19 Mar 2020

On-trend patio and driveway materials

With private outdoor space adding as much as 69%* to the value of a home, a well-designed and laid patio is a sought-after feature of a garden. Recent trends in garden design include patterned paving to make a feature of steps and paths; outdoor kitchens and built-in seating are both popular options for people looking to create impressive entertaining spaces, explains Chris Frankland, Marketing Director at Marshalls.


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But when it comes to patio paving, it’s less about trends and more about durability and timeless aesthetic. Natural stone remains the most popular option for patios, it’s a common view that it gets better with age and the natural variation between slabs makes for a very grand and unique finish. Natural stone is also a durable paving option, having survived millions of years before even being quarried. From the luxury of granite and marble to the character of sandstone and Yorkstone, there are vast differences in the types of natural stone on offer, and you should always research its origins and buy from a reputable supplier to ensure it has been sourced ethically.

Whilst natural stone may still be the top choice; porcelain paving is making its presence felt amongst self-builders and those renovating older homes. With people keen to spend more time enjoying a garden rather than maintaining it, porcelain paving (sometimes known as vitrified) is growing in appeal. Retaining less moisture, and, therefore, much less prone to algae and moss than other paving materials on the market, porcelain is often used for more contemporary homes – although it looks great with any house type.

When it comes to colour schemes for patio paving, neutral colours still reign supreme – buffs, beiges and creams look great against all types of brickwork and contrast nicely with all furniture types too.

Not only does a private garden add value to a property, but the sale value of houses with private driveways is also often a lot higher too. Clearly, there is drainage to consider when building a driveway, and permeable driveway paving is increasing in appeal as more aesthetically pleasing products are brought to market. Along with drainage, the sub-base is also a major consideration when installing a driveway; if the sub-base isn’t correct, then the life of the driveway is significantly reduced and won’t stand up to the everyday wear-and-tear.

Just like patios, natural stone is a popular option for driveway paving, but must always be specified as a driveway product to ensure the correct weight loading and durability. Concrete block paving is also a firm favourite for driveways, and the manufacturing industry has advanced as demand has grown. As a result, there is now more choice available – whether you’d like a traditional or modern design, different textures, range of colours and even material options.

So when it comes to the outdoor space of a new-build or renovated home, it’s important that it’s planned alongside the rest of the house. Get it right, and it’s a seamless extension of the inside living space and a major selling point.

*Source: Marshalls Private Outdoor Space survey

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