Garden Paving Ideas: 14 Inspiring Patio Designs for Your Outdoor Space (2022)

Garden Paving Ideas: 14 Inspiring Patio Designs for Your Outdoor Space (1)

Finding the right garden paving ideas is one of the most important elements of your overall garden design, as your patio can set the tone for the entire outdoor space.

Your choice of material, style and layout can make the difference between a modern or traditional look and will have an impact on budget, so getting it right is important when looking at patio ideas.

To get you on your way with deciding on a paving design for your garden project, we've pulled together some of the best garden paving ideas around, with brilliant examples of how they can be used in a real space to great effect.

Garden Paving Ideas: Where to Start

"As well as providing a sunny spot to relax, a well-designed garden should help your house sit harmoniously within its setting," explains homes journalist Rebecca Foster. "Pavers often represent one of the biggest outgoing costs when landscaping an outdoor space, so it’s important to do your research and invest in high-quality products that stand the test of time.

"Whether you’re designing a new garden from scratch or re-laying an existing patio, careful consideration should be given to the paving material you choose. As well as looking good, your chosen product needs to stand up to all that the British weather throws at it.

"Plus, you’ll want to lay down a surface that offers a decent service life and doesn’t require constant maintenance. Durability is another key factor to investigate, too – particularly for high traffic patios that’ll receive a lot of footfall."

1. Mix and Match Garden Paving Ideas

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Choosing just one material as your garden paving can create a scheme that falls flat, where mixing different patio edging ideas and materials can add depth and sophistication to your space.

Consider a contrast border for paving to signify a change between materials or levels is a great idea, while switching up colours for the likes of a paving circle in a contrast colour or material can create an interesting feature too.

Using a contrasting material for pathways is also a great way to highlight the journey through your outdoor space.

2. Prioritise Durability with Limestone Paving

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Few materials can match the innate appeal of this natural stone. Limestone is durable, cost-effective and has bags of charm. It offers a fairly smooth surface compared to some other natural stones, which can add plenty of sleek allure to contemporary gardens.

Typically, it retains less water than rocks like sandstone, so it's certainly capable of withstanding any assault from Britain's famously lovely weather, but because it's a soft stone, it is prone to discolouration and scratching.

"If it's not sealed properly, any smoke or liquid can penetrate the stone and cause permanent staining," says Chris Moorhouse of Wickes (opens in new tab).

3. Build a Water Feature Idea into Your Garden Paving

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Don't think of a water feature as a luxury for your garden design — incorporating the sound of running water is important for your garden in blocking out periphery noise and creating a restful, tranquil space.

This idea for a water feature not only includes a water feature at paving level, but also uses the changes in material to highlight the water feature as a focal point of the garden.

4. Go Low-maintenance with Porcelain

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Hard-wearing, low maintenance and resistant to both frosts and stains, Porcelain paving offers a long-lasting solution for your garden.

"It can withstand high temperatures, is highly water resistant, naturally non-slip and requires very little upkeep," says Tom Clifford, general manager at Westminster Stone (opens in new tab). "It's also extremely uniform in terms of colour, texture and pattern. It's a good substitute for decking and will last considerably longer."

"As it can be used inside and our, porcelain tiles offer the ideal way to extend your living space seamlessly into the garden," adds Jo Oliver, director at The Stone and Ceramic Warehouse (opens in new tab).

5. Create Curves to Soften Your Garden’s Paving

Block paving runs this risk of creating a very square, linear space. Freestyling your patio with curved edges will offer a softer, more organic finish that will suit almost every style of garden.

However, bear in mind that curved cuts will be trickier and more time consuming than standard straight cuts, which may push your labour costs up or test your DIY skills.

6. Keep A Patio Timeless with Granite

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Highly durable and timeless, granite is a good choice.

"it's available in a variety of grey hues. The striking colour variations work well alongside existing architecture, soft landscaping and panting, says Lee Dunderdale, product manager at Bradstone (opens in new tab).

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Another pro is that granite is highly slip-resistant, so it's a sensible choice for parts of the garden that are likely to get wet, such as near water features.

7. Choose Large Format Paving for a Dramatic Look in Your Garden

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In general, the larger the paver, the smaller it will make the garden look, so choosing appropriately sized paving to your garden is important.

