Monday, July 23, 2012

Brick and Cobblestone Paver Driveways vs. Crushed Stone Driveways: Which is your Favorite?

Greetings!  Hope everyone is having a fantastic week.

We walk, park, and play on them everyday.  They come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.  They are our driveways and sidewalks.

In our area asphalt and concrete are by far the most frequently used materials when it comes to creating  a driveway or sidewalk.  They both are perfectly fine choices, but I feel they both lack the character seen in a brick paver driveway or crushed stone driveway.  Sure there is stamped concrete and stamped asphalt which do improve their appearance, but it's still not the same as seeing a beautiful authentic brick cobblestone or crushed stone driveway.

We have selected, but have not met with, the company that will be installing our driveway.  While there are sure to be more samples coming down the road, we thought we would go ahead and share some of the inspirational photographs we are taking with us to help them identify our style.

When selecting your driveway material, keep in mind the color of stone and brick on your home.  Selecting a contrasting color or shade can draw too much attention to one or the other.  For example, I think a dark brick driveway becomes too heavy when placed up against a light colored brick home.

Several good pictures today, so hopefully you enjoy.  As a side note, we have had some of these for several years and are unaware of all sources.  If ever you see something we should credit please let us know!

This European style home has great curb appeal from the black security gate to the lush landscape. It has several other elements that I have discussed in prior posts; The black arched french door, boxwood boarders, etc. Of course I am focusing on the driveway today.  The color and pattern combinations look great with the stucco and stone home.  The only thing I would change about this driveway is I would change the boarder stone to one that is a different color or shape to add some variation.

We really like this brick and limestone edged driveway.  The driveway edging really defines the space and makes it stand out.  Would be happy to have this leading up to our house.

This is probably our favorite driveway in today's post.  It just has that old world rustic look.  The stones are not uniform in size, and they are not perfectly aligned.  It's topped off with a great stone wall and driveway security gate.  I also really like the black light fixtures on top of the columns.  We hope to do something similar leading to a circular drive.  The plan is to use gas lanterns to add more of that old world charm.

Our other candidate is a crushed or decomposed stone driveway.  As many of you know, this is very popular in Europe.  There are only three things that concern me, so maybe some of you can chime in and give me your opinion.  1) I am worried about kids playing on this type of surface and 2) I am worried about rocks making their way into the garage all of the time on car tires, or through the front door via the shoes of guests.  3) Are weeds a problem?  Anyone have any thoughts??

This paver driveway has great color variations that do not overwhelm the space.  Really like the stone pattern and shape of edging.

Two more driveway paver patterns and colors we are considering.

We want to show this picture to say how important we feel it is to carry the pavers from the drive all the way up to the front door.  I was at a house last month that had asphalt coming up the drive, concrete leaving the garage, and stamped concrete for a sidewalk.  They all met at one point, and did not look good.  I say pick a material and carry it through everywhere.

This paver pattern is similar to some of the others from above, but I feel it lacks the "old world" look.  These stones are newer and more uniform in their sizing.  As you can see, this homeowner carried the same material from the front door out through the gate and into the driveway. 

Because we have been undecided on paver stones vs. crushed stone; we have considered this split design.  The entire drive is edged with pavers, which carries through to the other side.  The space in the middle is filled with decomposed granite.  I really like the variation of driveway textures.

Another good example of pavers with an old world feel.  The edging pavers are a different size and vary slightly in color to give just enough contrast.  Also like the little bridge and lions!

This herringbone paver driveway has some great color variations.  The driveway security gate and light fixtures also look great!

Well those are some of the driveway materials we are reviewing.  Again, there will be photographs of actual material options when we get to that point.  Some of our favorite stones, and a few of today's photographs, can also be found at .

House Update:  We are meeting with the builder next week to go over final plan revisions. We are slowly getting closer!
Wishing everyone a great day!

- Rob and Tonya


  1. Oh, gosh any of those will be beautiful. I love the edged look. What a decision to make.

  2. These are great images. I think I will have to choose the brick..and then the cobblestone..the gravel would track in the house and I don't have a maid

  3. I like the cobblestone and brick driveways! The gavel would easily wash away and would get into shoes, cars, the house.

  4. I really like the driveway in photo #2. I also loved crushed granite which we have in the front of our home. Our driveway, however, is concrete that has been stamped and colored. I would love to have an all crushed granite driveway someday. Hope all goes well with the builder!

