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Chris Breen

Chris Breen, Principal Owner of Legacy Decks and Outdoor Living and has been serving families in Upstate South Carolina since 2005.

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Patio Materials 101: A Look at the Top 3 Design Options

Paver patios are an exceptional addition to any home, adding beauty and versatility to your custom deck and outdoor living space.

Among the many available materials, natural stone, stack stone ledgers, and cobblestone bricks are popular due to their durability and timeless beauty. These materials not only improve a home’s visual appeal, but they also offer practical benefits.

Choosing the right type of paving stone is important because it influences the patio’s overall look and functionality. Natural stone offers a range of options. Stack stone ledgers provide dramatic visual interest. Cobblestone bricks add a sense of historic elegance suitable for both patios and driveways.

The expert team at Legacy Decks will help you understand your options.

Stacked Stone Ledger Panels

Stack stone ledgers bring a unique blend of rustic charm and modern sophistication to patio designs. These panels are crafted from real stone veneers stacked together to create a visually striking feature that enhances the architectural elements of outdoor spaces. These panels, made from real stone such as slate, quartzite, or travertine, are pre-assembled. Here’s a closer look at the diverse applications and advantages of using stack stone ledgers in patio settings:

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  • Outdoor Kitchens: Stack stone ledgers prove indispensable for outdoor kitchens and bars. They are commonly used to construct the base or surround for counters, islands, and built-in grills. The ledgers’ textured, natural stone appearance adds an upscale and cohesive look, seamlessly integrating these features with the rest of the patio.
  • Fire Pits and Fireplaces: Stack stone ledger panels are also ideal for encasing fire pits and outdoor fireplaces. They wrap around these structures, providing a natural, integrated appearance that enhances the patio’s ambiance. The stone’s durability and resistance to heat make it a practical choice for these high-temperature areas.
  • Planters and Raised Garden Beds: Beyond structural applications, stack stone ledgers can be used to build planters and raised garden beds. These features help define different zones within a patio and contribute to a more organized and aesthetically pleasing outdoor space.
  • Columns and Posts: Cladding columns, posts, or pillars with stack stone ledgers adds visual weight and architectural interest to the patio. This application ties together the hardscaping elements, creating a cohesive design that anchors the outdoor living space.
  • Patio Floors and Steps: Although less common, some homeowners choose stack stone ledgers for patio flooring or stair risers and treads. This usage provides a unique, textured look that is visually appealing and functional, offering slip-resistant properties.

Natural Stone

Natural stone is a premier choice for patio materials, revered not only for its aesthetic versatility but also for its enduring qualities. This section delves into some of the most popular and recommended natural patio stones, each offering unique benefits and distinct visual appeal.

Photo of elevated deck with a patio made out of tile patio materials

  • Flagstone: This stone is particularly valued for its natural, slightly roughened surface that prevents slipping and is safe for all weather conditions. Flagstone pavers come in various irregular shapes and a palette of earthy colors, allowing for versatile design options that blend seamlessly with outdoor environments.
  • Bluestone: A dense variety of sandstone, bluestone features a distinctive blue-gray hue that cools garden landscapes. Its strength and texture make it an excellent choice for patios, offering a non-slip surface that endures through time. Bluestone’s ability to complement various garden styles makes it a versatile material for outdoor designs.
  • Limestone: Known for its warm tones ranging from beige to gray, limestone provides a softer look with its smooth surface and natural variations. This sedimentary rock adds a classic appeal to patio spaces, appealing to those seeking a more traditional aesthetic.
  • Travertine: A luxurious choice, travertine is a form of limestone known for its unique pitted texture filled with natural holes. This material is particularly popular in warmer climates as it remains cool and offers a slip-resistant surface, combining luxury with practicality.
  • Sandstone: Offering a tactile surface finish and soft buff shades, sandstone pavers are incredibly versatile. They can achieve traditional and contemporary looks, making them suitable for various patio designs. Sandstone’s natural durability ensures it withstands the elements while providing a visually appealing outdoor space.
  • Slate: Slate is available in various colors, including grays, greens, and purples. Its natural beauty and fine grain make it ideal for modern, elegant patio designs. Slate’s durability and unique color variations contribute to its popularity as a top choice for creating a striking outdoor area.

