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Precast Patio Block Buying Guide

Paver Patio Design

Patio block creations are great do-it-yourself projects. They can be fun, akin to putting puzzles together. A wide variety of block types and styles let you refine or redefine your landscape and convenient accessories help make your creations last.


Patio Block

Patio Block Patterns.

Patio block can add an element of architectural design to your landscape. Block is available for projects like:

  • Patios
  • Walkways
  • Edging
  • Raised planting beds
  • Retaining walls
  • Driveways
  • Fire pits
  • Grill or mailbox surrounds

Decorative precast products like concrete block are made by pouring concrete into a variety of forms to create the desired shape and texture. Precast products can replicate the look of stone, brick, tile, slate and more. Their various shapes, textures, sizes and colors allow for a variety of patterns.

You can find block in collections, which means you can tie different projects together with similar looks. For example, for a raised bed you can choose wall block that coordinates with stone for a patio or walkway, giving you a truly designed look.

Recognize your personal taste, the design of your home and the function you want the construction to perform when choosing products for your project.


Installation Considerations

Laying Patio Block.

Concrete precast patio block is different from quarried stone products in that its shape and size are designed for installation requiring minimal cutting. Uniform sizes also simplify the planning and purchasing processes.

Precast patio block is relatively simple to install and maintain. While different types of block may have different installation requirements, you can complete most projects with a few tools. If you do need to cut the block, you'll need special tools and accessories. A brick chisel and engineer's hammer are sufficient for some cuts. Others require a power saw with a diamond blade. Keep in mind that block can be heavy and moving and placing a lot of it requires some physical exertion. If you don't want to haul block, you can have it delivered.

When considering a patio block project, make sure you're aware of any building codes or homeowner association rules that might apply to your work. Also take into account any underground utilities that may be in the area.

Before beginning any excavation, check for underground utilities. Call the North America One Call Referral Service at 1-888-258-0808 (or just dial 811) for a national directory of utility companies.


Patio Stones and Pavers

Paver Walkway.

Use patio stones and pavers to create patios and walkways. You can lay them in different patterns to give your landscape the look you want. Some pavers already have designs molded into each block, giving the appearance of several small stones in one block. These pavers let you add texture to your landscape without having to construct a pattern from scratch. You can also find smaller pavers that you can interlock to create herringbone designs, "basketweave" patterns and more. Paver styles include the architectural design of brick, the rounded look of worn stone or river stones, and even the varied, irregular edges of natural slate.

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Wall Block and Caps

Block Wall with Caps.

Wall block is useful for creating raised planting beds, tree rings, fire pits and retaining walls. Wall block can look like old, tumbled stone, chiseled stone or can have cleaner, designed edges. Coordinating caps are available for some styles of wall block to help give your creation a finished look. Different block has different maximum wall heights, generally ranging from 15 inches to 2 feet in a standard installation, so make sure you know the maximums for the wall block you choose. Some wall block works with pins you can purchase separately to interlock each course (or layer), helping with alignment and stability.

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Edging Stones

Edging Stones and Pavers.

Edging stones create breaks in a landscape. The edging provides clear, visually interesting borders between planting beds and lawns or patios, in addition to highlighting flowers and shrubs. From a practical point of view, edging stones help keep mulch where it belongs and provide a cleaner mowing and trimming line. You can create straight, angled or curved borders with ease and some edging stones interlock for simpler placement and design. Like other patio block, edging stones are available in different colors and styles to let you select the look that best compliments your home.

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Patio Block Accessories

Spreading Polymeric Sand.

You'll find some accessories available with patio block to help make your project a success:

Paver base is gravel that forms part of the foundation of patio block projects. It gives the project stability, provides for drainage and helps you work with natural elevation changes in your landscape.

Paver base panels offer an alternative to traditional paver base and reduce the amount of paver sand you'll need. The panels interlock for simple installation.

Paver or leveling sand is another foundational layer that supports patio block projects. Paver sand helps fix the block in place.

Paver edge restraints are flexible strips that hold patio and walkway block in place. They work with both straight and curved edges. You use spikes to secure them against the outside edges of the patio or walkway.

Polymeric sand is a polymer / sand mixture for filling the joints or gaps between patio and walkway block. It's designed to be superior to regular sand for resistance to weeds, wind, rain, washout and freezing conditions. After filling the gaps between the block with polymeric sand and clearing it completely off the surface of the block, misting the polymeric sand with water allows it to harden.

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Always follow the manufacturer's use, installation and safety instructions when creating patio block projects.