Pavers are a simple way to add creative designs, texture, and structure to your yard, garden, or outdoor space. They come in a variety of colors, materials, and shapes, ensuring that whatever your style and taste, there is a paver for you. Once you build the pathway or patio you’ve always wanted, the last thing you need is it to be destroyed because of the weather.
Not all pavers are created equal. Some materials are more appropriate for warmer climates, while others can withstand the harsh temperatures and brutal storms that Midwest winters can bring. If you choose wrong, your pavers can crack and spall, causing bits to fall off due to the freezing cycles that occur in winter.
To make sure you are using the right materials to keep your pavers in good condition, here’s a list of the best types of pavers for all climates.
Slate is an incredibly durable material. Used on roofs and able to withstand even the coldest temperatures, slate is a great choice to use for your project. It can be split into pieces easily, so you can create the shape and design you’d like easily, and it comes in a range of colors. The best part is slate is less porous than stone, so it blocks out the moisture that can sweep in during winter freezing cycles. This gives you a longer lifespan for your patio or pathway.
If you’re a fan of white, cream, and bone-colored pavers, travertine is the material for you. This variety of limestone provides pavers with a subtle and classic look and can withstand colder and warmer temperatures—if you seal it properly. Travertine is a porous stone, which can break down over time due to the freezing cycle in winter. However, now, we are able to coat these light stones with protective sealant that prevents moisture from penetrating their surfaces.
To ensure your stones are protected from separation or cracking, it’s advised to use dust from stone in between each paver rather than other materials. For extra security, seal the stone dust as well for a secure, safe paver scape.
You’re probably thinking porcelain is a delicate material. After all, dolls and figurines are made of this ceramic and it’s known for cracking and shattering with ease. However, when it comes to outdoor pavers, porcelain can be quite durable. This material is fired at high temperatures, making it extremely hard and waterproof, so there is no chance moisture can seep in during freezing cycles or heavy rain.
It also comes in many colors, giving you the freedom to customize your paver style, and despite it appearing to be slick because of it’s glossier surface, porcelain pavers can be textured, preventing risks of slipping.
What kind of list would this be if we didn’t mention, brick, one of the most commonly used, durable materials for building everything from homes to patios to bridges. The advantages of brick include its ability to withstand heavy pressure, cold weather, and sustainability. High quality brick that’s made from thick clay and heated at extremely high temperatures for a long time can last centuries.
If you choose interlocking bricks, they can be installed quickly, usually within a day. However, if you would like mortar in between, this extends the time of installation. Regardless of your choice, brick comes in a variety of colors, but because of its natural state, these colors will fade over time, which can give your pavers a unique, rustic look.
This building material is made of clay that’s baked at low temperatures. It’s rich color is adored by many, which makes it ideal for a natural and European feel style. However, to have terra cotta pavers in colder climates, you must be prepared for a higher level of maintenance to ensure your pavers don’t crack and break.
While you can choose to glaze or keep your pavers unglazed, sealing terra cotta is a must. Without a thick, strong seal, these pavers won’t be able to withstand cold temperatures and will crack during freezing cycles. Beyond sealing them upon installation, you’ll have to reseal them every couple years to ensure they remain intact.
No matter the material you choose, there are many ways to keep your pavers secure and safe, preserving all your hard work and intricate designs. If you need assistance with materials and installation, we are always here to help you build whatever you can imagine for your hardscape.