A large garden will be able to handle an oversized paver, helping the space to look streamlined where smaller paving would add fussiness with an overabundance of grout lines. It also helps to add a more intimate sense to a large garden, which could otherwise feel vast.

8. Enjoy a Characterful Sandstone Seating Area

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With a slightly more rippled, varied surface texture compared to limestone (sometimes described as riven), sandstone is a versatile solution that works particularly well in traditional settings.

It can also be one of the more cost-effective choices if you're keen to have natural stone paving.

"It's easy to maintain; it doesn't require any specific care when it comes to cleaning," says Wickes' Chris Moorehouse. "It tends to have good resistance to damp, fire and heat, plus UV radiation, which mans that it holds its colour."

9. Lighting Ideas for Garden Paving

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Lighting garden paving isn't just a great idea aesthetically, it ensures your garden is safe to use at night.

Recessed spotlights are great at illuminating paths and patio edges, and if you don't have power installed to provide for mains-powered uplighters, there are even garden solar light versions available.

Another garden lighting idea around paving is illuminating steps in your garden, again for good looks and safety. This idea using Stone and Ceramic Warehouse Arena Grey porcelain tiles uses warm-glow LED strip lights to match the treads of the steps.

10. Mix Paving Slab Sizes for a Dynamic Look in Your Garden

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When using a simple, one material scheme, you can add subtle interest by adding variety in the size of paver used. While some designs come readily available in a mixed size layout, it's possible to create a custom design by ordering pavers in different scales of your own volition.

Here, differently sized slate pavers crate a visually interesting design that complements the red brick of the house. Slate is a durable choice and one of the strongest natural solutions; it's resistant to chips, cracks and scratches. However, slate will need a sealant to maintain their natural appeal.

11. Use Your Garden Paving for Raised Beds Too

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(Video) Design For Patio

Garden paving can also make an effective cladding for raised beds, uniting these elements as part of your wider scheme.

In this scheme, Instagrammer @CarlysHomeIdeas used Tile Mountain’s Axis outdoor tile range to clad raised beds alongside the garden's main patio, while creating a border around the lawn.

12. Create a Focal Point for Your Garden With Paving

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Paving can be utilised to draw focus to a certain area of a garden, helping to lead the eye across the space. One such effective tool is to create a paving circle within your patio design to zone a dining area, outdoor living area or even a bar.

This design, using pavers from Paving Direct (opens in new tab), encompasses raised seating and a firepit as a focal point of this garden scheme.

(MORE: How to Lay a Paving Circle)

13. How to Create an Accessible Garden with Paving

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Accessible garden design is an important consideration for futureproofing your home. Stannah (opens in new tab) stair lifts' gardening guru Mark Lane has this advice for designing a garden with accessible paving:

"Ideally aim for a path around 1.2-1.5m wide, which is wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side, in a wheelchair or using a frame or stick. To stop wheels—and feet for that matter—ending up in a flowerbed, installa raised edge, either using a wooden gravel board (the board found at the bottom of a fence) or a concrete edger that stands proud around 10cm above ground level.

For the pathway, considerpavingslabs rather than gravel, as little stones are very difficult for wheelchair wheels to navigate.Pavingshould be pointed with a minimum gap of 10mm. You want a firm, stable, non-slip surface. In some instances, anti-glarepavingslabs are a good idea—especially for partially sighted or blind people."

14. Design Ideas for Garden Steps with Paving

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Introducing levels into your patio is a great way to add interest to your design, and steps in a sloping garden will be particularly important in connecting spaces as you move up, or down, the garden.

Using the same paving as the patio is one of the most popular choices for garden steps, but there are all kinds of brilliant ideas for making a feature out of them. This idea, showcased by Paving Direct is particularly inspiring, as it creates contrast with the blockwork risers of the garden steps and raised beds, as well as the circular shape bringing curves to contrast against the linear nature of the paving stones.

(MORE: How to Build Garden Steps)

What is the Cheapest Paving Option?

Concrete is often the most cost-effective paving option, with solutions available from £15/m2 up to £60+/m2. There is an array of choice when it comes to this cost-effective, low-maintenance material.

There are plenty of sandstone products available between £20 and £30/m2, supply only. For slabs with a special, smooth finish, prices can rise above £40/m2.

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Limestone products start from around £30/m2, though there's a greater choice with a budget of £40/m2 or more, and prices can rise as high as £100/m2.

