Paver Patterns: DIY Ideas For Your Outdoor Living Space

Paver patterns are fun to create. As a DIY project, a paver patio can draw attention to your outdoor living space. Although paver projects aren’t easy, it doesn’t mean they’re hard. Depending on the laying pattern you want, you may or may not need a contractor. 

Paver Patterns

Designing a paver patio is fun. It’s a great way to improve your DIY skills. The project will require you to choose different textures, decide which laying patterns are best, and put your design ideas to the test.

Learning about laying patterns can help you decide which paver pattern is best for your outdoor space.  

Paver Laying Patterns

What Are Paver PatternsView in gallery

Before you choose a paver pattern there are a few things to consider. The texture, color, and bond pattern of your paver stones should complement one another.

However, laying patterns will be the face of your project, whether a paver patio or walkway, so it’s the most important. 

Different Textures

Paver TexturesView in gallery

Paving stones are not one size and are cut differently. Their texture affects the surface. Although some paver stones are smooth and others are natural, for a paver patio, you can mix and match if you want something different.

Here are a few options:

Non-Tumbled Paving Stones

Non-tumbled pavers are smooth but they aren’t slick. This paver style does not go through additional manufacturing like other pavers. Because they aren’t tumbled, they are cheaper than tumbled pavers. 

Non-tumbled pavers only require regular joint sand. They look more modern, have a beveled edge, and don’t look as rustic. This type of paver is common and the texture is easy to find. 

Tumbled Paving Stones

Tumbled pavers look rough and natural in texture but they’re less natural than non-tumbled pavers because they require an extra step. This extra step is called tumbling.

Tumbled pavers pass through a tumbler used to mix cement. The pavers are filled in a rubber-coated barrel with grit and water. Next, the barrel is turned for several weeks which adds texture to the new pavers.

Embossed

Stamped pavers are made from concrete which makes them cheaper than stone pavers. They mimic stone but can also be embossed with tile-like patterns like flowers or stars. Embossed pavers are cheaper, so if you want to reduce the costs of your paver patio project, for example, this would be one option.  

Slate

Backyard brick sone paverView in gallery

Slate pavers are made of slate. They are thin, grey, and smooth in texture. Slate refers to both color and material. If the pavers are slate and concrete, they’re made of concrete but have a slate color or resemble slate. The material is a type of rock often used for hardscaping.

Flagstone

FlagstoneView in gallery

Flagstone is a common choice for pavers. They are easy to find and can often be harvested from your land. They offer a great balance of natural and man-made options.

Flagstone pavers come in natural colors. However, the term describes a pattern rather than a material. The flagstone texture is seen as oddly-shaped rocks that create a running bond paver pattern similar to a puzzle. 

Cobblestone

Cobblestone pavers are rough and grey. They are inspired by the classic cobblestone streets of Europe. But today, they are used for different reasons.

They are small and made of stone, yet shaped like bricks. Each stone has a bumpy texture, and when finished, the tops will be textured and are often rounded. 

Paver Colors

Paver ColorsView in gallery

The paver color matters almost as much as the laying pattern and texture. There aren’t many paver colors but they can be painted to look bright and bold. 

Sand

Sand, or sandstone, is a warm paver color. The color creates a beach feel but is also good if you want a desert landscape look. Sandstone pavers can be a color or type of paver.

In this case, we are referring to the sandy color. It is similar to cream. Both are warm yet light and can take the gray look away from the usual patio setting. The pavers are easy to find because they’re manufactured regionally.

Grey

Grey pavers might be the most common. They can be found in any shape and with any texture. Grey pavers are the base for embossed paver stones because they are made of concrete instead of real stone.

If you can’t decide on a color then grey is probably a good choice. Add an accent color for best results as all grey can be a little daunting and won’t have enough personality for most patios. But you can always give it a try and paint it later.

White

White patio pavers are rare as white isn’t often found in stones. You will need special pavers to have a white patio. And because white pavers are rare, they’re  expensive. 

More often than not, when you do find white pavers, they aren’t white. They are more like a light gray. You can try staining, whitewashing, or better yet, limewashing the pavers for a whiter look. 

Black

Black pavers are also rare. They will need to special order them as suppliers usually make them. Most black pavers are made from asphalt or recycled rubber. That’s the easiest way to get black pavers because it is important that the pavers not simply be dark gray. 

Buff

Buff is a yellow-brownish color that is actually quite common in stone. It’s the natural color of many stones, leathers, and trees. Because it is so often found in nature, it looks natural on any patio.

Buff is a common paver color for patios so you won’t have trouble finding it. Or at least something very similar. There are many different tones and shades of buff and it is quite versatile too.

Terracotta

Terracotta is a reddish-brown color based on fire-treated clay. It is used to create statues, pots, and tiles all over the world. The word and the technique it describes are old, having been used for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Today, not all terracotta pavers are made of clay. Many of them are but don’t be ashamed if you want to use a terracotta paver that isn’t real terracotta. Today, what matters more is the color and texture of the pavers. 

Paver Pattern Styles

Paver BondsView in gallery

A paver bond is like a brick bond. A brick bond is a type of bricklaying pattern. You can create unique designs in the bricks by alternating their layout or their colors. Paver stones are either laid in a bond or running bond pattern.

