Choosing the Right Interlocking Pavers for Your Landscape: Material and Design Guide

Understanding Interlocking Pavers

A variety of interlocking pavers arranged in a landscape with different colors and textures. Some pavers are laid in a traditional pattern while others are in a more intricate design

Interlocking pavers are a versatile and aesthetically pleasing choice for landscaping projects. These pavers interlock to create a durable and flexible surface, suitable for various outdoor applications. We use high-quality materials like stone, brick, clay, concrete, and even rubber to meet different aesthetic and functional requirements.

Materials used in interlocking pavers include:

  • Stone Pavers: Often made from granite, travertine, or marble for a natural look.
  • Concrete Pavers: A mix of cement and aggregate; offers strength and versatility.
  • Clay Brick Pavers: Known for their durability and rich color that doesn’t fade.
  • Cobblestone Pavers: Offer an old-world charm, typically made of granite.
  • Porcelain Pavers: They are hard-wearing and available in a variety of designs.
  • Rubber Pavers: Provide a softer surface, commonly used in play areas.
Type Material Benefits
Stone Pavers Natural Aesthetically pleasing, durable
Brick Pavers Clay Color longevity, classic appeal
Concrete Pavers Concrete Versatile, cost-effective
Cobblestone Granite Historic look, high durability
Porcelain Pavers Porcelain Stylish, resistant to stains
Rubber Pavers Rubber Safe, comfortable underfoot

Advantages of using interlocking pavers in landscaping include:

  • Easy repair and maintenance due to their individual piece design.
  • Resistance to cracking, as the paver system absorbs stress.
  • Diverse design options, with a range of colors, textures, and shapes.
  • A permeable surface, allowing water to seep through, reducing runoff.

Our choice of interlocking pavers determines the project’s final appearance and functionality. We ensure our selection aligns with the desired aesthetic and environmental conditions of the space.

Designing with Pavers

A patio with interlocking pavers in a landscaped garden, surrounded by lush greenery and blooming flowers, with a seating area and a pathway leading to it

When we approach designing with pavers, we focus on the interplay of colors, textures, and patterns that will enhance the beauty of the landscape while considering the functional aspects like thickness and edge definition for a harmonious outdoor living space.

Selecting Colors and Textures

We consider the existing colors in our home’s exterior and the natural stone tones often found in the garden to pick paver shades that complement these elements. Textures range from smooth to rugged, mimicking the feel of natural stone or old-world cobblestone, adding tactile and visual interest to the design.

  • Smooth: Ideal for a modern, sleek look.
  • Textured: Suited for a rustic, natural aesthetic.

Choosing Patterns and Shapes

Our choice of patterns such as running bond, herringbone, basketweave, or circular adds a rhythm to the pathways and emphasizes the chosen aesthetic.

Popular Shapes Pattern Compatibility Aesthetic Result
Rectangular Running bond Traditional and versatile
Square Basketweave Classic and stable
Interlocking Herringbone Dynamic and visually rich
Irregular Circular pattern Organic and free-flowing

Incorporating Pavers into Landscape Design

We strategically position pavers to create a cohesive outdoor living space, determining its role in patio design, walkways, or driveways. Thoughtful placement can direct flow, highlight areas of the landscape, and increase overall curb appeal.

  • Patios: A place for relaxation and entertainment.
  • Walkways: Guide movements and define spaces.
  • Driveways: Offer durability and enhance the entrance aesthetic.

Determining the Appropriate Thickness and Depth

The choice of thickness and depth is crucial for the longevity of the paver installation. For areas like driveways that sustain vehicle traffic, we opt for a thicker paver, while for patios and walkways, standard depth is sufficient.

  • Driveways: Typically, 60mm thickness is needed.
  • Patios/Walkways: 30mm to 45mm pavers are commonly used.

Addressing Curves and Borders

We integrate curves seamlessly into the landscape’s design, using edge restraints to maintain the integrity and aesthetic of the paver paths. For borders, contrasting colors or textures can accentuate the pavers’ shape and design, offering a finished look.

  • Curves: Work with natural lines of the backyard.
  • Edge Restraints: Essential for maintaining the shape over time.

Installation Process

We must pay careful attention to the steps involved in installing interlocking pavers to ensure longevity and aesthetic appeal. Proper installation leads to a durable, low-maintenance patio, driveway, or walkway.

