Borders are not usually necessary, however they can be used to create visual definition within your patio or walkway project. The one situation which strongly suggests a border is when the outside perimeter is so curved that small cuts are required to complete the body of the area. In this case, a border will both hold the small pieces in place and draw ones vision away from the cuts.
When considering a border there are 3 things to keep in mind to make your choice a success: color, texture and size. In this article we will discuss all three options and how they affect the appearance of a border.
Color is an effective way to create contrast between the border and your patio or walkway. Using a dark or lighter hued border will create enough contrast for visual impact. For instance, if your patio or walkway is created with pavers in a grey or brown color, using a darker or lighter hue of grey or brown will create the contrast needed for the border to be effective visually.
You may also consider running the border in the opposite direction of your patio or walkway to create even more visual contrast. If your patio or walkway is in a two-dimentional pattern, you may choose to lay the border in a line (either soldier (sideways) or sailor (long ways) to create even more visual contrast (see below). This also allows you to retain the same or similar paver style that was used for the patio or walkway throughout the border.
Texture is also an effective way to create visual contrast between the border and your patio or walkway. If your patio or walkway is constructed of smooth finish pavers, using a border that is textured creates contrast. Same applies if your patio or walkway is constructed of texture finish pavers, using a border that is smooth creates visual contrast.
Size & Shape
Size and shape are other effective ways to create visual contrast between the border and your patio of walkway. If your patio is constructed of small pavers, using a larger paver as the border creates visual contrast. Similarly, if your patio is constructed of larger pavers, using a small paver for the border creates visual contrast.
Shape can also be used to create visual contrast. If your patio is constructed out of round or irregularly shaped pavers, using a paver with defined sides or edges, such as a square or rectangle, for your border creates visual contrast. The addition of a linear aspect will break up the random feel and create visual contrast. Same applies if your patio is constructed of square or rectangular pavers, using a round or irregularly shaped paver for the border will provide the necessary contrast for it to be effective.
Choosing a border that is striking can be a daunting task with all the options available, however using one or any combination of the three methods creates contrast that will ensure that your border is a visually successful.