The term “permeable interlocking pavers” may confuse the casual web surfer who pulls up image after image of what looks like a mixture of cement and grass. These are actually one form of paver that is designed to drain water through a combination of a concrete grid, natural plantings of grass, and a crushed rock foundation below.
In most cases, Exterior Worlds recommends much more aesthetic and resilient hardscapes that the ones that combine grass and concrete. There are many ways to use concrete in an eco-friendly manner that creates much more aesthetically appealing forms than what you would call a grass paver patio, or a grass driveway.
Patios that are rendered pervious to rain water can be constructed out of smaller, non-pervious pavers set in pervious castings. They can also be created out of small, solid pavers with spaces between filled with sand or crushed stone that allows water to drain through. Others are more like a grid that can be filled with porous materials such as aggregate or crushed stone. The more expensive types are made from porous concrete and interlock just like solid, standard pavers do.
Many of the permeable interlocking pavers we build are very similar to the grid patterns you see in online image searches. However, rather than filling them with grass, we may use a combination of crushed, colored stone and fine gravel to fill in the grid. This works particularly well for building contemporary garden patios that display modern sculptures, abstract glass art, or custom fountains integrated into the pavement design.
Sometimes these patios feature very unique geometries that confound your sense of traditionalism. A patio that is permeable in this manner can act as a natural filter that drains water out of the garden and keeps vegetation at the necessary minimalist level required for modern design.
There are also larger patios that can be built with permeable interlocking pavers that resemble cobblestones. These are basically round or octagonal pavers that are set in crushed stone and sand mixtures that form a permeable web of interconnectedness around each paver. While the pavers themselves are solid, the entire surface drains water through the interlocking joints and drains it directly into the ground.
Permeable interlocking pavers that are used to build very large swimming pool patios, driveways, or courtyards may need to be the size of stones or bricks to achieve the aesthetic effects that a particular Houston landscaping theme calls for. In these instances, it may be necessary to make the pavers themselves out of porous concrete that will drain water through the entirety of the paver mass into the ground below.
Permeable interlocking paver design is gaining increasing popularity as eco-friendly landscaping becomes more and more of a concern to Houston homeowners. Because concrete can be rendered so highly decorative in both texture and color, pavers with permeability can work in aesthetic harmony with homes and landscape themes as much as they can with ecology.
The diversity of paver forms, and the different ways to build these hardscapes, allows for multitudinous design combinations that can improve the curb appeal of any home in Houston.