Choosing the Right Materials for a Backyard Patio or Walkway

Choosing the Right Materials for a Backyard Patio or Walkway
Aug 26, 2019

Landscaping and hardscaping are the two main elements of any backyard space and striking the right balance results in the function and beauty homeowners prefer.  Once you have your landscape design on lockdown with zones for grasses, flowers, shrubs, and trees, it’s time to consider how you’re going to lounge and move around in your Rock Valley, Iowa yard.

In other words, you need to consider foundational hardscaping, including the materials you’ll use for backyard patios and walkways.  Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to use the same materials for both – you can opt for complementary elements to add visual interest if you do it right.  Which materials are right for your essential hardscaping projects?


One of the most cost-effective options for lasting patio and walkway surfaces is concrete.  Once it is poured and set, this solid surface material will provide a smooth, even, stable surface to walk on or place your patio furniture.

The only potential drawback of concrete is that it can crack over time with freezing and thawing cycles, but with proper installation and maintenance, you can generally avoid major issues and treat minor eyesores.  Of course, concrete may also strike you as somewhat bland, from an aesthetic perspective.

This is why you’ll be glad to hear that modern trends in concrete have made for some exciting and fashionable upgrades.  Concrete can be dyed to deliver color options that weren’t available before, and it can even be made to look like different materials, like natural stone.  It can also be stamped if you like the idea of a pattern that resembles mosaic tile, wood planks, or other textures.


Easy installation is guaranteed when you choose gravel, which you simply pour into depressions where your patio or walkways will go to create an instant delineation of spaces.  You can choose from options ranging from pea gravel to irregular crushed stone, to smooth river rocks, in a variety of sizes.

While gravel can add a bit more drama to your space than concrete, it’s worth noting that it is not a fixed surface, which means it will shift underfoot and rocks can get kicked around the yard.  However, you’ll never have to worry about patio furniture tipping unevenly on a flat surface because table and chair legs will sink into gravel.


One of the best options from both a practical and an aesthetic perspective is pavers.  Patio pavers are neither the least expensive option nor the easiest to install, but for function, durability, and style, this material has others beat hands-down.

For starters, you can choose pavers in concrete, brick, natural stone, and other materials, giving you a wide range of colors and textures to choose from.  With proper placement, pavers can provide a solid surface for walking or lounging, and you’re less likely to experience potential issues like cracking.

You can arrange pavers together in a tight pattern, or leave space between them to pour gravel or let the grass grow, creating a stunning and dynamic addition to your landscape.  Plus, you can match your patios and walkways to other hardscaping elements like retaining walls, planter beds, or even a fire pit when you choose the same pavers or complementary materials.

If you’re ready to add function and appeal to your Sioux Center, Iowa backyard with the perfect patios and walkways, contact the experts at Outdoor Elements today at 712-476-5299 or online to get started.