Do you dream of a picture-perfect outdoor space where you can relax, entertain and unwind with loved ones? Creating a stunning courtyard, a captivating garden, or a spacious pool deck doesn’t have to be an unattainable fantasy – all you need are the right pavers!
Anston is one of many paving suppliers offering paving products to the Australian market. We have garnered a strong reputation in the landscape industry for offering top quality, locally made luxury concrete pavers, and are highly regarded by architects and designers as one of Melbourne’s leading paver companies.
Considering Australian Climate Conditions
Before embarking on your paver selection journey, it’s crucial to understand how Australia’s diverse climate can impact the longevity and performance of your outdoor surfaces. Consider these factors:
If your project area receives intense sun exposure, opt for pavers with UV resistance to prevent fading and maintain their vibrant appearance. Be aware that consistent exposure to the sun’s rays will result in pavers naturally becoming lighter over time.
Rain and Humidity:
In areas with frequent rainfall or high humidity, choose pavers with a high slip resistance to ensure safety underfoot, especially around pool decks or paved pathways. The shot-blasting process on Anston’s paving products creates a textured finish that achieves the highest rating of P5 for slip resistance (in accordance with the Australian Standard AS 4586:2013). Before making a commitment to purchase, ensure you check with your paving supplier about the slip resistance characteristics of their pavers.
If you’re in colder regions, select pavers with low water absorption to avoid cracking due to freezing and thawing cycles.
Material Matters: Finding the Perfect Match
Pavers come in various materials, each with distinct characteristics and aesthetic appeal. Let’s explore the options available:
Concrete Pavers, or Cementitious Paving
Versatile, cost-effective, and available in multiple colors and finishes, concrete pavers are ideal for patios, driveways, poolscapes and garden paths. Due to the manmade nature of the product, several customization options are available, and products are manufactured to a higher quality thanks to the controls of a factory environment.
Concrete paving offers a more uniform look with only subtle variation between pavers. Pavers can be made with an exposed aggregate finish, where the surface of the pavers is removed to reveal chunks of larger stones, creating a terrazzo-like finish.
Natural Stone Pavers
Mined from stone quarries and cut to size, natural stone pavers have a distinct visual appeal due to their timeless beauty. Sandstone, travertine, bluestone, marble and granite are popular choices for creating a luxurious outdoor ambience. Each stone paver will look slightly different due to the natural variation in appearance, which is part of the aesthetic appeal of choosing natural stone. Natural stone can also be used to create crazy paving, using differing sizes and shapes of stone to form a paved area.
It is important to note that the quality of natural stone pavers can vary greatly, depending on the sources of the raw material. Imported stone product can be very cost-effective, but the lower price may come at a compromise to product quality and durability.
Clay / Brick Pavers
Clay pavers (also known as brick pavers) are rich in colour and texture, made using clay that is dredged from the seabed and heat-treated to form smooth brick shapes. Clay brick has been used as a building material for thousands of years, providing a classic look that lasts for generations.
The rich brown, red and terracotta tones of clay bricks are perfect for traditional or Mediterranean-inspired designs, working wonders in both contemporary and vintage-themed projects. Though clay and brick pavers are available in a selection of warm colours, they are limited in shape and size, generally conforming to a standard brick shape. This adds a constraint to the design options for the paved area.
Shape and Size: Unleashing Creativity
Pavers come in various shapes and sizes, allowing you to get creative and design captivating patterns. Consider these options:
Traditional and easy to lay in straight lines, stretcher bond or herringbone patterns. Many different sizes are available in slender or thick widths, allowing a wealth of design options to suit pathways, paved courtyards or alfresco areas.
Versatile and simple, square pavers are great for creating gridded or stretcher bond patterns. Square pavers are suitable for gardens and courtyards that have classic, traditional layouts as well as more modern designs with geometric elements and bold features.
Circular pavers are also a popular option for beautifying gardens and enhancing landscapes. Typically, circular pavers are used in uniform or mismatched sizes to create the illusion of stepping stones in a garden path. This establishes an organic, natural aesthetic with dense plantings and ground cover often used between the round pavers for maximum effect.
Another option to add an extra design detail into a paved area is by using a special paving pattern that comprises different sized paving modules, instead of just the one paver size. Available paving patterns include ashlar paving or banded paving, which creates a much more visually intriguing design that a standard gridded or stretcher bond layout.
Safety First for Certain Applications
Safety should be a priority when choosing pavers, especially when they are to be installed in areas that will be frequented by children or elderly individuals, or are otherwise located in close proximity to pools where there is a high chance of the pavers getting wet. In these cases, you should opt for textured pavers that offer high slip resistance in both wet and dry conditions.
Pavers installed on pedestal systems are an example of another application where safety is paramount. When pavers are installed on pedestals that sit high up above the ground level, it is crucial to choose pavers that are not easily prone to breakage, to ensure that pedestrians are not put at risk of injury if they were to trip or fall from broken pavers falling through to the sub-base.
Anston is the only company to offer purpose-built reinforced pedestal pavers that are designed specifically for installation on pedestal systems. Our pedestal pavers include an in-built safety feature that ensures the pavers will not structurally fail upon impact. The embedded safety mesh manages to keep cracked pavers structurally sound, allowing for risk-free pedestrian use.
As you embark on your paver selection journey, it’s important to prioritise which options are most important for your project. Consider the location of your paved space and whether it’s susceptible to weather conditions, or in an area where the pavers will often get wet. Alternatively, if it’s just an interesting design you’re after, think about whether you like the uniformity and design flexibility of concrete pavers, or the natural appeal of stone pavers – then decide what sizes and shapes you’d like your pavers to be.
The right paving choice can breathe life into your outdoor space and elevate its beauty to unprecedented heights. With meticulous planning and a touch of creativity, you’ll create an outdoor oasis that leaves a lasting impression on all who tread upon it. So, take the plunge and unlock the path to perfection with the right pavers for your project, whether they’re Anston’s luxury concrete pavers or not. Happy paving!