Block Paving Driveway Guide

By Kim
Last updated 22nd September 2021 - Reading time: 18 mins

Are you interested in a block paving driveway?

This block paving driveway guide will go over everything you need to know, including the different types of block paving, the pros and cons of block paving, the process involved with the installation, and the costs involved with the job.

Grey block paving driveway

What is a Block Paving Driveway?

You may be wondering what block paving actually is. Block paving is a commonly used decorative method of creating a driveway. It consists of bricks laid together in a pattern to create a flat surface.

Red brick block paving

The bricks for block paving driveways tend to be made from clay or concrete. A major benefit of choosing a brick block paving pattern for your driveway is that if one of the bricks becomes loose or damaged, it's can easily be replaced without having much, if any, effect on the rest of the driveway.

When installing a block paving driveway, you have the option of choosing several different patterns and styles, so you can easily create the perfect driveway to suit your taste and match the aesthetic of the rest of your home.

Types of Block Paving

Block paving can be constructed using different types of brick. Each type comes with a number of pros and cons. The best type of brick paving for you will depend on your personal preference of style and material.

If you're thinking about installing a block paving driveway at your home, take a look at the different types of block paving below to help you make a decision on which type you should go for.

Concrete Block Paving

Concrete block paving is the simplest and most cost-effective option when it comes to paving materials. This type of block is pre-made in a factory and comes in a range of different colours so you can easily find a style to suit your taste. However, it doesn't come in as many colours as some other brick types.


✔ Cheap to buy

✔ Easily available

✔ Durable


✖ Low-quality construction in comparison to other bricks

✖ Colours are limited

Brick Block Paving

This is another common type of brick that is used for constructing block paving driveways. These bricks are also usually factory-made by brick making specialists.

Brick block paving

They are available in various styles, sizes, and colours, so you can create a driveway to suit your exact vision.

The main downside of these bricks is that they are not as cost-effective as concrete blocks, so they are not always the best option if you are on a tight budget.


✔ Variety of styles

✔ Variety of sizes

✔ Variety of colours


✖ Not as cost-effective as concrete

✖ Not quite as durable as concrete

Stone Block Paving

Stone block paving provides an aesthetically pleasing look, and the material is also resilient towards erosion, weather and damage. However, with stone bricks, you're limited in the choices of colours and styles.

The cost of stone bricks is also quite higher than most other brick types. If you're looking for that authentic stone look for your driveway, then these are the best option for you. However, if you would prefer a specific style or colour for your driveway, then a different option would probably suit you best.


✔ Aesthetically pleasing look

✔ Resilient to weather

✔ Resilient erosion

✔ Resilient to damage


✖ High price point

✖ Limited designs and colours

Composite Block Paving

Composite resin blocks are a modern type of block that are cast out of polymer-based resins. These blocks are extremely durable and versatile.

They are most often constructed using recycled materials, so they are considered the most environmentally-friendly block paving option.

However, these blocks are the most expensive block paving option, so not great if you're on a tight budget.


✔ Environmentally-friendly

✔ Very durable

✔ Very versatile


✖ Expensive

✖ Less availability

Block Paving Driveway ideas

There are several different block paving driveway patterns to choose from. The way that the blocks are laid can make a big difference to the driveway's final aesthetic. Below is a list of the different laying methods that can alter the way your driveway looks:

Herringbone Style

Most block paving driveways are built in the herringbone style at either a 45-degree or 90-degree angle, depending on your preference. This particular pattern strengthens the paving as the blocks are interlocked and tightly fitted together.

Basket-weave Style

Basket-weave is a style that is most commonly used and square-shaped driveways. This particular pattern is designed in such a way so that the bricks fit into the exact dimensions of the square. This eliminates the possibility of any bricks needing to be cut at the edges, making the overall laying process easier.

Basket weave block paving

Stretcher Bond Style

This style is best used on driveways that have a slight curve. The bricks are laid similar to the pattern in which a wall is built. While it's not the most durable option for a driveway, it does provide an aesthetically appealing look that's easy to lay.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Block Paving Driveway?

If you're thinking about installing a block paving driveway at your home, then you may be interested in the advantages and disadvantages that come with this type of driveway. Below, we have listed the pros and cons to help you make the right decision:


  • Wide range of styles – There is a huge range of styles available when it comes to block paving. This makes it very easy for you to find a style that suits your particular taste.
  • Wide range of colours – Similarly, there is also a huge range of colours available for block paving, so you can match your driveway to the colour scheme of the rest of your property.
  • Attractive option – Compared to other driveway types such as concrete or tarmac, block paving is considered to be a much more attractive style.
  • Relatively inexpensive – Depending on the type of bricks you choose for your block paving, you can build a block paving driveway for a relatively low cost.
  • Easy to repair – If one of the blocks becomes damaged, this can be lifted and replaced, having little to no effect on the rest of the driveway.
  • Accurate block sizes – As block paving bricks tend to be manufactured in a factory, they tend to all be the same size. This makes it much easier to ensure a neat finish when building the driveway.
  • No specialist machinery required – This is a huge advantage when it comes to the installation phase. You don't need to worry about any specialist machinery to achieve the driveway of your dreams.


