Pavement (architecture)

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For other uses, see Pavement (disambiguation).

Pavement in construction is an outdoor floor or superficial surface covering. Paving materials include asphalt, concrete, stone such as flagstone, cobblestone, and setts, artificial stone, bricks, tiles, and sometimes wood. In landscape architecture pavements are part of the hardscape and are used on sidewalks, road surfaces, patios, courtyards, etc.

Pavement comes from Latin pavimentum meaning a floor beaten or rammed down, through Old French pavement.[1] The meaning of a beaten down floor was obsolete before the word became English.[2]

Pavement laid in patterns such as mosaics were commonly used by the Romans.


Concrete paver blocks laid in a circular pattern
Concrete paver blocks in a rectangular pattern

A paver is a paving stone, tile,[3] brick[4] or brick-like piece of concrete commonly used as exterior flooring. In a factory, concrete pavers are made by pouring a mixture of concrete and some type of coloring agent into a mold of some shape and allowing to set. They are applied by pouring a standard concrete foundation, spreading sand on top, and then laying the pavers in the desired pattern. No actual adhesive or retaining method is used other than the weight of the paver itself except edging. Pavers can be used to make roads, driveways, patios, walkways and other outdoor platforms.

Interlocking concrete pavers[edit]

Interlocking Concrete Paver Driveway

An interlocking concrete paver is a type of paver. This special type of paver, also known as a segmental paver, has emerged over the last couple of decades in the United States as a very popular alternative to brick, clay or concrete.[5]

Segmental pavers have been used for thousands of years. The Romans built roads with them[6] that are still there. But it was not until the mid-1940s that pavers began to be produced out of concrete. It started in the Netherlands[5][6] where all the roads are made to be flexible because the country is below sea level and the ground shifts, moves and sinks. Poured concrete is not an option because it will crack. Individual units not set in concrete, and placed in sand perform far better than concrete.[5] Before the paver was made from concrete either real stone or a clay product were used.

The first concrete pavers were shaped just like a brick, 4” by 8” (10 cm x 20 cm) and they were called Holland Stones and still are today. These units turned out to be economical to produce and were exceedingly strong.

See also[edit]

Permeable paving


  1. ^ "Pavement", The Century Dictionary
  2. ^ "pavement, n." Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) © Oxford University Press 2009
  3. ^ "paver" def. 2. Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) © Oxford University Press 2009
  4. ^ "Paving brick". The Free accessed May 1, 2014
  5. ^ a b c
  6. ^ a b

External links[edit]

Media related to Pavements at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Pavers (Pavements) at Wikimedia Commons