If you’re a homeowner planning to start a new renovation project, choosing the best block paving bricks for your design ideas can be difficult without the help of hardscape contractors. The selection process often feels like the most complicated part, with so many various styles and components to choose from.
So, what’s the difference between pavers made of clay and paving made of concrete blocks? What are the advantages of using concrete or clay pavers? Let’s go through some of the best concrete block paving bricks you can use for your outdoor landscaping.
Continue reading below to learn which one is the best for your needs.
What is Block Paving?
Concrete block paving is a popular decorative method of laying down pavement or hard surfaces. Individual bricks can be raised and changed when damaged or worn, which is the fundamental advantage of choosing bricks over other materials.
The bricks are typically built of concrete pavers or clay pavers, with some composite materials thrown in for good measure. The most often used concrete pavers are made of porous materials, many of which are manufactured from recycled materials.
Many laying patterns may be achieved with blocks and one of the most popular is the herringbone pattern, which provides the strongest bond due to its interlocking.
Concrete Pavers Vs. Brick Pavers
Brick pavers are a standard building material that gives your landscape a timeless appeal. However, they cost a little more than concrete pavers and have fewer design options.
While the brick pavers themselves are quite resilient, the surface must be sealed on a regular basis to avoid discoloration. Finally, both clay brick pavers and concrete pavers are prone to breaking, and loose bricks can cause an uneven surface over time.
It’s easy to become perplexed by lingo when purchasing. You’ll also hear terms like brick pavers, concrete pavers, and concrete bricks. Before you go shopping, make sure you understand all of these words, so you don’t make a mistake.
A thin, flat, stone-like material used to build an even surface, such as a driveway, is all that is meant by the paver. One such material is paving brick, which is made from clay that has been fired in a kiln. The terms brick paving and paving bricks are interchangeable.
Neither of those phrases, however, are interchangeable with concrete pavers or concrete bricks. The latter term is particularly perplexing—despite the name brick, so-called concrete pavers are composed of completely different materials and are not made from clay.
Concrete pavers are comparable to block paving in appearance and application. However, each product has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Brick paving, for example, retains its color better than concrete pavers while being subjected to UV radiation, but concrete pavers are less expensive.
How Much Do Brick Pavers Cost?
The materials required for a brick paver driveway should cost around $5 per square foot. The labor will be free if you do the paving projects yourself. Professional installation will most likely cost between $10 and $20 per square foot, though more elaborate designs and more expensive bricks may raise the price.
Compared to poured concrete, brick pavers are a more expensive concrete block paving material. Concrete pavers are much more expensive than clay brick pavers.
Repair and Maintenance for Block Pavers
Under the impact of moisture and ultraviolet light from the sun, clay pavers will deteriorate over time. Maintaining your driveway correctly can extend its life to 25 years or more.
A pressure washer should be used to wash a brick paver driveway once or twice a year. Make sure weeds and dirt aren’t growing between the bricks. If it’s a loose-fit surface, pack the joints with fresh sand after the surface has dried for a day or two.
If the concrete block pavers are mortared, fill any cracks with new mortar and allow them to dry completely.
All bricks should be sealed after each washing to ensure a long life. Clay brick can become damaged over time if not sealed. A sealer can be sprayed on with a suitable pump sprayer or rolled or brushed on. Be sure to also seal the sand joints and the brick’s surface to assist the sand firm and prevent weeds and moss from growing in the joints.
Use a product developed for clay brick, such as a siloxane-based sealant, to protect a paver driveway without affecting the aesthetic of the brick. Avoid using gloss-finish sealers, which can leave a splotchy finish. There are, however, “wet look” sealers that provide the appearance of a sheen without actually forming one.
How is Concrete Block Paving Installed?
Concrete block paving begins with site preparation and excavation. Depending on the property and whether or not there is an existing driveway, the site will need to be assessed and then excavated. If you have a soft ground or soft place, you may need to install a sub-base to ensure a more stable foundation.
The area will need to be trimmed off so you can excavate and layout the concrete block paving. all concrete block paving comes with a standard sub-base. The area will be compacted with a compactor, and then a layer of sharp sand will be spread on top, which will be raked and tested for levelness with string lines and screeding rails.
The installer will begin laying the concrete block paving, ensuring that it is set out in the pattern you desire and that the colors flow in a manner acceptable for the pattern. They’ll mix and match blocks from different packs to ensure there aren’t any significant differences in color shadings.
Following the installation of the blocks, kiln-dried sand will be brushed into the joints and crushed with a vibrating plate. This strengthens the interlocking and guarantees that the blocks are laid level. The procedure will be repeated to ensure that no joints remain unfilled.
Who Installs Concrete Block Paving?
Driveway specialists typically build block paving since they understand the proper manner to lay and interlock the bricks.
You will have a beautiful driveway if you hire a company to install the blocked paving. They will work with you to ensure you have a design and pattern you prefer and assist you in selecting the right color to complement the style of your home or the surrounding area.
The time it takes varies depending on the size of the area to be paved, but it usually takes a few days. Excavation, foundation construction, installation, and finishing are all part of the process.
Types of Block Paving
Various types of block paving can be found all over the world.
Kiln-fired clay bricks are the oldest type of block paving known on the planet. Clay pavers with specific treatments and sizes can be designed by house brick producers.
