Advantages & Disadvantages of Block Paving

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Block Paving – Advantages

  • There is a wide range of styles, types, colours and sizes of block pavers hence there are also many design possibilities.
  • Block paving is considered to be more attractive than basic, plain tarmacadam surfaces for driveways.
  • Block paving can be relatively inexpensive if you choose the basic rectangular blocks. One major block paving manufacturer estimates the costs as being split 20% blocks, 80% labour, hard core and sand. Basic blocks can be purchased from £8 or £10 per square metre up to over £20 per metre, so overall costs should be between £50 and £100 per metre. However, complex patterns and additional items such as edging, steps and drainage can be added to these figures.
  • Individual blocks can be lifted and replaced if they are damaged, or stained with oil, diesel or petrol spillages.
  • Because paving blocks are manufactured rather than cut from natural stone, block sizes tend to be very accurate and uniform.
  • No specialist machinery is required (as there is with tarmacadam surfaces) hence small areas should not be proportionately more expensive per square metre, as when there are high set-up costs.
  • Concrete block paving is cost effective when compared to clay pavers or natural stone blocks such as granite setts.
  • There is a wide choice in the depths of concrete block pavers from 50 mm to over 100 mm. This can make block paving suitable for both domestic and commercial applications.
Advantages and disadvantages of block paving - Rectangular Blocks

Rectangular blocks, 200 mm x 100 mm

Advantages and disadvantages of block paving - Rectangular blocks, 200 mm x 125 mm

Rectangular blocks, 200 mm x 125 mm

Advantages and disadvantages of block paving - Rectangular cobble sett

Rectangular cobble sett, 240 mm x 120 mm

Advantages and disadvantages of block paving - Square and rectangular blocks

Square and rectangular blocks

Advantages and disadvantages of block paving - Multi-sized cobble setts

Multi-size cobble setts

Advantages and disadvantages of block paving - Multi-size smooth contemporary blocks

Multi-size, smooth contemporary blocks

Advantages and disadvantages of block paving - Tumbled setts

Tumbled setts, 240 mm x 160 mm

Advantages and disadvantages of block paving - Multi-sized cobblestones

Multi-size cobblestones

Advantages and disadvantages of block paving - Granite sett with riven surface

Granite sett, riven surface, 240 mm x 120 mm

Advantages and disadvantages of block paving - Multi-sized tumbled setts

Multi-size tumbled setts

Advantage and Disadvantages of Block Paving – Disadvantages

  • Concrete block paving can be expensive if specialist blocks such as tumbles or those imitating natural stone setts are chosen.
  • Inadequate and poorly prepared sub-bases can result in block paving surfaces sinking in high use areas such as those which regularly take the weight of cars.
  • Areas without properly installed edging restraints or kerbs to picture frame the driveway and provide integrity to the surface can cause the blocks move, opening up gaps.
  • Weed and moss growth can occur between the blocks as airborne seeds settle into the sand. This can look unsightly and needs to be cleaned out regularly.
  • The colour of some less expensive block pavers can fade over time due to exposure to Ultra Violet light.
  • Because no expensive machinery is required to lay block paving, many block pavers tend to be individuals working from home rather than established businesses which can provide a professional service backed up by credible warranties. Low machinery set up costs can invite inexperienced and unqualified paving installers into the industry.
  • Unless permeable block paving is used, which allows surface water to drain through drainage systems need to be installed at additional cost to the surfacing materials.
Advantages and disadvantages of block paving - Efflorescence is calcium carbonate, the dusty white powder you see on the surface of the block paving

Efflorescence is calcium carbonate, the dusty white powder you see on the surface of the block paving

Advantages and Disadvantages of Block Paving - Weeds and moss on a block paving driveway

Weeds and moss on a partially cleaned block paving driveway