Choosing the right material for your patio, driveway, walkway, and pool deck is a big choice since hardscapes are generally considered permanent features. Here are three considerations for natural stone options and pavers as you plan out a landscape design in Mount Laurel, NJ.
Pavers, Stone Options: Safety
One of the main considerations for any pedestrian space is of course safety. Wet areas, like pool and hot tub decks, aren’t the only spaces that need to be non-slip when wet. Driveways, walkways, and patios need to be safe too. Unilock pavers, whether textured or smooth, feature a non-slip texture. For example, Beacon Hill Flagstone and Beacon Hill Smooth both deliver on the timeless and natural look of flagstone, but that’s where the similarities end. Beacon Hill Flagstone offers a non-slip texture inspired by natural flagstone, and Beacon Hill Smooth features the look of flagstone in a smooth format ideally suited for contemporary designs.
Pavers, Stone Options: Versatility
To carry the look of a particular paver throughout your landscape, choose a paver suitable for both pedestrian applications (patio, walkways, and pool deck) and driveways. Several Unilock pavers offer this versatility. One of the most popular—for homeowners who enjoy the look of bluestone or flagstone—is Richcliff from Unilock. This paver features ultra-realistic textures thanks to Reala technology, which takes casts from a multitude of natural stone surfaces. And, Ultima concrete technology ensures that Richcliff pavers are up to four times stronger than conventional poured concrete.
Pavers, Stone Options: Style
Function comes first, but it does not have to come at the expense of beauty. It’s generally important to find a paver that complements the style of your home, whether your home is traditional, contemporary, rustic, or a blend of styles.
The first style consideration could be color. Take cues from your home, specifically from colors that aren’t likely to be changed out anytime soon: the roof or any masonry siding. Then, consider the colors that dominate the surrounding landscape. Keep in mind that light colors make a space feel larger but they can also provide a stark contrast to surrounding vegetation. Dark colors can make a space feel more intimate, but they can become too hot on bare feet in a very sunny location. The best bet is usually a mid-tone color that makes for a pleasing transition between the home and the softscape.
The second style consideration could be texture and finish. Modern design trends favor smooth finishes that are glossier than more ruggedly textured finishes. Both are beautiful in the right setting, so decide how you want to feel in the space—not just what the space looks like—and choose finishes that help you achieve that feeling. For example, a serene spa-like space will feature smooth textures and flat finishes (along with neutral colors). A dynamic outdoor space for a busy family could feature a mix of textures for visual interest.
Finally, the third style consideration could be size. You could use large format Limestone and Sandstone slabs to achieve an expansive look. Or you could opt for the delicate dimensions of Mattoni pavers for a classic-yet-modern brick look that could be ideal for an intimate patio.