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What’s Your Paving Style?

When you hear the words herringbone or stack bond what jumps to mind? An expensive clothing store or some liquid adhesive? If you’re planning a paving project, you would be familiar with the multitude of paving styles available. Selecting the way a paver is laid, or the pattern is essential in the planning process as different patterns can alter the look and feel of an area dramatically. Add to this the huge array of paving manufacturers producing quality products in every shade of the rainbow; some hard decisions will have to be made. Unlike paint colours, tiles and pavers are permanent and changing your mind after laying or in some cases, once they are delivered can be costly.

Before You Start

In today’s modern lifestyle, we treat our outdoor areas as an extension of the indoor space. When planning an outdoor renovation project, you’ll need to consider more than just the colour of the roof or gutters. Below are a few considerations for such decisions:

  • The period of the house (e.g. old QLD’er or modern rendered home)
  • Your current decorating style (e.g. country cottage or ultra modern)
  • Gutter, fascia and roof colour (e.g. colorbond roof colours)
  • House material and colour (e.g. clay brick, rendered or weatherboard)
  • The size of the space.
  • Amount of natural light available (e.g. covered area or exposed to bright natural daylight)
  • Other horizontal surfaces that the area will meet (e.g. turf, garden beds, retaining wall products, other paved areas or your internal flooring choice)
  • Internal colour scheme of flooring (e.g. white porcelain tiles)
  • Planned use of the space (e.g. BBQ area)
  • Current colour trends (check out designer magazines and television shows)
  • Future expansion plans (will you be adding on to this later, or changing its use in a future extension)
Design Sample Board Example
Design Sample Board Example

We recommend that you treat your planned paving or tiling project as a serious edition to your home which in turn will add value. Put together a colour and style board as a starting point (there’s no need to attach everything to a board, but this does help with visualisation). The board should include paint swatches, colorbond colours, an off cut of internal flooring, a sample of your retaining wall, perhaps a chip of laminate or timber from some furniture, pictures of your outdoor setting or feature pots you wish to incorporate. When presented together it makes visualising your space a whole lot easier!

Small or Large Format

After some of the initial design decisions have been made, choosing a paver size should become much easier. Internal tiles or the size of the space may dictate your paving size. As a general rule of thumb, small pavers with more joints make an area feel smaller and large pavers with fewer joints simplify the space and create a more open feel.

The current trend in paving is large format squares or rectangles from 400x400mm right up to 800x400mm. Larger pavers such as these mean less product to shift and lay, but make sure you consider the weight of each paver. An 800×400 can weigh up to 35kg each, and if you or your tradesman need to move these by hand, there might be a few extra zero’s on your bill. More traditional designs tend to incorporate a more traditional paver, such as small clay pavers sized at 230x115mm. These smaller pavers allow for more scope in laying patterns. This size paver can also be useful to create curves around pool coping or garden edges.

Colour Choice

Warm neutrals such as whites, creams, light and dark greys are all popular colour choices. Carefully consider the colour, as it will play a large role in the temperature of the area. Stark whites and greys if in direct sunlight can be quite bright through the peak of the day. Likewise, deep heavy colours like charcoals and black create and hold heat, increasing the surface temperature to over 60 degrees on a hot summers day. Also as a general rule, the small sample you see on display, whether it be in our yard or another will always appear lighter once laid, don’t ask us why! The colour can also alter the apparent size of a space. Lighter pavers make a space look larger, and darker colours make it look smaller and more intimate. If you plan to move soon or just can’t decide what colour works best, go neutral! It’s much easier to match future enhancements in a space with neutral colours.

Paving Patterns

Once the colour and size have been determined it is now time to look at patterns. Below is some examples of possible paving styles available:


Stackbond Pattern

Stack bond is a very “current” style trend with pavers and is great when using large format square pavers. This is visually the simplest style with clean and straight lines creating a very modern and contemporary feel.


Diamond Pattern

A variation of Stack bond, Diamond is installe45-degree45 degree angle of the line of sight. The diamond pattern is great for small and medium sized areas to create a sense of difference and interest.


Stretcherbond Pattern

Stretcher bond is a traditional pattern which replicates the classic look and feel of brickwork or cobble stone pavements. Typically used with small format rectangular pavers, it can also be implemented with square pavers as depicted here.


Basket Weave Pattern

Reserved for the smaller rectangular pavers, the basket weave pattern adds character and dimension to small areas.


Herringbone Pattern

A visually pleasing brick paver pattern. Perfect for driveways where strength is required. The interlocking style of the pattern makes herringbone the strongest paving pattern available.

Armed with this information you are now placed in a strong position to thoughtfully plan your paving job. Remember, we are here to help and with our help and the resources available through the internet with sites such as Pinterest or Houzz at your disposal, design inspiration is never more than a few clicks away.

If you are planning a landscaping job, drop into our yard today and see all the latest trends in paving, retaining and landscape design in our Landscape Display and Selection Centre. The centre is always changing and full of fresh paving and retaining displays, a mini turf farm, water features, green walls and more. We look forward to seeing you in the garden this weekend!

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