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Natural stone pavers have several advantages over other types of patio pavers, but they also have a few disadvantages. They are available in a variety of colors, sizes, and patterns, and in most cases, they are more natural looking than manufactured pavers. Unfortunately, most absorb moisture readily, which can lead to cracks and other problems.
There are several types of natural stone pavers to select from. Whether it is granite, limestone, or travertine, each material offers a wide selection of pavers that differs in size, color, pattern, and finish. The initial planning for a large paving job becomes easier because there is bound to be a selection that matches the design of the home.
Granite, for example, is available in flamed gray or flamed gold. It is cut into several sizes, including 8 by 8 inches (20.32 by 20.32 cm), 8 by 16 inches (20.32 by 40.64 cm), 16 by 16 inches (40.64 by 40.64 cm), 16 by 24 inches (40.64 by 60.96 cm), and 24 by 24 inches (60.96 by 60.96 cm). Most companies offer stones that are cut to size as well. Granite is available in a number of finishes including polished, honed, and sandblasted. Additionally, there are many patterns for installation, including ashlar, herringbone, and running bond.
Natural stone pavers can be set directly in soil with little preparation. They can also be set in sand on top of existing concrete. One disadvantage is that the surface of the patio may not be completely flat.
Another advantage of natural stone over concrete or brick is the overall appearance of the finished installation. It has a much more natural appearance than manufactured paving; the large number of natural options can ensure that the customer gets the desired look. Moreover, the property value of the house tends to increases dramatically with a patio that is paved with natural stones. Concrete and brick, in contrast, seldom increase the value of the home as much.
The installation time for natural stone pavers is generally less than for concrete because the stones are cut to a specific thickness and size. Installation cost therefore is generally lower. The actual cost of the natural stone is, however, typically much more expensive than concrete or brick.
A disadvantage of natural stone is that it tends to absorb moisture much more easily than concrete or brick. Moisture within the stones can freeze during the winter and cause the pavers to break. This leaves a noticeable crack on the surface of the stone, which can reduce the appeal of the overall patio appearance.