  5. Brick and then cobblestone for sure! But all of these pictures were incredible! I'm just glad we were at least able to line our driveway with brick! It really does add so much beauty to a drive….I love cobblestones but they are sure are hard to walk on in heels!

  6. In Atlanta, the hilly topography often dictates the kind of driveway you can have. I love a pea gravel driveway, but it simply doesn't work with the incline that is more typical than not in my area. I think it works best when the lot is flat.

    Our driveway is very long, and it can get quite expensive to surface a big long driveway! We have the stones that are embedded in concrete - it looks like the decomposed granite picture in this post.

    This reminds me, I wrote a post on driveways when we were building our house and I never posted it! Sometimes I would use a blog post to help me work through an idea, and if I worked it out before posting, it would stay in draft mode.

    - Holly

  7. You can't go wrong with either choice. I really like the look of cobblestone :)


  8. great the look of the crushed stone... xv

  9. I like both - it depends with what house. :)

  10. My girlfriend has the crushed granite and while I love the way it looks I can never walk on it. It really hurts.

    Almost everybody in my area has asphalt, as do I, but I had the meeting at points problem. I have asphalt with granite cobblestone curbing with a flagstone walkway which I wanted to curb in brick until I realized when it would meet at the drive I would have 4 different materials in one spot. So out went the bricks.

    I also have electric heaters (melts snow and ice) in the drive which was easiest to install with asphalt.

  11. wow...these are all so gorgeous - loving the one with the combination of the two - best of both worlds!!

  12. Brick and then cobblestone for sure! But all of these pictures were incredible! I'm just glad we were at least able to line our driveway with brick! It really does add so much beauty to a drive….I love cobblestones but they are sure are hard to walk on in heels!

  13. My fav also would be bricks and then cobblestone but there is one thing which must be taken into account. The frost circles. Are your home near Chicago? Then I will ask how many thavs you have per year? Each thaw/frost cyrcle ruins concrete and cencrete like materials. Modern bricks also would not last long or they will be close to the price of the cobblestone. Due to the weather, I would go for cobblestone if I would be able to afford the price. Weeds are easy. Yes, first few years you will have some, but there are so many weed killers to use, and then the moss will take over, adding a charm to the road.

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  15. Man these are all very beautiful driveways! But I gotta admit, I like the crushed stone driveways better. They may be less elegant compared to bricks, but they really fit well with classic looking houses and look so natural just like the fourth picture. I also like the color of the driveway on that picture, which is a little orange. I also like those bricks and cobblestones, but only those that has less color and does not appear so shiny.

  16. Winter can be tough, especially on pavements. But some pavements, like those made with hot-mix asphalt, hold up much better than others. And the last one can avoid holding winters.

  17. Love your blog! Can't wait to see the progress of your new home. It will be beautiful I know.

    I wouldn't recommend the crushed granite driveway. The pieces will get stuck in your tire groves, track into your garage and some will end up in your grass and will be hit by the lawnmower and become a projectile. Crushed rock of any kind is hard, if not impossible, to walk on barefoot (poor kiddies) and it will chew up your nice shoes, your flip flops and all your other types of shoes. Can you tell we have a crushed graphic driveway?!? I hate it.

    We've had the interlocking brick driveway at a previous house. It was okay, I guess. Our problems were weeds (we had to chemically treat to rid them) and ants loved digging in the sand base (again we to chemically treat for ants.) I think bricks set in concrete or some other base would be great. Just don't get too big a groove if you want to walk comfortable in heels on it.

    Asphalt is ugly, in my opinion. It gets very hot in the summer, too hot to walk or play on. It will heat up the outside area of your home and cars parked on it will get hot too.

    Hope all this helps in your decision. It's great to be able to get replies from so many different people.

  18. Gravel driveways are impossible to shovel in the winter, you end up shoveling up all of the gravel with the snow. Go with the cobblestone :)

  19. What a big decision! I found myself making the same one recently- we went with these sleek driveway pavers. I like that it's not one solid sheet of concrete or asphalt, but it's smoother and much more visually appealing than gravel. Good luck with your decision!

  20. Aren't you concerned about all the snow? How would you get some of these driveway options plowed?just asking because we live in Chicago area and as much as we would love that look we worry that the uneven pavers would get destroyed in one winter.


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