4 Types Of Driveway Pavers And How To Choose One 

24 October 2023by easefix@gmail.com

Driveway pavers offer your home a distinctive aesthetic and tactile quality that traditional concrete and asphalt driveways cannot match. Explore the advantages and disadvantages of driveway pavers, various available types, tips for selecting the most suitable option, and the essential requirements for proper installation.

What Constitutes a Driveway Paver?

Pavers refer to interconnected slabs or blocks to create level surfaces for driveways, patios, pool decks, and walkways. These versatile materials include brick (clay), concrete, natural stones like flagstone or granite, and even rubber. Paver materials suitable for driveways are brick, concrete, stone, or a porous surface. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Driveway Pavers

Advantages of Driveway Pavers

Pavers provide numerous advantages in aesthetics, longevity, and ease of upkeep.

  • Sturdy, resilient, and able to withstand the elements: Robust, resistant to breakage, simple to replace an individual paver if needed, and superior at enduring weather conditions and fluctuations compared to a traditional paved driveway.
  • Enhancing visual appeal: This can significantly enhance the look by offering a wide range of choices in terms of materials, colors, and designs.
  • Enhanced property worth: When executed effectively, it can augment a home’s overall value. Eco-friendly considerations: Enable natural drainage for rainwater and other runoff, with brick and stone being environmentally friendly due to their recyclability and reusability. Simplified upkeep: A single application of a protective sealer can safeguard against stains and wear and is straightforward to clean.
  • Reduced safety risks: Poured concrete surfaces often become slippery in wet, icy, or snowy conditions, while specific brick and stone pavers can provide better traction. This is a crucial factor to weigh if your driveway has an incline.
  • No need for curing: Unlike poured concrete or asphalt driveways, there’s no waiting period of one week for drying before you can use it.

Does your driveway incline and cause water to pool? Do you prefer a permeable driveway that absorbs water into the ground?

  • Installation duration: The process of installing a paver driveway may take slightly longer; however, unlike a concrete or asphalt driveway, it can be used immediately without drying or curing time.
  • Expense: Poured or paved driveways are more cost-effective. An asphalt driveway typically costs around $3 to $5 per square foot for installation, with an average lifespan of 12 to 20 years when properly maintained. On the other hand, installing a concrete driveway averages around $6 per square foot nationally and can last up to 40 years with proper upkeep.
  • Weed Growth: In the event of improper sealing, weeds have the potential to sprout within the gaps between the pavers. Inconsistent Replacement Appearance: When setting up your paver driveway, purchasing additional pavers for potential replacements is advisable. Failing to do so might necessitate acquiring new ones that don’t seamlessly blend in and may appear mismatched. Keep in mind that even with spare pavers, your driveway may have weathered, causing replacements to appear relatively “new” and not perfectly harmonized with the
Varieties of Driveway Paving Materials
Pavers Made of Bricks

Brick Pavers: These pavers are crafted from molded and fired clay. They possess a robust strength rating of approximately 12,000 pounds per square inch, making them one of the sturdier choices available. While a brick paver driveway can endure for several decades, bricks are relatively delicate and susceptible to weathering and gradual deterioration. Fortunately, the advantage lies in their ease of replacement—swapping out one or two bricks is more straightforward and cost-effective than overhauling the entire driveway. Proper maintenance means a brick paver driveway can extend its lifespan beyond 25 to 30 years.

  • Ideal for: Capable of withstanding the substantial weight of vehicles; exhibits the highest durability.
  • Price Range: Typically falls within the range of $10 to $30 per square foot, covering materials and labor costs.
Pavers Made of Concrete

Concrete Pavers: The favored choice for driveway paving often involves concrete pavers designed to mimic brick shapes. Compared to clay bricks, concrete paver driveways generally boast a longer lifespan, typically 25 to 50 years. While concrete pavers have a slightly lower strength rating of 8,000 pounds per square inch compared to brick pavers, they are still more than adequate for everyday use. Notably, concrete paver driveways outperform solid concrete slabs in terms of durability.

Ideal for: Offers cost-efficiency, especially for larger driveways; provides various patterns and shapes.

  • Price Range: Typically falls within the range of $10 to $40 per square foot, covering materials and labor costs.
Pavers Made of Stone

Natural Stone Pavers: Paving materials crafted from blocks of quarried natural stone are commonly referred to as cobblestones. Cobblestones represent one of the most resilient paver choices, with a lifespan extending to at least a century. Typically made from granite or basalt, cobblestones exhibit remarkable durability, and their endurance often outlasts the underlying driveway base, making them nearly indestructible.

Several natural stone options can be used for driveway pavers, including limestone, granite, slate, flagstone, and bluestone. However, it’s important to note that limestone, flagstone, and fieldstone are not ideal for areas with heavy traffic or car use due to their susceptibility to cracking.
While a cobblestone driveway boasts beauty, its slightly uneven surface can restrict its usability. For instance, engaging in activities like playing basketball on a cobblestone driveway may not be feasible. Additionally, snow removal can be challenging due to the naturally uneven nature of the stone surface.

