How to Choose the Right Natural Stone Pavers for Your Outdoor Space

Choose a natural stone paver that matches your budget, aesthetic preferences, soil type, and space needs, adheres to the local climate, and is locally available.

Natural stone pavers are a beautiful and durable choice for enhancing outdoor spaces, whether it be a patio, walkway, or pool deck. With a wide variety of options available, choosing the right natural stone pavers can be overwhelming.

In this blog, we will discuss important factors to consider when selecting natural stone pavers for your outdoor space, as well as provide tips and recommendations to help you make the best choice for your specific needs and aesthetic preferences.

natural stone pavers

Choosing Natural Stone Pavers for Your Outdoor Space

Think about the type of stone, the purpose, budget, climate considerations, soil type, drainage, environmental impact, aesthetics, weathering, and aging when choosing a natural stone paver.

Types of Natural Stone Pavers

Natural stone pavers come in a variety of types, including granite, limestone, sandstone, travertine, and slate. 


Granite is one of the most durable natural stones. It is resistant to wear and tear, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas like driveways and walkways. Its speckled appearance adds a sophisticated look to any space.


Limestone offers a more subdued, classic look. It is softer than granite, which makes it easier to cut and shape. However, it can wear down more quickly in high-traffic areas. Limestone is ideal for patios and garden pathways.


Sandstone has a natural, earthy appearance with a range of warm colors. It is relatively easy to work with and has a good balance of durability and aesthetics. This makes it suitable for a variety of uses, including patios and walkways.


Travertine is known for its porous surface and natural patterns. It stays cool underfoot, which makes it perfect for pool surroundings and patios. However, it does require sealing to prevent stains and damage.


Slate has a distinctive, layered look with rich colors ranging from grey to purple to green. It is slip-resistant and durable, making it a great choice for walkways and pool areas. Its natural cleft surface adds texture and character, enhancing its visual appeal.

Aesthetic Appeal

The look of the stone is just as important as its practical qualities. Choose colors that complement your home’s exterior and landscape. Consider the texture which can influence the look or feel of your space. Paver size and shape also allow you to play around with designs.

Cost Considerations

Knowing your budget helps in decision-making as prices vary widely. For example, granite and travertine are pricier compared to sandstone and limestone. Investing in durability is also good as it can save money over time. Consider additional costs for installation and maintenance.

Soil Type and Drainage

The type of soil in your outdoor space significantly impacts the installation and longevity of natural stone pavers. Ensure your soil has good drainage as poor drainage can cause stones to shift and settle unevenly. Proper drainage is crucial to prevent water accumulation.

Maintenance Needs

Consider how much maintenance you’re willing to perform. Granite and slate require minimal upkeep, mainly periodic cleaning and occasional sealing to maintain their appearance. Sandstone and limestone are more porous and need regular sealing to prevent damage.

Purpose of Your Space

The purpose of your space will influence your choice of stone. For patios, choose sandstone or travertine for their beauty. Safety is key around pools and walkways, so use slip-resistant stones like slate. Driveways require durable stones like granite to withstand heavy loads.

Climate Considerations

Different stones react differently to weather conditions. For instance, freeze-thaw cycles can cause some stones to crack while excessive heat can cause others to become too hot. Granite and slate are excellent for colder climates, while travertine is better for warmer regions.

Local Availability and Environmental Impact

Choosing locally sourced stones can reduce transportation costs and carbon footprint, supporting local economies and minimizing environmental damage. Additionally, locally sourced stones are often better suited to the regional climate, enhancing their durability.

Weathering and Aging

Some stones, like sandstone, develop a patina over time that adds character. Others, like granite, maintain their original appearance. Decide if you prefer a stone that changes with age or one that stays the same.

Finding Quality Suppliers

Choose reputable suppliers to ensure you get high-quality stone. Check their reviews and reputation. Ask for samples to see the stone in person before purchasing. This helps you understand the color and texture and ensures the stone matches your personal taste.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Natural Stone Pavers

Avoid going over budget, picking the wrong stone, poor installation, ignoring maintenance, overlooking soil type, and not considering the climate or overall design.

