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FAQ: Best Paving Choice?

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faq I'm fed-up with my existing driveway and patio. What's the best paving for me to use?

Introduction:

It's simply not possible to say what is the best form of paving. If it was, we'd all have the same patios and driveways, every shopping centre would be identical, every town would be indistinguishable from its neighbour.

The fact that we all have different driveways and patios, that retail parks, town centres, leisure facilities come in such a wide variety of forms should tell us that there is no single ideal paving, but that we need to think about what it is we like and what it is we want from a pavement.

If it's simply a matter of having something cheap and functional, then simple concrete hardstanding or plain black tarmacadam would be all the rage. They're not, because we recognise that we may want something with colour, or texture, or pattern; that we want something to complement the property; that we don't want to be the same as our neighbours; that we want to express personal taste and individualism; that we have varying ideas on how much maintenance we are prepared to undertake; that we have different budgets. concrete hardstanding
Concrete hardstanding
The various introductory pages on this website run through the main pros and cons for the popular types of paving and surfacing used in Britain and Ireland. No one type is best (or most appropriate) and, equally, no one type is worst (or least appropriate).

There are no right or wrong answers. Given the same project, two different clients or contractors may well choose two completely different types of paving based on what they like, how they want to use the pavement, and how much they want to spend.

 ribbon

Common types of paving in Britain and Ireland

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gravel
Gravel - loose

Gravel Intro Page

setts and cubes
Setts - actually yellow granite cubes

Setts and Cubes - Intro

cobbles
Cobbles - river stones

Cobbles Intro Page

 
yorkstone flag driveway
Reclaimed yorkstone flags - as a driveway

Natural Stone Flags Page

plain concrete flags
Concrete flags - square layout

Pre-cast Concrete Flags/Slabs

circle feature patio flags
Concrete flags - decorative circle feature

Concrete Patio Flags

 
indian sandstone flags
Indian sandstone flags - Kandla Grey

Imported stone flags

tumbled concrete block pavers
Concrete block pavers - tumbled type

Block Paving Intro

clay brick paving
Clay brick paving - in reds and blues

Clay Pavers Page

 
resin bound aggregate
Resin bound aggregate

Resin based surfacing page

pattern imprinted concrete
Pattern imprinted concrete

Imprinted and Decorative Concrete

concrete pathway
Plain concrete

Concrete Intro page

 
tarmacadam path
Tarmacadam path

Tarmacadam Intro page

grasscrete
Grass paving - Grasscrete

Grass Paving Systems Intro

cell matrix paving
Cell Matrix with Gravel

Cell Matrix Systems Intro

 
The best advice is to make a shortlist of what you like. Maybe you've seen a driveway that caught your eye, or the paving in the retail park near town was very attractive. The footpaths you saw on holiday were just the sort of thing you love, or your sister's neighbour has a gorgeous patio. Perhaps you want a particular colour or texture, or maybe you like the look of setts but don't like block paving.

Once you're narrowed it down to, say, two or three types of paving, further research into the pros and cons, costs and timescales for each type will help identify the more likely candidate. And once it's down to a single type or style of paving, then it's a matter of finding the particular product or mix of products that will give the project just the style and feel that you desire.

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