Howarth Help & Advice

Here you will find help and advise, useful information and how-to guides for all your home improvements and personal or professional projects

Choosing the Right Paving For Your Garden

Paving can make or break your outdoor space. This simple guide will help you to choose the right paving for your garden.

Paving has long been an attractive and cost-effective prospect for landscaping in home and garden. If you’ve never purchased paving for your garden before, it can sometimes be a tougher decision than you might realise at first, because there can be so many factors to think about to get the most from your new paving. But, you’re in luck as we are here to help you make the right choice. 

Whether you’re looking for stylish, modern paving options for your home or garden, or something a little more traditional, it’s vital to pick out the paving that’s right for you. 

General Wear and Performance Requirements 

One of the most important factors when choosing the right paving for your garden project is to understand what your requirements are in terms of both wear and overall performance. There are a few things to take into consideration, including: 

1. Paving Location 

First is the location of the paving, with the most common areas being: 

  • Driveways 
  • Paths 
  • Patios 
  • Courtyards and Terraces 
  • Utility Areas 

2. Type of traffic: 

Next, you'll want to think about how much "traffic" your paving is likely to experience; whether that traffic will be frequent and whether it is likely to wear the stone down quickly. 

  • Foot Traffic 
  • Light vehicle traffic (a single-car that is probably small, leaving and arriving twice a day) 
  • Heavy vehicle traffic (larger and heavier vehicles such as SUVs, or your home has more than one car moving around regularly) 

Why is this important? Weight is a huge factor in the overall performance of paving and some thicker types of paving are stronger and more resilient against heavier weights than the slimmer one. It is important to ensure that your paving won't disintegrate under the weight of vehicles. On the other hand, if an area is only going to be walked across by pedestrians, a less heavy-duty material would be your best bet; porcelain paving would be perfect. 


Cost is an important factor for most of us when making larger purchases, however when it comes to paving it’s crucial to understand that it doesn't matter which paving you choose, whether it's an economy or premium one, the cost of labour will always cost the same. Therefore, you should only expect to pay more for the actual paving you choose.  

Concrete – Typically the cheapest available option, concrete doesn’t generally have the lifespan that natural stone paving and porcelain are renowned for. However, that’s not to say it’s a lesser option as concrete offers a beautifully unique finish. 

Natural Stone Paving – Commonly granite, sandstone and limestone, natural stone paving is considered more of a middle-range option in terms of cost whilst being the “traditional” choice. 

Cobbles – Made from natural stone, cobbles are an ideal mid-range choice when used in the correct situation. Smaller sized cobbles are perfect for terraces and courtyards that have limited space and would otherwise be overwhelmed by larger cobbles. Expansive driveways, on the other hand, are great for larger sized stones.  

Porcelain – The priciest option is typically porcelain because it is a manmade material that is specifically designed to be strong and low-maintenance. 

Something that you might want to consider when thinking about how much you want to spend on your paving is how big of an impact your choice could have on the overall value of your property. 


Another key part of choosing paving is to opt for something that you like and that coordinates with what you are looking to achieve. This could be matching the local natural stones commonly used where you live, it could be to create a specific style, or it could just be a type of stone that you just quite like. Maybe you prefer the understated chic of Kadapha Black Limestone, or perhaps the playful neutral, colour blending of the Raj Sandstone pack.  

The texture is also something that you'll want to think about to achieve your preferred look. Perhaps you want something smooth and super sleek a popular choice if you're into a modern style, or maybe you prefer the rustic appeal of riven paving. Need some more inspiration? Our friends at Pavestone have created an Inspirational Gallery to help visualise the many options in situ. 


When it comes to paving, appearance is a big factor because no matter where it is going to be used, it is going to be somewhere where it is going to be looked at. There is such a wide choice of colours available for paving that it can be difficult to pick which one will suit your needs. Do you want something bold and eye-catching or something that is a little more neutral? You could even decide to get creative by combining different types of paving. 

So, what are the next steps? Why, a trip to your local Howarth Timber branch, of course! Our branches host a wide range of paving and landscaping products to view in person, and we're always happy to talk you through the options available! You can find your local branch on our website. Happy paving! 



Kat Musselwhite - HT Blogger