Are you planning on paving a substantial area in your front or backyard? It usually takes homeowners a lot of research to find the right type of hardscape material for their driveway or for a nice backyard terrace area. When deciding on what to use for a paving landscape project, usually asphalt and concrete are the first materials that come to mind.
When selecting a garden paving material, however, so many more options are available nowadays. Emerging landscaping trends are turning towards wood paving solutions, which are more attractive in appearance and also give a more natural, sustainable finish to your project.
Permeable wood pavers have been trending as a paving system when designing urban green spaces, playgrounds, and green rooftops. In the architectural design world, sustainable wood paving systems have already been used to elevate projects such as Google and Facebook Headquarters.
But the big question is why more and more homeowners are catching on to the landscaping trends. We were curious ourselves, so we asked lumber specialist Stubby D. Warmbold, developer of ProFlow Permeable Pavers™ to give us more insight.
Reason #1: Up to 50+ years of durability
You might be surprised by just how durable wood paving blocks may be. However, before you run off to buy southern yellow pine, it is important to understand just how crucial it is to pick the right type of wood. Using the wrong type of wood like oak will result in early decay. For the past three decades, Warmbold has tested a special non-tropical hardwood material, native to the US, called Black Locust wood. The uniqueness of the wood is that it has a natural life span greater than 50 years. Black Locust lumber has rot-resistant and anti-fungal properties without the help of any toxic chemicals. The early settlers also used Black Locust for agricultural and building needs, because they understood its distinctive characteristics. Architects and landscape designers have been using Black Locust for exteriors due to its natural longevity. Warmbold saw the natural characteristics of the wood and ProFlow Permeable Pavers™ was developed.
Reason #2: Stronger than concrete
The real shocker is, that paver blocks made of Black Locust are actually stronger than concrete. These small permeable wood paver blocks provide a highly durable surface that will last for decades. While concrete pavers have a compressive strength of about 2500 PSI (pounds per square inch), Black Locust wood is over 10.180 PSI. This hardwood when used as a hardscape material, is strong enough to bear the pressure of a 60-ton crane driving over it. And as a bonus, while concrete heats up in the summer heat, Black Locust wood provides a natural cooling effect.
Reason #3: Appearance
An obvious reason why architects and homeowners decide to use Black Locust wood hardscape material is because of the aesthetic of the wood itself. Wood has a natural beauty that concrete, brick, and rubber can never achieve. Black Locust is a type of wood that requires little to no maintenance. No toxic oils or chemicals are necessary to preserve its beauty. Due to exposure to the natural environment, Black Locust pavers will develop a silvery-gray patina. However, the color does not affect the durability of the paving system. The natural color is highly popular with landscape designers.
Bonus tip: Easy installation
A bonus tip for homeowners is that Permeable Proflow Pavers™ are extremely easy to install. To save labor costs, the pavers come in setts, where multiple Black Locust blocks are attached to a recycled wire mesh. This modular design allows the panels to be laid next to each other over larger areas for quick and simple installation. The surface is finished off with a joint mortar.
The architectural design world has been turning towards sustainable materials these past decades. As sustainable solutions become more accessible for residential projects, no wonder homeowners are catching on to the trends. Other than environmentally friendly aspects, it is crucial to select hardscape paving material that works best for your needs. A proven wood material like Black Locust provides you the opportunity to enjoy its longevity, strength, and beauty for decades.