  • Can be expensive – Depending on the type of block that is used, some block paving driveways can end up being quite expensive.
  • Can sink – If the sub-base is not adequately prepared, block paving areas can start to sink if the driveway regularly has to take the weight of cars.
  • Blocks can move – If there is not adequate edging or kerbs around the driveway, this can cause the blocks to move and may result in gaps in the driveway.
  • Weed and moss growth – Weeds and moss can grow between the blocks. This can make the driveway look less appealing and may result in it needing regular maintenance.
  • Colours can fade – If you choose to buy cheaper blocks for your driveway, the colour of these blocks may start to fade over time due to UV light.
  • May need drainage systems – Unless permeable blocks are used for the driveway, you may need to have a drainage system installed at an additional cost.

How Much Does a Block Paving Driveway Cost?

The average cost of a block paving driveway will depend on several factors, including your location, the type of bricks used, the condition of the area, and the size of the area.

The average cost for a medium-sized block paving driveway with a simple design is around £5000.

Close up of red block paving driveway

A small, budget block paving driveway could cost as little as £2000, whereas a large, more extravagant block paving driveway could cost around £10,800.

You may also need to think about some additional costs, such as installing a driveway gate, which is usually around £700 on average.

You may also want to think about maintenance costs such as having your driveway power washed, which will usually cost around £300 on average.

How to Install a Block Paving Driveway

You may be wondering what the process of installing a block paving driveway involves. There are several steps that need to be taken when doing this type of work. Below we will go over the steps involved with laying a block paving driveway:

Designing the Driveway

It's a good idea to begin with a specific design in mind. You should aim to sketch out a plan with the correct dimensions of your new driveway so you know exactly what to expect when it's built. This will also give you a good idea of the volume of materials you'll need to order.


The first stage when building any type of new driveway is the excavation stage. For block paving, you will need to dig to at least 150mm depth below the damp-proof course of your home. If the area you're excavating is flat, you should aim to dig at a slight slope so that water can drain off the surface easily.


You will need to install your edging restraints before you begin constructing the driveway. This acts as a frame for the drive and makes it much easier to install the rest of the driveway correctly. Your edging should be concreted into place to ensure integrity, and you should aim to get your edging as level as possible.


Your sub-base will provide the main support for your paving blocks. You will need to apply a layer of sub-base that is at least 100mm deep. This will ensure your paving can support any weight placed on top of it, such as your car. Your sub-base should be fully compacted so that the driveway doesn't sink at all when you start to use it.

Add Sand

Next, you will need to add sand on top of the sub-base. Be sure to mould the sand in a way so that it incorporates any angles or slopes that are needed on the driveway.

The sand you apply should be sharp and moist and will need to be completely compacted. You should then screed the sand with screeding lats to get the finished surface ready for laying blocks.

Laying Bricks

It's now time to lay your paving bricks. You should start at one of the corners at the bottom of the slope you've created.

Lay each brick one by one in the desired pattern. The bricks should sit around 10-15mm above the planned line so that they're ready to be compacted.


Once you've finished laying all of the bricks, you will then need to brush kiln-dried sand into the gaps in the paving.

Get as much of it as you can into the joints and then compact the paving. Once compacted, apply more sand and repeat this process until all of the joints are completely filled.

While it's entirely possible to lay a block paving driveway yourself, many people prefer to leave it to the professionals.

If any part of the job isn't completed correctly, such as building an adequate sub-base or installing a suitable border, then the driveway could quickly ruin after use.

The best way to avoid cracks and prevent block paving driveway sinking is to have your driveway professionally installed by a builder who offers a guarantee with their work.

How Long Does It Take to Install Block Paving on a Driveway?

The time it takes to install a block paving driveway will depend on various factors such as the condition of the area, the size of the area, and the desired pattern.

If the area is in a terrible condition and needs a lot of clearing and levelling off work, then this will cause the job to take much longer.

Modern home with red block paving driveway

Similarly, if the area is larger than most, this will cause the job to take much longer than average. More extravagant pattern styles will also take longer to lay.

An average-sized block paving driveway with a simple pattern will usually take around 2-3 days to complete. Larger driveways with more extravagant pattern choices could take around 4-7 days to complete.

Building Regulations or Planning Permission Approval for Driveway Block Paving

When building a block paving driveway, you won't usually need to worry about building regulations. However, if you are making alterations to an existing driveway or relaying a block paving driveway, you will need to ensure that the access to the property remains the same as before.

If you do need to make changes to the access for your new driveway, such as adding steps to the property, then building regulations will apply. If you are unsure whether the regulations will apply to you, it's always best to check with your local council before you start the work.

If you are building a completely new driveway, then planning permission may be required in some cases. If you choose permeable blocks with adequate drainage, then you will not require planning permission.

If the area is less than 5m2, you won't need to worry about planning permission. However, if it is larger than 5m2, you will need to provide facilities so that water can easily run off the drive.

