Big yards and large swimming pools are terrific, but if you want to really make your backyard, patio, or landscape stand out, you should consider adding slate pavers.
Slate pavers are durable, offer many different designs, colors and are made from natural stone, the classic material we all want throughout the home. While the price of slate pavers is certainly more than the average, other key resilient and design characteristics will make you forget the higher price point all together.
Slate Pavers Cost
For materials alone, slate pavers cost between $18 and $30 per square foot. This price does not include installation, as well the costs of other materials involved with the project (such as sand).
Many homeowners go one step further and opt for irregular slate pavers, or broken pavers. Irregular pavers give many slate patios or walkways an interesting and eclectic touch. However, the upscale design does not come without a price. According to our slate pavers material estimator, irregular slate pavers cost between $20 and $40 per square foot.
Looking at the other options on the market, you can see how slate’s price compares:
- Granite Pavers: $8.85 - $15.10 per square foot
- Flagstone Pavers: $12.90 - $18.20 per square foot.
- Cobblestone Pavers: $11.65 - $18.04 per square foot
Installing slate pavers is not the most difficult DIY project, but a challenging one I would not recommend to a beginner. If you do choose to go at it yourself, expect to pay anywhere from $2 to $10 per individual paver. Most home improvement stores also sell pallets of pavers starting at $400.
Installing Slate Pavers
Installing slate pavers is not as complicated as many other DIY projects, but a step-by-step guide never hurt anyone.
- Measure the area for the pavers. If you are using irregular pavers, make sure you leave extra space on the sides.
- Run a shovel or spade around the edge of the pavers to mark the size and placement of each stone.
- Remove the pavers from their spots.
- Remove a small amount of dirt from the desired paver location to ensure the ground is flat and smooth throughout.
- Add a layer of sand above the dirt where you want to place your pavers. Again, make sure it’s level.
- Place pavers back in their desired spots and add a little more sand on top and around each slate paver. This will keep the pavers in place.
Note: If your pavers will see a lot of traffic, be sure to install thicker pavers.
While it may sound easy and fast, it takes a patient and meticulous individual to get it done right. If you would like some help with your next paving project, be sure to contact a local masonry pro near you (free!).
Slate Paver Uses
One can use slate paves for a wide variety of outdoor projects, but the three most common are patios, walkways and landscaping. Fortunately, there are many different designs you can utilize with slate pavers.
Many homeowners like to add a little green to their slate pavers and as such, leave little gaps between the pavers to allow grass to grow. Others like pavers on sandy areas where there is no greenery. On the other hand, you can treat slate pavers just like concrete and leave no room for any other material in between each paver. Just make sure you are 100% committed to a specific design before you start installing your slate pavers.
Slate pavers can also be used for more non-traditional uses. Those include:
- Retaining walls
- Gardening bases for raised flowers and plants
- Dividing lines between plants
- Walkway designations
Slate Pavers Advantages
Slate pavers justify their high price point with some unique benefits other common paver materials do not match.
First and foremost, slate pavers are safe. Homeowners who own swimming pools often choose slate because it’s naturally slip-resistant and can easily prevent you, your children and guests from slipping when leaving the pool.
Secondly, slate comes in a wide array of colors, just like many other natural stone products. Slate comes in gray, blue, light purple, as well as dark shades of red and brown. Clearly, there is a slate paver color out there for everyone.
Finally, slate offers a design flexibility like no other. As I touched on earlier, many homeowners opt for irregular pavers to add some design flair to their slate patio or walkway. Fortunately, contractors can easily break the pavers into different shapes and sizes. They can also break the pavers into different pieces to fit smaller or unique areas of your landscape.
Slate Pavers Disadvantages
Regrettably, slate does not fare well in areas that see a lot of rain or snow. Both can move into the stone, causing the pavers to contract or expand. Eventually, tiny cracks with follow, ruining your beautiful, yet pricey pavers. Most cracks occur around the edges, but if they arise in the middle of the paver, it could easily break the next time someone steps on the surface.
If your slate is uneven, puddles can follow from rain or your swimming pool. Once those puddles freeze, your pavers go through a freeze and thaw cycle. The more times your slate pavers go through this cycle, the more vulnerable they are to break. Needless to say, if your city sees quite a bit of snow, think twice before you purchase slate pavers.
If you have the space and want to add a distinct design flair to your patio, walkway or landscape, slate pavers are the way to go. Despite their higher price, slate pavers have remained one of the most prevalent landscaping features across the country.
Thinking about adding slate pavers to your home? Click here and connect with a local masonry pro for free!