Runner Paver Laying Pattern

A running bond is one of the most popular paver bonds. It consists of alternating the placement of the pavers with each row ending in the center of the last. It starts with a full paver then a half paver.

Travertine Paver Laying Pattern

Travertine Paver Laying PatternView in gallery

Travertine is a calcium carbonate extracted from hot springs in Turkey. The material is a member of the limestone family. Travertine has tiny little pitted holes that are created by gas bubbles. The three most popular travertine colors are gold, walnut, and ivory.

Checkerboard Paver Laying Pattern

This is a common type of bond that requires two different colors. Most people understand what the checkerboard pattern is and how to use it. You just alternate the colors of pavers.

Herringbone Paver Patterns

The herringbone pattern is more complicated than it looks. The only really hard part is starting it and ending it. Otherwise, it’s a “W” pattern stacked on top of each other. The base is four pieces and that continues on. 

Ashlar Paver Patterns

An ashlar pattern is takes practice to perfect. It requires four different paver sizes instead of just one size. Once you perfect it, you’ll have a impressive paver patio.

European Fan Paver Patterns

The European fan pattern is also difficult to master. It creates a fishtail pattern by creating fans that stack on top of each other. It looks extremely impressive and unique if you can pull it off using small square pavers. 

Basketweave Paver Patterns

The basketweave pattern isn’t as complicated as it looks either. All you have to do is use two pavers one way and the next two the other way. This is the simple basketweave pattern. 

Pinwheel Paver Patterns

The pinwheel pattern is also common. You use one small square paver and then place four rectangle around it. The result looks like pinwheels scattered over your patio. 

Custom Paver Patterns

This is the best paver patio paver pattern out there. All you have to do is draw out your pattern, then make sure all the measurements will work. Buy the pavers that you need for the job and create your masterpiece. 

Curved Walkway Paver Patterns

A paver patio isn’t the only project that would add curb appeal to your home. Walkways and footpaths are also great ideas. A curved walkway paver pattern with concrete would  add curb appeal to your home.

A laying pattern for a curved walkway is more labor intensive than other paver options. The pavers are installed at right angles to one another. With each curved edge, you will need to cut them into the outside pavers which will allow you to curve the walkway.

Top 3 Paver Installation Mistakes

Although installing pavers is an erstwhile DIY home project, if you don’t know what you’re doing you will make costly mistakes.

Top 3 Paver Installation Mistakes

To help you avoid spending more time and money than necessary, we thought we’d share the three most common mistakes people make when installing pavers

Dirt Backfilling

The most common backfill is dirt. What many do not realize is that dirt backfills sink, rotate, and separate. When this happens, you’ll end up with an uneven surface.

When dirt is compacted, it shrinks by 30 percent. What this means is if your dirt backfill is 10 inches, for example, the pavers will settle by three inches. To prevent settling, lay a gravel base over your dirt. Once your gravel base is complete, spread concrete sand over the gravel. 

Long Pavers

Do not lay long linear paver lines. You should use one of the common patterns from above. To prevent long linear lines, never have four corners meet anywhere throughout your paver pattern. Also, you don’t want your joints to run in a linear pattern for more than nine feet.

Base Compact

A gravel base is the most important step for a paver project. The gravel base must be flat and firm. To achieve this, compact the base and your pavers. If you forget to compact the base, you’ll end up with sunken or raised pavers.

When compacting a gravel base, use a steel tamper or plate compactor. To achieve the desired thickness, compact the base two inches at a time.  For small projects, a steel tamper is best. For patio projects or bigger jobs, a gas plate compactor will be necessary. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What Is The Strongest Brick Pattern?

Among all design ideas, the strongest brick pattern is herringbone. The brick style can be laid at a 45 or 90 degree angle. The pattern offers multiple angles that will impress visitors, neighbors, and potential homebuyers.  

Is It Cheaper To Make Pavers?

Pavers cost, on average, $3 per square foot. A 400 square foot patio will cost roughly $1,200. When you make your own pavers, you’ll save 50 percent or more on your paver project.  

Can You Weatherproof Pavers?

After you’ve installed a paver pattern, apply a paver sealer to waterproof the surface. UV rays, direct sunlight, snow, and rain will damage your paver surfaces.  

What Are Some Hazards Caused By Pavers?

Pavers will become loose after a few years. When this happens, loose pavers will cause tripping accidents. Loose pavers should be adjusted immediately. 

How Do You Make Pavers Less Slippery?

To prevent pavers from becoming slippery, spread a light layer of sand over their surface. The sand will improve traction and the pavers won’t be as slippery. You should also use sand to fill in the areas between the pavers. 

What Is A Running Bond Pattern For Pavers?

A running bond pattern is when you lay square or rectangular pavers in a linear, side-by-side pattern, and then stagger every other row. For example, subway tile features a running bond pattern.

Paver Patterns Conclusion

The fun thing about installing paver stones is that there are plenty of paving patterns and design ideas to choose from. When installing paver stones, you want to preserve your perfect paver pattern, so make sure not to cut corners during installation. A paver project, like a new paver patio, is a great DIY home improvement endeavor.

Your outdoor space is just as important as your indoor space however, outdoor projects allow you to draw more attention to your home. 

Among backyard design ideas, a new paver patio is a DIY project that will add value to your home. You can choose different laying patterns with different textures to mix things up. Fortunately, with paving stones, you don’t have to use one size, which offers more room for creativity.