Common paver types: learn more about natural stone

By Paver Contractors Located In South Florida In Choosing Pavers, How To Install Pavers, Paver Installation, Paver Styles and Designs No comments

Research is important. It helps us gather the information we need to make an informed decision. This is true for every purchase you make, including installing pavers. There are many different kinds of pavers, and each comes with a set of benefits. To begin with, you need to know what a paver is, how they are installed, and what the common types of pavers are.

A paver is a piece of natural stone (and in some cases concrete) that is cut into standardized sizes and laid in an interlocking style lying flush beside each other. They are laid on a bed of either gravel, crushed limestone, together with a layer of sand. The space in the joints between the pavers is filled with fine sand. Finally, a binding agent is used to seal the joints.

There is a whole world of natural stone paving alternatives in the market today. Each of these is unique in its characteristics benefits and the tile extraction process. This is why tiles retail at different prices. Here are some of the common natural stone pavers in the market today:

Granite

This is the most common stone in the world and has been used in construction since ancient humans learned how to build things out of rock. It is desired for its incredible durability and the ability to withstand massive amounts of pressure. It is one of the hardest substances in the world. 

Granite pavers ready for installation.

Granite pavers take on all these qualities of granite, along with those exposed during extraction, processing, and polishing. There is a common misconception that granite only comes in a dull and unappealing grey. The truth is a lot different since the mineral composition of the parent stone dictates the color. There is granite from some parts of the world that comes in shades of white, charcoal grey, black, pink, and tan colors. Oink and black granite is scarce and will cost you a pretty penny.

Since granite is extremely strong, the surface can withstand different treatments that would ruin other paving materials. Some of these treatments such as polishing and brushing are standard, but others such as thermal blasts can only be carried out on the hard and durable stone. The finishes available include rough/coarse, smooth, glossy, and ultra-smooth. Granite pavers are excellent for high traffic areas such as driveways since they are capable of handling tremendous amounts of weight and abuse. They are also able to handle the effects of sunlight, rain, and snow better than most of the other types of pavers in the market. 

Travertine

You may have come across travertine pavers at some point in your life. This is because this material is considered by many as a cheaper alternative to marble and granite, especially on the patio. This paver is mined from natural sedimentary rock, near the hot springs found in volcanic regions.

Travertine pavers are preferred for their rustic appearance that is reminiscent of ancient Rome. This is thanks to the pits and cavities that occur naturally throughout the stone. These are formed by the bubbling of carbon dioxide during the rock formation. It is available in an assortment of colors including shades of cream and beige, brown, gold, gray, and even coral. When finished properly, it gives marble, which is a bit more expensive, a run for its money. 

Although not as hard and durable as granite, travertine still holds its own. It can comfortably be installed in high traffic areas and works excellently on garden walkways, patios, and pool areas. There are several travertine finishes available including:

Polished: The tiles are polished to a high gloss, which gives them a smooth slippery finish. This surface is easy to clean and resistant to staining, although caution is advised if you have children, who are likely to slip and fall.

Chiseled: The surface of the tiles is not touched since this is a treatment that is meant for the edges only. This type of tile is preferred for outdoor spaces that require strong grouting bonds. This is because the process results in a ragged bevel on the front surface and a v-shaped notch on the back surface. This creates more room for grouting material.

Tumbled: Tumbling the tiles with sand and water results in an enhancement of the natural travertine surface, which creates the rustic look that most people look for. You can get the tiles with a textured surface to make them non-slip, for pool areas. 

Honed: This is mostly used on lower quality travertine since the process requires lots of pits to work. The pits are filled with epoxy resin and then sanded down to create a smooth surface. 

Slate

Slate pavers two very unique qualities that make them desired by many homeowners; they are naturally non-slip and no not need to be re-finished, and are resistant to acid. Their resistance to acids is because they are made mostly of volcanic ash. This makes them excellent for areas that have a lot of water or the tiles may come into contact with acidic chemicals. Places such as pool areas where pool cleaning chemicals may spill onto the tiles, and garden walkways where fertilizers and gardening chemicals may affect the pavers.

Pet owners love slate pavers. The anti-acidic properties make them impervious to the staining qualities of both coco’s pee and little gifts as well. Since they are not porous, it does not retain the smell either.

Slate pavers offer cool respite for this dog.

Being non-porous, they are preferred by people with allergies since they do not absorb and retain smells and dust particles. It is this property that makes them resistant to the growth of mildew, mold, and of course weeds. This is an important feature for tiles that may be installed near the pool to have. Although not as strong as granite, slate is still able to withstand temperature changes, strong winds, and heavy rain. 

Another cool benefit associated with slate is the ease of maintenance. Unlike most of the other paving options, repairing broken tiles simply requires removing the affected tile, and replacing it with a fresh one.