What Are Pavers?
Pavers - Definition and UsesPavers are individual hard blocks, generally made of stone, clay, concrete or brick, that are arranged in patterns to create smooth surfaces for outdoor traffic areas such as paver driveways, patios, sidewalks, and retaining walls. The blocks are pre-cast and available in various sizes, textures and shapes.
History of PaversYou can think of pavers as individual blocks, or segments, fitted tightly together to create a smooth, workable surface. The first paved roads were essentially segmented pavers, constructed as far back as 5000 B.C. by the Cretans. The Roman Road was an extensive system consisting of 51,000 miles created around 100 A.D. These roads leveraged the segmented approach and were able to accommodate heavy traffic and withstand harsh weather conditions.
The efficient construction of pavers in Germany led to their popularity throughout Europe, Africa and Australia in the 1960s and 1970s. In the last 20 years, we have also seen advances in interlocking and decorative pavers being embraced by businesses and residences in Canada and the United States.
Why Pavers instead of Concrete or Asphalt?Two of the biggest advantages of pavers are their aesthetic appeal and their durability. In today’s marketplace, it isn’t hard to become overwhelmed by the colors, shapes and options available with pavers. Homeowners and businesses alike can certainly bring their creative vision to life when it comes to adding pavers to their landscaping and exterior decor. As far as durability goes, pavers are the product of choice. With concrete there is always the concern with cracking and with asphalt their is the regular maintenance requirements, such as sealcoating. The upfront cost with pavers will most likely be higher due to material cost and implementation, but they can’t be beat as far as beauty and longevity are concerned.
Pre-Construction Considerations For PaversA soil compactor is highly recommended to make sure the ground is properly prepared prior to installing pavers. You want to have an extremely level and even surface. This is so much more important for pavers than it is for concrete or asphalt because both of these products will be laid down in a malleable state and somewhat adjust to the shape and curvature of the ground. With pavers, a slight incline or change in elevation may not seem to cause much of an issue initially but can be very detrimental to the structural integrity as well as uniform design over the years ahead.