21 Jun 2012

Common Paving Patterns

Posted by bcsands

Outdoor paving can make or break the look of a property, and laying patterns to suit the surroundings is very important. There is a good reason for paving patterns being common, and that is that they work, and have done for decades or even centuries. But before discussing common paving patterns, it is important to know what some words mean in “paving lingo”.


Paving Terminology

  • A Header describes the short side of a rectangular paver touching the next paver
  • A Stretcher describes the long side of the rectangular paver touching the next paver
  • A Course  is the common terminology for a row of pavers in a specific pattern
  • A Border is the outer edge of a paving pattern and is often contrasting to the pattern itself
  • The Bond describes the paving pattern as a whole, and shows how it holds together


Classic Herringbone Pattern

This is by far the most useful and common pattern, because it can be formed from rectangular pavers or bricks.  The pattern is made up at either 45o which is stronger, but more difficult to achieve, or 90o which requires less cutting. The bond is created by laying the pavers in alternating diagonal courses with the header meeting the stretcher and visa-versa.


Stack Bond Pattern

As the name suggests, you literally stack one paver exactly below the next with the lines running straight on both edges of the paver. This bond is achieved with both square and rectangular pavers, and if you want a special look, try the stack bond pattern at 45o. This requires cutting the edging pavers, and the laying of a border, but the results are worth the effort.


Stretcher Bond Pattern

This effect is the same as the stack bond pattern also uses both square and rectangular pavers. To get the idea, imagine just 3 pavers, the middle one high and the two on either side placed at half way (pyramid shaped).  Again, the effect of the pattern can be enhanced by coursing them at 45o and cutting the edge pavers and border to suit.
Basket Weave Pattern
This pattern is particularly useful on pathways, but is also used on driveways. It is created by making two rectangular pavers into a square by stacking them together in one direction and then two together at 90o.


Circular (or Radial) Pattern

Creating a circular bond takes careful planning and accuracy when laying the pavers. It uses alternating stretcher and header courses to create curved effects. It can be laid using square or rectangular pavers and can be created without a border.


Crazy Paving

Back in the 1970’s this style of paving was all the fashion. Then it went out of fashion, and has now come back in again. It can look awful or terrific, and is either very easy or very difficult to lay depending on the materials you have chosen. Crazy paving has no courses, no headers and no stretchers and it needs concrete to hold it all together. It is not recommended for driveways unless it is placed on top of an existing concrete base.

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