In the simplest form, there are two types of blocks you can use for paving, clay blocks and concrete blocks. Although there are many sub categories within both categories they are mainly based around clay and concrete. You can also get stone blocks however they aren't considered a “block paving” surface. Below we compare clay and concrete blocks and provide our verdict as to which material would be best suited for your driveway.
Clay Block Paving
Clay is a naturally occurring material that has many household uses due to its hard wearing qualities. Clay blocks are so durable they are virtually indestructible from all of the english weather has to throw at it. Added to this, clay blocks will not disintegrate if it is washed using chemicals such as acid and bleach.
Due to its natural properties, clay blocs are actually impermeable, which means these blocks will require additional drainage to be installed to ensure there is appropriate water runoff. However it also does mean moss growth isn't uncommon, so regular cleaning is important.
A major advantage clay blocks have over concrete blocks is the colour of the blocks do not fade in UV light, which means the driveway will maintain its original finishes for a very long time.
Due to all these positive qualities, clay block paving is very expensive to buy. Compared to the concrete versions you may be looking at over a 100% difference in price per square meter, however what you do get is a driveway that can last for virtually a generation as it is so hard wearing and the colour does not fade.
Concrete Block Paving
Concrete is a man made substance that is a made from crushed stones, cement and sand. More recently, with the push for increased recycling of waste materials, you are able to now buy concrete blocks that are mixed with glass.
Although concrete is a strong material - it is not close to being as hard wearing as clay. For example, the blocks will fade from UV rays, which means you may need to replace the blocks after 20 years to maintain the “good as new” finish. Added to this, because concrete blocks are permeable, they pick up dirt easily and quickly, therefore at a minimum you will need to install a quality paving sealer and regularly jet wash. However as a positive, this means the amount of additional draining required is lower than clay block paving.
Due to these qualities, concrete block paving is quite cheap to buy compared to clay block paving and as it is a man made substance, it can be formed into many more colours and styles, and advanage if you are looking for a highly bespoke look and finish.
Find out more about block paving
How to install a block paving driveway