Before you even get started thinking about what material gives you the look you want, think about how you will use the path. If you’re going to have to wheel the garbage can down it, you might want to stay away from gravel or any loose stone that will make that difficult. Here are 5 different materials that you can use to create a beautiful path.
1. Natural Stone – it’s beautiful but expensive. You can get real stone cut into squares and rectangles. They’ll provide natural color, texture and beauty. You can choose from a variety of stones. Granite is a great choice because it’s the hardest and least porous of the different natural stones. Marble, limestone and travertine are all available and can create an elegant look – but they’re going to have to be sealed regularly. Slate gives you an option of different colors and textures for a contrasting look that is visually exciting. If you choose the elegance of natural stone, know that it is the highest price material and may take the most upkeep.
2. Flagstone And Rock – These are less expensive natural products. They are perfect for casual or rustic landscapes. They do not require sealing although if you want to avoid staining you can seal them. If you choose to seal these natural materials, use a matte finish so you keep that natural look. Don’t be afraid to mix materials – a flagstone path bordered by a low stone wall can be beautiful.
3. Aggregate Stone – you know this as gravel or crushed and loose stones. It’s the least expensive of pathway materials and easy to install. Consider adding edging – that low stone wall or even plants – to create a more tailored look and to keep the loose material where you want it.
4. Pavers – concrete pavers come in a variety of sizes, shape and textures. They may mimic stone or brick. You’ll find a choice of colors. The nice thing about pavers is that some of the work is done for you. They’re made to interlock so you don’t need grout or mortar and they’ll give you a finished look.
5. Brick – It’s a classic. Brick walkways have a timeless look. Go traditional and lay them in a herringbone pattern or create your own pattern. You can choose from full-size bricks that will require mortar or go with thinner, interlocking bricks so you get the look without some of the effort. Bricks come in that typical red, but you’ll also find a variety of other colors. Brick cleans up easily – just hose it off, but beware of slippery moss or mold that might develop if it’s in a moist, shady area.
Putting down a pathway is creating not just a traffic pattern; it’s creating a beautiful addition to your landscape. Get on the Internet and look at hundreds of ideas. Then, take the ones you like best to your local landscape supply company and let them help you select all the right materials for the look you want!