Using brick driveway pavers and interlocking pavers is a great way to increase your property values, create a safer surface for driving and walking, and make your driveway look unique, warm, welcoming and refined. With all the possibilities available with brick pavers, the real challenge will be deciding on the design, patterns, sizes and colors that will best enhance the look of your drive or walkway. Be aware that brick pavers are not the same bricks that are used in brick home construction. Pavers are a different size and are constructed differently as well.
Like all home improvement options brick pavers come with their own set of pros and cons. Brick pavers have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Among them:
Brick Paver Pros
- Safety. Bricks texture and coarseness make them more slip resistance
- Immediate use. Once installed, bricks may be driven on, used immediately
- Fast and easy to install
- Greatly increase your property values
- Durable over time
- Lend themselves well to a variety of patterns and design
- Easy to repair. Simply remove and replace
- Easy to maintain
- Flexible. Bricks are less prone to crack and break than concrete and shift with underlying soil conditions
- Retain their color over time. Bricks don't fade over time.
If you're just starting to examine your options and what you can do with brick, there are several things you should be aware of.
Patterns matter. The same size brick can look different depending on the pattern it is laid in. Colors and brick size also matter. You'll need to consider how combining each of these features in a pleasing pattern will best compliment your home. Since brick doesn't fade over time, pick the color that you want from the beginning. It won't change as the brick ages.
Tips for Picking a Pattern
There are a variety of patterns to choose from, but there are three standard patterns used by most pavers-Herringbone, Basketweave and Stretcher. Other patterns are typically a variation on one of these three basics. Each pattern has a different purpose, visual look and load bearing capability. Look at each of them before deciding which will work best for your drive, walk or patio.
- Herringbone Patterns - come in both 45-degree and 90-degree patterns. The 45-degree pattern gives the illusion of smaller space. Excellent load-bearing pattern and good for driveways and heavy traffic areas. An even load-bearing pattern, consider this for areas where you park vehicles, such as in front of a front door or walk.
- 90-degree Patterns - make an area look larger. Use on narrow driveways and walks to visually increase size. The 90-degreed herringbone is more subdued than a 45-degree herringbone and used in areas popular for entertaining - patios and walkways and garden areas for instance.
- Stretcher patterns can make an area look longer or wider, depending on which direction the bricks are laid in.
- Basketweave - makes an area look more historical or old. Best used with antiqued or second-hand bricks to lend a historical feel.
Finally, although brick pavers are easy enough for the Do-It-Yourselfer to install in smaller areas, strongly consider hiring the pros to do larger areas, driveways and expansive areas as the equipment, preperation and installation for such projects will generally exceed the abilities and resources of the average homeowner.