A paver driveway will boost your curb appeal and improve the value of your home. But as with any other home-improvement project, there are multiple considerations including the style and color of your driveway pavers, as well as laying pattern and overall design. The ultimate goal, of course, is to create a beautiful entrance to your home that is durable enough to withstand the burden of vehicular use without shifting or cracking.
Driveway Paver Styles
The first choice is to decide whether the driveway will be permeable or impervious. A traditional paver driveway would be impervious, but there are multiple benefits to installing a permeable paver driveway. Water will never pool on the surface and a heating system can even be installed beneath the pavers to keep snow from accumulating. Also, some states and municipalities offer grants or tax incentives for installing permeable driveway pavers because the system reduces the burden on local stormwater collection systems and helps remove pollutants to improve local water quality.
Several driveway pavers from Belgard can be installed as either permeable or impervious, including Urbana Stone®, Mega-Lafitt®, Mega-Arbel® and Bergerac®. Belgard also offers multiple permeable pavers that were designed specifically for permeable installations.
The second choice when planning your driveway paver project is whether to go with a traditional, contemporary or stone-textured look. Belgard offers multiple paver styles in each category. Porcelain pavers can also be used to create an ultra-contemporary look, but will require a concrete base to support vehicular loads.
Driveway Paver Laying Pattern Options
The strongest and most traditional option is a herringbone pattern set at a 45-degree angle to the garage. This laying pattern provides the best interlock to prevent the pavers from shifting, especially for higher traffic areas.
Gaining in popularity, an ashlar pattern can also be effective for both residential and heavier traffic and provides a more contemporary look.
A running bond or basketweave pattern can work for standard residential driveways, but it is recommended to avoid these types of long, straight lines for heavier traffic areas, such as commercial driveways or subdivision common areas.
For permeable paver installations, it’s best to stick with ashlar or herringbone patterns due to the larger joints, which create an increased opportunity for shifting when used with running bond or basketweave patterns.
Driveway Paver Thickness and Base
Traditionally, driveways have been constructed using 80mm (3 inch) pavers with a standard 6″ base. However, it is becoming more common practice to use a lighter 60mm (2-3/8 inch) paver with a thicker base. In rainier climates, the required base depth can be up to 12 inches because of absorbent clays that can cause soils to shift when wet. With these types of site conditions, a thin base puts pavers in danger of separating or cracking from soil shifts. A layer of geo-fabric between the soil and the aggregate layer can add extra protection from this type of shifting, but a thicker base is still recommended. In arid climates, 60mm pavers can be successfully used for driveways with only a 4 to 6 inch base, as shifting clays are not a factor.
A sound residential concrete slab driveway without foundation cracks can be overlayed with 30mm thin pavers. In many cases, DriBond™ advanced mudset can be used to facilitate the entire overlay. Another option would be to DriBond the perimeter and sand-set the primary paver field, if there’s a possibility of shifting soils. Keep in mind that an overlay will add 2.5 to 3 inches of elevation to the existing slab, which could affect transitions to the garage, home, street or walkways.
Paver Color and Border Options
Current trends lean towards choosing driveway paver colors that tie in with the roof color of the home, either in the primary paver field or in a border. Borders can be easily created by using the same paver in either a different color or different laying pattern.
Another option is to choose a contrasting paver shape, texture, color and/or style for the border. You can also create double borders or work with your contractor to develop other creative design ideas.
Paver Driveway Embellishments
As for unique touches to your paver driveway project, focal points can be created using pattern embellishments. Typical focal points include the driveway entrance, the garage apron, or what’s called a “carriage drop,” or the spot where someone would be dropped off adjacent to the home’s formal entrance.
Adding character to paver driveways, a circle kit creates a classic focal point for more traditional driveway. Contemporary focal points can be created using squares or rectangles. For a Romanesque look, circle kits can be used to create a fan or a fishtail design.
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Written by Chuck Taylor, Belgard National Hardscapes Advisor, one of the nation’s foremost experts on pavement systems.
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I need a driveway made of pavers,etc. need an estimate 954 8036361
Your request can be forwarded to the sales department, but they will need to know where you are located in ordered to recommend a local installer. To find a qualified contractor on your own, visit our contractor locator page at Belgard.com/locator. Or, you can call 877-BELGARD (877-235-4273).
Can you please give me an idea of how much it would cost for approximately 800 sq ft. Thank you Steve. Los Angeles, ca
Installation costs vary depending upon site conditions and market variables. To find a qualified contractor in your area who could give you a quote, go to Belgard.com/locator.
Will these pavers hold up, not crack if I decide to use a floor jack, jack stands to lift a vehicle? If so which ones are recommended for that type of use?
