rustic, modern, and traditional concrete pavers. However, concrete pavers can be prone to fading as the material eventually wears down and aggregate starts to show through. This will depend on the level of paver selected.

Concrete Special Uses

Concrete pavers are unique because they can be utilized in heavier traffic areas. This is because production allows for thicker pavers that will withstand heavier loads. This type of paver can also be fabricated with special technology that improves the finish of the material. Specific manufacturers such as Unilock have tier levels of pavers depending on what technology is included. Certain Unilock pavers are also available in permeable applications. Below is a quick snapshot of the Unilock paver technology.

Unilock Technology
  • Easy Clean Stain Resistance
    • Built in sealer to protect from staining
  • Reala Technology
    • Molds created from cobbles, natural stone, and brick
  • Ultima Concrete Technology
    • Increased strength of paver and 4x stronger than poured concrete
  • ColorFusion Technology
    • Color particles randomly spread throughout paver
Unilock Tiers
  • Classic
    • Budget Friendly
    • Standard concrete paver
    • Color mixed throughout paver
  • Enduracolor
    • Improved finish
    • Realistic look
    • Two-step manufacturing
    • Base is coarse aggregate
    • Top is fine aggregate with concentrated color
    • Fade resistant
  • Elegance
    • Reala Finishes
    • Ultima strength
    • Lasting color and finish

Clay Paver

Homer Glen, IL 2020

Clay pavers are one of the oldest classifications of paver bricks available today. Traditionally clay pavers came as 4″ x 8″ bricks in red and orange tones, but have not evolved to include varying sizes with earthy gray blends and even dark charcoals. The texture of clay bricks are often an inspiration for modern hardscapes. The production of clay bricks restricts the size and shapes of most of their pavers but processes have progressed in recent years. Pressed or extruded clay bricks are the most common form of production. Pressing clay into molds creates pressed bricks. On the other hand, extruding clay from a machine creates extruded bricks. There are benefits to both methods and the end result is different depending on the method used. Clay can not only be stronger than many concrete pavers, but the color will also never fade.

Natural Stone Paver

Mining is the only way to access natural stone. This type of paver requires some processing after mining. Cutting or snapping depending on the application. As this product is a natural material the color will never fade! Natural stone pavers come in two main forms, Dimensional and flagstone. Each type has specific characteristics. Both types can have surface finishes such as natural cleft or smooth.

Dimensional
Homer Glen, IL 2020

Dimensional stone is created by cutting natural stone into specific shapes. Patterns for brick are common and are helpful in designing the style. Patterns can change the style of the same material just by changing the layout. Natural stone in this form is more modern. However, the style can include rustic elements to reduce the strong lines typical with modern pavers.

Flagstone

Flagstone and dimensional stone can be made from the same material. The differences lie in the shape and edge of the paver. Flagstone is created by snapping natural stone into random shapes. This type of brick gives the idea of a more whimsical and gardenesque style. Similar to dimensional stone, flagstone can be used in ways other than the obvious. If flagstone is mixed with modern elements it can fit in quite well.

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