How to Choose the Right Design for an Interlocking Patio

20 Feb 2023
How to choose the right design for an interlocking patio

If you’re considering building a patio with interlocking stones, you’re onto something great. They are a long-lasting choice that adds style, colour and structure to an outdoor space. When selecting a design, proper planning is crucial for a smooth experience. 

Yet, before you decide on stone colour and style, consider the amount of outdoor space you’re working with. From there, choose the day-to-day use of the patio. This article will outline some key considerations and serve as inspiration for your interlocking stone patio design

What Is Interlocking Stone? 

Interlocking stone is made by mixing a special concrete or cement and compacting and curing it for added strength. 

This design offers a distinct advantage over poured concrete from an aesthetic and functional standpoint. 

As seasons change and the ground freezes and shifts, poured concrete can crack and move. When installed correctly, interlocking stones sit firmly on top of a foundation and resist the elements. Overall, they require less maintenance. 

What’s The Difference Between Pavers and Slabs?

As you research the available interlocking patio stone options, you’ll come across the terms “pavers” and “slabs.” Pavers and slabs are segmental blocks made of concrete that resemble stone. But what makes them different?

Pavers Are Thicker and Function like Interlocking Bricks

A set of pavers is the best choice for an interlocking stone driveway. Slabs are often too fragile to hold the weight of a vehicle over time. They make beautiful custom-looking driveways or walkways compared to generic poured concrete or asphalt. 

Pavers are easy to install. The correct way to install a paver involves digging a base and tamping down a compact foundation into it. This method firmly secures it into place. Pavers don’t require mortar as they’re held together by the friction created by the stones and the sand filling between them. 

Conversely, slabs are typically thinner and, therefore, less expensive. They are a good choice for larger seating areas and pathways. 

Pavers and slabs are both excellent choices for building a patio. Typically, pavers connect to decks to walkways or hardscapes. Slabs are a favourite for patio seating areas and pathways.

Determine Patio Size

Beyond your patio space, you can carve out space for an open grassy area or a future garden. You can determine your actual patio size with the following calculations:

  1. Determine how many people will use the space. If you plan on hosting large backyard get-togethers, get a sense of the intended size of your patio by measuring around your existing outdoor furniture. Add extra clearance, taking into consideration guests getting in and out of their chairs.

  2. Then, map out an area for the barbecue. This multifunctional-style patio example can connect to the house with an interlocking walkway.

  3. When you’ve figured out the general layout of your patio, do a thorough measurement of the width and length of the area you’ve chosen. Then, multiply the width and length to determine the total area calculation. Next, select the dimensions of the interlocking stone.

  4. Now that you know the square footage of your project and the stones, divide the patio’s square footage by the paver’s square footage to find how many you’ll need. 

A straightforward square design works well if you want to build a single-function patio for a set of chairs and a table.

Go Bold or Blend In

Depending on the existing landscaping, decide whether or not your patio should take its form around the scenery or stand out on its own. 

Stones with straight lines create a bold, modern look perfect for more extensive patios. Interlocking stones with 90-degree corners are the most simplistic option for building a deck. In addition, straight stone designs offer the benefit of fitting furniture most efficiently.

Flagstone slabs are a great choice if your patio hugs a garden or soft landscaping. They’re available in earthy colours and blend in with their natural surroundings. In contrast, adding a border in another colour or shape adds definition to the edges of a patio where stones meet grass or gravel.

Interlocking bricks can also create a unique pattern at the centre of a design. This design creates a custom look that certainly makes a statement. 

Consider a circular design if you want to create a striking focal point. Circular patios are also perfect for gathering around a bistro table or fire pit. Be aware, however, that stones with rounded edges may increase labour costs as they require additional cutting.

Choose a Pattern

Interlocking stones will deliver an exceptional result no matter the pattern. There are basic one-stone patterns and countless two, three and four-stone patterns. 

A simple but popular choice for a basic patio is large interlocking pavers in a readymade design. These square pavers have straight lines and 90-degree corners and are easy to install with simple instructions. Despite their ease of use, readymade designs deliver a high-impact visual result. 

Small to medium-sized slabs are more versatile than pavers. For example, you can create a herringbone pattern with rectangular-shaped slabs. When combined with square-shaped stones, they contribute to a more intricate design. 

The rectangular shape is also a good choice for building connected walkways.

Begin Installation

When you’ve decided on your patio’s size, design and stones, it’s time to start the installation. Be sure to avoid digging up an area with underlying utility lines. To avoid an unfortunate mishap, connect with your utility company. They can identify the lines and add markers to your lawn. 

No matter the design, an interlocking stone patio makes a brilliant addition to any yard. 

Create a bold, style-forward design, or go for an organic look that blends cohesively with the natural surroundings. These choices depend on the size of your outdoor space and desired purpose for the patio. 

Peel Exterior Maintenance offers a range of high-quality, attractive interlocking stones for your next patio project! To learn more about interlocking stones, call Peel Exterior Maintenance at 1-888-290-1216 or contact us here.