Site Preparation and Excavation

First, we mark the area and remove the sod and soil to the required depth. The depth is determined by the height of the pavers, the sand layer, and the gravel base, typically 7-9 inches below the desired finished surface level.

Laying the Base and Sand Layer

Next, we lay a gravel base, which should be compacted in layers for a firm foundation. We then spread a layer of coarse sand on top, leveling it with precision to receive the pavers.

Steps for Base and Sand Layer
1. Spread gravel base
2. Compact gravel in layers
3. Add and level the sand layer

Placing and Interlocking the Pavers

Pavers are laid on the sand base, starting from a straight edge or corner, ensuring that they interlock effectively. We ensure that the pattern remains consistent, and the lines between pavers are straight.

Paver Placement Steps
1. Begin at a straight edge or corner
2. Ensure pavers are interlocked
3. Maintain straight lines and pattern

Applying Jointing Sand and Sealing

Finally, we sweep polymeric sand into the joints between the pavers and compact them again. This process solidifies the sand and locks the pavers into place. Sealing the pavers with a sealant protects them from the elements and enhances their color.

Final Steps
1. Apply polymeric jointing sand
2. Compact pavers to set sand
3. Seal pavers with a quality sealant

Durability and Maintenance

A landscaped area with interlocking pavers, surrounded by lush greenery and well-maintained plants. The pavers show no signs of wear and tear, indicating durability

When selecting pavers for landscaping, understanding the durability and ease of maintenance is critical. Our aim is to ensure that the pavers you choose are not only visually appealing but also stand the test of time and use.

Understanding Paver Longevity

The lifespan of interlocking pavers is crucial to our landscaping choices. Typically, high-quality pavers are durable and can last decades when properly installed.


  • Concrete: Good durability, prone to fading
  • Brick: Excellent longevity, can chip over time
  • Natural stone: Highly durable, may incur higher upfront costs

Factors Affecting Durability:

  • Weather: Frequent freeze-thaw cycles can affect paver stability.
  • Traffic: Heavy loads can lead to quicker wear.
  • Quality of Installation: Proper installation mitigates shifting and settling.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance keeps pavers looking new and can prevent long-term issues.


  • Sweeping: Regularly remove debris with a broom.
  • Washing: Use a pressure washer with appropriate settings to avoid damage.


  • Seal every 2-3 years to protect against stains and enhance color.

Weed Control:

  • Use polymeric sand in joints to minimize weed growth and reduce gaps.

Addressing Common Issues: Cracking and Shifting

Even with proper care, pavers may crack or shift; this is often repairable without redoing the entire surface.


  • Identify: Look for signs of damage after harsh weather.
  • Repair: Replace individual pavers rather than larger areas.
  • Prevention: Keep spare pavers from the initial purchase for consistency in repairs.


  • Cause: Poorly compacted base or erosion.
  • Solution: If shifting is minor, remove and reset pavers. Address more severe shifting by consulting professionals.


  • Observe: Regular assessments for uneven settling.
  • Rectify: Adjust base material and ensure proper drainage.

Cost and Budget Considerations

A landscape with various interlocking paver options displayed, with price tags and budgeting tools nearby

When selecting interlocking pavers for our landscape, it’s crucial that we thoroughly evaluate cost and budget considerations to ensure that the investment aligns with our financial expectations and long-term satisfaction.

Estimating Material and Installation Costs

To accurately assess the total expense of our project, we must calculate both the material costs and installation fees. Material costs vary significantly based on the type of pavers we select. For instance, basic concrete pavers might cost us $1 to $15 per square foot, while natural stone options may range from $15 to $60 per square foot. Installation adds to this, and we could expect to pay an installer from $2 to $20 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the design and local labor rates.

  • Materials: $1 – $60 per square foot (depending on type)
  • Installation: $2 – $20 per square foot (based on design and labor)

Balancing Quality with Affordability

While affordability is key, we should not compromise on quality. Opting for the most cost-effective solution now can often lead to higher expenses later due to repairs and replacement. We should aim for a balance, choosing pavers that are both durable and within our budget. For example, opting for mid-range priced pavers made from concrete that emulate the look of natural stone could be a good compromise between cost and aesthetics.

Planning for Long-Term Value

We need to consider the long-term value pavers will add to our property. Pavers with a higher upfront cost may prove more economical over time due to lower maintenance needs and durability. For instance, interlocking pavers are known for their low maintenance which saves us money in the long run. We should account for potential savings from reduced maintenance in our budget planning.