During the kiln process, clay block pavers develop natural colors that last a long time and come in a variety of hues such as brown, red, buff, gray, blue, and a mix of various tints.
Apart from that, clay block pavers have natural textures and other features similar to clay bricks.
Molded cement-concrete pavers can still be found a few centuries after concrete block pavement (CBP) was popular. Concrete-cement molding provides endless possibilities for color, shape, size, and texture change. It allows you to imitate any form of block paving, including clay and stone pavers.
Standard concrete pavers, on the other hand, are 200mm long, 100mm wide, and 50mm to 100mm deep. The majority of conventional brands have chamfered edges and spacer lugs.
To avoid color-related costs, we can integrate colors and diverse hues throughout the mass of concrete pavers or merely give treatments to faces open to the external.
As demand and supply conditions improve, natural stone block paving is becoming more popular. The global distribution network has improved quality and reduced costs. When compared to other materials, improved technologies from quarrying to finishing have made natural stone pavers accessible to anybody.
In the industry, siliceous stones such as granites and sandstones are common. In your block paving project, you can use all of the natural stone’s richness, including colors, textures, patterns, veins, grains, and so on, for natural beauty underfoot.
Bluestone is a commonly used type of sandstone that is frequently used to create beautiful and long-lasting driveways. It is available in a variety of sizes and forms. Bluestone can be crushed into gravel, left in enormous slabs, or carved into various tile patterns—giving them a variety of looks.
The cost of bluestone pavers varies based on the thickness of the pavers and the kind of pavers available. Irregular pavers are less expensive, but thermal pavers are more costly.
Flagstone is a type of sedimentary rock that is commonly used as patio pavers. The pavers are all different sizes and shapes, and they fit together like a jigsaw.
Because it’s a thinner paver than brick or concrete pavers, it’s not ideal to use for a driveway. Flagstone comes in a range of colors, with gray and red being the most common.
When limestone is placed under extreme heat and pressure, marble is created. This mechanism disarrays crystal particles at random, which explains the uniqueness of common block paving patterns.
Marble pavers have been utilized for patios, driveways, walkways, and even grass-yard paths in both residential and commercial settings. These pavers create stunning outdoor landscapes while exuding a graceful and elegant presence.
Travertine pavers, like marbles, are all-natural and environmentally beneficial pavers that may be utilized in a variety of applications. These are sedimentary rocks that have originated and evolved as a result of pressure and temperature changes.
This type of paving blocking has long been a popular choice for outdoor landscaping and flooring because of its natural beauty. Patios, worktops, pool areas, and even indoor floorings look great with it.
Travertine pavers may be found practically anyplace on the planet—therefore, they will never be in short supply.
Porcelain is a clay-based substance that has been heated to severe temperatures. This procedure produces a non-porous, rigid, and long-lasting product.
Porcelain pavers can be used in indoor and outdoor areas. However, because they have a less absorbent surface than other permeable materials, they are commonly employed in damp places like pool decks.
Manufacturers may now build thicker porcelain pavers with a close likeness to natural materials like wood, stones, and other materials thanks to modern technology.
Granite is the most common material for cobblestone pavers, but it can also be formed of basalt, limestone, or sandstone.
This paver style has been in use for centuries, demonstrating its toughness and durability. Cobblestone pavers offer the best of both worlds, long-term durability, and a pleasing appearance.
Is Stone Block Paving the Best Option?
Natural stones are the most durable material in the construction business due to their physical and chemical qualities. It indicates that stones are the best material for load-bearing applications such as route paving, driveways, and car parking places.
Natural stone block pavers can provide anti-skid surfaces for safe and secure walking with adequate surface treatment. You can bring stone blocks with precise dimensions and edge treatment in mind. Stones are a long-lasting, weatherproof, and water-resistant material.
As a result, stone block pavers are the best choice for external use in every climate. Natural stone block paving projects offer value to the construction property because of their long-lasting ability and natural attractiveness.
If natural stones have been utilized in other applications such as interior flooring, exterior wall cladding, retaining walls around driveways or walks, and gate walls, stone block paving will blend in well and enhance the overall natural beauty.
Methods of Laying Block Paving
Flexible and rigid construction are the two most common laying methods.
The most common is referred to as flexible construction, in which the blocks or brick paver is set on an unbound or cement-free bed with fine silica sand filling the seams. On the flexible construction page, you’ll find a full overview of the processes for laying a flexible pavement.
Rigid construction is commonly defined as a clay brick paver laid on a concrete or mortar bed with mortar joints, similar to a wall, but horizontal rather than vertical. This form of block paving is detailed on the stiff block paving page and involves completely different construction processes.
Contact West Hills Masonry Today for All of Your Block Paving Needs
While there are many different styles of block pavers to choose from, we hope that after reading the above information, you will have a better understanding of which type of block paving you should use for your next landscaping design project.
If, however, you are still unsure, putting your landscaping needs in the hands of professional landscapers is often the best choice.
You can count on our team of landscaping experts to assist you in constructing the landscape of your dreams. We are considered as one of the highly trained Orange County landscape contractors and we will make your outdoor space look better than ever before, allowing you to sit back and marvel as our team of landscaping experts converts your outdoor living space into a valuable space you’ve always imagined.
To receive a free quote and discover how our team of specialists can help you achieve all of your landscape design goals, contact us at West Hills Masonry today!