You can download this Buyers Guide For Paving Circles as a free PDF which you can give away to friends, family, or anyone else. The PDF is handy for printing out and reading offline!
So you’d like to add a cool paving circle or pattern to your garden? Great idea! The circles, stars, suns and octagons add a very special “wow” factor to a garden, for both you and your friends to admire…
Before you jump in at the deep end, there are several questions you need to consider before buying your new garden feature. In this guide, we’ll tackle those questions. Hopefully, by the time you’ve finished, you’ll know exactly which design is best for you! 🙂
Obviously, cost is a major concern when doing a new landscaping project. Thankfully, paving is one of the cheapest ways to make a big, positive change to your garden. As it’s also very low maintenance, you won’t be spending more money over time to keep it looking good… unlike a lawn, which can be an expensive headache when you consider the tools, chemicals and time it takes to maintain.
However, despite paving being great value for money, cost may still be a consideration. If so, you’ll want to think about man-made paving slabs as opposed to natural stone. Obviously, man-made concrete slabs can be created in bulk in a factory, so you save a lot of money compared to the sourcing and shipping of natural stone. However, with recent advances in the ability to replicate the patterns of natural stone, it’s often difficult to tell the concrete imitation from the real thing!
|Natural Sandstone 2-ring||Yorkvale 2-ring|
The cost savings of using man-made slabs can be significant. A 2-ring “Natural Sandstone” circle paving pack can be 25% more expensive, compared to man-made stone (Bradstone Yorkvale) despite having the same number of slabs.
Of course, some people prefer the natural stone, with it’s inherent variability and are willing to pay more for the aesthetic appeal. Ultimately, the decision is yours, based on your personal preferences.
It’s obviously no use buying a huge 3-ring circle if you have a small backgarden. It may not fit, and, even if it did, it would probably overpower the rest of the garden. As a rough rule of thumb, the smallest 1-ring paving circle is about 6-feet (1.8 metres) in diameter, a 2-ring paving circle will be about 9 feet (2.8 metres) in diameter and a 3-ring circle will be about 13 feet (4 metres) in diameter.
One-ring (1.8 metre)
Two-ring (2.8 metre)
Three-ring (4 metre)
(Measurements are approximate and should be used as guidelines. Please check the exact measurements of any circle paving pack before purchase)
Note, if you use a “squaring off kit” to turn the circle into a square, the length and width of the square will be roughly the same as the diameter of the circle because all the “squaring off kit” does is fill in the corners.
To quickly look at more unusual shapes…
This Octagon is just over 8 feet (2.5 metres) in diameter…
This Sun Circle pattern is 9 feet (2.8 metres) in diameter…
This beautiful Bamburgh Star is just over 7 feet (2.2 metres) in diameter…
Finally, this Spinning Circle is 8 feet (2.5 metres) in diameter….
If you want a small, square, patio area, a good choice is to buy a paving circle kit of the right size along with a squaring off kit which gives a square-shaped patio.
If you want a more rectangular shaped patio, or perhaps a larger square with a paving circle in the middle, it’s usually possible to buy “patio packs” of the same paving stones as the circle, star or octagon is made of, so that the whole patio area blends into one seamless design feature.
It’s even possible to cut paving stones to specific shapes if you are confident enough, using a cutting disk, to make the paving stones fit your specific patio design.
There’s an excellent calculator which works in both metric and imperial here…
If you tell the calculator the area to be paved, and the slab dimensions, it will tell you the number of slabs you need.
Bear in mind, it’s often a good idea to buy a patio pack rather than individual paving slabs as the cost will be cheaper and a patio pack will often give you a variety of differently sized stones to create a more interesting visual effect than a repeating layout of identical slabs. Finally, slabs in a patio pack will most likely have been taken from the same quarry at the same time, which will minimise variability when buying natural stone.
My suggestion would be to pick the size of circle, octagon or star you want, then decide if you want to incorporate it into a patio. If you do, buy the squaring off kit and, if you’re going for a large patio, either buy additional slabs to place around the design feature, or an extra patio kit.
In business, nothing ever stays the same for long. The best deal will vary as special offers are introduced and other deals expire. I’ve always suggested that people consider several factors when deciding what constitutes the “best deal” for them.
Firstly, paving is such a heavy object that almost all shops, either online of offline, will have to arrange for delivery. That being the case, it makes sense to buy from an online retailer who doesn’t have the overheads of an offline business and will usually be cheaper. On the other hand, you want to use a trusted online retailer who not only offers a great price, but will also deliver the product, offer a no-question return policy and have knowledgeable and helpful customer support. For our recommendations, take a look around the website. 🙂
As this is a “buyers guide”, we’re not tackling how to lay paving in this guide. Check out our other free guides for how to lay paving and more.
I’ve left this question until last because it’s really a personal preference. Depending on which design you select, circle, octagon or star, and whether or not you decide to go for man-made paving or natural, you’ll have a different range of finishes to choose from.
For example, the Octagon design is only available as beautiful Natural Sandstone in the Fossil Buff finish. Also, the spectacular Star (“Sun Circle”) motif is only available as Old Town paving in a Grey-Green with Mellow Costwold mix of slabs.
However, if you’re considering paving circles of either one, two or three rings, you’ll have more choice, from natural slabs such as sandstone or slate, to man-made slabs in as many as four different finishes.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this Buyer’s Guide for paving circles. We’ve looked at different types of circles and patterns, types of stone, size considerations and more.
We wish you good luck in your search for the perfect paving circle for your garden and hope it brings you pleasure for many years to come.