Cobblestone Bricks

aerial view of deck with kitchen and social features and a stone patio

Cobblestone bricks are a timeless choice for enhancing outdoor living spaces with a rustic and charming feel. This versatile option can create distinctive patios, walkways, and other hardscaping projects. Here’s how cobblestone bricks are typically utilized:

  • Patio Surfaces: Cobblestone bricks are commonly selected as paving materials for patio floors. They are laid in intricate patterns, such as a herringbone or basket weave, over a well-compacted gravel base and sand bed. The unique, irregular shapes and aged appearance of reclaimed cobblestones infuse patios with a classic, old-world charm.
  • Patio Borders and Edging: Beyond full patio surfaces, cobblestone bricks are frequently used to craft borders or edging around patios made from different materials, such as concrete pavers or flagstone. These cobblestone accents act as a decorative frame, elegantly transitioning between the patio and the surrounding landscape.
  • Walkways and Paths: Cobblestone bricks create walkways and garden paths, adding a picturesque element to any outdoor space. The bricks’ textured surfaces provide visual appeal and functional traction, making paths safe and attractive.
  • Outdoor Kitchen/Grill Areas: In outdoor kitchens, cobblestone bricks enhance the environment by surrounding grill islands or covering the floors in food preparation and dining areas. Their durability and visual appeal make them an excellent choice for these high-traffic zones.
  • Fire Pits: Utilizing cobblestone bricks in the areas surrounding fire pits and outdoor fireplaces helps to bolster the rustic ambiance. They withstand high temperatures and complement the fire features stylistically.
  • Driveways: Although they require more maintenance, cobblestone driveways are particularly striking. They offer a historic look that is especially fitting for older homes. Their unique texture and color variations can dramatically elevate a home’s curb appeal.

Which Material is Right for You? Consider the Cost

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When selecting materials for patio projects, it is important to consider the cost and how it will impact the budget you created for your outdoor project. Here’s an overview of how three popular choices compare in terms of material costs:

  • Stacked Stone Ledger Panels: These panels provide a cost-effective alternative to full natural stone. They are usually the most budget-friendly among the three discussed options, made from thin slices of natural stone affixed to a backing. The cost of these panels is typically lower than that of individual pieces of natural stone or full-thickness stone veneer.
  • Natural Stone: Natural stone typically ranks as the most expensive option. The price varies widely based on the type of stone, its rarity, and the location from which it is sourced. Premium stones like granite and quartzite sit at the higher end of the cost spectrum. Meanwhile, other types, such as flagstone, bluestone, and limestone, are generally more affordable, though still pricier than other materials.
  • Cobblestone Bricks: Regarding cost, cobblestone bricks are between natural stone and stacked stone ledger panels. Their prices vary depending on whether they are reclaimed antique bricks or newly manufactured tumbled pavers. While they are more expensive than stacked stone ledger panels, cobblestone bricks are more economical than many natural stones.

Why Choose Legacy Decks

If you want an exceptional outdoor living experience and impeccable results, choose Legacy Decks, a top-tier deck builder in Upstate South Carolina.

When designing and constructing your dream deck and patio, Legacy Decks is the clear choice. Trust Legacy Decks to transform your outdoor living environment into a stunning space you can enjoy for years. Contact us for a free in-home estimate today.

Patios FAQs

What is a patio?

A patio is an outdoor space generally used for dining, relaxing, or entertaining that is typically paved and situated directly on the ground. It’s often adjacent to a house and can be made from various materials.

How can I make my patio more private?

To create a more secluded space, add landscaping features like shrubs or trees, privacy screens, fencing, or pergolas.

How does a patio add value to my home?

A well-designed patio can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home, extend your living space, and potentially increase your property’s resale value by improving its outdoor appeal.