  • Maintenance Costs: Typically low for interlocking pavers
  • Durability: May warrant a higher initial investment

By carefully considering these cost factors, we ensure that the pavers we choose meet our budget requirements while also providing the best possible value and appeal for our landscape.

Environmental Factors and Climate Compatibility

When selecting interlocking pavers, we must account for the local climate and environmental factors to ensure durability and sustainability. Our choices can influence water management and contribute to eco-friendly landscaping.

Selecting Pavers for Climate Resilience

Climate has a profound effect on the longevity and performance of interlocking pavers. We must choose materials that can withstand the specific conditions of our region, whether that be extreme heat, freeze-thaw cycles, or heavy rain.

  • Heat Resistant: Materials like concrete and natural stone resist heat and are less likely to crack under high temperatures.
  • Freeze-thaw Durability: Pavers that can endure repeated freeze-thaw cycles without deteriorating are essential in cold climates. Porous pavers, which absorb and release moisture, may prevent heaving and cracking.

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Options

Our selection of pavers can also reflect our commitment to the environment. We prefer materials that have a lower carbon footprint and those that are sourced responsibly.

  • Recycled Materials: Pavers made from recycled plastic or rubber provide a sustainable option that also helps in waste reduction.
  • Local Resources: Using locally sourced materials reduces transportation emissions and supports the local economy.

Managing Water and Drainage

Effective water management is a key aspect of our landscaping choices, helping prevent flooding and ensure proper drainage.

  • Permeable Pavers: These allow water to seep through, reducing runoff and recharging groundwater.
  • Proper Slope and Grading: By planning our paver installation to direct water flow, we mitigate the risk of flooding and water damage.

By meticulously selecting interlocking pavers that cater to climate resilience, embrace eco-friendly practices, and manage water efficiently, we can ensure that our landscape is both beautiful and functional.

Additional Design Elements

When we integrate interlocking pavers into our landscape design, it’s essential to enhance the space with additional elements that not only complement the pavers but also elevate the overall aesthetics and functionality.

Incorporating Lighting and Accessories

To maximize the visual appeal and safety of our outdoor areas, strategic lighting is key. We typically consider using pathway lights that align with the edges of the paver walkways, which serve the dual purpose of illuminating the path and spotlighting the beauty of the pavers. Additionally, uplighting can accentuate specific features such as trees or sculpture, creating a dramatic effect in our landscape after dark.

In terms of accessories, we may choose to add decorative borders or edging that contrast with the pavers for a more defined look. Here are some accessories we commonly use:

  • Seating walls: for practical lounging spaces around patios or gardens.
  • Planters: either built-in or freestanding to bring greenery closer to hardscaped areas.
  • Water features: like fountains or waterfalls, which add soothing sounds and a dynamic visual element.

By thoughtfully integrating lighting and accessories, we elevate our landscape design, enhancing curb appeal and the overall outdoor experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we address common inquiries to assist with selecting the best interlocking pavers tailored for various landscaping projects.

What factors should be considered when selecting pavers for a driveway?

When choosing pavers for a driveway, we consider load-bearing capacity, slip resistance, and durability against weather fluctuations. The size and interlock design also matter for stability and aesthetics.

How can you determine the appropriate cost for landscape pavers?

We assess the cost for landscape pavers by evaluating material quality, longevity, complexity of the design, and installation expenses. Comparing different suppliers offers a clearer picture of fair pricing.

What are the best practices for choosing paver colors to complement your home?

We recommend selecting paver colors that either match or contrast with the home’s exterior. Considering the tones of the roofing and siding helps in creating a cohesive overall look.

Which type of pavers are most suitable for creating a durable walkway?

For a durable walkway, we opt for pavers made from high-density materials such as concrete or natural stone. Textured finishes improve grip and reduce wear over time.

How should pavers be properly supported to maintain level and prevent movement?

Pavers should be laid on a well-compacted base of sand or crushed stone and be properly edged to maintain level. Using joint sand or sealants between pavers also prevents displacement.

What distinguishes interlocking pavers from other types of paving stones?

Interlocking pavers are designed with edges that fit together snugly, enhancing their ability to distribute weight efficiently and resist shifting, unlike standard paving stones that may move independently.