Paving Stone Patio vs Paver Deck Patio

You are looking for a maintenance-free option for your backyard and are considering a paving stone patio. Stone is beautiful, rugged and will potentially last a lifetime, but is there a better option? A paving stone patio constructed using traditional interlock building techniques will fail over time, so why not consider a paver deck patio vs a paving stone patio?

Over the last several years, various companies have developed and introduced new innovative products that help create that stone landscape without the worry of it falling apart over the years. In a few of our last blogs we mentioned such products as Paverdeck, Silca SoilGrid and Gator Base, all designed to do exactly that.

Let’s look at the key difference between a paving stone patio vs a paver deck patio. A traditional paving stone patio is created by excavating an area, filling that area with granular materials which are then compacted. On top of this compacted granular bedding, you lay your paving stones. This method of construction is susceptible to ground movement and freeze-thaw cycles which are always prevalent in our Canadian climate. It also is not a reliable way of installing porcelain pavers, which are becoming more and more popular.

So, when comparing a paver deck patio vs a paving stone patio, why is a paver deck patio a better option? The bottom line is these innovative products for creating a paver deck patio do not rely solely on compacted granular material to support the stone and they will not be as affected by the environmental conditions.

Paverdeck is a galvanized steel substructure that can be buried completely or partially in the ground. This is especially helpful when dealing with a backyard that has a slope or changes in elevations, as the Paverdeck can be fully buried at one end, while being above grade at the other. This can be done without having to build retaining walls with stone blocks at the end that is above grade. Paverdeck is a complete solid base that will not be affected if the ground shifts or moves in one area. This is particularly helpful with any freeze-thaw cycles, which would normally wreak havoc on traditional paving stone patios.

Silca SoilGrid and Gator Base are two other products that demonstrate the advantages of a paver deck patio vs a paving stone patio. Both of these systems allow for less excavation and the need for less granular materials to be brought in and compacted. They create a thermal insulating layer, which again will help minimize or eliminate the effects of the freeze-thaw cycles. These two types of ground application products are the perfect choice for the homeowner who is trying to save even more money by doing the work themselves. This further demonstrates how Silca SoilGrid and Gator Base products prove the advantages of a paver deck patio vs a paving stone patio. Asmentioned, the popularity of porcelain pavers is consistently growing as an alternative to traditional interlock paving stones. When porcelain pavers are installed on ground using traditional techniques, extra time and effort needs to be put into the base preparation to sure the pavers will not shift, move or break. Silca SoilGrid and Gator Base products both offer the same advantages and principles as a paver deck patio. Theyare the perfect choice for porcelain pavers, as these systems will support the porcelain and prevent them from shifting or potentially breaking do to ground movement.

Over time, you will see the concept of a paver deck patio and how it is installed become more popular and definitely the preferred choice for the average homeowner. As it becomes the preferred choice for customers, you will see more companies develop and introduce these innovative products that will continue to demonstrate the benefits of a paver deck patio vs paving stone patio.

Can you Convert a Wood Deck to a Stone Deck?

You have an older wood deck that requires regular maintenance and you want to convert it to a maintenance-free stone deck. Is this even possible? Can you convert a wood deck to a stone deck? Can any of the original deck be salvaged? Thanks to some pretty cool products out on the market this is not only possible but can be done quite cost-effectively. 

I am sure when many of you who asked in the past can you convert a wood deck to a stone deck were initially told no. Reasons would have been the weight of the stone would be too much, the wood framing would not last and it would not be cost-effective. Those who did find a way would typically cover the deck with plywood and lay the stones on top. This is an outdated technique and is problematic as it causes the wood framing to rot. 

So how can you convert a wood deck to a stone deck, cost-effectively, and ensuring it lasts for years to come? With the evolution of technology and companies creating new innovative products, you will find there are several products on the market that will allow you to convert a wood deck to a stone deck. Paverdeck Plank, manufactured in Canada, or SilcaGrate, manufactured in the USA, are both products designed to convert a wood deck to a stone deck.

When using either of these products, you remove the existing decking boards and attach them to the framing. The Paverdeck Plank or SilcaGrate becomes a sturdy all-weather subfloor on which you can then lay the stone. The difference between using these products and plywood is that these products have been specifically designed for this application. They are engineered not only to support the stone but to firm up the deck framing, as well as mitigate any rotting of the wood framing.

But how can you convert a wood deck to a stone deck if your framing is not adequate to support the load of the stones you have selected? These companies have considered this – for example, SilcaGrate has a specific design and load table that will explain in detail how the deck should be framed or reinforced, depending on the stones you select. There are various stone manufacturers on the market, but you will find that the stones have a pretty consistent foot-pound load based on the thickness of the stone. So, once you have chosen your stone, you can determine if your deck can support the load or if it needs to be reinforced.

If necessary, adding an additional footing can be quick and easy with the utilization of mechanical screw piles. One or two extra screw piles can be driven in between the framing joists without having to take much or any of the deck framing apart.

Wood Deck to a Stone Deck

So, can you convert a wood deck to a stone deck; the answer is yes! But why, you ask? Besides the aesthetic appeal, a stone deck is virtually maintenance-free. If you have a current wood deck and were to replace it with a traditional interlock build, you would need to demolish the existing structure and send it to a landfill. By converting a wood deck to a stone deck, you are being environmentally conscious as you are reusing the majority of the materials. Also, both SilcaGrate and Paverdeck Plank are manufactured from recycled materials. Using these products, there is no excavation or backfill needed, saving you both time and money.As you can see converting a wood deck to a stone deck not only makes sense but is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. As a bonus, utilizing these innovative products is a perfect choice for the do-it-yourselfer, as they are very easy to work with.