Patios and Walkways in Colorado – Pavers, Flagstone or Concrete?
There are a few different ways to establish and build
a nice patio or walkway in your backyard or outdoor living space. The most commonly used materials include pavers, flagstone or concrete. This blog will dive into the pluses and minuses of each material so you can make the best choice for your patio area. These are our opinions, which come from being in the industry for 20 years and installing hundreds of landscapes in the Colorado Springs area during that time. I will note that no matter what type of material you use, ground and base preparation is an essential element to achieve the longevity of your hardscape, so you can enjoy your patio or walkway for years to come.
Pavers are manufactured, pre-cut materials made out of clay, brick, or concrete that have a uniform shape, color, and finish. There are many different paver manufacturers out there that offer many different styles of pavers ranging from a new, modern look to an old, cobble type look. So no matter if you are trying to establish a contemporary or mountain style look, there is a paver out there for you.
- Many varieties, colors, and sizes that can be used alone or in conjunction with one another to accomplish any style that is trying to be attained.
- If an individual paver cracks, chips or breaks it is fairly easy to pull that out and replace with a new one.
- Stands up well to the freeze-thaw cycles (a necessary part of any Colorado landscape) as long as a proper base preparation has been established.
- Can easily be cut to establish curved outlines or inlay patterns.
- Ease of installation as most pavers have a uniform thickness.
- Lock in well with minimal gaps between pavers and stay that way.
- Provides a uniform surface with no tripping hazards or table/chair wobble.
- Provides good footing and does not get slick in wet conditions.
- Cost of material and installation, of all the patio finishes listed, pavers are the most expensive.
- Sometimes manufacturers discontinue paver lines so replacements can sometimes be hard to find should a paver break.
Flagstone is a naturally flat stone that offers a more natural finish to your patio. Flagstone can be laid in a couple of different ways with either a natural stone edge or cutting it in to establish tighter gaps between the stones. Either way, the gaps that are left between the stones can be filled with a sand or breeze material or could be sealed with polymeric sand that sits in much like a mortar. The option of the polymeric sand is preferred by most as it keeps weeds and grasses from growing between stones. Often times, the natural edge option with a breeze gap fill will be utilized when a plant called wooly thyme is incorporated growing throughout the patio gaps.
- Wide variety of colors and slab sizes to choose from depending on the final look that you want to accomplish.
- Can attain a clean, more modern look with cutting in flagstone or can accomplish a more traditional, garden look with laying it in with a natural edge
- Opportunity to plant ground covers in gaps to help soften the look of the patio stone.
- Flagstone is a natural material and can flake/chip as it would in nature.
- Once flagstone has been installed and has aged/weathered, it is hard to match up should any need to be replaced
- No matter how level flagstone is installed piece to piece, there are always inconsistencies within each stone. This can cause wobble effects for tables and chairs.
Concrete has come a long way over the years, it’s not just your drab, grey slab anymore. Concrete can have color added and can be stamped with textures ranging from a flagstone look to cobble, to even a stamp that looks like wood planking. We have used many different applications of concrete through our 20 years serving the Colorado Springs area and here’s what we have found.
- Quick application that’s easy to install
- Many stamps and colors that can appeal to a range of styles and projects
- Can be installed in many shapes and forms, depending on what the design calls for
- Cracking, especially in the arid climate that Colorado provides along with all the freeze/thaw cycles of wintertime. It’s not if it’s going to crack, but when.
- Stamped, stained and sealed concrete will have a slick surface when wet
- Repairing or adding on to concrete can be a challenge to match what is existing
Are Pavers, Flagstone, or Concrete Right for My Colorado Yard?
With these guidelines, you can choose the best option for your project and what will fit into your budget. There are pros and cons to all options and there is no right or wrong answer. We here at Jake’s Designs take great pride and joy in guiding our clients to the best possible option that fit’s their needs. Feel free to reach out and contact us anytime should you want to speak in more detail about your landscape project.