Do you love your front walkway? Does it reflect your personal style or add character to your house? Or has it long been 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. In this blog post Tilly breaks 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.
Different Types of Walkways & Their Costs
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 is 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
Blue stone is 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. It may appear as a lilac purple to dusty brown, but is most commonly a grey blue color. When shopping for bluestone, be specific and ask for samples 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 selecting a stone that is indigeouns to your 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 are dyed concrete products that can be found in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes to match your design aesthetic. They are almost always dry laid. Be sure to use a polymeric sand for the joints to deter weeds.
Budget Range: $14-$26/sf
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 usually laid with a 4” concrete base and dry sand/cement setting bed.
Budget Range: $21-$30/sf
Gravel is low cost and can be a nice, informal option. You can 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. Tilly also recommends 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 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
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 is 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 that isn’t necessary. If you chose to edge, a classic “woodsy” edging could be to run small logs 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
Did you enjoy our post on different types of walkways and their costs? We’ve also broken down fire pits and their costs. Let us know if there is a walkway we’ve forgotten or another topic you’d like borken down by budget.