What is block paving?
Block paving is a method of creating a hardstanding area using individual blocks instead of other materials such as concrete, asphalt or screed. Arranged by hand in distinctive patterns, block paving creates a visually appealing design and has decorative uses as well as a practical purpose.
What is it used for?
Functional and stylish, block paving can be used in almost every contemporary environment, from heritage sites to modern street design. Most commonly you’ll have seen it on patios, driveways, pavements and pedestrianised areas. However, thicker paving blocks are also available, capable of withstanding vehicular loads, which makes an ideal solution for HGV, container and dock loading bays, access roads, farm and stable areas, car parks, bus and cycle lanes.
What is block paving made of?
Block paving is typically made from either concrete. Comprising crushed stone, sand and cement, concrete block paving is extremely durable and strong, making it ideal for most hard landscaping projects. It is available in an enormous range of shapes, sizes and colours, from the standard rectangular block to a pyramid design. Concrete block paving can also contain up to 50% recycled material in its production, making it a sustainable choice.
Difference between permeable vs impermeable block paving
Permeable paving is a key component of an effective SuDS solution. The paving is manufactured with specially designed discreet 5mm spacing nibs, allowing water to drain directly through the joints to the subbase below. The joints are filled with clean hard angular 2mm to 5mm joint grit which allows water to infiltrate into the Suds system below while detritus is retained on the paving surface keeping the system free from siltration.
The different patterns and colours
One of the reasons block paving is so popular is because it offers style and substance. Available in a choice of colours, from classic buffs, browns and greys to more striking blues, greens and pink, block paving makes an instant yet long-lasting impact. Further style choices can be made when the paving is laid, with the most popular patterns being herringbone, basketweave or stretcher bond. With individual blocks also available in a range of sizes and thicknesses, block paving offers unlimited design possibilities.
The pros and cons of block paving
Block paving is one of the most versatile hard landscaping products. To help you choose the right solution, its main pros and cons are:
- Practical, hardwearing and long-lasting performance
- Highly durable with good grip/anti-slip properties
- Excellent visual appeal
- Can be configured in multiple patterns and layouts, or to delineate pedestrian/vehicle areas
- Easily lifted for service/utilities access and reinstated without leaving repair scars
- Manufactured to fixed plan size for ease of design
- Requires some maintenance to counteract colour fading, weathering or dirt absorption, e.g. using a sealant
- Time consuming to install
- Can be difficult to cut
- Can be more expensive than other paving materials