What is Paving? Understanding Different Paver Styles and Patterns

Driveway paved with multicolored pavers, with green grass on either side

If you’re not familiar with landscaping you may wonder, “What is paving?” Pavers have been around for centuries. They were used to build roads, but today they are popular among homeowners as they are used to create pathways, patios, driveways, outdoor rooms, pool decks, garden paths, and more. Pavers come in many attractive combinations of styles, sizes, colors, thicknesses, textures, and patterns. This is a quick guide to help you pick the right paving pattern and style that would perfectly match your house’s appearance.

What is Paving?

Paving is the art of laying down pavers in a particular pattern to create patios, driveways, pool decks, walkways, and other parts of outdoor living spaces and landscapes. Paving provides a flat surface to walk on, a pleasing aspect to the outdoor space, and is highly durable.

Common Types of Paving Materials

There are many types of pavers available in the market, and the following are some of the more common ones you’ll find in use.

  • Brick – Brick pavers are made of clay and are quite popular for use in home landscaping. They offer a style and look that is distinctive and unmatched by other types of paving materials.
  • Natural Stone – Fieldstone, limestone, granite, and flagstone are some of the more popular natural stones available for paving. These are often favored due to their attractive beauty and hard-wearing characteristics.
  • Concrete – Concrete pavers are popular in residential and commercial properties. Offering a nice variety of textures and colors, they are both handsome and durable enough for foot or vehicle traffic.
Round front yard patio with table and chairs
Brick Pavers
Flagstone pavers act as a slip-resistant pool deck on this patio
Natural Stone Pavers
Concrete Pavers

Choosing the Surface Finishes

These are three of the popular surface finishes for you to choose from when shopping for pavers.

  • Smooth –  pavers have a flat and smoothed surface.
  • Dimpled – These pavers have a slightly uneven surface so that they have a more natural and weathered look.
  • Mottled – Similar to the pavers used for roads in ancient times, these pavers give you an extremely weathered look.
Smooth Finish Pavers
Patio made of dimpled pavers with and bench and landscaping
Dimpled Pavers
Stone mason installing mottled pavers, lining up with a string line
Mottled Pavers

Common Paver Patterns

When laying down a new paved walk or pathway, you have several options for paver laying patterns from which to choose. From traditional to modular, your choice will depend on the type and style of pavers you pick for your landscape space or feature. Here we will focus on some of the most popular patterns used today.

Circular Pattern

Here, the pavers are laid in rows to form a circular formation. Then the space between the pavers is filled with sand or mortar. The circular pattern is popularly used in patio areas or large driveways as it segments the area into smaller spaces adding interest.

Pavers being installed using a circular pattern

Herringbone Pattern

Pavers are laid in an alternative direction to create a ‘V’ shape and can be laid out at either 45 or 90 degrees. The pattern can also be mixed with clay pavers or natural stone as a border to create definition. Since the pattern is durable, it is highly recommended in areas that receive high traffic or have a lot of outdoor furniture.

Brick pavers laid in a herringbone pattern

Running Bond Pattern

This is one of the most common paving patterns and is also the simplest. This pattern is easy to install and creates the least amount of waste. Here, the pavers are laid side by side to create lines that make your patio or driveway look longer or wider.

Pavers being installed in a mortar bed using a running bond pattern

European Fan Pattern

This pattern is quite popular in Europe and has grown in popularity in the US. Even though this is one of the most difficult paving patterns, it is also one of the most beautiful pattern designs. You can choose different sized pavers and even pick different colors according to your preference.

Outdoor recreational courtyard paved with a European fan pattern design

Basket Weave Pattern

This pattern originated in the old English landscape era and has a vintage look to it. Here, the pavers are laid down in an alternate pattern between the vertical and horizontal pairs. The paired pavers give a distinct look to the area, and pavers of different complementary and contrasting colors can be used for added interest.

Small courtyard with pavers installed with a basket weave pattern

Choose Thoughtfully and Shop Wisely

There are other modern paving patterns that are being developed but those mentioned above are the most common. And it is important to pick your paving patterns carefully as they have a significant impact on the look of your outdoor living space. Consider the aesthetics of your property and the effect you wish to create. Southwest Stone Supply, Inc is your high-quality stone supply store in Osage Beach, Missouri. You can find a large variety of paving materials for your outdoor project at competitive prices.

So, whether you’re a homeowner, a contractor, or a large reseller, give us a call to learn more today!

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