Best Patio Pavers For Cold Climates

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Patio pavers are a crucial element of landscaping. Residential and commercial areas use patio pavers not only to improve the overall aesthetic value of the properties but also to help control water buildup around them. Your choice of hardscape materials especially for cold climates entails a rigorous assessment of cost and durability. Moreover, safety measures and installation quality are huge factors to look into. There are quite a lot of things to consider, so we've made extensive research and digested it all for you!

Patio pavers come in different forms, styles, and functionalities. There are, however, specific ones that are most ideal for brutally cold climates. The six best patio pavers for winter, especially when the freeze-thaw cycle is dreadful, are:

  1. permeable brick pavers
  2. porcelain
  3. slate
  4. travertine
  5. terra cotta
  6. granite
  7. stamped concrete

When deciding to revamp your garden with pavers, you must think about water seepage due to the perennial cold weather problems. You will also need to know that each patio paving material has its unique characteristics in terms of color, porosity, durability, water resistance, etc. Some are waterproof while some are not. Stick around as we walk you through the best patio pavers for the freezing season of the year!

Aerial shot of fire pit and landscape pavers at dusk. Paver patio has built in lighted pavers, Best Patio Pavers For Cold Climates

What are the Best Patio Pavers For Cold Climates?

1. Permeable brick pavers

Brick pavers can be permeable or pervious. Between the two, the permeable brick pavers are more ideal for cold climates mainly because these are not water absorbent and are therefore resistant to freezing. These pavers are made from concrete or heat-cured natural clay. They can withstand ice formation and melting, moisture, and constant pressure under traffic.

Brick pavers on average cost $0.25 to $4 per piece or $4 to $8 per square foot. When laid over on a strong foundation, brick pavers tend to last for more than 25 years. Of course, in order to achieve that lifespan, homeowners like you should provide regular maintenance, including sealing, to your patio.

2. Porcelain

Garden furniture on the terrace on sunny day

These patio pavers perform well under all weather conditions. They are inherently strong, durable, and impervious which means water cannot pass through them. While materials made of porcelain, in general, are shiny and slippery, manufacturers have designed slip-resistant types of these pavers, so you can rest assured that accidents from slipping can be prevented.

This type of paver usually costs $7-9 per square foot.

3. Slate

When choosing pavers, you should know the porosity of a material. It refers to the presence of tiny spaces within a material through which water can penetrate. The more porous a paver is, the more vulnerable it is to the effects of the freeze and thaw cycle. Slates are some of the best options for pavements for being not very porous.

Moreover, if you consider giving your patio a stylish look, you can rely on a wide variety of colors slates can offer! These pavers can be green, blue, blue-gray, violet, or brown. On average, slates cost between $15 and $40 per square foot. 

4. Travertine

Without a doubt, travertine pavers are stunningly perfect for your patio or driveway! Made of natural stone material, travertine stone of the highest grade is wear and water-resistant, and it can last for years without fading and cracking. In fact, cold weather conditions pose little to no threat at all to the integrity of these pavers provided they are properly installed and sealed.

Additionally, installers can apply a non-slip coating to travertine pavers to reduce slipperiness, but in general, natural stones are said to be the safest and least slippery patio materials.

Like slates, travertine pavers come in different colors such as tan, gold, beige, and walnut. HomeAdvisor reports these can cost from $4 to $6 per square foot.

5. Terra Cotta

terra cotta colored paver bricks in sunny Florida

Terracotta (Italian: baked earth) pavers are 100% natural clay fired at low temperatures. Terracotta materials are generally suitable for use outdoors. Although some can be frost-resistant, these porous clay pavers still need adequate sealing in places where snow is abundant.

You will fall in love with these pavers because of their rustic and earthy color and texture!

6. Granite

Trusted for its low porosity, extreme density, and exceptional durability, granite can be ideal for cold and wet environments. Despite its high cost on the market, granite can last a lifetime while maintaining its beautiful form. It has natural water-resistant properties but is slippery when wet. The cost of granite pavers ranges from $18.19 to $23.71 per square foot.

Stamped Concrete

When speaking of weather-resistant pavers, stamped concrete is always on the priority list! Stamped concrete is one of the most durable, versatile, and reliable paving materials. Though it is much cheaper than other pavers, it can offer a wide array of lovely colors and patterns that imitate leading pavers on the market. It usually costs between $8 and $12 per square foot.

Due to its usually rugged texture, stamped concrete can be less slippery compared to ordinary concrete during the wet or cold season. Installers try resolving slippery stamped concrete by either mixing nonslip additives with sealers or using patterns that have a rougher texture in the stone.

You might also be interested to know if concrete pavers are slippery when wet.

Do I Need to Seal my Patio Pavers Before Winter?

A residential home exterior. Backyard outdoor space with garden and patio and outdoor furniture and sun umbrella

Protecting your outdoor structures is as important as shielding your home against the brunt of the frigid climate. Patio pavers made of clay or concrete can be porous and vulnerable to water seepage if not adequately sealed. By applying sealers on your pavers, you give your patio protection against cracks and water penetration that could saturate the ground beneath, causing destructive ground heaves.

Sealers not only make the pavers look shiny or matte, but they provide coating against stains and slipperiness as well. It is likewise possible to apply sealers with utmost care in cold weather; however, when the temperature drops below 5 degrees celsius, doing such is not recommended.

Check out this sealer on Amazon.

How Much Does it Cost to Install Pavers?

Brick Paver Working

Depending on the project size, material choice, and types of sealers and coating, installation usually costs from $2,400 to $7,000. Other factors to consider that can increase your overall expenses for installation are the location of your house and the complexity of your desired project.

Can You Lay Pavers in Cold Weather?

By practice, homeowners prefer installing their pavers during the dry season when the ground is firm and stable. However, it's possible to lay pavers in cold weather--as long as the ground is not frozen--with the help of a landscaping contractor who understands heavy frost weather patterns.

Take note as well that laying pavers during the off-season is less expensive since the demands are lower. Furthermore, securing permits and approvals from the homeowners association and other organizations is much faster because only a few people apply for such during winter.

The Bottom Line

Worker is paving a place in the garden.

A wide range of weather-resistant and elegant patio pavers suitable for cold climates are readily available on the market. Going outdoors under frigid weather may not always be a good idea, but maintaining a beautiful patio need not be problematic. Your choice of patio pavers should primarily gravitate to their porosity, durability, slipperiness, and resistance to water.

Planning with a professional contractor is highly recommended. Using the right sealers to polish and protect your patio from water-induced damage is equally important. After all, your patio is a precious investment to keep.