A patio designed as a sitting or dining area is a great way to make your outside space more enjoyable. Perfect for family barbecues, or as a sunny spot to relax on a warm summer days. You can create one with concrete slabs, paving blocks or reclaimed stone.
Most people find paving slabs are fairly easy to lay, and come in a surprising variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Usually made from hydraulically pressed concrete, some have pigments added to create different colours.
You can choose your paving slabs with a smooth or textured finish, or moulded to resemble naturally weathered stone. Or you could opt for genuine natural stone, which is becoming more and more affordable.
Types of Paving Slab
Smooth-finished slabs look great with pale, decorative chippings and foliage.
You can buy textured slabs in a range of stones and shades.
Create a stylish, contemporary look with these glass insert tiles in natural limestone slabs.
The latest shaped and textured paving designs will give you an eye-catching design feature.
These stylish teak-effect deck tiles are actually made from sawn natural sandstone.
Stepping stones running through a gravel path or across a lawn will entice anyone to explore.
As well as individual cobble stones, you can get paving slabs made to look like them. You can also buy linked cobbling by the square metre, and as they join together with nylon line, fitting them is as easy as laying a rug. You can lay this on earth, hardcore or a concrete base, or if you lay it on a lawn, you can leave grass to grow through the gaps. It's not suitable for driveways, though.
Another alternative to slabs are brick-shaped paving blocks, which you can get in all kinds of colours and textured finishes. As well as standard-sized blocks, you can buy specially designed edging and corner stones. You can add your own individual touch by laying them in different patterns. Herringbone is a good option (shown above), as it copes well with the movement of cars over it.