Driveway pavers come in a wide range of styles, materials and finishes. So finding the right pavers for your driveway is not hard at all. If you are not sure which kind of pavers to pick, start with the following most popular types of driveway pavers. Chances are that you’ll find what you are looking for below.
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Popular Driveway Paver Materials
Let’s start with the most common materials used to make pavers. There are three popular driveway pavers based on materials: concrete pavers, brick pavers and stone pavers.
Concrete pavers are the most popular. They are affordable, designed to be incredibly strong, and they last a long time. When properly laid, concrete pavers can last 30-50 years or more.
Because they are made in a highly controlled environment and with a standard process, concrete pavers are uniform and consistent. This makes laying them easier.
Another advantage of concrete pavers is the wide variety of colors and finishes available. You can choose whichever color or finish you want to match or blend with your exterior home decor.
If you want a more rustic look for your driveway, brick pavers are a good choice. Brick pavers are all-natural. They are made with clay (sometimes different types of colored clay) then fired in a kiln to harden them.
While brick pavers are strong, they break and chip more easily compared to concrete pavers. If the driveway will see heavy traffic from trucks and machinery, do not use brick pavers.
Brick pavers are best for light traffic driveways and other areas like patios and walk paths. In such areas, they can even outlast concrete pavers.
Another limitation of brick pavers is the limited colors and styles available. That’s because they get their colors from natural clay, unlike concrete pavers that use artificial pigments.
Cost-wise, brick pavers are usually more expensive than concrete pavers.
Stone pavers, sometimes called cobblestones, are another great choice for those who want a natural rustic look on their driveway.
These pavers are made from natural stones that are cut into smaller sizes. There are several kinds of stone pavers including flagstone, cobblestones and bluestone.
Stone driveway pavers are incredibly strong and durable. They can last over a century. On the downside, they are expensive.
They are also limited in styles and colors, similar to brick pavers.
Other Types of Pavers
- Permeable pavers – These are driveway pavers designed to allow stormwater to drain into the ground. Permeable pavers are typically in the form of grids with wide holes to allow water through. They can be made from concrete or, more commonly, plastic.
- Marble pavers – Marble pavers are made from limestone. Similar to other natural stone pavers, marble pavers are expensive. But they give your home a beautiful polished look.
- Gravel or grass pavers – These are plastic interlocking grid pavers designed to be laid on grass or gravel to create a strong, durable and permeable driveway.
Popular Driveway Paver Colors and Finishes
Once you pick what paver material you want, the next step is choosing the best paver style and color for your driveway.
If you are buying natural brick or stone pavers, you don’t have many options. These pavers come in limited colors.
For instance, brick pavers are available mostly in red and brown hues. You can also get gray brick pavers. Natural stone pavers are available mostly in earthy colors like brown, red and gray.
If you want a wider variety of styles, go with concrete pavers. You can get this in just about any hue including gray, red, brown, charcoal, black, white and so on.
You can also get different kinds of finishes that resemble other materials like brick, natural stone or marble.
Whether they buy brick, stone or concrete pavers, most homeowners stick to natural/earthy colors like brown, red and gray. That’s because these colors usually blend better with the exterior of the house and the rest of the outdoors including plants.
Tip: if you don’t like how your concrete pavers look, you can stain them in a different color. Staining can also restore the look of faded pavers. Here’s a video showing how concrete pavers are stained.
Which Are The Best Paver Finishes?
In addition to color, the finish of pavers can affect how your driveway looks. Most modern pavers have a smooth flat finish, which creates a beautiful contemporary style to match the house.
But if you are going for a rustic style, you can get pavers with a weathered or mottled finish.
Tumbled pavers are also popular. They are designed with an aged finish resembling that of old stone pavers.
You can also get pavers with a marble finish.
Remember you can always change how the pavers look later using a stain or sealer. For instance, if you want a glossy smooth appearance, you can apply a wet look paver sealer.
Popular Driveway Paver Sizes
Smaller pavers are better for driveways. They displace weight from vehicles and machinery over a small area, which prevents cracking.
Smaller pavers can also withstand more weight and pressure. That’s why you’ll usually find large concrete pavers or slabs only used on patios, walk paths and other places with light traffic.
For driveways, 4 by 8 inch pavers are the most common. You can also get slightly larger sizes such as 6 x 4 or 6 x6.
You can also get irregular driveway pavers, but these are also usually small to ensure stability and strength.
As for paver thickness, it ranges from 2 to 4 inches with the average thickness being 3 inches.
If you are adding walk paths along the driveway, you can pave these with 1” to 2” thick pavers. Just make sure you never drive over them.
If you are installing pavers on an existing concrete or asphalt surface, 1⅜ inch thick pavers are adequate to hold up vehicular traffic.
For pavers installed on a sand or aggregate base, a minimum thickness of 2⅜ is recommended. If you expect large vehicles and heavy machinery to use the driveway, get 3⅛ or thicker pavers.
You can find some additional paving tips here.
Which Are The Most Popular Driveway Paver Patterns?
The pattern you lay pavers in can make a big difference in the final look of the driveway.
A herringbone paver pattern is probably the most popular for driveways. There are two popular types of herringbone paver patterns: 45 degrees and 90 degrees.
The 45 degree pattern consists of pavers laid at an angle in alternate directions. Two pavers make a V shape.
A 45 degree herringbone pattern creates a more vibrant and textured aesthetic. Here’s an example of pavers being laid in a 45 degree herringbone pattern.
If you prefer a simpler, more contemporary look, try a 90 degree herringbone pattern. In this pattern, pavers are laid straight in alternate directions. Two pavers make an L shape.
Other popular patterns include:
- Running bond pattern – Pavers laid in a running bond pattern resemble a wall made with bricks. Pavers are laid end to end, with the joints aligning with the middle of the pavers in the next row. It makes for a simple and minimalist driveway style. It looks especially good on straight driveways.
- Mosaic patterns – Mosaic paver patterns are more complicated and interesting. The pavers are laid to make interesting shapes like spirals, circles and arches. A mosaic pattern is great if you want to turn your driveway into a statement piece. It works especially well with rustic cobblestones or brick pavers.
- Geometric patterns – If you want a modern by interesting driveway style, consider laying the pavers in a geometric pattern. There are plenty to choose from. Just keep in mind that, similar to mosaic patterns, they’ll take more time to lay.
- Basketweave pattern – This is a kind of geometric pattern consisting of two vertical pavers and two horizontal pavers.
Of course, you could come up with your own pattern. You can even mix different paver colors, shapes and sizes.
Interlocking vs. Regular Pavers
More and more homeowners are turning to interlocking pavers for their driveway. These pavers are designed to ‘lock’ with other pavers via a medium, usually polymeric sand.
The interlocking design strengthens the entire structure, allowing it to bear more weight and pressure.
Interlocking driveway pavers are not only easier to install, they also last longer.
One of the biggest advantages of driveway pavers over other types of driveway materials like gravel, concrete and asphalt is the sheer number of options available.
Whether it’s color, size, shape, pattern or finish, there are just so many choices in the market. It’s easy to achieve the exact look you want.