Updated: Jan 20
When those endless summer or golden autumn months come around, then it is more fun to be outside than indoors. However, when you don’t have that outdoor landscape, then your back yard may not be as enjoyable as you might like. This is where having a stone patio can be such a huge advantage. Your patio can become your special place where you can spend memorable times.
So, if you want that perfect stone patio, here are a few designs tips that you should consider.
The first thing you need to consider before you choose your stone patio design is safety. If you’re planning to use your patio as a dining area, sitting area or if you have people with mobility issues, then you need to consider smooth flat and even surfaces. Remember, cobblestones may look great, but they create an uneven surface that can cause even the most able person to trip and fall.
On the other hand, ultra-smooth surfaces such as marble or granite are also a danger. They can get extra slippery when wet and cause accidents. If you really want to use these types of stones, then you need to consider using an anti-slip coating on your floors.
Not everyone can afford expensive stone pavers. This is when creativity can help a lot. Concrete pavers are hugely cost effective and very versatile. They can be cast into almost any design you like – you can choose the size, the shape, the color and even the textures and finishes. You can get super creative and use simple things like rakes or brooms to create a custom texture.
Designs and Layouts
When you create your stone patio, you can choose the design and layout according to the ambiance and the effect you want to create. Here are a few popular designs and layouts for stone patios:
- Ledge Patterns
If you love the beauty of a mosaic but also enjoy modern angular lines, then this could be the design for you. Ledge patterns include rectangular, square and parallelogram shapes and are laid to create interesting designs. It can be used for both small as well as large patios and look wonderful for both formal as well as casual settings.
- Mosaic Patterns
These are among the most artistic of the patio pavers. Mosaic patterns are created using the stones’ natural forms; the stones are irregular and of varying kinds – pebbles, decomposed granite, marble, or any other stone that your heart desires. Gaps in the stones are filled in with sod or mortar, or even other small stones. This is the kind of design layout that you can really get creative with. It can give your backyard or garden a stunningly romantic ambiance. However, because of the fact that mosaics consists of uneven stones, the surface can be slightly uneven.
- Angular Patterns
Ashlar, square and rectangular pavers are used to create angular patterns. These types of layouts give the natural stone a structured and balanced look. And because of the ease with which each of the stones fit into each other, once they are mortared, the surface of your patio will be smooth. While this design may not be the most creative, it is the most cost effective and practical.
Choosing the Right Material
One key thing you need to select very carefully is the kind of material you are going to use to build your patio. This will determine what your patio will look like and will also impact its installation. Here are some of the most popular types of stones used for patios:
This natural stone that is quarried is earthy, yet classy. The challenge you will face is that its irregular shapes will need a professional installer - DIY projects are not a good idea.
This stone is bluish-gray in color, and it gives a unique look to any patio. However, over a period of time, that color fades, so to keep that hue, you might want your patio to be treated with a sealer every few of years. Another issue with this stone is that while it looks amazing, it is dense, so it gets pretty warm when it is under direct sunlight. Therefore, it is best to build your patio in a shady area if you’re planning to use this stone.
One of the simplest patio designs is made by using gravel. Gravel is just a collection of stones that can range in size from tiny pebbles to large rocks. These are the simples of all patios to create since all you need to do is spread the gravel out (on top of a landscape liner). It has great drainage and weed growth is considerably reduced. It is wise to remember that if you are going to be using your patio a lot, then it is better to opt for crushed gravel that is angular rather than the round, slippery pebbles.
- Clay Bricks
Clay bricks are so versatile that you could fall in love with them instantly. They have been used for millennia to create patios (among other things!). Since they are so uniform and small, you can create almost any pattern or design you like with them. They look great and now you also have reclaimed bricks to create an eco-friendly patio!
Pavers, also called paving stones or tiles, are like bricks – very versatile and easy to lay. They can be made from stone, from concrete, clay or even recycled materials.
Concrete patios are the least expensive of all and are also extremely versatile. The simplest way to make a concrete patio is to make square or rectangular slabs. However, you can get really creative with concrete. You can mold them into any shape you desire, you can stain it, stamp it, make any design on it and even color it and create a mosaic form with it – the possibilities are endless. The downside is that concrete is the least durable of the stones that you can use.