Sidewalks, pathways, and walkways are all basically the same thing, and they serve one crucial function; to create a smooth surface for you to walk on. Walkways are functional, to be sure, but they are also fun, decorative, and will spruce up the look of any outdoor space. Unfortunately, many homeowners get caught up with built-in BBQ grills, koi ponds, and other expensive landscaping features in hopes of improving their curb appeal. Not only are walkways practical and functional, but they are also aesthetically pleasing. In addition to providing a path from one location to another, walkways are a great focal point and provide flow through your yard. There are several materials that can be used for your walkway, each with unique characteristics and pros and cons. Let’s learn a little more about the materials you can use for your walkway.
What is the Purpose of Your Walkway?
Before you even consider which type of material you want to utilize for your walkway, you should first determine how you will be using it. For example, your walkway could be used simply to guide people from your concrete patio to the garden. Here are a few reasons you desire a walkway:
- Direct Foot Traffic
- Add Contrast to Your Yard
- Add Texture
- A Focal Point
- As a Border
Once you have determined the reason for your walkway, you can narrow down your material choices. Just keep in mind that there are also other considerations, including durability, strength, and longevity to think about before making a final decision. You might also want to determine how much you are willing to spend on your walkway.
Concrete has come a long way. There was a time when concrete was strong and lasted a long time, but it was drab and gray. Today, you can get stamped concrete, colored concrete, or traditional concrete if that suits your taste. In addition, concrete comes in a multitude of poured colors, stained colors, and there are many types of stamps that can be used to create a totally unique walkway.
In addition to the many colors and stamp styles, concrete provides a durable and cost-effective walkway that will give you pleasure for years down the road. Concrete remains one of the top materials used for walkways and other outdoor landscaping applications because it has a proven track record.
Like concrete, pavers are another material that has been used for a long time and will add a sense of grace and age to any backyard. Your walkway can look like a beautiful cobblestone street that Europeans have enjoyed for centuries. And thanks to modern advances, your pavers will look like cobblestones without the risk of twisting an ankle.
Pavers come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, and because many of them are uniform in shape, they are quite easy to install. One advantage pavers have over concrete is that if one or two pavers crack or are otherwise damaged, you can easily have them replaced.
A brick walkway will have your outdoor space looking like a scene from colonial America. One thing you need to know about brick is that they come in a variety of textures and colors, not just typical red. So, in addition to picking a suitable color, you have many choices in determining the pattern you want to achieve with the finished project.
Just like with pavers, should you suffer a few damaged bricks over time, they are easily pulled and replaced. Likewise, a brick walkway is a project that any homeowner with a bit of DIY skill can complete.
There are those who will scoff at the idea of having a gravel walkway in their yard, but you need to hear us out before making any hasting conclusions. There are two huge benefits to using gravel for an outdoor path: Cost and installation. To install a gravel walkway, all you need to do is lay down some edging and landscape fabric and shovel in the gravel. It’s a project that will look great, require little time to do, and is easy on the wallet.
A walkway made from natural stone will look great, and it will also last you a very long time. Natural stone is a popular choice mainly because it is hard to beat its beauty. However, it is also one of the most expensive materials you can use for your walkway project. There are several choices of stone, including limestone, granite, and marble, each with its own unique look and characteristics.
Whatever material you decide to utilize for your walkway project, get creative in the way you have it presented. Just because you are creating a walkway that serves a useful purpose, this does not mean your walkway should be bland and boring. Do your homework and look up various ways you can present a walkway; you will be surprised at what you will find. Your walkway is an essential part of your landscaping and will serve you for years, so get creative with the design. If you have any questions about having a walkway installed on your property, feel free to contact us.