A concrete walkway can be any type of path made of concrete. Concrete paths can be created by using poured concrete, concrete paving stones, or concrete blocks. Concrete is a popular choice for creating pathways because it is usually simple and inexpensive to install.
Concrete is generally made by using a trio of elements, including water, cement, and some type of crushed sandy stone. When these elements mix together, they harden to form concrete. Many people confuse concrete and cement, believing they are the same thing, when in fact cement is merely the adhesion component of concrete. The ratio of each component may vary, depending on climate conditions and the intended end use of the concrete. In addition to pathways, concrete is used for a great number of other building and landscaping projects.
The city sidewalk may be the most common type of concrete walkway. To get a better picture of just how much sidewalk exists in the world, consider that New York City alone has an estimated 13,000 miles (20,921 km) of city sidewalk. Most all city sidewalks are constructed of poured concrete paths designed to be elevated slightly above street level. Sidewalks are usually used to provide pedestrians with clean, safe pathways that can be used to move about the city.
Another type of concrete walkway includes landscaped pathways found in gardens and other outdoor environments. These pathways are usually made using poured concrete, but are also commonly made of concrete stones. Concrete paving stones are often stamped with designs and patterns. Concrete stamping must be done before the concrete completely hardens. Building supply centers normally offer a wide variety of stamped concrete paving stones.
Installing paving stones usually requires that the area first be excavated so the stones rest within the ground beneath them. Sometimes the paving stones are joined together with a concrete mix, but often they are simply laid side by side, without adhesion. This type of installation generally requires more excavation, because the ground must act as an anchor for the stones.
Adding a concrete walkway to a garden area is not only eye-catching, but often increases the overall value of the property. According to most real estate appraisers, landscaping design is becoming increasingly relevant to overall market value. Landscaping design can sometimes be a huge selling point for both residential and commercial real estate, and concrete walkways are one way to enhance an otherwise ordinary yard or garden.