Do you love your front walkway? Does it reflect your personal style or add character to your house? Or has it been long forgotten and you don’t even notice it anymore. A front walkway can greatly impact your home’s curb appeal and back and side walkways are key for functionality and flow so in this blog post Tilly is breaking down different types of walkways and the costs associated with them!
*Note that costs can vary based on where you are shopping and where you live! Below we have broken down approximate costs by price per square foot.
Brick: We love brick for its old world charm. Brick is a great classic option and can be laid in a variety of different patterns, herringbone, basket-weave, running bond, and stacked bond patterns to fit different styles. Reclaimed brick can be a great way to add character to a new landscape. Brick also generally pairs nicely with other materials such as bluestone and granite.
Due to it’s somewhat porous nature brick can get slippery over time and may require power washing. Bricks can be dry laid (on a sand/cement mix base with flexible joints) or wet laid (on a concrete base with cement joints).
Budget Range: $14-$18/sf
Bluestone: A very traditional and widely used stone in the northeast and midwest. As this is a natural product the color and quality can vary greatly depending on the quarry from a lilac purple to dusty brown, but is most commonly a grey blue color. Be specific and ask for samples when installing a bluestone walkway to be sure you like the material available.
Bluestone can also be laid in many different configurations from a random rectangular pattern to a large cross hatched. The product comes in both rectangular sizes and irregular pieces. Using irregular stone will give a less formal look.
Budget Range: $18-$28/sf
Other Natural Stones: There are a multitude of other natural stones. We recommend trying to stick to what is indigeouns to the region to give your landscape local context and be sure the stone will hold up in your location. We love limestone, sandstone, travertine, granite, marble, and quartzite.
Budget Range: $18-$28/sf
Pavers: Pavers are dyed concrete products and can be found in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes to match your design aesthetic. Pavers are almost always dry laid. Be sure to use a polymeric sand for the joints to deter weeds.
Budget Range: $14-$26/sf
Porcelain: Some wonderful exterior grade porcelain tiles have been developed recently that are weather resistant and not slippery. Generally they lend a more modern look with very regular grains, patterns, and joints. They are generally laid with a 4” concrete base and dry sand/cement setting bed.
Budget Range: $21-$30/sf
Gravel: Gravel is a low cost and can be a nice, informal option. You can also place stepping stones down within gravel to give it additional character. Be sure to use an edge restraint such as steel edging, cobblestone curbing, or other material to prevent the gravel from spreading into the surrounding landscape. We also recommend selecting a small size gravel – ¼” to ⅜”. Lastly, use a geotextile weed barrier below the gravel to prevent plant growth and provide some stability to the path
Budget Range: $8-$15/sf
Stepping Stones: Stepping stones can be made out of any material, although we don’t recommend pieces smaller than 18×18”. Examples of materials include irregular fieldstone, natural stone (bluestone, limestone, etc), reclaimed granite curbing, or particularly old school – tree trunk slices.
Budget Range: $10-$20/sf
Concrete: In general, concrete is a very versatile product. A concrete walkway can be as simple as a traditional sidewalk or stamped and dyed to look just like a natural stone. In general concrete has a more modern feel and must be poured with intentional expansion joints to allow for expansion and contraction due to changes in temperature. Some things to think about when installing a concrete walk:
- Color – there are lots of great additives and stains that can add character to the traditionally white/grey material.
- Finish – the traditional finish is called “broom” (precisely because it’s done with a broom!) and is designed to be simple and non-slip. But concrete can be troweled, polished, stamped, honed, etc
- Aggregate – small pebbles or gravel can be rolled into a wet concrete surface to give it different colors and textures.
Budget Range: $10-$20/sf
Mulch or Wood Chips: Mulch is a good option for a natural looking walkway – perhaps through a garden area. This is also a great DIY option for homeowners. A mulch walkway can be edged but isn’t necessary. A classic “woodsy” edging is small logs running parallel to the path. A mulch pathway may require refreshing every few years depending on foot traffic and weed pressure.
Budget Range: $5-$10/sf
Let us know if there is a walkway we’ve forgotten that you’d like to know more about!