Stone & Paver Patios

Hardscape Material Options Including Natural Stone and Pavers

Landscape design is not easy. There are a multitude of choices in every facet of the process. What is the yard’s purpose(s)? What landscape style do you want? What kind of flora? What kind of hardscape features? Answering each of those questions spawns another, larger set of questions.

For example, deciding you want a patio—the most common hardscape element—launches more questions. One question is what material best fits the project’s goals and constraints. When it comes to flooring your outdoor room, there are four materials primarily used. This page talks about the first two: pavers and stone. The latter two (masonry and concrete) have separate pages specifically devoted to them. To visit the specific pages, click the corresponding link.

Primary Hardscape Building Materials

  • Pavers: Pavers are hard blocks used to create smooth, hard outdoors flooring surfaces such as patios, walkways and driveways. Often called patio pavers, they come in a variety of materials, sizes, and colors. The table below lists some specific kinds often used in paver patios and summarizes their qualities.
  • Stone: Quarried natural stone such as bluestone or limestone are among the oldest of building materials. They are also the longest lasting and most prestigious. Stones can be dry laid with sand or wet laid with cement. Natural stone has unique properties and appearance. Like pavers, stones come in a variety of qualities and shapes. The table below lists some specific kinds of stone and summarizes their qualities.
  • Masonry: Masonry can take the form of material such as bricks, stone, or various types of blocks laid down dry or “wet-laid” with concrete or mortar. For more information, see our Masonry page.
  • Concrete: This subset of masonry is so versatile, we gave it a separate page. Concrete in landscape work can vary from poured concrete finished with a simple, plain broom finish to what looks like a patio stones. Custom carving and coloring techniques can be used to make it look like a variety of other materials such as bluestone pavers and similar stone patio designs. For more information, see our Stamped Concrete page.

The rest of this page is dedicated to pavers and natural stone.

Patio pavers and paver stones are commonly used for patios, walkways, and steps. Pavers and stones come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. The table below provides a general overview of the various materials. For specific information, contact Horizon Landscape. We’d be glad to hear about your landscape project and talk with you about the pros and cons of each kind of material.

Pavers Options
Natural Stone Since they are made from natural stone, paver stones have distinct colors and patterns that give the finished product a memorable design. Paver stones are available in a variety of materials including travertine, limestone, granite, flagstone, and marble. Like all natural stone products, paver stones tend to be more expensive than man-made materials. If cost is a concern, but you still want the stone look, a man-made paver with a stone veneer might solve your dilemma.
Clay Brick Made from clay bonded together using high heat and pressure, clay brick pavers are very durable. Think tough enough to last centuries. They come in dozens of shapes, sizes, and styles. They’re also brighter than other building materials, and their color doesn’t fade with time.
Concrete Pavers One of the most popular options available, concrete pavers are made of cement and aggregate. They’re practical, affordable, and durable enough to handle heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions with ease. With a wide rainbow of colors to select from, concrete pavers can be dyed to fit the most demanding color scheme, even one that requires them to look like natural stone.
Stone Options
Bluestone Quarried in the Northeast, bluestone has interesting color variations and distinct finishes. Like all stone, it’s exceptionally durable and withstands extreme temperatures. Because bluestone is locally available and easily accessible, it can be added to your landscape design less expensively than you might imagine. Bluestone is used for both hardscape walls and walking surfaces, such as bluestone patios.
Pennsylvania Fieldstone PA fieldstone has many of the color and durability characteristics of bluestone, but is used in vertical surfaces such as retaining walls because of its shape.is locally Its color leans more to dark brown and gray than bluestone and has a smoother finish.
Potato Rock Potato rock is similar to Pennsylvania fieldstone, but is generally smaller, more round, and lighter in color—most often light beige, but ranges to dark grey as well. Potato rock is primarily used in vertical surfaces and often set with concrete or mortar.
Quartz Quartz is a very hard rock that comes in a variety of colors. It is sometimes used for flat surfaces such as walkways and pool patios.
Limestone Limestone is used as an accent stone. As such it is often used for borders and stair treads. Its consistent, whitish color and rough natural texture make it a striking contrast to other hardscape surfaces like stone patios. Limestone rock is generally cut two to four inches thick depending on intended use.

With the variety of options available to fulfill your project ideas, it’s sometimes hard to decide which materials and techniques would be the best choices. Contact Horizon Landscape today for help. We have met and exceeded our clients’ landscaping expectations in the Wyckoff and surrounding areas for more than 40 years. Let us use our local knowledge and experience to satisfy your landscaping desires.

We’d be happy to learn more about your project ideas and give you input based on our decades of experience. Please call us at (201) 848-0022,  contact us, or stop by our Wyckoff office today!