When you decide it’s time to start a paving project on your property, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the number of choices you’ll face. Which paving contractors should you hire? Do you want to protect your garden and outdoor space or revamp your entire driveway and patio? But one of the most important things you should consider is which material you will use for the project.
There are several types of paving slabs, and they each have their own benefits and drawbacks. To make the right decision for your project, learn about the different types of paving slabs and how you can use them to protect and beautify your property.
The Three Most Common Types Of Paving Slabs
If you’re looking for a durable material that looks great in various situations, take a look at granite slabs. Granite slabs come from cooled volcanic rock and will give any area of your property an elevated aesthetic. Its finish looks smooth and elegant, making it the standard choice if you want a modern but classic look for your driveway, walkways, or patio.
Granite slabs are difficult to mark and do a fantastic job resisting water, making them extremely low-maintenance. Their resistance to water, scratches and UV light allows them to last a very long time, even with limited maintenance.
The biggest downside to granite slabs is the pricing. But it’s not just expensive for you. Granite materials cost paving contractors a pretty penny as well.
While granite is great for a contemporary look, limestone slabs are ideal if you’re going for a more natural look. Limestone is formed over millions of years because of pressure on fossils, sediment, and minerals combined with calcium carbonate. That’s what gives it such a beautiful natural appearance.
You have two options regarding limestone slabs. One is “tumbled” limestone, which gives the slab’s surface a weathered, antique look and feel. The second is “honed and brushed” limestone, making the surface more flat, matte. Limestone is versatile, though not quite as versatile as granite. But, limestone is a cheaper alternative that will still provide a beautiful upgrade to your property.
Unfortunately, because limestone is made up of calcium, it’s more susceptible to UV damage. You can mitigate this with maintenance, but it’s a hassle you don’t have to worry about with granite.
The other most common type of slabs used by paving contractors is sandstone slabs. It’s often considered the most popular type of paving slab because of its versatility and durability. It’s also relatively easy to work with. One added benefit of sandstone slabs is their grainy surface texture makes them naturally slip-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about slipping on your walkway when it rains. This is especially helpful if you or the people you live with have mobility difficulties.
With regards to the versatility of paving slabs, sandstone wins. Aesthetically, you can get sandstone in a wide variety of colours, so you can get the exact look you want for your project. On top of that, there are multiple looks you can get to find a unique style, making your sandstone the envy of the neighbourhood. These different looks include:
- Riven sandstone
- Sawn and honed sandstone
- Sawn and shot blasted sandstone
- Tumbled sandstone
Ask the paving contractors you work with about these looks to find the style that best matches your vision.
After reading about all of the benefits of sandstone, you might think that it’s extremely expensive. But in actuality, sandstone slabs are relatively affordable—especially when compared to granite.
While sandstone is generally durable, it does have some durability issues you should be aware of before making your final decision. Since sandstone is more porous by nature, it can get damaged more easily than the other types of slabs, even more so if you don’t maintain it properly.
There are three main types of paving slabs (although your paving contractors may have even more options): granite, limestone and sandstone. Deciding which type of slab is best for your project is up to you, but there are really no wrong answers here. It all comes down to your personal preference and your budget. Whichever type you choose, you’re going to end up with a beautiful upgrade to your property.