That’s an excellent question. Let me reach out to someone in R&D and get back with you.
Following up on your question…the strength of the paver depends on the aspect ratio. In other words, a thicker paver with a smaller footprint will be more resistant to the pressure than a larger, thinner paver. Typically, any paver designated for use with vehicular traffic should work fine, but your safest option would be a paver with a smaller footprint and 80mm thickness. Many Belgard pavers are available in 80mm. Let your contractor know your specific needs so that the right product is selected.
Use a piece of 5/8 plywood to distribute the weight under the floor jack. You won’t have to worry about about cracking.
Can I use Mega Arbel for a 3-car driveway. If not what paver would coordinate with that Mega Arbel as I have a Mega Arbel walkway.
I have seen Mega-Arbel used in numerous driveway applications, but want to check with our in-house experts before making a recommendation. Where are you located?
Thanks for this wonderful article. Lots of things to learn from this article. New paver installation & Paver Repairs is not an easy task before applying you may need to consult with the paver installer.
Is it necessary to apply a sealer on a driveway after installed pavers ??
It is highly recommended to install sealants to protect your pavers from fading and staining. It will also help protect the joints against weeds and insects.
I don’t want any shine could you recommend the best brand
The best brand, by far, is Techniseal. If you don’t want shine, use their Natural Look. To find a dealer or installer, click here to visit their locator tool. Or, you can buy it through Amazon here.
Nice ideas and insight on the best pavers and pave patterns for driveways. Thank you for sharing.
This article and another one both mention using 30mm driveway pavers with Mudset installation to overlay an existing concrete driveway. However when I look at your product I don’t find any 30mm that are recommended for driveway use except for the porcelain. Are there any 30mm concrete pavers that can be used to overlay a concrete driveway?
Paver availability varies by region, but here are two options that you can check into: Catalina Stone Overlay and Cambridge Cobble Overlay.
I want to use pavers over concrete through Dribond for my patio.
Is Dublin Cobble Montecito available with 1 inch thickness?
My current driveway is of this type of paver, but it is two times thicker.
What zip code are you in?
92870 is the zip code.
BTW, there are bricks along the edge of concrete walkway.
do they have to be dismantled and filled with concrete before putting up with the pavers?
 <— bricks
I’ll forward your info to local rep and have someone reach out to you directly.
We have a slight incline in our driveway from the sidewalk to garage. For a paver installation, if the one inch stones/pavers are added with Dribond, can the concrete in the transition areas near the sidewalk and entrance to the garage be shaved (to decrease the thickness to that needed for the pavers) to allow a smooth transition from pavers to sidewalk/garage entrance?
Typically, pavers and/or the concrete base can be grinded to create a smooth transition. Just be careful to not create a drainage situation. A channel drain can be added to facilitate drainage, if needed. To find a qualified contractor to take a look and find the best solution, go to Belgard.com/locator.
I finally decided to remove the concrete and installed the pavers the traditional way. No Dribond. It did not come up to be more expensive. Will of Coast Outdoor Living is a fantastic person to work with
Awesome! We would love to see before and after pics if you can share. If you are unable to upload, click here to send via email. Thanks!
Thank you for telling us about the best pavers and paver patterns for driveways! Please keep posting such useful information!
Thank you for providing us the best outdoor living for driveways.
The information you provided in this blog regarding paving accessories is really useful. Thanks for sharing this blog.
Hello. I am looking for the recommended paved for a driveway where it will be exposed to us driving our 20,000 trailer on it daily.
I apologize for the delay in the response. We switch our site to a new platform this month and have been having some technical issues with the blog. Your request for information has been forwarded to our call center. They will reach out to you to help you find out what is available in your area. And if you need help finding a contractor to do the installation, they can make some recommendations.
We live in the foothills of Denver, CO & we have a lot of expansive soil & abrupt temperature changes. I am planning to replace our concrete driveway w/ pavers, but since our driveway is in an incline (4” drop for every foot), I was wondering: 1) If using pavers is a good choice; 2) If so, what kind of paver & pattern would be recommended; 3) Permeable or impervious?; 4) if permeable, should I install an underdrain system?
Pavers are an excellent choice for driveways in your area. To find a contractor who can help you determine the best type of paver and pattern for your specific site conditions, visit Belgard.com/locator.
Thank you for this article! We just bought a new place in the Piedmont section of NC and the trees are lifting the concrete drive in spots. We are thinking of just removing those areas and replacing with pavers. We are also thinking of enlarging the turn out with pavers. But we don’t know if this is feasible. We don’t want to lose the trees. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
It would be best to have an installation contractor come take a look and make some recommendations. To find a contractor near you, visit Belgard.com/locator.