Porcelain comes with a bigger price tag and can be time-consuming to install. Expect to pay a minimum of £30m2 for 20mm thick tiles, and up to £60/m2, supply only. Cheaper tiles are available but they tend to be b=much thinner. High end products could cost upwards of £100/m2.

Most granite products cost upwards of £40/m2, and you can easily spend over £80/m2 on a supply only basis

What Can You Use Instead of Paving Slabs?

When creating a patio area, paving slabs are not the only option: gravel, bricks and decking and resin-bound paving are popular alternatives.

Gravel is the most cost-effective in terms of materials and labour (it can be laid on a DIY basis), while resin-bound paving will require a professional.

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Can Your Lay Paving Slabs on Soil?

Paving slabs cannot be laid directly onto a soil ground and a level sub base must be created before installation.

"Allow 150mm for the foundation, mortar bed and paving," explains Lee Dunderdale, project manager at Bradstone. "If you are laying directly next to a house then the finished patio should be at least 150mm below the damp proof course. This means you’ll need to dig the area to a minimum depth of around 300mm below the DPC.

"To ensure water doesn’t collect on the paving, the foundation needs a fall of 1 in 60, either to a suitable drainage or run-off area, such as the lawn, which means 1cm of fall for every 60cm of width. For example, a 3m run will need a fall of 5cm.

"To create a firm base, cover the whole area with MOT Type 1 to a minimum depth of 100mm when fully compacted. A compactor plate is essential to do this properly.

"The back of the slabs should be primed with a polymer modified cementitious primer to aid adhesion to the mortar bed and prevent movement in years to come.

"Lay the slabs on a 30mm thick full mortar bed, which should support the whole slab and not just the corners. Use a mortar mix of four parts sharp sand to one part cement. Mix together with just enough water to make it damp and workable, but not overly wet and runny."

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Rebecca Foster

Rebecca is an experienced homes and interiors writer with a passion for Victorian architecture. Her dream is to extend an 1800s house

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FAQs

What is the best outdoor paving? ›

What is the best paving for patios?
  • Concrete paving slabs.
  • Natural stone paving.
  • Porcelain paving.
  • Block paving.

How can I make my patio more interesting? ›

Stylish Patio Accessories

For example, accent tables with unique shapes and patterned fabrics in bold colors can give your outdoor area a more finished, chic look. Then layer in smaller items such as potted plants or flowers and decorative lanterns for added appeal.

What is the cheapest option for a patio? ›

Poured or stamped concrete ($$)

Concrete is one of the most popular patio materials and the cheapest material you can use to build a hard-surface patio. Concrete is made of aggregates and paste—concrete aggregates can be crushed stone, sand, gravel, or even shells; the paste is made up of water and cement.

What can I use instead of paving slabs? ›

Gravel is one of the cheapest and easiest alternatives to paving slabs. Most often used for footpaths and driveways, aggregates used for gravel are available in a wide variety of sizes and colours for a range of different finishes. Whilst cost-effective, gravel is by no means a low maintenance option.

Which pavers last the longest? ›

Cobblestones are by far the longest-lasting pavers made of natural stone ordinarily obtained from quarries. These virtually indestructible pavers can last for more than a century and have a rough texture that gives driveways, patios and walkways a charming appearance that'll last for an entire lifetime.

What is the easiest type of patio to put in? ›

PAVERS are the best option

For a do-it-yourself patio, a simple square design with one size of pavers is a lot easier to install than one with various sizes and curves because you will not have to cut the pavers, which takes time and skill. Pavers are strong, inexpensive, and easy to install.

How do you design a patio layout? ›

Patio Ideas - Placement & Layout - YouTube

What Colour patio should I get? ›

Choosing the Correct Colour

If it's a dark area, then choosing a light-coloured paving is recommend, as it will brighten up the space. Whether you contrast or match your property really is down to personal preference, there is no right or wrong.

What is the least expensive way to build a patio? ›

Concrete is one of the cheapest and most popular materials that can be used to build a hard-surface patio. The aggregates of concrete can be stone, gravel, sand, or shells, which are mixed with water to form a paste that dries into a hard surface when left to settle.

How can I pave a garden cheaply? ›

We recommend using block paving, paving circles or setts to create circles, spirals and diamond patio shapes for a fraction of the cost of a top-end garden feature.

