Paving patterns can transform an ordinary outdoor space into a stunning and eye-catching area that complements your home and garden. By carefully selecting the right pattern, you can create a unique and visually appealing design that enhances your patio, pathway, or driveway. In this article, we will explore various paving patterns and provide design ideas to inspire your next outdoor project.
Understanding Paving Patterns
Paving patterns are created by arranging paving slabs or setts in a specific layout. These patterns can be simple or intricate, depending on the desired style and complexity of the design. When choosing a paving pattern, consider factors such as the size and shape of your outdoor space, the type of paving material you are using, and the overall aesthetic you wish to achieve. Once you have decided on a laying pattern, see our article on how to lay a patio .
2. Popular Paving Patterns
There are several paving patterns to choose from, each with its unique characteristics and design possibilities:
The stack bond pattern consists of paving blocks or setts arranged in a simple grid, with each slab aligned vertically and horizontally. This pattern creates a clean, modern look and works well with contemporary paving materials, such as porcelain or smooth concrete slabs.
In a running bond pattern, the paving slabs or setts are arranged in a staggered, offset manner, similar to a brick wall. This pattern is versatile and works well with various paving materials, including natural stone, concrete, and brick.
The herringbone pattern features paving slabs or setts laid in a V-shape at 45 or 90-degree angles. This pattern creates a visually striking design and offers excellent stability, making it a popular choice for driveways and high-traffic areas.
Basketweave patterns consist of alternating pairs of horizontal and vertical slabs or setts, creating a woven appearance. This pattern adds visual interest and texture to your outdoor space and works well with both traditional and contemporary materials.
Random patterns involve the use of different-sized paving slabs or setts arranged in an irregular layout. This pattern is ideal for creating a natural and organic look, particularly when using natural stone materials.
Design Ideas for Paving Patterns
Here are some design ideas to help you create a visually stunning and unique outdoor space using paving patterns:
Experiment with combining different patterns to create a dynamic and eye-catching design. For example, you could use a herringbone pattern for your main patio area and a running bond pattern for the surrounding pathways.
Use Mixed Materials
Incorporate different types of paving materials, such as natural stone and porcelain, to create contrast and add visual interest to your design. Combining materials can also help to define different zones or areas within your outdoor space.
Integrate Borders and Accents
Add a decorative border or accent to your paving pattern using contrasting colours, materials, or patterns. Borders can help to frame your paved area and draw attention to focal points, such as a water feature or seating area.
Play with Scale
Use different-sized paving slabs or setts within the same pattern to create a sense of depth and dimension. This can be particularly effective in small outdoor spaces, making the area appear larger and more dynamic.
Consider Colour and Texture
Choose paving materials with varying colours and textures to add depth and interest to your paving pattern. For example, mix smooth and textured slabs, or combine light and dark shades to create a visually engaging design.
Create a truly unique outdoor space by incorporating custom designs into your paving pattern. This could involve cutting slabs into specific shapes or using bespoke setts to form a pattern or motif that reflects your personal style or interests.
What is a herringbone laying pattern?
The herringbone laying pattern is made up of two interlocking L-shapes and is probably the most popular laying pattern for Indian sandstone paving. This is because it looks great and is relatively easy to lay yourself.
How do I lay a herringbone laying pattern?
To lay this pattern, start by laying the first slab in the middle of your prepared area. Then take the next slab and place it at a 45-degree angle to the first one, making sure that the ends of both slabs are touching. The next slab should then be placed in the same way but at a 90-degree angle to the first two slabs. You should continue laying the slabs in this way until you have reached the edge of your prepared area.
What is a basket weave laying pattern?
The basket weave laying pattern is made up of two interlocking square shapes and is another popular laying pattern for Indian sandstone paving. This pattern is slightly more difficult to lay than the herringbone but still relatively easy for a DIYer.
How do I lay a basket weave laying pattern?
To lay this pattern, start by laying the first slab in the middle of your prepared area. Then take the next slab and place it at a 90-degree angle to the first one, making sure that the ends of both slabs are touching. The next slab should then be placed in the same way but at a 180-degree angle to the first two slabs. You should continue laying the slabs in this way until you have reached the edge of your prepared area.
What is a stretcher bond laying pattern?
The stretcher bond laying pattern is made up of two parallel lines of slabs with each subsequent row offset by half a slab. This is the most difficult laying pattern for Indian sandstone and limestone paving and is best left to professionals.
How do I lay a stretcher bond laying pattern?
To lay this pattern, start by laying the first slab in the middle of your prepared area. Then take the next slab and place it so that it is touching the first slab but offset by half a slab. The next slab should then be placed in the same way but at a 90-degree angle to the first two slabs. You should continue laying the slabs in this way until you have reached the edge of your prepared area.
How to lay mixed-size patio packs
If you are laying a patio with mixed size paving slabs, you will need to lay the one of the largest slabs first and then work your way down to the smaller ones. To do this, start by laying the first slab in the corner of your prepared area.
On Paving Shopper, these are the 900mm x 600mm paving slabs. You will need to lay this horizontally, then place a second 900mm x 600mm slab directly below it as far left as possible but this paver will be placed vertically.
Once you’ve created your starting point here, this area will act as a guide for you to continue the pattern like so:
Laying patio paving
Now that we know how to lay the most popular paving patterns, let’s get started on laying our own patio!
Once you have decided on a pattern, start laying the slabs from one corner working outwards. It’s important to make sure that each slab is level with the others before moving on. To do this, use a spirit level.
Begin by mixing the mortar mix with water in a bucket according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once it is the consistency of peanut butter, use a trowel to apply it to the back of the first paving slab.
Position the slab in the desired location and then tap it into place with a rubber mallet. Use a spirit level to make sure it is level before moving on to the next one. Repeat this process until all the slabs are in place.
Once all the slabs are in place, you will need to fill any gaps between them with cement. First, brush away any excess mortar mix using a stiff bristled brush. Then, simply mix some cement with water in a bucket and then use a trowel to apply it to the gaps. Smooth it off with the trowel and then leave it to dry. Once the whole area is filled in, leave the mortar to set for 24 hours before applying water to cure it.
Tips for Selecting the Right Paving Pattern
When choosing a paving pattern for your outdoor project, keep these tips in mind:
- Consider the style of your property: Select a pattern that complements the architectural style and materials of your home and garden. For example, a traditional herringbone pattern may be more suitable for a period property, while a stack bond pattern may work better with a contemporary home.
- Think about functionality: Some patterns offer better stability and durability than others, which is important for areas with heavy foot or vehicle traffic. For example, the herringbone pattern is a popular choice for driveways due to its structural strength.
- Plan your layout: Before starting your project, plan your paving pattern and layout carefully. This will help ensure a professional and visually appealing result and can also save time and effort during the installation process.
- Don’t be afraid to get creative: Paving patterns offer endless design possibilities, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different materials, colours, and layouts to create a truly unique and visually stunning outdoor space.
The art of paving patterns allows you to create a visually appealing and functional outdoor space that enhances your home and garden. By understanding the different types of patterns available and exploring various design ideas, you can choose a paving pattern that complements your property and reflects your personal style. With careful planning and attention to detail, your new outdoor space will not only look great but also provide a durable and practical surface for years to come.