May 2023 - TRUEGRID Pavers
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Paving Stones vs Gravel: Which is the Best Choice for Your Outdoor Space?

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Whether creating a new patio, walkway, or driveway for your property or updating an existing space, it can be challenging to choose between two popular building materials; paving stones or gravel.

Paving stones and gravel are classic and rustically beautiful building materials that have been used for centuries worldwide.

When it comes down to it, what are the pros and cons of paving stones vs. gravel? Which one is right for your project?

It is essential to understand the nuances of each material to make an informed decision for your home or business’s new outdoor space.

Pros and Cons of Paving Stones vs. Gravel

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As with any building materials, there are a variety of pros and cons when comparing paving stones and gravel; each product offers distinct advantages and disadvantages when building a driveway, patio, or walkway. 

Paving Stones – Pros

Paving stones, which can range from natural blue stone or granite to manufactured concrete pavers or bricks, can add beauty to any outdoor living area.

Paving stones can provide a classic beauty to your project, but it’s important to know that they also present some significant disadvantages.

Wide Range of Colors

One of the most significant advantages of paving stones is the vast array of colors that are available. From warm reds and sandy tans to cool blues and greys, paving stones can match any home or building’s color scheme.

Wide Range of Shapes

You can purchase paving stones as irregular, natural stone shapes to create a more organic, natural space or as straight-edged, ninety-degree rectangles or squares for a uniform, geometric style.


Do you strongly prioritize walking around outside barefoot? If so, paving stones are a great barefoot-friendly paving option. A paving stone’s smooth, flat surface is much more comfortable for the tender undersides of your feet than sharp, irregular gravel.

Paving Stones – Cons


When comparing the price of paving stones to gravel driveways, patios, and walkways, paving stones are significantly more expensive than gravel. 

Not only is the material cost for paving stones more expensive than gravel, but the labor cost for installation is substantially higher as well.

Difficult Installation

Properly installing hardscape materials like paving stones can often require experienced professionals and specialty tools. 

Knowing how to achieve an adequately prepared subsurface and accurately screeding to ensure a smooth, flat finished product is a skill many hardscape contractors hone with years of experience.

Specialty tools like plate compactors for adequately compacting the base to avoid settling and paver pullers are essential to completing a paving stone project.

Gravel – Pros

Gravel comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. From the traditional ¾” crushed gravel you are probably familiar with, to small, smooth, and rounded pea gravel, there is a type of gravel to fit every need.

Gravel patios, walkways, and driveways are popular in rustic French architecture, English cottages, and European villas. 

Drought-tolerant landscaping also commonly uses different varieties of gravel in its design. Gravel driveways, patios, and walkways can be excellent ways to create permeable surfaces around your home as well.

Cost Effective

One of gravel’s most significant advantages over paving stones is its dramatically lower cost.

Not only is gravel’s material cost substantially more affordable than paving stones, but the installation costs and labor fees associated with gravel surfaces are a fraction of what it costs to install paving stones.

Easy Installation

Creating a gravel driveway requires minimal special tools and can be done by any motivated DIYer with a couple of weekends and some good old-fashioned elbow grease. 

Superior Drainage

Gravel surfaces can be 100% permeable and offer unmatched drainage, by eliminating issues caused by runoff, like puddles and flash flooding. Additionally, the permeability of gravel surfaces helps to replenish your area’s natural groundwater supply, to create a healthier environment for you and your family.

Gravel – Cons


Gravel driveways are notorious for developing ruts once consistently driven on. Ruts are unsightly and can eventually lead to a muddy driveway as well as pooling or puddling.


Gravel driveways essentially consist of loose stone, so they can be susceptible to erosion. Unlike paving stones which have structure and firm borders, gravel surfaces built on a hill, slope, or grade can erode over time and become a hazardous mess.


Over time, gravel can spill out of its defined boundaries and into adjacent lawns and gardens, which causes a messy living area and can create a potential lawn-mowing hazard. 