What is the least expensive stone for patio? ›

Gravel is one of the most inexpensive patio material options. You'll pay approximately $6-$10 per square foot. It is also easy to install so you can save on the cost of labor if you want to do it yourself.

Is it cheaper to lay concrete or pavers? ›

As far as installation costs and concrete costs go, poured concrete is technically the most affordable per square foot. However, even though the upfront cost of pavers is higher, concrete pavers offer greater value and durability than poured concrete and stamped concrete.

What size pavers are best for patio? ›

Our Expert Agrees: When you're choosing pavers, take the size of your yard into account. If you have a smaller yard and a smaller footprint of pavers, you might stick to 6x9" or smaller pavers. In a bigger yard, you can use bigger pavers, because you can space them out a little more.

Which pavers are the coolest? ›

As far as manmade patio materials go, porcelain wins hands down as the best material to prevent a patio from overheating. The cooling properties of porcelain have been known for millennia, with the material once used for making pillows by ancient civilizations because it would keep cool at night.

What is the most low maintenance patio? ›

When it comes to cutting down on garden chores, low maintenance patio ideas are top of the wish list.
...
  1. Pick porcelain pavers. ...
  2. Keep decking smooth. ...
  3. Choose contemporary looking concrete. ...
  4. Go for granite. ...
  5. Opt for sintered stone. ...
  6. Choose a stain-resistant composite.
Oct 11, 2020

What type of patio lasts the longest? ›

Concrete. Concrete patios are typically one of the least expensive to build. Assuming proper installation and maintenance, they are one of the most durable, too, though like brick, concrete is subject to cracking with freeze-thaw cycles.

What is a good size patio? ›

For comfortable entertaining, you need a minimum patio size of 550 square feet (51 square meters). For every person, you should set a space of 25 square feet (2.32 square meters). Therefore, if you want to have 50 people on your patio, the ideal space would be 1250 square feet (116.13 square meters).

How do you make a welcoming patio? ›

24 Ways To Make Your Outdoor Space More Inviting
  1. 24 Ways to Make Your Outdoor Space More Inviting.
  2. #1. Add A Beautiful Shelter.
  3. #2. Drop Some Aesthetic Curtains.
  4. #3. Add Some Privacy.
  5. #4. Add Plenty of Lights.
  6. #5. Keep Some Cool Furniture.
  7. #6. The Greener the Better.
  8. #7. Fit in a Dining Space.
Jun 11, 2020

How do I make my patio stand out? ›

Refresh The Furniture

Make the space look fresh and inviting by updating your traditional wicker and metal chairs with a fresh coat of paint. Use bright colors such as reds and yellows to really make the area stand out. If not, consider adding colorful cushions or re-cover existing ones with bold colored covers.

How do I choose the right paving? ›

Before you get started, here are a few things for you to consider when picking the right paver for your project.
  1. How are you using you pavers – For vehicles or people? ...
  2. Frequency of use. ...
  3. Size and shape of the area. ...
  4. Popular paving patterns. ...
  5. Finding your desired colour and texture.

What is the cheapest type of paving slab? ›

As one of the cheapest paving options on the market, black limestone is a great choice if you are looking to create a bold finish to your patio without breaking the bank! Black limestone slabs look stunning when wet, offering deep tones which are great at disguising most types of spills from a garden party or BBQ!

How much does a 20x20 paver patio cost? ›

A 20x20 brick paver patio costs $3,800 to $6,800. The average cost of pavers and base materials is $4 to $6 per square foot, while labor runs $6 to $11 per square foot. Get free estimates from masonry contractors near you or view our cost guide below.

Is a paver patio cheaper than a deck? ›

Depending on the material you choose, a patio is a more affordable option than a wood deck. Concrete pavers have an average cost of $4 to $12 per square foot (before installation cost), while natural stone can go up to $30 per square foot.

Is a brick patio cheaper than concrete? ›

Higher Cost: Brick can be up to 15% to 20% more expensive than concrete. Bricks are more expensive. Limited Choices: Because they're colored with natural clays, bricks have more limited color choices. They're generally rectangular in shape and only come in a few sizes.

How do you make a paved garden look nice? ›

Make sure you fill them with a drainage layer or holes at the bottom and then plenty of compost. You can also add little pots to hang on your fence, like these, or create a hanging basket or window boxes to add more greenery in a small area.

