Learning all there is to know about pavers requires a great deal of time and research, but we can answer some of the most frequently asked questions to help you make a good and informed decision.
Interlocking pavers are structurally designed so that the surface area relative to the thickness constrains any movement within and between the paver system. As long as the paver base (underneath the pavers), and the paver edge restraint (along the outside edge of the pavers), the pavers will be kept intact. Otherwise, the paver system will be compromised and the pavers will sink and/or separate.
Most pavers are made from concrete, but also can be made from clay, travertine or other materials.
Pavers come in many different shapes and thicknesses. Common paver shapes include 4"x8", 6"x6", 6"x9", 9"x9", 9"x12" and 12"x12", and often two or more shapes are used together. Paver thicknesses include 1", which is often referred to as a remodel paver and normally installed over a concrete base, 2-3/8", which is normally installed over a sand base and 3-1/8", which is normally used by Department of Transporation for roads.
The paver pattern refers to the design of how the pavers are installed, while the Paver shape refers to the specific dimensions of the paver. For example, a 4"x8" paver, often referred to as a brick, represents one shape, but it can be installed using many different patterns. Patterns include circular, Herringbone, Basket Weave, and many others.
Today pavers are extremely popular due to their relatively low costs, ease of installation, ability to easily beautify an area quickly, low maintenance and huge color assortment to match any decor.
No, and unfortunately many contractors just promote whatever is the least cost paver, which might not be in your best interest. There are various manufacturers that make pavers. As with anything in this world, there are some manufacturers oriented to producing low-cost pavers, while other manufacturers are oriented to producing quality pavers. For pavers, quality means: how vivid are the colors, how well do the colors saturate with one another, how fast will the colors fade, as well as many other characteristics. The good news is that there is not much of a cost difference between a low-cost cheap paver and a quality paver.