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Natural Stone vs Paver Walkways

natural stone and paver

Natural stone and paver walkways are gaining popularity with homeowners looking for options beyond institutional-looking concrete slabs. Pavers and natural stone pathways are more attractive and resilient than standard concrete. Stamped concrete pavers are an affordable alternative to slabs. However, they are made of porous concrete, which can expand and contract due to freeze-thaw cycles during harsh Maryland winters. For these reasons, most homeowners are turning an eye towards natural stone and paver materials for hardscaping projects, but which one is right for you?

The Perks of Paver Walkways

Pavers are highly versatile man-made materials available in a wide range of sizes, colors, textures, and patterns. The fact that these stones are manufactured allows pavers to be far more uniform than they can be with natural stones. This means they are typically easier and faster for a contractor to install, which speeds up the project’s time frame. However, there are even more benefits to be had when choosing pavers for walkways.

  • Pavers can imitate the look of natural stone.
  • Their surface texture improves slip resistance.
  • The cost of pavers is typically less than natural stones.
  • The creativity and design potential with pavers is virtually limitless.
  • Pavers resist UV rays, moisture, and tend to remain cool in direct sunlight.
  • The materials are sustainable and recyclable.

These perks contribute to the predominance of homeowners choosing paver walkways and pathways.

Natural Stone Walkways

While both natural stone and paver walkways add value and intrigue to outdoor spaces, the beauty of quarried stone is unsurpassed. Once removed from the earth, these stones are often cut into blocks or broken down into smaller pieces for landscaping and hardscaping purposes.

Designers and buyers appreciate the high-end look of natural stone walkways. They boast impressive rich colors and unique patterns that cannot be convincingly mimicked on pavers. Because of the degree of difficulty and the additional labor required to quarry, cut, and install natural stone pavers, Maryland homeowners can expect them to cost a bit more than concrete or man-made options.

The cost and time involved in natural stone installation will depend on the method used. Both natural stone and paver installations can be wet-laid. Wet-laid patios involve pouring concrete beneath and/or between the stones or blocks to secure them and create a smoother walkway surface. Dry-laid applications see the concrete replaced by crushed stones or a bed of sand. Wet-laid applications tend to cost a bit more than dry alternatives.

Besides aesthetic benefits, natural stones can withstand harsh temperatures and weather because they would be exposed to such extremes in their normal environment. However, one potential drawback is that these materials can become very hot in direct sunlight. This is something to consider before installing natural stone near pools or on pathways where wearing shoes is optional.

Natural Stone and Paver Combinations

Beyond function, the best choice between natural stones and pavers is typically determined by personal preference and perhaps even by budget. Many homeowners are enjoying the look of combining natural stone and paver materials in the course of their outdoor design projects.

Traditional square and rectangular pavers create retaining walls and stairs with ease. Topping them with luxurious natural stones as a walkway to a patio area establishes a multi-faceted look that can become a focal point of the landscaping. For intense projects, consult an outdoor landscape design professional that can help plan layouts that are both beautiful and functional.

Learn More About Natural Stone and Paver Walkways in Catonsville, MD

Here at Valley Landscaping, Stone & Patio in Catonsville, MD, our professional designers and installation experts can help you determine the best materials for your walkways, outdoor patios, and pathways. Contact us to learn more information and request a consultation, or give us a call at 410.983.6261 today to schedule an appointment.