Incorporating paver steps into your landscaping can serve a function as well as being an attractive design feature. It can be attached to a retaining wall, lead you to the front door or highlight a sloping area in your yard.
1. Stone Blocks
Irregularly shaped stone blocks can give a rustic appeal to your yard when used as paver steps. They can be readily used as is, with their natural thickness serving as both the tread and the risers. Bluestone, such as large fieldstones, can serve well for this purpose. No two stone blocks are the same in width and height so a more careful planning in the installation is needed.
2. Slate Pavers
As another type of natural stone, slate pavers give a smoother, albeit non-slippery, appearance than stone blocks and are even sometimes used indoors. When installed outdoors and used as paver steps, slate pavers would need a concrete slab and a mortar mix as setting bed to secure them. They may come pre-cut and at different shapes and sizes but as treads, you may want to get the larger pieces. If you opt for higher risers, you can add hand rails to the sides both as a safety measure and as a decorative accent.
With the wide selection of interlocking pavers in different sizes, colors, and shapes, you can go wild with your design for paver steps. Installed in a tile-like fashion, such as smoothing out the foundation for the risers, laying out the interlocking design, and finally, “locking” them in place by pouring concrete over them, you can choose from a wide variety of designs and materials, such as brick pavers. They will add visual interest to your paver steps and has the strength to stand years of use.
The smooth round edge of a bullnose paver gives your paver steps a finished look. While typically used as a tile edging or curb caps, particularly around the pool area, bullnose pavers can also be used as stand-alone paver steps. You just need a solid set of risers of whatever material you want like concrete blocks, natural stones or bricks, and level the tops well so the bullnose pavers can be installed smoothly. Mortar is used to set the bullnose pavers, with the rounded edge usually facing outward.
5. Railroad Ties
When your yard features a sloping part or a hillside, you can incorporate that into your landscaping by putting down railroad ties steps. Aesthetically, this will help enhance the natural contours of your yard and give it dimension. Practically, it will make climbing that steep area safer and will save you the costs of bulldozing steep area flat for a continuous paved walkway. This savings is on top of not having to lay down any foundation except to have the first and bottom tread extend all the way beneath its upper step. You can add risers to the treads, if preferred, but they should be nailed together for safety. Additionally, you can reinforce the steps with rods to fasten them firmly to the ground. Railroad ties also blend well with your walkway paver made of any material.
Whatever paver steps design you choose, you should consider that they blend harmoniously with your landscaping and with your paver walkways.