The patio building materials you will need depends largely on your patio design. If your design includes things like steps and walls, you will need to use some poured concrete to make sure these structures are rock solid. But for the main patio area, a bed made of gravel and sand or stone dust will most likely do (see Gravel base patio). A patio that is well built with quality materials should keep its shape and beauty for years and years. Your patio’s enclosure may be made of various materials. Patios nowadays tend to include enclosures made of contrasting stones or pavers that add to the design. Paver restraints ensure the edges of your patio will keep their initial shape.
Natural stone, cobblestones, pavers…
Take the time to consider all the available patio building materials while you are in the planning phase of your patio building project. This one factor will have a huge impact on your patio’s “personality”. Naturally, the skill and attention to detail of the people building the patio is also extremely important.
When someone sees a patio for the first time, it is often the material they seem to notice first. So, once again, you should take your time when making that all important choice. You will find an almost innumerable variety of materials on the market.
Man made materials, such as concrete blocks of various kinds or colors, may fit together better, give neater results and be easier to work with, but they don’t have as much charm as natural stones. Bricks, on the other hand, are a man made material that does have a lot of charm. But in the end, it’s all a question of taste.
Other issues should also be considered, such as the material’s durability, its resistance to shock, cold and heat, liquids and chemicals. The more resistant the material, the longer the patio will keep its initial appearance. Man made materials tend to be permeable to liquids and may be stained by oil or other liquids. Cobblestones are probably the one patio building material that can resist everything.
A few examples
You will see below just a few examples of what you can find on the market. These are typically sold by the square feet or meter or by the pallet, the later being usually much cheaper.
Natural and artificial stone
Most nurseries and hardware stores will carry a limited selection of stones, both natural and man made.
Bricks, both new and used, can be used to build patios. They can be assembled in various patterns, as illustrated below.
For general information on patios, visit our Patio landscaping page.