The 3 Types of Paving Materials Commonly Used Today
Paving Material Options
It can be quite daunting to choose the type of materials to use for your paving needs these days, especially with the amount of paving material types easily accessible. In this post we will be discussing the three main types of materials commonly applied in both residential and commercial paving projects. This will give you an overview of the type composition and the suitable use of these materials. Note that there are other useful materials to choose from apart from these three. But talking about cobbles, setts, and flags is a good place to start when it comes to basic paving material discussions.
Cobbles are natural stones from above pebble-sized at around 64mm and 256mm to below boulder-sized stones between 128 and 256mm. Cobbles are unprocessed or unworked stones that have not been tooled, dressed or squared-off in any way to attain their current size or shape. Many of the old roads and locations in Britain and Ireland are “cobbled”. They are among the most common materials used to pave roads before, as cobbles are plentiful and easy to harness near beaches, river beds and drumlins.
Cobbles are traditionally laid into a bed of sand, clay, gravel or in any related local material. The modern approach in laying cobbles is mostly done with cement-bound bed to withstand the heavier load of modern traffic. Cobbles serve as a low maintenance and multi-purpose material to your paved driveways or patios. They add that natural look and Old English aesthetic value on your paving as well.
In contrast to cobbles, setts are stones that have been worked using machines and manual tools to achieve a cuboid shape that has six faces. Nowadays, setts are produced in regular dimensions with different type of finishes. They are laid in the same way as the modern block paving. Due to their inherent randomness they are often difficult to lay, but when done correctly they can give you a beautiful and durable look for your patios, driveways or path walks.
Setts are hugely popular for their stunning aesthetic role on large-scale block paving patterns. They are often applied on European Fan Pattern paving and the impressive Guilloche Swirls on the streets of Liverpool outside the St. Georges’ Hall.
Generally, there are two types of flagstones – the concrete flagstones and the type manufactured with natural stone. These two flagstone types carry distinctive characteristics. They heavily vary in terms of their quality and their usage. So you have to be careful and seek professional advice before choosing which type of flags to use for your patio paving or driveway.
Avoid using wet-cast concrete flagstones made from economy slabs since they are rarely reliable for heavy-duty usage. They are more suitable for light foot traffic and were never intended to withstand heavy loads from vehicles. Instead, choose the better quality high-end pressed block paving flags. These concrete flags can carry the weight of heavy vehicular traffic if installed correctly. Natural flagstones on the other hand are also suitable paving materials for heavier loads. To be sure with the quality and durability, choose the commercial flags that have more than 40mm in thickness.