Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Patio Ideas

Stylish Concrete Pavers
©Portland Cement Association The combination of concrete and wood suits the informal layout of this outdoor area with the light-colored wood benching echoing the shades in the pavers' design.

With a long history of commercial applications, precast concrete pavers have recently made their way into the home landscape as attractive, adaptable alternatives to brick, tile, and natural stone. Although the term "precast concrete" makes the material sound uncomfortably industrial, these pavers are available in colors, shapes, and sizes that can be creatively arranged into any number of designs, complementing virtually any house style and all your patio ideas.

Just a sampling from the selection of precast concrete pavers reveals Spanish-style terracotta tiles, "aged" brick for formal or traditional settings, rustic cobblestones for more casual patios, and flagstonelike pavers in naturalistic colors that can enhance both formal and informal designs.

Aside from their flexibility as paving materials, concrete pavers offer the strength and durability of poured concrete in a much simpler form. They can be laid individually or locked together on a level, stable sand base and -- like brick -- lend themselves to interesting patterns.

For more decorating ideas outside the home, see: