Looking for durable, long-lasting and attractive landscaping for your garden or driveway? Consider paving. Paving stones (also known as pavers) are fantastically versatile. Lay them to create a garden patio, parking space in a driveway or a garden path. Lay new stones to overhaul an existing paved space or introduce a new one. And it doesn't have to be a completely paved area, why not create a path through your lawn or add some steps to a turfed slope? Once laid, this low-maintenance landscaping is virtually weatherproof and will look great for years to come.
But where to start your paving project? In this guide, we’ll talk through the different types of paving stones available as well as some of the features to look out for to help you find your perfect paving.
We offer a variety of ways to create outdoor paving. These paving types are:
All of our paving slabs, blocks and carpet stones are offered as singles or in multipacks. Singles are only available in-store or by using our bulk delivery service.
These are the larger-format paving stones which are commonly used for garden patios and garden paths. Some of the more robust paving slabs, such as British Standard Paving, can provide a stable foundation for garden structures, such as sheds, greenhouses and dog kennels.
Paving slab packs are available in several options. Choose from:
Paving blocks are shaped like bricks and so are commonly known as block paving or driveway blocks. They’re smaller and thicker than slabs, making them a popular choice for driveways. They also work well as decorative edging around large paved areas, such as patios. Complement with block kerb stones to complete your paving project.
Paving block multipacks offer single size or mixed size bricks. Choose the right one for your block paving design.
Carpet stones are stone cobbles pre-laid onto a flexible mat. This mat can be trimmed to suit the size and shape wanted. They offer a simpler way to achieve a rustic, cobbled look without having to individually lay each stone. Carpet stones are ideal for awkwardly-shaped areas, such as curving garden paths (pictured) and around garden ponds.
Setts are often confused with cobbles. Cobbles are typically more rounded and irregular in shape than setts, with an uneven surface. Setts are laid as evenly as possible, though some materials are more uneven than others. Setts make a great choice for feature areas, such as garden paths and decorative borders around patios, as they can be styled into intricate designs.
Don’t want to ruin your lawn by walking all over it? Consider laying some garden stepping stones. These work well set into lawns, gravel or even in borders between your plants, offering a flat and stable surface for garden paths. They also add a distinctive feature to any outdoor space.
Garden stepping stones are only available as individual stones – check for availability in-store or via our bulk delivery service.
With the types of paving considered, it’s time to think about the materials available. There are three options here - porcelain, natural stone and concrete. How to choose between them?
A contemporary material that requires little maintenance. It’s fired up to 1400 degrees Celsius to offer strength and durability. It’s impervious to colour fading and is also scratch-resistant. Choose between two porcelain ranges - Mode and Madera (pictured). The Madera offers all the warm beauty of real wood without any of the hassle.
Our natural stone is…
Our natural stone options include:
Celebrated for its strength, granite is incredibly resilient making it a great option for heavy traffic areas. The paving slab range is offered in stylish greys and four sizes including the large aspect 900 by 900millimetre (mm). There are three choices for complementary setts.
Make a real statement with your paving thanks to limestone. This boasts natural veining and a consistent colouring across slabs which give the stones a sleek and tidy look. Also offered as a garden stepping stone in blue/black.
Packed full of character, on-trend slate is an increasingly popular choice. Hand-riven and diamond-sawn, it's offered in two finishes: a soft blue/black for the modern outdoor space and a multi-coloured one for more traditional gardens.
Known for its tonal variations, differing riven profiles and natural veining, sandstone injects rustic style into any outdoor space. We offer it in a variety of colours. Look for circle packs to create a focal feature that’s perfect for country and cottage gardens. Partner with matching setts and garden stepping stones.
Paving slabs, carpet stones and garden stepping stones are offered in both materials (though not every type of natural stone - check the product details for more information). Paving blocks are only available in concrete.
Look for other distinctive qualities of our paving stone ranges.
A paving stone’s profile is the outline shape of its surface when viewed from one side. Choose between three paving profiles - smooth, riven and textured.
