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Natural Stone Paving

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Paving stones are usually formed from blocks of natural stone, pre-cast from concrete or manufactured from clay. Generally paving takes one of two forms, either a block paving or a paving slab (flag). Today both forms of pavers are commonly used in hard landscaping applications. Block paving, either natural stone, or formed concrete, tends mostly to be used for driveways, car parks and vehicle trafficked areas, whilst paving slabs tend to be used for pedestrian walkways and patio areas. Concrete paving products became extensively used in the Europe during the mid 1940's driven by the need to build fast and quickly following the war. Prior to this most paving was made from natural stone and was significantly used in the construction of architectural and structural marvels around the world.
Natural stone is quarried in most counties and the colours and textures of the buildings in a region can usually identify the local stone. Natural stone pavers are so durable that they are often able to resist earthquakes, floods, freezes and general ground erosion which is why there are many excellent ancient examples that showcase the use of natural stone in buildings, pavements, temples, monuments, etc. The use of natural stone as pavers can be traced back nearly 5,000 years, to Giza, Egypt. Here the oldest known paved road was discovered in the summer of 1994 and established to be built in 2588 BC as a route to connect an ancient basalt quarry to Lake Moeris and used to transport by sleds large stones for the construction of the temples of Giza. The road surface was paved with thousands of slabs of sandstone and limestone and some logs of petrified wood.
In 500 B.C., during the Roman Republic, Rome introduced the segmental stone paver into their road system so as to be able to mobilise their armies quickly within the empire. The existing roads were often muddy, created too much drag, and also produced too much dust in heavily transited areas. In solving this problem, the Romans had created the forerunner of the paved roads of today with deep beds of crushed stone and a top layer that included six sided capstones. These roads provided the troops with much faster transportation and proved to be so reliable that they still stand to this day.
Recently, Indian natural stone pavers and paving slabs have become very popular, as they are available in a wide variety of colours and textures, replicating much of the domestic sandstone, limestone and slate. Companies such as Pavestone in the UK have raised the public and media awareness of Indian natural stone landscaping products and made them readily available and very affordable. Be it a footpath, driveway or paved patio, natural stone paving creates an impression with all who come into contact with the unique natural colourations and textures that concrete cannot truly replicate.
Natural stone paving adds resale value to a property too. For most of us our home is the biggest purchase that we will make and in these times of low house price inflation it is increasingly more important that the money we spend improving our property adds value to our investment and does not just become a cost of living. Landscaping the garden and the driveway is one of the best €value for money' home improvement investments that can be made and immediately creates a visual statement about your home, an impression of lifestyle and enhances its desirability.
As with the examples explored above natural paving can last and remain looking stunning for an eternity.
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