  • Ideal for: Enhancing aesthetics and creating visual appeal; cobblestones boast exceptional durability.
  • The cost ranges from $40 to $70 per square foot, encompassing materials and labor expenses.
Pavers with permeability

Permeable pavers offer an excellent choice for individuals who prioritize environmental considerations. These pavers have an attractive appearance and are engineered explicitly for adequate drainage. They enable water to infiltrate and percolate through the ground beneath the paver surface. Instead of accumulating on top of the pavers, water gradually seeps through the porous system and into the soil. This helps prevent the pooling of rainwater and the generation of harmful waste or polluted runoff that might otherwise carry vehicle fluids into municipal sewer systems. Additionally, permeable pavers are known for their durability and resistance to weather-induced shifting.

  • Ideal for Prioritizing environmental concerns while remaining cost-effective.
Selecting the Right Driveway Paver:

When deciding on the most suitable driveway paver for your project, several factors should be taken into account:

  • Project Scale: What is the total surface area you intend to pave? This aspect is closely intertwined with budget considerations.
  • Budget Constraint: Frequently, your budget sets the limits. Staying within your budget will determine the types of pavers you can consider and those that might not be viable choices. Nonetheless, when evaluating expenses, consider the paver’s durability and the potential long-term costs associated with maintenance.
  • Maintenance and Endurance: Are you willing to invest time in DIY sealing projects for your home and scheduled maintenance for your driveway? For instance, brick may have higher initial costs but doesn’t require resealing every two years like a poured concrete driveway. Furthermore, if you’re contemplating a permeable driveway that allows grass to grow between the seams, factor in the time required for regular grass trimming.
  • Effects of Weather and Erosion: Cobblestones are the most resilient but difficult to shovel in regions with harsh winters. Brick and concrete pavers can withstand weather conditions, but the freeze-and-thaw cycle can infiltrate the gaps between them, potentially loosening bricks or causing expansion and contraction. Nevertheless, pavers are preferable to poured asphalt or concrete, which are more susceptible to cracks that could entail more expensive repairs.
  • Environmental Considerations: Is your driveway inclined and prone to water pooling? Are you inclined towards a permeable driveway that facilitates water absorption into the ground? Permeable driveways play a role in alleviating drainage problems in your locality and contribute to replenishing the natural water table.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) or Professional Installation?

Although paver driveways generally come with a considerably higher price tag than concrete or asphalt, resourceful DIY enthusiasts can significantly reduce these expenses by taking on the project. While it may be time-consuming and physically demanding, self-installation of pavers is not complex. The process unfolds as follows:

  • Prepare the Foundation: Crushed stone is the foundational material in most installations.
  • Construct Border Forms: Plastic or metal edging is employed to establish forms that contain the pavers along the perimeter of the surface.
  • Compact and Even the Surface: Utilize a motorized plate compactor or handheld tamper to compress and level the gravel base firmly. Then, apply a layer of sand and flatten it to create a solid base for the pavers.
  • Position the Pavers: Place the pavers directly onto the sand surface. Intricate patterns and designs can be achieved by arranging the pavers in different configurations. This project phase is the most demanding, as it necessitates precise levelling as you progress with the placement.
  • Fill the Spaces Between Pavers: Mason’s sand fills the gaps between the pavers. A plate compactor then vibrates the pavers, thoroughly packing the joints with sand.
  • Apply a Surface Sealant: Many pavers may necessitate sealing to safeguard the materials from stains and weathering. Reapplication of the sealant might be necessary every few years.

If you intend to enlist the services of a contractor for the task, it’s advisable to conduct some preliminary research. Before making a hiring decision, it’s essential to interview multiple contractors and obtain their cost estimates. The majority of contractors provide complimentary estimates. If you receive an estimate significantly lower than others, exercise caution as it may indicate potential issues. 

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What is the downside of a paver driveway?

While visually appealing, a paver driveway can be costly to install compared to asphalt or concrete. Over time, individual pavers may shift or settle, requiring maintenance. Snow removal and managing weed growth between the pavers can also pose challenges.

Do pavers make a good driveway?

Pavers make for an excellent driveway choice. They provide versatile design options, durability, resistance to cracking, and easy maintenance. This combination of features makes pavers a practical and attractive option for homeowners seeking a reliable and visually appealing driveway.

Is a paver driveway worth it?

The worthiness of a paver driveway depends on your priorities and preferences. Paver driveways offer a visually appealing and customizable option with various design choices. They can enhance your home’s curb appeal and increase property value. However, they tend to be more expensive upfront and require ongoing maintenance. If you prioritize aesthetics and are willing to invest in maintenance, a paver driveway can be worth it. Otherwise, more cost-effective alternatives like concrete or asphalt better suit your needs.

How long will the paver driveway last?

Factors like material quality, installation craftsmanship, local climate conditions, and ongoing maintenance influence the durability of a paver driveway. Well-constructed paver driveways can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years or more, providing a resilient and attractive surface for your property. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and resealing, can help extend its lifespan and keep it looking its best.