The most common patio paving material used locally is interlock, generally because it is so cost effective due to the high volume of concrete being produced and used in the construction sector. The modular format is an attractive feature for government & authorities works, since access to repair underground pipes and services is inevitable & this type of flooring ‘in theory’ should have the least impact. Whilst this paving option is cheap, it can also look very cheap. With so many joints it can soon look very busy and can have a lot of wastage due to the number of cut pieces. It doesn’t take long before this material starts subsiding and becoming uneven, so whilst the interlock pavers are a fairly durable, the system itself is questionable. Unfortunately, its two main features are also its downfall. There are different types of concrete used and whilst OPC provides the cheapest paver, the block is also likely to corrode quicker from irrigation water and rising ground water, which is extremely salty. If you want to go for interlock, then look for the SRC option, which should last that bit longer. In our opinion we think interlock is great for large streetscape/government amenities where large services are located but for a general landscaping where the intent is to improve the desired appearance then there are better options.
Natural Stone Tiles
Natural stone tiles are a great option for improving the appearance of the landscape and surrounding environment. There are many materials to choose from – sandstones, slates, granites and marbles. The main reason for choosing a natural paver for your patio is for the aesthetic value. Costs can very considerably depending on the type of material, thickness and size of slab. Natural stone tiles can also be used as a wall cladding and with the exception of Granite it is probably best suited as a cladding rather than a paver. Natural stones are also subject to colour variation. When considering a natural paver you should consider the hardness/strength of the stone. The below table shows the hardness and strength of natural stone. The hardness of a stone is one of the properties that contribute to its identification. The Mohs scale of hardness consists of 10 classifications, 1 being the softest, and 10 being the hardest. For example a diamond is the hardest mineral with a hardness of 10.
Patio Material Hardness
|Material||Hardness (MOHS)||Compressive Strength|
|MG’s Resin Bound System (N/mm2)||7||200 – 400|
|Granite||6||140 – 210|
|Sandstone||6||41 – 63|
|Limestone||3 – 4||60 – 170|
|Marble||3 – 4||70 – 140|
|Slate||3 – 4||24 – 36|
|Travertine||3 – 4||–|
Sandstone / Slate / Limestone
We find that most residential projects will specify one of these materials. These are the cost effective solution for someone wanting a natural product without the price tag of granite / marble. Whilst appearing cost effective, these softer materials start to deteriorate quite quickly. You can prolong this by applying a sealer to the patio material but this will not stop the inevitable. Many commercial projects and industry professionals have stopped specifying sandstone as a paver or are far more selective on the areas of use, the material still makes for a good option for wall cladding & copping.
Many Landscape Architects opt for granite as a paving material as these are the most durable of the natural paving tile options. Granite does get expensive and the more desirable looking granites tend to cost the most. If you choose the right granite for your patio you can have a beautiful and long lasting option and it is one of the only natural materials that can be used for vehicular traffic. Beware however, as granite gets very hot, so if you intend to use under bare feet, then you may get burnt. Not only is the surface temperature hotter to walk on, it makes the surrounding environment hotter, this is called the Heat Island effect.
Marble / Travertine
Aesthetically one of the most luxurious natural stone options but also one of the most expensive on the market. When you think of marble you may imagine it being used internally, on high-end developments & hotels. Marble is not the most practical material for outside and can be very slippery if the surface is not treated. However, if the right type of marble is chosen for the right application then it can make a huge impact. We believe natural stone tiles can significantly improve the appearance and really finish off a landscape design. Overall, we feel that this material is best used for wall cladding / copping or as a border or edging strip where it can compliment other landscaping materials.
Resin Bound Paving
It is difficult to pinpoint many negatives for Resin Bound paving as it offers more design possibilities and functional benefits than any other type of outdoor paving. It creates a smooth, seamless, anti-slip, permeable surface perfect for barefoot or vehicles. It is also extremely hardwearing and durable and will last for years to come. It’s visual appearance is not only in keeping with the local environment but still creates a high-end look. With regards to cost, Resin Bound sits in the middle of the paving range. Whilst it is certainly not the most expensive option, it is also not the cheapest. If you are still undecided on the best material for your project, we’d be more than happy to discuss your requirements directly and help you to make a final decision.
Making Ground designs and develops sustainable flooring systems. These include our paving range, EVABOUND and our artificial grass range, EVAGRASS. After much research and testing, we officially launched in Dubai in 2013 and are looking to service the region from here. We specialize in the development and manufacture of polyurethane products and are proud to be associated with The Queens Award for Enterprise: International Trade, along with several other certifications and awards such as the, highly regarded, BBA certification. Get in touch with us for all of your flooring needs.