What’s the difference between paving slabs and block paving?

30th October 2023

When you’re looking to improve the look of your garden or other outdoor space, the choice of paving material can sometimes be a crucial decision for various reasons, including the look you want, and your budget.Two of the most popular paving material options are paving slabs and block paving. Whilst both can create stunning and durable surfaces, the two do differ in various aspects, some of which we’ll look at in this short article.

The Key Differences

To show you the key differences between paving slabs and block paving, we’ve provided a breakdown of each, including the material they’re made from, the installation process, the maintenance required, their versatility, and durability.

Paving Slabs

  • Material: Paving slabs are typically made from materials including concrete, natural stone, and porcelain. Concrete is the most common and affordable option, whilst natural stone and porcelain are rarer and generally cost more.

  • Installation: Paving slabs are relatively easy to install by being placed on a levelled surface, prepared with a layer of bedding mortar or sand, and arranged in a choice of styles, whether it’s a herringbone pattern or a stretcher bond pattern.

  • Maintenance: Paving slabs are generally low maintenance. They require occasional cleaning to remove dirt, algae or other stains, and some paving slabs may require sealing against moisture, depending on the material type.

  • Versatility: Paving slabs are extremely versatile, and suitable for a wide range of applications, from patios to walkways, to driveways and garden paths. The wide variety of styles, colours and textures also allows for customized designs.

  • Durability: The durability of paving slabs depends on the material type. Concrete slabs are robust, and long-lasting, whilst natural stone or porcelain tend to be even more durable and resistant to wear and tear.

Block Paving

  • Material: Block paving, also known as brick paving, is primarily made from clay bricks or concrete blocks. Clay bricks offer a classic and timeless appearance, whilst concrete blocks are available in contemporary colours and shapes.

  • Installation: Installing block paving involves laying individual bricks or blocks in specific patterns, such as herringbone or basketweave patterns. The process can be labour-intensive and will require a well-prepared and compacted base.

  • Maintenance: Block paving needs a bit more maintenance than paving slabs. Sand in the joints may need topping up, and weeds that have grown between the blocks may need pulling up or treated with weedkiller.

  • Versatility: The interlocking design of block paving provides excellent load-bearing capabilities, therefore it’s often used to create paths and patios, and in particular driveways or other areas with vehicular traffic.

  • Durability: Block paving is renowned for its durability, and, as mentioned above, its ability to withstand heavy loads such as cars and vans etc. on driveways, over long periods without buckling or deforming.

Which is the right paving choice for you?

Choosing between paving slabs or block paving for your projects depends on various factors, including:

  • Intended Use: If you’re thinking of a path or patio, paving slabs are ideal. However, if you’re looking at creating a driveway, block paving is the best option.

  • Budget: Paving slabs, particularly concrete slabs are often cheaper, especially if you’re planning on paving a large area, such as a patio.

  • Design Preference: When it comes to design, paving slabs offer a wider range of colours and textures, which gives you more options for the look you want to achieve.

  • Maintenance: Think about how much maintenance you’re prepared to carry out, and if you prefer a low-maintenance option, paving slabs would be the better choice.

Looking for a Paving Specialist

If you’re looking for a paving specialist in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, or Buckinghamshire, look no further than Culverhouse Gardens, your local and experienced landscaping experts.

Posted by Culverhouse Gardens