Neglecting Budget Constraints

Focusing solely on aesthetics without considering your budget can result in overspending. Make sure to balance cost with durability and maintenance needs to avoid unexpected expenses down the line.

Wrong Choice of Stone

Choosing the wrong stone can result in quicker wear and tear. Match the stone’s characteristics to its intended use. Selecting stones with the wrong texture for their intended use can also be a safety hazard. For example, using smooth stones around a pool can lead to slipping accidents.

Poor Installation Practices

Even the best stones will fail if not installed correctly. Skipping steps like properly preparing the base, using edge restraints, or filling joints with sand can compromise the integrity of your project.

Ignoring Maintenance

Different stones have different maintenance needs. Some stones, like sandstone and limestone, require regular sealing and care, while others, like granite and slate, are more low-maintenance. Ignoring these requirements can lead to long-term damage and higher costs.

Overlooking Soil Type and Drainage

Improper assessment of soil type and drainage can cause pavers to shift, crack, or erode over time. Ensure proper preparation of the base and adequate drainage to maintain the stability and longevity of the pavers.

Not Considering the Climate

Selecting a stone without considering your local climate can lead to issues like cracking in freeze-thaw cycles or fading under intense sunlight. Always choose stones that are well-suited to your regional weather conditions.

Ignoring Local Availability

Opting for exotic or non-local stones can significantly increase transportation costs and environmental impact. Local stones are often more affordable and better suited to the local climate, reducing the overall cost and ecological footprint.

Disregarding the Overall Design

Choosing pavers that don’t complement your home’s exterior or the installed landscape design can result in a disjointed look. Ensure that the color, texture, and size of the pavers enhance the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space.

Get a Durable and Stylish Outdoor Space Crafted from High-Quality Natural Stone

Choosing the right natural stone pavers for your outdoor space is a multifaceted process that requires careful consideration of various factors. From understanding the different types of stones and their unique characteristics to assessing the specific needs of your space, each decision plays a crucial role in ensuring the longevity and aesthetic appeal of your project.

For expert guidance and professional installation, partner with JCB Designscapes. With years of experience in natural stone paving design and installation, our team can help you bring your vision to life with precision and artistry. We understand the nuances of selecting the perfect stone for your unique space and ensure top-quality workmanship from start to finish. Call us today at 603-763-4949 today to transform your outdoor area into a stunning and enduring masterpiece.

Looking to Upgrade Your Outdoors with Beautiful Natural Stone Pavers?

Look no further! Enhance your outdoor space with the expertise of JCB Designscapes, your premier choice for natural stone paving design and installation. Whether you’re looking to create a stunning walkway, a durable driveway, or a beautiful patio, our skilled team ensures top-notch quality and attention to detail. We specialize in selecting the perfect stone to match your aesthetic and functional needs, transforming your landscape into a breathtaking extension of your home. Trust JCB Designscapes to deliver exceptional craftsmanship and elevate your outdoor living experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About Choosing the Right Natural Stone Pavers

To ensure that the color of your natural stone pavers remains vibrant, apply a high-quality sealant that protects against UV rays and weathering. Regular cleaning and maintenance, such as removing dirt and debris, can also help preserve the stone’s appearance. Additionally, some stones, like granite and slate, naturally retain their color better than others.

Yes, natural stone pavers can be used for elevated structures like patios on stilts or raised decks. In these cases, ensure that the supporting structure is engineered to handle the weight of the stone. Lightweight stones such as travertine or bluestone may be preferred for such applications to reduce the load on the framework.

To prevent weeds from growing between natural stone pavers, use polymeric sand in the joints. This sand hardens when moistened, creating a strong bond that inhibits weed growth. Additionally, regularly apply a weed inhibitor and maintain proper cleaning practices to keep the joints clear of organic matter.

Incorporate natural stone pavers into a garden or green space by using them to create pathways, borders, and seating areas. Stones like flagstone and cobblestone blend well with natural landscapes, providing a rustic and organic look. You can also use natural stones to build raised garden beds or as decorative accents around plantings.