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How to choose a laying pattern for your paving project

The moment you select a pattern for pavers is when you really bring your outdoor living spaces to life.

Paver patterns can be used to highlight specific areas, add depth to the patio design, section off a space or an “outdoor room”, and create strong visual interest. Your pattern choice also has an influence on the intended function of your pavers.

There are many paver patterns to choose from. Here are the more popular ones.


Herringbone is formed by rows of zigzagging pavers – either in a diagonal or straight up and down pattern. The short edge of one paver sits on the long edge of the next, forming a series of L-shapes. Traditionally herringbone uses smaller size rectangular pavers, but larger pavers can be used as well for a unique modern look. Herringbone is an excellent choice for driveways because the interlocking pattern resists shifting under the pressure of tires.

Running Bond

This pattern looks like brickwork where the paver overlaps the joint below it. The running bond pattern is very popular because it requires minimal cutting and leaves little waste. The pavers can be all the same size, or for something completely different, try using various lengths of pavers and widths of rows. The running bond pattern is ideal for patio areas and curved pathways. (Note that making a curve in running bond pattern requires small rectangular pavers – the narrower the better to avoid large gaps.)

Stacked Bond

Unlike a running bond pattern, the stacked bond pattern has pavers one on top of the next with no staggered joints like a grid. This pattern is not ideal for outdoor projects because it provides the least degree of interlock and is most prone to shifting. If things go awry, you will be able to spot little imperfections, wobbly lines and uneven surfaces. Most outdoor use of the stacked bond pattern is on solid, stable surfaces such as roof decks.


Random patterns are popular with homeowners because they lend a natural, crafted feel to projects. Depending on the paver you choose there are several different patterns that will give you a random feel. And sometimes, a random paver layout isn’t a pattern at all!

Basket Weave

This pattern is achieved by alternating between vertical and horizontal groups of pavers – both in rows and columns to create a tile effect. The basket weave pattern looks great alongside brick homes and adds character to a courtyard area.

Consider a diagonal pattern

For an added touch of drama, create an angled pattern rather than perpendicular. Use a diagonal pattern to add visual interest or to frame different areas of your patio such as seating area and a dining area.

Have fun with borders

A smartly placed border in your project can be used to define edges of pools, steps and different outdoor areas like the firepit. Get creative with colors, textures and border thicknesses. And don’t be afraid to use more than one paver product, color or style in a double border.

There are many exciting ways to lay your pavers to add flair to your paving project. Your contractor can help guide you as to which pattern will give you the best balance of installation efficiency and aesthetics for your unique project. Really, the only limit is your imagination!


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