Hardscaping Made of Plastic? What You Need to Know for Your Wichita Landscape
Updated: Sep 21
Should You Take Hardscape Idea Inspiration from Your Local Big Box Store?
Rubberized and hard plastic pavers made to look like stone are all the rage at local big box hardware stores. They’re advertised as durable, easy to care for, and simple to install. At a glance, they can be indiscernible from natural materials and make beautiful patios and walkways.
But should you opt for hardscaping made of a manufactured substance? Let’s examine the pros and cons and discover how to get the best results in your hardscape design.
Pro: Plastic Hardscaping Materials Do Not Decompose Quickly
Even pressure-treated wood decks and retaining walls will eventually require replacement. This is because natural materials like wood begin to deteriorate over time.
However, plastic or plastic-based hardscaping materials do not decompose in the same way. For reference, it takes a single plastic bottle - made of thin plastic - 450 or more years to decompose in a landfill. As a result, you can expect your plastic or resin hardscaping feature to be resistant to wear.
Con: Manufactured Hardscaping Colors Fade Unnaturally Over Time
Natural materials can certainly change colors over time, thanks to processes like erosion. However, stone’s makeup is the same throughout - the colors that contribute to its exterior are the same on the interior.
Manufactured hardscaping colors that use dyes may not always be photosafe, meaning they will fade in the sun. If you’ve invested in a new patio made of resin or plastic pavers, there’s a good chance that, in a few years, it will not be quite the same color as it was originally. If you intentionally chose this color to match your existing or future hardscaping ideas, you may be disappointed that it lacks a cohesive look.
Pro: Manufactured Hardscaping for Landscaping Can Be Inexpensive
If you have a specific budget in mind for a new patio or garden walkway, it can be quite tempting to choose a manufactured plastic stone or paver, especially because they tend to come with a lower price than natural stone, which is often dug from the ground, cut and shaped, and driven around the country for delivery.
Con: Plastic Hardscaping Can Feel Flimsy Underfoot
Resin or plastic pavers tend to be lighter in weight than natural stone, which means that when you step on them, they’ll have a different feel. Plastic also has a tendency to crack or weaken in extreme weather temperatures.
Of course, this can vary from product to product, so you will want to carefully read reviews from other people who have purchased and installed them before making your decision. You can find these reviews on the retailer’s website.
For a more stable feel to your manmade hardscape landscaping, texturized, rubberized pavers can be a better option. They also provide more “grip” and are less likely to be slick when wet with rain or water from the lawn sprinkler system.
Pro: Plastic Hardscaping Comes with a Specific Set of Proven Installation Instructions
When you purchase a product like a kit of resin or plastic pavers, it’s likely the manufacturer has developed and provided step-by-step installation instructions that are easy to understand. By following their recommended installation process, you are likely to retain some sort of product warranty.
Con: You Need More Materials Than Just Pavers for DIY Hardscaping Installation
Although a manmade paver kit makes it sound like installing a patio can be accomplished in just a few simple steps, the truth is that, regardless of whether you’re using manmade or natural stone ones, you will need more tools and materials than just the pavers. And preparing a section of your lawn to turn into a patio or walkway is a laborious process.
You must level the ground, prepare the soil, apply specialized sand, use proper edging to maintain shape, and apply fillers between the stones to prevent weed growth and movement - among other important steps.
Sometimes it is better to opt for working with a company specializing in hardscaping near you, rather than attempting a DIY project.
Custom Hardscape Design for Your Lawn and Garden
Why settle for manufactured hardscaping solutions when you can get a totally custom design with professional installation from Meadowlark Landscape & Design? Wichita area property owners seeking rock walls, bluestone patios, and natural paver walkways will enjoy a cohesive look when they partner with our team. And because of our extensive knowledge, we can recommend places where manmade pavers just make sense!
Best of all, our landscape maintenance technicians can come back all summer long to provide lawn care and fertilization, prevent pests, de-weed your flower beds, and ensure your plants are healthy and happy.