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Easy DIY: Choosing the Right Outdoor Paver for Your DIY Patio Project

By Travertine Mart on Feb 10, 2014

Are you toiling with the idea of building your patio floor all by yourself? Here is a guide to help you choose the right outdoor paver for your patio project.

Adding a patio is a great way to expand your living and entertaining space along with a boost to the value of your property. The essence of a great patio is in its floor that can be built over a few weekends. But, unless you are a pro, a DIY patio project can be quite intimidating especially if you are stuck with the wrong kind of paver. It can create a hole in your pocket and very quickly your budget can skyrocket. To avoid finding yourself in the midst of such a situation, consider how you plan to use the patio and choose a fitting material that complements your home.

Let’s look at four commonly used pavers for your DIY patio project:

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1.Brick Pavers

Brick is an elegant and time-tested material. It is sturdy and will lend an old-world textural charm to your patio floor. Although bricks are rectangular in shape, there is an endless array of patterns that can be created according to your design aesthetics. A brick floor is fairly easy to install though replacing it may be a tough job.

Brick pavers are treated at a higher temperature than construction grade bricks to make them less porous and therefore resistant to erosion. Although brick pavers can be cost effective, they tend to chip and crack over time. Depending on the quality of the subfloor, individual bricks can sink or heave making the surface dangerous for the elderly, kids and pets.

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2.Pre–Cast Concrete Pavers

Concrete is your answer if you are looking for a cheap but durable option for your patio floor. Pre-cast concrete slabs are made by casting concrete into molds to form individual slabs. These are available in a range of colors, finishes and style. The drawback with concrete is that it needs a lot of attention and maintenance. Concrete floors need to be washed frequently and sealed at regular intervals to avoid the colors from fading. Also, concrete tends to get pretty hot on exposure to the sun.

Concrete will expand and contract with the changing weather. Therefore some bit of professional help is required in laying a concrete floor that has appropriate gaps to aid the process.

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3.Ceramic & Porcelain Tiles

Outdoor patio tile made with ceramic or porcelain is another good option. Outdoor tiles are different from the ones used indoors. Tiles constructed for use outdoors are made less porous and water resistant and are usually unglazed. When it comes to color, design and texture, there are limitless options that tiles can offer.

The downside to using tiles for your outdoor patio is that they can get very slippery when wet. Also, they will not be able to tolerate extreme cold weather and can crack. The cost of the tile can vary greatly according to the intricacy of the design you pick.

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4.Travertine Pavers

Travertine is a favorite with landscapers for its versatility, durability and low maintenance. It is a stone that is often confused with marble due to its beautiful texture and natural grain. Travertine is a hard wearing material which makes it an ideal choice for patios. Due to its natural structure and density the stone can withstand changes in weather and does not crack easily. Unlike concrete, travertine stone remains cool even during the harshest summer months. Tumbled travertine is a porous natural stone that repels water and is therefore skid resistant which makes it an easy surface to walk on.

Travertine is quarried in different parts of the world including Italy, Turkey, Mexico and Peru. Depending on the concentration of the minerals, travertine can be found in a multitude of colors. Travertine will add a natural warmth to your patio and will not fade over time.

Laying a travertine floor is easy and because of its inherent natural properties, it does not require to be sealed. The cost of Turkish travertine is also comparable to that of brick pavers.

Choosing the right pavers for your patio project can make a huge impact on your backyard’s look and feel, choose wisely!

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