What Are The Different Types Of Paving Slabs?

Firstly, let’s take a look at why we need paving.

The main reason is that it protects your garden or outside space.

If left unpaved, the external area can become vulnerable to the elements, soil can be washed away and surfaces eroded.

Paving is, of course, a practical solution to gaining access to the entrance of a building, or to other areas in the grounds or garden.

The paving of driveways and pathways is as important as its architectural design, because it will probably be the first experience people will have of a property and the inherent beauty of natural stone slabs can also add to its curb appeal.

Paving slabs are also used to landscape your garden, create patios, surround an outdoor pool and more.

Your choice of paving slab isn’t just about great looks; it’s also about function.

Durability is another reason for choosing paving slabs.

Without them, a surface may become uneven and dangerous. With them, the terrain is much safer.

Choose a durable natural stone and your paving will not only look the part, but it will last year after year.

Three main types of paving

Sandstone

Why choose sandstone? Sandstone is one of the most popular materials for paving projects, because it is versatile, durable and easy to work with.

The inherent grainy texture of finished sandstone slabs makes them naturally slip-resistant, hence they’re good in the rain and also in parts of the garden which are designed to get wet when in use – like outdoor pool surrounds.

The aesthetic appeal of sandstone is also another bonus; it ranges in colour from the beautiful sandy shades of the desert to earthy reds, tans and browns that can be used to lovely decorative effect.

Sandstone can be treated to create a variety of looks.

One of the most popular is riven sandstone which has a natural cleft, uneven surface texture with occasional ridges and slabs that are usually tapered at their edge.

You can opt for sawn and honed sandstone – this is sandstone which is cut to millimetre precision on six sides (sawn) and then semi polished (honed) to produce an attractive smooth surface.

Sawn and shot blasted sandstone is another finish involving slabs being sawn on six sides and then shot blasted to provide an attractive, non-slip surface.

The paving’s rich finish adds a special touch to garden designs.

Tumbled sandstone paving is created by passing newly-riven stone through vibrating machinery, which smooths edges, rounds off corners and softens the riven profile, that’s great for a vintage look.

Pros

Affordable

Sandstone is a great option for any budget.

Hard-wearing

It may not have the same properties as granite or slate, but if you look after your sandstone paving it will last for years.

Natural beauty

If you want your paving to have that elemental feeling of natural stone and rock, then sandstone is for you. It can range in colour from a more neutral shade, to add a modern touch, to a sophisticated and traditional garden. Or you can choose tones of beige and grey for a calming and modern effect in a summer garden. There’s pink hued sandstone and graphite tumbled paving, supplying a flawless balance between charcoal and dark grey, with hints of gold, giving the stone a unique modern and sleek rustic look.

Cons

The porous nature of sandstone paving makes it vulnerable to certain damage if it is not looked after and in extreme cases, liquid, and types of mould and bacteria can cause the stone to become stained over time.

Five reasons to choose sandstone paving

  • Suitable for any budget

  • It’s easy to use

  • It’s non-slip

  • Available in a wide range of colours

  • Durable

Granite

Why choose granite? Firstly, the rugged texture of granite paving slabs gives it an edge in terms of versatility.

It works hard in a variety of situations, from driveways and patios, to garden paths and steps.

It has a luxurious finish, often smooth, but has character derived from its origins as cooled volcanic rock and is usually the go-to for those who want a contemporary, or traditional look to their walkways and patios.

Pros 

It retains almost no water and isn’t easy to mark.

Granite paving slabs will require little maintenance to keep them looking good and they are even resistant to UV light, so they won’t fade under constant sunlight.

Cons

Granite is a more expensive option

Five reasons to choose granite paving

  • It is robust

  • Great for the clean lines of modern designs

  • Gives a luxury high-end modern look

  • It is low maintenance

  • Slip-resistant

Limestone

BLUE HESPER LIMESTONE

Why choose limestone paving slabs? Limestone is versatile and low-maintenance and also works aesthetically in a variety of different natural settings.

Formed of calcium carbonate, combined with layers of minerals, sediment and shells fossilised millions of years ago, it can be a beautiful natural choice.

You can choose honed and brushed limestone, where the surface has been honed so it is a flat, matte surface and then brushed to make it smooth with a rounded edge.

It is a process that retains more of the tile’s original colour than another option – tumbled – which creates a more weathered, antique surface.

Pros

Limestone paving appeals to those who love its finish and texture and the fact it is usually a cheaper alternative to granite

Cons

Limestone fades more quickly than sandstone because it is largely made up of calcium molecules which bleach under UV light if left untreated.

Five reasons to choose limestone paving

  • Limestone has a beautiful, natural look

  • It has a more consistent colour than sandstone

  • It is smoother on the surface than sandstone

  • Limestone paving slabs are versatile

  • It is a cheaper alternative to granite

Contact us

If you are interested in refreshing your outdoor space with paving slabs, you can view our full range here.

For more information or advice on our natural stone paving, please do not hesitate to contact our team by calling 0800 689 5236 or sending an email to [email protected]

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