Your pathways and walkways do more than provide a smooth passage to walk throughout your property. They can instantly uplift your landscape’s style and design, adding elegance and class to it depending on the material you use. Walkways invite you to spend time with nature and explore your backyard, guiding the eye towards specific details and features. They also make a garden feel warmer and more accessible.
The best material to use for your pathway depends on your budget and preference, as you can construct paths and walkways of different styles. Here’s what you need to know about other pathway materials and their pros and cons:
Stepping Stone Pathways
Stepping stones are durable and easy to arrange in various artistic patterns or styles, adding more sophistication to your garden. These stones are available in numerous colours and styles, and you can grow herbs like thyme between the pavers to create a stunning effect.
Unfortunately, they can be pretty heavy and require a level gravel base, meaning they take more effort to install. Weeds can sprout between the pavers. If you lay them individually in your garden, you will have to manually lift, relevel, and edge the grass surrounding them once every few years.
Gravel pathways are favoured due to their affordability, making them accessible to various homeowners. Due to the nature of the material, it also enables good drainage, which means you won’t deal with stagnant water sitting on your pathways. It’s an environmentally-friendly choice since gravel is usually a recycled byproduct from other quarry processes. It’s easy to install and requires minimal levelling or digging.
However, large pieces of gravel are sometimes difficult to walk on, use mobility devices over, or push anything with wheels. It also usually migrates outside of the path into the surrounding areas, creating a scattered look. Weeds tend to grow through gravel quickly, and the material will eventually need to be refreshed, especially as foot traffic and other objects displace it.
Poured Concrete Pathways
Poured concrete gives you clean, crisp lines that add more order and tidiness to your home. You can also colour and stamp concrete to match your home’s style, creating a cohesive look. It offers a flat, consistent surface that is perfect for objects with wheels, like mobility devices, strollers, and wagons. It’s simple to shovel during frigid weather and can last for decades if you care for it properly.
Still, concrete can crack due to temperature fluctuations. It also requires a thoroughly-prepared base and reinforcement with rebar. Lastly, you’ll have to build a frame to pour into, so it’s best to leave this to professional installers.
Wooden Boardwalk Pathways
If you have experience in construction projects, building a wooden boardwalk will be a piece of cake for you. You can use the material to fashion just about any design you want, and you can make it eco-friendly by using recycled or reclaimed wood. It is also pleasant to walk on with bare feet since it does not store extreme temperatures, unlike stone or concrete. You can match the pathways to your existing patios or wooden decks, and the wood will weather beautifully.
Nonetheless, the price of lumber in 2021 is at an all-time high. If you don’t have any handy experience, installing wooden boardwalk pathways will be more expensive than gravel or stepping stone. Since they’re made of wood, you’ll need to treat, stain, or paint them every few years to maintain their appearance, especially when it starts to break down.
Patio Paver Pathways
Lastly, patio pavers are available in many colours and styles that you can use to create stunning patterns. They carry more personality than standard concrete, and they’re easy to replace if one gets damaged. You can grow breathtaking ground covers between them or use coloured polymeric sand to keep them steady.
However, preparing the ground for pavers takes a lot of effort and skill, so you’ll have to call paving installers to do this for you. You will also have to refresh polymeric sand between the joints as the pathway wears and tears, typically every five years.
Each of these materials has compelling advantages and tricky disadvantages, and which one works best for you ultimately depends on your needs and preferences. By using any of these pathway materials for your garden, you’ll have a beautiful walkway that will enhance your home.
StoneSet is the leading team of paving contractors and installers in Sydney, specialising in resin-bound paving. We have an impressive portfolio of work, from porous driveways to national landmarks. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!