There are a number of choices out there. Mainly man made verse natural stone. Our company won't use man made - basically coloured concrete.
Man made pavers don't always have colour through the whole paver therefore if chipped or scratched, then a noticeable colour change is seen. Natural stone pavers are the same the whole way through so scratches and chips are not anywhere near as noticeable.
Cleaning most Natural stone can be done with acid and strong cleaning products where as it is not advised on man made products as it can discolour or damage the paver.
We mainly use Limestone (Travertine) and Granite as they are very durable during construction and long term wear and tear. Easily cleaned and sealed and the colour fits with most of our designs.
Other products we will use is sandstone - a softer material. High pressure cleaning must be gentle on this material. It is also very porous so application of a premium sealer is a must.
The company uses another stone known as Quarrie mix which is also a very durable product and used mainly with 'crazy paving' for a more rustic or natural look. This design usually goes well with a basalt boarder. One thing to advise is not to seal basalt, or have professionals do it if you really want it sealed.
Costs: Over the past 15 years we have watched natural imported or local stone become cheaper than Australian man made products. Most landscaping companies that have been around for a while should be purchasing natural imported stone pavers at a cost cheaper than man made.
Note: Images shown have been designed and constructed by www.sydneydesignandlandscapecreations.com.au