Dreaming about a patio renovation is exciting. Choosing the right pavers can be one of the most important decisions you make to turn that dream into actual reality. Here’s how the right patio pavers can enhance your Cambridge, MA, outdoor living spaces.
The design process for your patio can start with thinking about what type of flooring looks attractive to you and which type of patio pavers would best complement your home’s surroundings. The paving materials you choose can add personality to your landscape. Concrete pavers that resemble natural stone or brick can convey a more contemporary setting or bring people back in time to another era. Typically, more modern settings feature subtle and neutral colors while accentuating shapes and textures. The emphasis for that style is on clean lines with minimal visual distraction, such as large-format pavers laid in a running bond pattern that are accented with smaller pavers in a contrasting color.
Since brick construction is common in Cambridge, incorporating the look of brick in your outdoor living spaces could deliver a gorgeous timeless aesthetic. Brick can be laid in several patterns, each of which would create a different feel.
Today, you have the choice of using natural stone or composite pavers that mimic the look of quarried stone. A rustic look complements a relaxed home and landscape, and strives to be as close to nature as possible. Flagstone, slate, or bluestone laid in random patterns are the hallmarks of a rustic look.
Each type of patio paver has its own distinctive characteristics, from the color, texture, and size options to the level of durability, stain resistance, texture (slip-resistance), and ease of maintenance it offers. You will want to choose pavers that have the optimal mix of the characteristics for your unique space.
Some people won’t consider anything other than natural stone. The inherent uniqueness of each stone creates a look that cannot be matched using composite pavers. However, it can be difficult to source enough color-consistent stone to create a uniform look; and should a stone crack and need replacing, it may not be possible to find a good match. Natural stone also varies greatly in durability.
If you decide on natural stone, you will need to see what it will look both dry and wet: A gorgeous buff sandstone patio can turn orange in the rain, and any subtle patterns or striations within the pavers will be highlighted when wet, completely altering the appearance.
Depending on the type of layout pattern you choose, the look of brick is equally at home beside a cottage or a grand estate. Its warm hues harmonize well with the landscape, and its handy size and uniform shape make installation relatively straightforward. Many laying pattern options make it possible to create a one-of-a-kind patio with remarkable warmth and character.
Concrete pavers offer the broadest range of desirable characteristics, not the least of which are ease of replacement, durability and stain resistance. You also get a greater range of design flexibility, as modern concrete pavers mimic virtually every other paver material, texture, and color.
Mixed Materials and Accents
A mix of paving materials provides visual interest and breaks up large expanses of pavers. For a subtle look, use the same pavers laid in a different pattern. For a bold look, use contrasting colors, sizes, and textures as accents and borders. To avoid a busy look, cap your choices at three: one type of main field paver, plus one or two accents.