Pavers: Options and Alternatives

Written By: Thomas Scangarello Jr. & Jessica Scangarello | Photos By: Cathy Esibill (mysunshineportraits.com)

 

Today on Long Beach Island, homeowners are finding an abundance of choices when it comes to paving patios, driveways, and walkways. Clients frequently inquire about what materials are available and best suited for their projects. Should we use a natural stone or a manufactured stone product? Will my pavers settle over time? Are there any alternative options? 

 

Interlocking paving systems, or “Pavers”, have many advantages, including their variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Unlike with poured concrete, homeowners with pavers don’t have to worry about cracking. If damage occurs to a select group of pavers, they can easily be removed and replaced. Paving stones can be used for both vehicular and pedestrian applications. An interlocking paving system includes the paving stone itself, the sand bed it sits on, and the base beneath it. When a paving system is properly installed, only minimal settling should occur. It’s important to hire companies that have ICPI-certified installers. ICPI stands for the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, which educates installers, sales professionals, designers, managers, and owners on proper installation techniques. 

Natural Stone patios and walks provide a number of benefits to homeowners over more traditional paving systems, and the demand for natural stone is rising. Some of the more popular natural stone products include Turkish Travertine, Pennsylvania Blue Stone, and Indiana Limestone. All of these stones have different characteristics and offer something unique to the marketplace. 

 

Blue Stone is a timeless classic on Long Beach Island. This is likely due to its mining proximity, with sources in Northern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the southern tip of New York State. This stone is extremely durable and can be purchased in all shapes and sizes. At Bay Ave, we love using this stone as coping on pools, stepping stones through gardens, walks, and backyard patios. Want to mix it up a bit? Try adding traditional brick as a border or inlay work to your Blue Stone patio. Wood accents such as decks or teak furniture can also compliment the stone’s rich color. When using Blue stone, one has to remember that in full sun this stone can get very hot to the touch. It’s important to keep this in mind when it comes to full sun pool decks that will regularly be used with bare feet. Stone can be sourced with a thermal top or a ledger top. Other options include multiple color variations such as brown and gold.

 

Want to keep it cool? Try Indiana Limestone or Salem Limestone. Limestone, which you see more commonly used as capping on walls or stairs, is becoming a favorite for patios at Bay Avenue. We love using this stone because of its soft color tones and its sleek look around 

 

pool patios. Quick fun fact: limestone is a sedimentary stone made from crushed shells and fossils. Can you think of a better fit for a beach house? Limestone can be ordered in any shape or size. Looking for a clean and contemporary stone? This stone may be a perfect fit for your next project. 

 

If you have investigated natural stone for your walks and patios, chances are you have come across Travertine. Travertine is Bay Avenue’s number one selling natural stone. Travertine is a type of limestone that is mined from multiple places around the world, with each region producing different types. Travertine can come in multiple shades of ivory, reds, and browns. Turkish Travertine is the most common Travertine found in the Northeast for use outdoors. Travertine stays cool to the touch when installed in full sun locations, making it another favorite for pool patios. The most important thing to understand about Travertine is that there are many different grades. When purchasing Travertine, make sure you are purchasing good stone that can withstand our local climate. 

 

If you prefer the look of traditional paving, but want something that is more environmentally friendly, you may want to consider Permeable Paving. Permeable paving offers a number of benefits to homeowners on Long Beach Island. These paving systems are built on a stone base versus a solid base and are designed to absorb storm water into the body of the paving system, filter that water, and then return it to ground. General benefits include reducing storm water runoff, reducing heat island effects or higher ambient temperatures, and the natural filtration of pollutants. With growing concerns about flooding and the pollution entering into the Barnegat Bay, this is a method of paving that has a direct positive impact.

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