Smooth profiles are completely flat, level and even. Their sleek style suits contemporary gardens or more functional uses (such as being laid as a shed base). Look out for stones that are cut on each of their faces. This is known as a six-sided sawn stone or one that’s been sawn six sides. These combine a smooth profile with straight edges for the ultimate in clean, contemporary paving.
Riven profiles (pictured) have been split, creating an outline that is uneven, rugged and irregular. This rustic appearance creates a weathered, authentic look that makes the stones seem as if they’ve been in place for years. If opting for concrete, look for paving packs that include a variety of riven profiles. This helps achieve that random, natural look even when laying manmade slabs. A favourite in traditional-style gardens, riven profiles range in how uneven their surface is, so be sure to select suitable paving for your needs.
Textured profiles are often described as looking sandblasted or stippled. They offer greater slip resistance than smooth profiles, and work well in contemporary-style gardens to give a uniform appearance to your paving.
The paving stone’s finish is the texture of its surface or face. Essentially this ranges from smooth to coarse. Ones with a little texture or roughness can help prevent slips when walking on, while others are distressed to affect a weathered look. One such example is our Woburn Rumbled Paving Blocks (pictured) that are rumbled in a large rotary drum to look rough and pitted.
The difference between edging styles may be subtle, but they can make a big difference. Take a look at:
- Straight edges (pictured) – these create a regular, symmetrical and tight join between stones that is also known as square edges. Natural stones are sawn by machine to create these crisp edges, with some using diamond blades for the neatest finish.
- Fettled edges – this irregular finish offers a more natural appearance than straight edges. Traditionally it occurs from using hand tools to dress the edges of the paving stone after it's been cut in the quarry. These edges work well with riven profiles to suit country gardens.
- Pencil edges – this style features a very small chamfer at the edge of the stone. Introduce this sleek look with our Driveflair block paving.
Whatever your outdoor colour palette, we’ve a paving stone colour to suit. From cool on-trend greys to warmer, richer tones, as well as the traditional red brick. Opt for ones that will naturally blend into their surroundings for a subtle effect, or go bold with brighter shades to ramp up the colour. For a truly unique look, mix and match different shades. Many of our ranges offer complementary shades so work them all into your paving for something truly eye-catching.
Our paving selection offers a wide choice of sizes to suit any outdoor space. Go big with large formats or scale it back with smaller ones. Long-aspect options, such as our Stonemaster Block Paving (pictured) or Madera Porcelain, can help create the illusion of length – ideal if you have a shorter space.
And remember it’s not just the length and width of the stone that’s worth thinking about - don’t forget it’s thickness or depth. This defines where it can safely be used or what can be put on top of it. Thinner options are fine for foot traffic and seated garden areas such as patios and courtyards, while the thicker ones are better suited for vehicles or structures. Stone thickness can also vary massively, from as little as 18mm for a natural stone paving slab up to 80mm for a hard-wearing paving block.
Once you’ve selected your paving stones, it’s time to think about all those extras you might need to finish the job.
Add an attractive border, zonal definition and practical protection with edging and kerbs (pictured).
Our paving edging is available as single lengths and multipacks. Look for those that match our paving slab ranges, or create contrast with something different like a soft, scalloped edge. While our block kerbs are the perfect finishing touch to your driveway. Explore our range of sizes and styles to prevent unwanted vehicle overrun.
Keep your paving clean with a pressure washer that will blast dirt out of every corner and crevice. Get the most out of this versatile garden power tool with a surface cleaner – an attachment specially designed to tackle hard surfaces like paving – and specialist detergents.
For more help on finding the right pressure washer for you, check out our buying guide. Alternatively, browse our range of cleaning products that can be used on patios and brickwork.
Some paving might benefit from sealing once laid. This transparent protective layer helps maintain the colour and integrity of your chosen stones to keep them looking their best. And some sealers can improve the paving’s slip-resistance – helpful during wet weather spells. Always check whether suitable for your paving before applying.
Lastly, don't forget your paving grout. This fills the gaps between the slabs (known as jointing). Opt for one in a colour that complements your paving or add some colourant to create your perfect shade.