Pavers and edgers: Exploring options and techniques

A look at paver and edger options and the best ways to install them.

There are many different options when it comes to pavers to create a unique outdoor space.
There are many different options when it comes to pavers to create a unique outdoor space.

Hardscape design and installation techniques are becoming more sophisticated each year. New products and tools on the market allow you to flex your creative muscles and give clients a unique and refreshing outdoor space that reflects their personality.

The smaller details of hardscape installation such as borders and edgers can make a large impact on the project, whether it’s a simple walkway or expansive patio. There are a variety of options you can present to clients based on the overall installation that will also complement their design and aesthetic choices.

Here are a few ideas to help you choose the right paver edging or border for any client project.

Edge restraints

Edge restraints can help you create stunning designs with angles and curves. Using a rigid paver edging system allows you to form a defined border around an entire outdoor living area, and the base can easily be covered with a planter bed or a bit of sod. Curved designs may require restraints to secure the pavers from moving over time, but most restraints can be adjusted for size and flexibility.

If you’re looking to implement a stepping-stone design, then no restraints are needed unless the design requires multiple pavers to create a step effect. There’s also no need for restraints in applications where pavers abut a concrete slab or wall.

Edge restraints help with creating angles and curves.Edge restraints help with creating angles and curves.Belgard

Paver edger and curb stones

Edgers designed as bordering pavers can be used to add a decorative border to driveways, walkways, flower beds and more. Many paver edgers are designed to create a natural-looking finish with minimal joints for easy installation.

There are a variety of manufactured concrete edgers available that are suited for any application and designed to withstand conditions in any climate.

Paver inlays

Paver inlays are a great way to add color and dimension to a hardscape installation. They can be used to create a border around the edge of the area or to highlight various designs, such as a faux paver rug. You can create them with complementary or contrasting color palettes, depending on the overall style. These are the perfect choice for clients who want more visual interest in their outdoor area without having to add additional features.  

Wall structures

While it may not be what you picture when you think of edgers, wall structures are a beautiful way to create a defined area around an outdoor room. Regardless of size, they can be integrated into nearly any project and serve as a border, decorative accent and add functionality. Most wall structures can be fashioned to provide additional seating, perfect for relaxing around a fire pit or entertaining guests.

Paver steps can add dimension to any given design.Paver steps can add dimension to any given design.Belgard

Paver steps and units

Steps at the edge of a paver field are another excellent option, especially when transitioning into other areas of the yard. There are several different product options to create steps such as retaining wall block, paver step units or porcelain pavers. Each requires various degrees of installation and materials, so it’s best to examine the overall project design and budget to determine which is the best fit.

There also are several options for step edging, depending again on the overall style. You can utilize the same paver product used for the steps or opt for something like bullnose coping.

Consider greenery and entangled designs

If your client is on a stricter budget or just wants to add more greenery, consider using plants and entangled design options as part of their edging or border. Planting creeping perennials, such as creeping thyme or golden moneywort, creates a natural border around hardscapes – and adds more curb appeal. These plants also can help with weed control.

Entangled design mixes hardscapes within the natural environment for an organic look and feel. This style allows you to really get creative with different paver styles, plants and design patterns, such as using geometric shapes or irregular edges that blend in seamlessly with the landscape. Entangled designs pair well with both modern and traditional home styles, giving you plenty of versatility with every project. 

Making a design plan with your clients

The options for edgers and borders are nearly limitless today, so you and your client can plan a design that goes above and beyond their expectations. Whether their style leans modern or traditional, you can use any of these designs and techniques to turn their outdoor living area into a stylish and functional centerpiece of their home.