There was a time when the only concrete pavers available were rectangular blocks, which are sturdy but often uninteresting solutions for walkways and patios. Today, precast concrete pavers can be found in dozens of shapes, sizes, and colors and serve as surprisingly realistic substitutes for brick, cobblestone, tile, and even granite. In addition to the familiar squares and circles, pavers come in a variety of more interesting shapes such as hexagons, diamonds, and free-form designs that can be creatively arranged to bring a patio to life.
Interlocking pavers -- units that fit together like pieces of a puzzle -- are manufactured from a dense form of concrete, and most products are exceptionally strong. When joined together, interlocking pavers create a rigid, fairly smooth surface that stays in alignment even when laid in sand, making it ideal for areas that sustain a lot of foot traffic. Interlocking pavers can also be used in places that bear heavier loads than most materials can handle, including driveways.