Home Home-improvement Understanding the Different Outdoor Paving Materials

Understanding the Different Outdoor Paving Materials

by Harry Singh
Stone Benchtops Melbourne

When it comes to choosing outdoor pavers in Melbourne, there’s a lot to think about. Your choice of paver will have a significant effect on a range of factors including your landscaping budget, ongoing maintenance requirements, long-term property value, as well as the aesthetics and safety of your paved area.

Whether you’re looking for stone benchtops in Melbourne or outdoor paving, the available materials fall into two general categories: quarried stone and engineered stone. Engineered stone is a composite material made of crushed stone bound together with some sort of adhesive. Quarried stone, on the other hand, is natural stone that has not been artificially altered.

We’re going to provide a little information about some of the most popular quarried stone options.

Bluestone Pavers

Bluestone (also know as basalt) is a naturally occurring volcanic rock with fine black and grey veins over a charcoal to dark blue/grey face. Bluestone pavers are extremely durable, environmentally friendly and they look great. They are a great option around the pool as they are naturally non-slip and handle salt and chemicals quite well. Sealing is recommended to enhance longevity for ease of cleaning. Bluestone pavers in Melbourne will naturally absorb a lot of heat so they can get quite hot in direct sun.

Slate

Slate is a beautiful stone with a unique texture and style. It offers plenty of natural variation in colour and texture and creates beautiful natural tones in garden areas. Available in uniform sizes and shapes or as naturally shaped pieces, slate is easy to work with and resistant to acids and salts, making it great around the pool. Slate is suitable for paving, feature walls, patios and entertainment areas.

Slate tends to flake and chip fairly easily and will crack under pressure more readily than other more durable paving materials. That said, slate is fairly easy to repair, since in most cases you don’t need precise colour matching to replace individual pavers.

Sandstone

Sandstone is a hugely popular choice for garden paving. It’s tough but still easy to cut and work with. It’s available in a wide range of tones and hues and is extremely durable and long-lasting with fairly light maintenance requirements.

Sandstone is, however, a porous stone and prone to water absorption, which can lead to liquid stains, mould and bacterial growths. Regular sealing is recommended. It’s also softer than materials like slate and granite, so it’s susceptible to scratching and denting. Sandstone also has a tendency to be extremely slippery when polished.

Granite

Granite is one of the hardest naturally occurring stones in the world, so for sheer durability, nothing beats granite. It’s available in a huge range of colours from light to dark tones. Granite will not crack or split, even under huge amounts of pressure. It requires very little maintenance and only needs occasional pressure washing to clean up the surface. Granite also absorbs less heat than other paving materials, making it a great choice for outdoor areas that get a lot of sunlight.

Granite is heavy and tough, which makes it difficult to quarry and transport. This also means it can be expensive, especially if you’re looking for some of the more unusual granite colours.  

Travertine

Travertine is a type of limestone. It’s extremely durable and requires only light maintenance. Travertine pavers in Melbourne provide a high-end, classical look to outdoor areas. Travertine’s naturally cooling and non-slip properties make it an ideal material for around the pool.

While travertine is available in a fairly neutral range of colours, there is a lot of natural variation and patterning in each stone. Travertine is, however, a porous stone, which makes it susceptible to damage and stains from acids.

So, Which is Best?

Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer to that question. The paving material you choose depends on a variety of factors: budget, use, maintenance, aesthetics and so on. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the different materials available, so you can start narrowing down the choices.

So, whether you’re looking for stone benchtops in Melbourne or outdoor paving, it’s crucial to understand the different properties of each material before you make your choice. A good natural stone supplier will be able to work you through the different choices and help you make your decision.

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