How Much Does Granite Paving Cost?
The use of granite pavers dates back to ancient times when it was a choice material for use in courtyards, buildings and roads. Today's homeowner can enjoy this rugged stone as part of pathways, patios and more. With a little planning and the right equipment, a few slabs of granite become eye-catching, unique accents that improve the appearance of any yard or garden.
Cost of Granite Pavers
- Materials cost: $395-$580
- Average cost per square foot: $8.85-$15.10
Other installation materials may be required and will factor into the overall price. Location, size of the area to be paved and intricacy of design may also contribute to costs.
Types of Granite Pavers
Granite is a natural stone, meaning that it exhibits differences in composition that affect its appearance and color. The balance of minerals in granite pavers results in hues as varied as black, gray, rose and yellow. The more common the color, the less expensive the pavers will be.
Pavers may be polished for a smooth finish or left "natural" to create an uneven surface. Regularly shaped pavers generally come in rectangular or square varieties of different sizes. Irregular cobblestone pavers provide a look that may be preferred for old-fashioned homes.
Pros and Cons of Granite Pavers
Granite has many advantages that make it desirable for use in landscaping. Granite pavers are:
- Highly durable and stand up to years of foot traffic without losing original color
- Not easily subject to shifting, buckling or cracking, even in changing weather
- Resistant to wear, scratches and chipping
- Heat-resistant, making them a good choice for areas that get a lot of sun
- Fireproof and able to withstand the high temperatures in fire pits
- Non-slip when purchased with a natural finish; safe for use around pools
- Easy to maintain when properly installed and sealed
- Aesthetically pleasing
There are only a few disadvantages that homeowners should consider when looking at granite for patios or walkways. Depending on the color and design, granite can be expensive, some types going for almost $40 per paver. Also, though polished stones should successfully bead water, there may be microscopic holes where staining liquids can seep in if left to sit for too long. Once absorbed, these stains can be difficult to remove and will affect the stone's overall appearance.
All home improvement projects require careful planning and consideration before getting started. The first step of installing granite in any outdoor area is mapping out, measuring and preparing the space where the stone is to be laid. This helps homeowners determine how many square feet of paving stone is required and gives an idea of how difficult the project will be. Since granite is hard to cut, it's important to know beforehand if any reshaping of the pavers will be required so that the proper equipment can be purchased or rented.
Paver height and thickness need to be taken into account when excavating the measured area. Different soil types require different excavation depths and, therefore, different amounts of base materials. Both gravel and sand may be used, with gravel providing a base for drainage and sand creating a flat bed for the stones. A slight gradient also must be worked into the design to keep water from pooling under the set stones.
Metal or lumber paver edging, which costs anywhere from $30-$100, should be applied around the base area to help ensure paver stones don't shift once they've been set in place. This should be secured with steel lawn stakes at regular intervals. Once everything is set, the paving stones can be put in place and the cracks filled with sand.
Each layer from the base to the pavers themselves should be smoothed with a plate compactor. These machines may cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, making rental the most cost-effective way to complete these phases of the project.
Cleaning and Maintaining Granite Pavers
Like other types of stone pavers, granite stones are easy to maintain, requiring only minimal attention to stay looking beautiful. Regular sweeping to clear away leaves and other outdoor debris is all that's necessary for routine cleaning.
To complete a more thorough cleaning, start by trimming back any overhanging branches from shrubs and trees, and then do a thorough sweeping job to clean up the mess. Give the whole surface a good rinse with your garden hose, and let it air dry to prepare for applying a paver cleaner.
Chemical paver cleaners can be purchased at hardware stores for around $20. Choose a mild formula to clean stains without harming the surface of your granite pavers. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and let the cleaner sit, so it can penetrate the surface.
Pressure washing is the best way to remove the cleaner and get your pavers looking like new again. Rent one from your local hardware store and give your patio a second rinse. Once the surface is dry, you may wish to apply a coat of protective stone sealer to repel stains and ensure color fastness. At around $10-$30 depending on quantity, these sealers are an inexpensive investment in the future of your granite landscaping.
Using Granite Pavers to Create A Unique Yard
Just as ancient civilizations employed granite in a variety of building and paving applications, today's homeowner can create many attractive outdoor designs with these versatile pavers, including:
- Patios with openwork patterns or smooth, solid surfaces
- Seating areas that mix different styles of pavers or include varied stone types
- Cobblestone walkways with decorative curves or steps
- Long-wearing front walks or driveways
- Attractive winding garden paths lined with shrubs, flowers and ground cover
- Outdoor cooking areas complete with fire pits
The versatility and durability of granite make it an excellent choice for a variety of outdoor applications. How individual pavers are arranged and installed is entirely up to the homeowner, allowing for a great deal of flexibility in design. From simple walkways to extensive multi-level patios, granite is a beautiful choice for outdoor design.
Last updated on Apr 9, 2014
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