What is the cheapest garden surface? ›

Go for gravel

When thinking about cheap garden ideas, remember that one of the least expensive materials for paths is gravel, rather than slabs or stones. Mark out the area that you want to cover and remove any loose grass and soil.

How much does it cost to build a 12x12 patio? ›

Patio Installation Cost per Square Foot
Patio SizeAverage Cost
7x7 ft$250 - $2,500
10x10 ft$500 - $5,000
12x12 ft$750 - $7,200
16x18 ft$1,450 - $14,500
1 more row
Jun 8, 2022

What is the best material for a patio cover? ›

In terms of strength and durability, extruded aluminum is the best patio cover material on the market today. If you want to take your patio or deck to the next level while maximizing outdoor living potential, it's all about choosing the right roofing material.

What are the strongest paving slabs? ›

Granite Paving Slabs

Granite is a much different stone from the others. It is the only igneous stone that we have available and it is by far and away the most durable. The surface of granite paving slabs can come in a huge range of colours and finishes from white to black.

What is the most popular paver? ›

Which are the most popular pavers? Flagstone or fieldstone are the most common pavers. Flagstone is quarried from underground, while fieldstone is surface rock. Rock is pricier than bricks or concrete.

What's better Indian sandstone or porcelain? ›

Long-lasting: Even if sandstone doesn't match the durability of porcelain, it's still very strong when properly maintained and cared for. This means it can last decades once it's installed. It's eco-friendly: If you're worried about using environmentally-friendly products, sandstone ticks all the boxes.

What size pavers are best for patio? ›

Our Expert Agrees: When you're choosing pavers, take the size of your yard into account. If you have a smaller yard and a smaller footprint of pavers, you might stick to 6x9" or smaller pavers. In a bigger yard, you can use bigger pavers, because you can space them out a little more.

How much value does a paver patio add to your home? ›

When homeowners invest in a paver patio, they can expect extreme durability, minimal maintenance and — you guessed it — added value to their home. According to Inman, a leading real estate news source, patio additions to homes (when done properly) can deliver a return on investment of anywhere between 30% to 60%.

What is the best low maintenance slabs? ›

Pick porcelain pavers

The latest porcelain slabs and boards have the look of natural stone or wood but require less maintenance. They're strong, durable and hard-wearing, dirt-repelling and frost and algae resistant. They won't fade, are long lasting and stay clean too.

How thick should my patio slab be? ›

Four inches is the minimum thickness for a concrete patio. You'll want to make it six to eight inches thick if the patio will support a structure such as a gazebo or hot tub.

What is the cheapest type of paving slab? ›

As one of the cheapest paving options on the market, black limestone is a great choice if you are looking to create a bold finish to your patio without breaking the bank! Black limestone slabs look stunning when wet, offering deep tones which are great at disguising most types of spills from a garden party or BBQ!

How much does a 20x20 paver patio cost? ›

A 20x20 brick paver patio costs $3,800 to $6,800. The average cost of pavers and base materials is $4 to $6 per square foot, while labor runs $6 to $11 per square foot. Get free estimates from masonry contractors near you or view our cost guide below.

What color should my pavers be? ›

Many experts suggest matching your paver color to the color of your roof is the best way to tie all of the colors of your property together. It doesn't need to match exactly, just choose shades that don't clash. Also, choose pavers that match or coordinate with the materials your home is made from.

Is a paver patio cheaper than a deck? ›

Depending on the material you choose, a patio is a more affordable option than a wood deck. Concrete pavers have an average cost of $4 to $12 per square foot (before installation cost), while natural stone can go up to $30 per square foot.

What are the disadvantages of sandstone? ›

Cons of Sandstone Tiles
  • It absorbs water. Unlike granite, sandstone is a relatively porous material. ...
  • It can scratch. ...
  • It can be slippery when wet. ...
  • It stains. ...
  • It weathers and ages. ...
  • There are fewer color options. ...
  • It can be hard on your body.
Apr 8, 2018

Does Indian sandstone scratch easily? ›

Due to Indian sandstones densely packed particles it does scratch when scraped with a hard point. However scratches usually look worse than they actually are due to the chalky residue created during any trauma. Normally most scratches wear down within a year or so of natural weathering.

Is porcelain paving slippery when wet? ›

The rather simplistic answer typically given is that no, porcelain pavers are not slippery when wet.

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