By Chris Mayer, Hardscape Manager, Potomac Valley Brick
Clay pavers are one of the most versatile, timeless and durable materials on the market. In fact, streets that were built with clay pavers during the Roman empire still exist today. But like all materials, brick pavers have gone through many changes over the years, from manufacturing techniques to colors to new sizes and textures.
So, what exactly are clay pavers? Clay pavers are brick units made by mixing clay (shale or fireclay), water and additives that will react as the brick is fired in a kiln at more than 2,000 degrees. It is this time-tested process that gives brick pavers their strength, permanence and colorfast ability.
For many people, this is what they envision when they hear the term brick pavers:
A traditional sand molded clay paver usually comes in red and full range, which is often mixed with black colors. This is the type of paver you see in lining the streets in old towns, historical areas and cladding traditional colonial houses throughout many areas of Baltimore and DC. As brick paving has evolved over time, customers now have access to a wide variety of colors, sizes and textures, many unique to each manufacturer. While there are many variations of clay pavers on the market today, they still incorporate the same craftsmanship and benefits of a true clay paver.
With extruded pavers you get a more modern clean look in various vivid colors and sizes that allow you to design anything from a residential patio to driveway, permeable applications and even major roadways.
With clay pavers, it’s important we address some common questions that exist in the marketplace.
- Are clay pavers soft and not durable?
No, all extruded pavers will have at least 10,000 PSI, which is far more than a traditional pressed concrete paver. And because there are no pigments in clay pavers, colors stay true and are fade resistant.
- Are clay pavers expensive?
Clay pavers are very similar in price to most concrete pavers. But the real cost savings comes from the durability and sustainability of clay pavers. Because colors never fade, you’ll never have to replace them.
- Are clay pavers hard to find?
Potomac Valley Brick stocks more than 1 million pavers across all our yard locations. In addition, we have access to hundreds of options around the country that are accessible to our customers depending on their project needs, budget and overall vision.
When looking for materials to enhance outdoor spaces, you always want the best product for your space and budget. However, you don’t want to sacrifice aesthetics, versatility and durability. Clay pavers check every category and with hundreds of colors, sizes and textures, you can turn your outdoor living space into the best room in the house.