How To Choose Concrete Pavers For a Patio, Driveway or Walkway

concrete paver patio san francisco concord ca


Creating a beautiful hardscape for your Sonoma County home cannot only up its curb appeal, but it can increase its value, and improve your lifestyle. Imagine spending cool evenings in your outdoor kitchen preparing a fabulous meal for your family and friends, or sitting by the outdoor fireplace enjoying good conversation and a wonderful glass of California wine.

Using concrete pavers for your hardscape is an excellent choice. They are durable, flexible, affordable, and beautiful. Designing your outdoor space involves several, for example, color, style, size, and texture. Concrete pavers come in different sizes, different thicknesses, and different textures.

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The first step is to define your project. For example, pavers that are perfect for a patio, or pool surround may not work for a driveway. Basically, you’ll need to match the paver to the job.

Here are some guidelines to help you narrow your concrete paver choices to meet your project needs.


The texture of your concrete pavers can depend on a range of factors, from the aesthetics of your hardscape to the architectural style of your home, to the function your pavers will provide – like a pool deck.

Mixing textures in various areas of your hardscape design can add depth and interest. The primary goal when selecting a textured paver is to have that finish complement existing materials in your hardscape. You can keep your design all one texture or mix smooth and textured pavers to create a contrast.

Texture can be created by using accent pavers or borders or by merely using interesting landscaping around hardscape areas. The texture is also important for specific uses, especially when water is involved. When creating a pool deck, textured pavers are slip-resistant making them safer for family and friends. Likewise, using textured tiles for walkways that are close to irrigation sources can keep them safe and slip free.


Like texture, it’s essential to choose the right sized paver for your project. This is especially critical when using concrete pavers for driveway applications. For residential driveways, pavers should be at least 2 3/8” thick. Driveways that see a lot of traffic should use pavers that are at least 3 1/8” thick.

Thicker pavers are needed to stand up to the weight and force from braking and accelerating tires. The overall dimension of pavers becomes important for driveway applications. Interlock decreases as the paver size increases meaning that larger paving units should be avoided for driveway applications.

The general rule for determining if a paver is adequate for driveway applications is called the aspect ratio. It’s determining by dividing the length by width. When it exceeds 4, the units are not suited for constant traffic. Between 3 and 4, pavers are usable for residential driveway use. A 4′ x 8′ x 2 3/8” or a 6” x 12” x 3/18” paver falls into this range. Pavers with an aspect ratio of 3 or less can be safely used in any vehicular application.


Once you’ve determined the proper size and texture for your project (driveway, walkway, pool surround, patio, etc.), its time to consider colors and patterns. Most manufacturers offer all their color choices for each texture. Color and pattern are more a function of aesthetics than anything else.

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing colors and patterns for your hardscaping project.


Probably the most important thing to take into account is the architectural style of your home. Start by narrowing your selection down to between five and ten different concrete pavers that match your home’s style. There aren’t any rules, but some pavers just work better, while some seem to clash with the architecture.


You can often narrow your selection by taking a close look at existing hardscape. If you’re starting fresh and planning on redesigning your landscaping afterward, choose a style of paver that doesn’t limit your options later.


If you’re considering a pattern, remember it’s dependent on the sizes and shapes of pavers available. Patterns are really all about personal preference. You can also use patterns to differentiate outdoor spaces, for example using one pattern for your outdoor kitchen and another for your outdoor living room.


Color is an excellent guide to picking the right paver for your project. There are a couple of options when it comes to pavers. First, you can match the color of your paver to other permanent features of your home or landscaping. Or you can choose to use contrasting colors like light and dark, warm and cool to create a visual focal point in your landscaping.

If you’re not sure how to proceed, and you live in the California Bay area give the experts at Bayside Pavers a call at 1-(866) 287-2837. We can help you design the perfect hardscape to meet your family’s unique needs. Our knowledgeable team members are ready to help you create the outdoor living space you’ve been dreaming about!

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, our location in Concord, CA at 2455 Bates Ave, Ste K, services East Bay and South Bay homeowners. Our Santa Rosa, CA location at 1619 4th Street Ste 12 can help you with your North Bay hardscaping projects.

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