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What are the Different Options for Paving Designs?

T. L. Childree
T. L. Childree

Paving design options are almost unlimited, but several traditional patterns are frequently chosen. Stretcher paving designs, for example, can make a surface appear larger while basket weave patterns add extra dimension. Radial paving designs utilize alternating circular rows of horizontal and vertical blocks. Herringbone patterns feature rectangular blocks laid in an L-shaped fashion. Diamond paving designs are created with square blocks laid perpendicular to the surface.

Stretcher paving designs are intended to make driveways and patios look longer or wider. This simple design utilizes rectangular pavers laid in an end-to-end fashion. The blocks can be installed perpendicular to the surface to make it appear wider. A parallel installation usually makes the surface look longer. Adding a row of contrasting-color pavers at periodic intervals can often intensify the stretching effect.

Rubber patio pavers are relatively new materials with which to build an outdoor patio.
Rubber patio pavers are relatively new materials with which to build an outdoor patio.

Basket weave paving designs have long been considered to add greater dimension to a courtyard, patio, or driveway. Rectangular blocks are commonly used for this pattern, but square pavers in contrasting colors may also be utilized. Basket weave designs typically consist of a pair of pavers laid in one direction followed by another perpendicular pair. This pattern is repeated throughout the area and bordered by a single row of contrasting paving blocks. Variations of this design usually contain mixed colors or diagonal paver placement.

Radial paving designs often give the appearance of a sunburst or medallion because of their circular shape. Very colorful and elaborate designs can often be created with this paving pattern. This design typically begins with a small basket weave or herringbone pattern in the center. The center pattern is surrounded by pavers arranged in a radial fashion with increasing diameters. Alternating colors are typically used for each radial course with a contrasting border at the edge.

Herringbone paving designs are also very common and are intended to stand out from the surrounding landscape. This design utilizes rectangular blocks laid in an L-shaped manner. The colors of certain rows can be changed to create contrasting snake-like features. This pattern can also be laid diagonally for a more eye-catching design. A contrasting color is typically used for the borders.

Diamond patterns are created with square-shaped blocks installed diagonal to the edge of a driveway, patio, or courtyard. Blocks of varying sizes are typically used for this design. Intricate designs found in mosaic-style ceramic floors and countertops can often be duplicated with this pattern. Geometric shapes such as octagons, pentagons, and triangles are often cut from square pavers to form various diamond-style arrangements.

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Discussion Comments


I quite like the design where you have a bunch of one color of tile, and then a handful of another color randomly dispersed in it.

But my favorite example of a backyard paving design was one I saw at a family friend's house. They had a normal pattern of tiles, I can't remember what it was, but I think just a plain grid of two colors, at the edge of a garden.

Then, in the garden, one of the color patterns continues, while the other stops to allow room for the earth and flowers. The continuing pattern gradually diminishes until there is only earth remaining.

It was particularly effective because they had a raised patio and you could clearly see the tiles in the plants from there.


If you've got kids, you might want to consider having a very plain and wide paving stone design. I know my nephew has spent hours and hours outside his grandmother's house, drawing on her pavement with colored chalk.

These days you don't want your kids drawing on the sidewalk in a lot of neighborhoods, so the solution is to give them an area where they can do this near the house.

All kinds of kids' games depend on chalk markers, from hopscotch to bullrush, so the space can be a worthwhile investment.

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    • Rubber patio pavers are relatively new materials with which to build an outdoor patio.
      By: Christopher Dodge
      Rubber patio pavers are relatively new materials with which to build an outdoor patio.