If you are confused at all as to whether your particular driveway will need planning permission, you should check with your local authority before beginning the work.

How to Clean and Maintain Block Paving

There are several steps you can take to clean and maintain your block paving driveway. Below is a list of things you can do to keep your block paving driving in the best possible condition:

Using Soapy Water

As an alternative to pressure washing, you can clean your block paving driveway with soapy water. Pour a small amount of soapy water onto the driveway's surface and use a brush to scrub the area. You can then wash away the soapy mixture using a hose or buckets of water.

Regular Brushing

It's a great idea to brush your driveway regularly. This will prevent dirt and debris from getting trapped or staining the driveway. This can also help to prevent the possibility of seeds settling, which can cause weeds to grow in the gaps between the bricks.

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing your block paving driveway is a great way to give your paving blocks a thorough clean. This is also a great way to eliminate some of those pesky weeds that may start to poke through the gaps. However, pressure washing can cause the sand between the gaps to become loose, so you may need to re-sand the joints after you pressure wash your drive.

Pressure washing block paving

Weed Killer

If weeds start to grow in the gaps between the bricks, the best thing you can do is apply an adequate amount of weed killer to each problem area. This will kill off the weeds. You can pull out any problem weeds and then apply weed killer to that area to prevent any more weeds from growing in the same place.


There are several driveway block paving sealers that can be used to protect the surface of your block paving driveway.

These sealants can help with water drainage and can prevent surface stains. Some sealants can also prevent weed growth. It's a good idea to seal your block paving driveway once a year to keep it properly maintained.

Replace Loose or Broken Bricks

If you notice that a brick has come loose on your driveway or if one of the bricks is damaged, then you should aim to replace this brick as soon as possible. This will prevent the possibility of it causing more damage to surrounding bricks and maintain your driveway's integrity.

Alternatives to a Block Paving Driveway

When it comes to installing a new driveway, block paving is not the only option. There are several different types of driveway that you can choose from, and each type comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Below, we will take a look at the most popular alternatives to block paving so that you can decide which type of driveway is right for you:

Gravel Driveway

A gravel driveway is very easy to install and one of the most cost-effective styles of driveway. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to get a gravel driveway installed.


✔ Easy to install

✔ Cheap

✔ Fast installation

✔ Various colour options


✖ Not as durable

✖ Difficult to walk on

Tarmac Driveway

A tarmac driveway is one of the most common types of the driveway in the UK. Tarmac driveways tend to be more expensive than other options, and you will need to hire a professional to install it. However, it is extremely durable and doesn't require much maintenance to keep it in great shape.


✔ It doesn't require much maintenance

✔ Very durable

✔ Long-lasting


✖ Limited style options

✖ Requires specialist installation

✖ It can be quite expensive

Concrete Slab Driveway

As an alternative to concrete block paving, you may wish to choose concrete slabs instead. Concrete driveways can be one of the most durable and long-lasting types of the driveway when installed correctly.

Concrete slab driveway

To get that correct finish, you will need to hire a professional to install the driveway for you.


✔ Very durable

✔ Long-lasting


✖ Hard to install correctly

✖ Can be expensive

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Block Paving Driveway Installer

When looking for a contractor to install your block paving driveway for you, there are several questions that you should consider asking them. Check out the list of questions below to help you find the right tradesman for the job:

  • Does the contractor possess any qualifications relating to installing block paving driveways?
  • Does the tradesman have insurance? Will the insurance cover property damage, personal injury, and a guarantee?
  • Does the contractor have any evidence of previous work? Ask them for testimonials or pictures of block paving driveways that they have worked on in the past.
  • Does the tradesman offer any guarantees with their work? Will they fix any issues that arise? What does the guarantee cover, and how long does it last?
  • How many tradespeople will be working on the job? What are the expected timescales?
  • Ask for a breakdown of costs to ensure you're not overpaying for any particular parts of the work.
  • Does the contractor provide all tools and materials? Is there anything that you will need to prepare or obtain before the work starts?


How do you remove oil from block paving driveway?

The best way to remove oil stains from block paving is to scrub the stain with a strong detergent. You can then wash the detergent away with hot water. Take care when scrubbing as some coloured paving stones may lose their pigment if you scrub too harshly.

For very stubborn stains, you can apply an emulsifying degreaser. This should be left for a certain length of time as specified on the bottle and then washes away with a good amount of clean water.

How deep should a driveway be for block paving?

The excavation area of your block paving driveway should be dug down to at least 150mm depth below the damp-proof course of your home.

How long will a block paving driveway last?

The average block paving driveway will last around 15-20 years as long as it is installed correctly and is lightly maintained.

Which sand should be used for block paving?

The most suitable sand for block paving joints is kiln-dried sand. This is a very fine sand that has been dried in a kiln to remove the moisture.

What is the most popular block paving pattern style?

The most popular block paving pattern style is the herringbone style. This is thought to be the most durable type of block paving pattern due to the way the blocks interlock.


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