A paver is a paving-stone, -tile, -brick or brick-like piece of concrete commonly used as exterior flooring. In a factory, concrete pavers are made by pouring a mixture of concrete and some type of coloring agent into a mold of some shape and allowing to set. They are applied by pouring a standard concrete foundation, spreading sand on top, and then laying the pavers in the desired pattern. No actual adhesive or retaining method is used other than the weight of the paver itself except edging. Pavers can be used to make roads, driveways, patios, walkways and other outdoor platforms.
Bluestone from Pennsylvania and New York is commercially known as bluestone or Pennsylvania Bluestone. These are a group of sandstones defined as feldspathic greywacke. The sand-sized grains from which bluestone is constituted were deposited in the Catskill Delta during the Middle to Upper Devonian Period of the Paleozoic Era, approximately 370 to 345 million years ago. If the initial deposit was made under slow moving water the ripples of the water action on the sand or mud will be revealed. This deposition process may be seen today at any ocean beach in shallow water or in a stream bed where conditions allow it to be observed. The term “bluestone” is derived from a deep-blue-colored sandstone first found in Ulster County, New York.
A brick is a block or a single unit of a kneaded clay-bearing soil, sand and lime, or concrete material, fire-hardened or air-dried, used in masonry construction. Lightweight bricks (also called “lightweight blocks”) are made from expanded clay aggregate. Fired bricks are the most numerous type and are laid in courses and numerous patterns known as bonds, collectively known as brickwork, and may be laid in various kinds of mortar to hold the bricks together to make a durable structure. Bricks are produced in numerous classes, types, materials, and sizes which vary with region and time period, and are produced in bulk quantities. Two basic categories of bricks are fired and non-fired bricks. Fired bricks are one of the longest-lasting and strongest building materials, sometimes referred to as artificial stone, and have been used since circa 5000 BC. Air-dried bricks have a history older than fired bricks, are known by the synonyms mud brick and adobe, and have an additional ingredient of a mechanical binder such as straw.
Permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) is comprised of a layer of concrete pavers separated by joints filled with small stones. Water enters joints between solid concrete pavers and flows through an “open-graded” base, i.e. crushed stone layers with no small or fine particles. The void spaces among the crushed stones store water and infiltrate it back into the soil subgrade. The stones in the joints provide 100% surface permeability and the base filters stormwater and reduces pollutants.
Interlocking concrete retaining blocks require no mortar. Aside from the weight, they’re almost as easy to assemble as children’s interlocking blocks. If you make mistakes or change your mind about the location or shape of your wall as you’re building, just dismantle it and start over.
Since these systems use no mortar or rebar reinforcement system, they’re more appropriate for terraces or raised beds with low walls than those with tall walls. A system of terraces creates a pleasant, stepped slope that’s safer than a single, tall wall. A system of terraces also gives you many planting and landscaping opportunities and helps control erosion.
Precast concrete manufacturers produce a wide range of engineered earth retaining systems designed to provide a straightforward and cost-effective solution for your next project. Issues with wall height, right-of-way, seismic activity, drainage, quality control and aesthetics can all be overcome with a precast concrete earth retaining system.
Precast concrete retaining systems include mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) face panels, large precast modular blocks (PMB), segmental retaining wall (SRW) products, cantilever walls, crib walls and post-and-panel systems.
Full dimensional natural stone has, for years, been a popular choice for adding distinction to a home’s face, or even cladding the entire home. From stone cottages to handsome brick homes, it offers a durable, if somewhat expensive, cladding choice. Due to the heavy weight of the material, natural stone and brick, also called “full dimensional masonry,” is usually applied only during construction, requires professional installation and often, structural engineering. “Thin veneer stone” is also a natural, or quarried stone, product. The stone is simply cut thin, eliminating some weight and the need for structural engineering in most cases.
Manufactured stone and brick, also called “stone and brick veneer” or “manufactured masonry panels” have brought affordable, realistic options to homeowners and builders. And, because they are lighter than full dimensional stone and brick, they can be applied during construction or as a remodeling project. Professional masons or contractors often apply the stone, but a skilled do-it-yourselfer may use it on a fireplace or other accents as a weekend project. Manufactured stone options are often used to accent exterior facades, as well as to highlight interior spaces and outdoor living areas.