Eliminate the Downsides of Gravel with TRUEGRID®

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You can create a gravel surface without the downsides by pairing the rustic beauty of a gravel driveway, walkway, or patio with the practical and eco-friendly functionality of TRUEGRID® permeable pavers.

Installing the TRUEGRID PRO LITE or PRO PLUS permeable pavers on top of your subsurface and then filling them with gravel creates a gravel surface that is immune to irritating rutting and spilling.

TRUEGRID permeable pavers are interlocking plastic grids engineered with an open structure of tubes. TRUEGRID’s open design allows you to fill them with gravel while simultaneously locking the gravel in place; this prevents the irritating spilling that can often plague gravel surfaces.

TRUEGRID permeable pavers are engineered with industry-leading compressive strength, making rutting a thing of the past; the PRO PLUS can easily handle the weight of trucks and heavy machinery.

Want to build a gravel patio or walkway on a slope or with a pitch? By using TRUEGRID permeable pavers, you can prevent nasty erosion and lock your beautiful gravel surface in place.

Curious about creating a durable grass driveway, parking lot, or walkway? TRUEGRID’s innovative ROOT® system allows grass to grow through its structure while protecting grass’s delicate roots from being crushed by vehicle weight, so that you can create stunning and durable grass surfaces.

Choose TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers for Beautiful, Eco-Friendly Paving Options

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Since 2013, TRUEGRID has been on a mission to create easy-to-install, eco-friendly paving alternatives that can transform your outdoor living spaces from drab to fab.

Made from 100% post-consumer recycled HDPE 100% in the U.S., TRUEGRID has saved millions of pounds of plastic from landfills and waterways while returning millions of gallons of water to the water table.

Check out the full line of TRUEGRID products, or get an estimate for your project online and discover how you can be true to your project and true to the environment with TRUEGRID.

sustainable landscaping design

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You’re interested in updating your home or business’s landscaping, but you would like to do so in a way that is harmonious with nature or at least isn’t detrimental to it. So what are some sustainable landscape design ideas?

From permeable hardscapes to erosion control and drought-resistant gardens, there are many ways to create a sustainable landscape design, but which one is right for you? 

It’s vital to understand the nuances of each sustainable landscape design so that you can choose what is suitable for you and your property.

What is Sustainable Landscaping?

Sustainable landscaping is created by utilizing eco-friendly materials and practices to create outdoor spaces that work with nature instead of trying to dominate it.

5 Sustainable Landscaping Design Ideas

From permeable hardscapes to grass driveways, here are five fantastic sustainable landscape design ideas:

1. Permeable Hardscapes

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Utilizing permeable hardscapes is one of the best ways to create a sustainable landscape design.

Permeable hardscapes typically contain gravel and often invoke images of rustic French architecture, English cottages, and European villas.

Unlike traditional impermeable materials like concrete, brick, and asphalt that funnel stormwater away from your property, permeable hardscapes allow water to penetrate down into the ground. 

By allowing water to permeate into the ground, you are helping to replenish vital groundwater supplies instead of redirecting it away from your local area.

Permeable hardscapes can have incredible benefits for your local environment, but they tend to suffer from two significant downsides; rutting and spillage.

Over time, a gravel walkway or patio will develop ruts through high-traffic areas; additionally, with use, gravel will inevitably spill out of its boundaries, for a messy and unkempt look.

By pairing a beautiful gravel surface with TRUEGRID® permeable pavers, you can lock gravel in place and create a walkway or patio that is immune to nasty rutting.

TRUEGRID permeable pavers provide a 100%-permeable, open structure to pour gravel into, that holds it firmly in place to prevent spillage while also providing unprecedented compressive strength that eliminates rutting.

By pairing permeable hardscape materials with TRUEGRID, you can create a sustainable landscape design that is functionally practical as well.

2. Drought-Resistant Gardens

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In many parts of the U.S., particularly the arid southwest, droughts and water scarcity are genuine issues that property owners need to contend with. 

Many landscape designs treat these issues with reckless disregard and implement wasteful and frivolous irrigation systems for non-native plants that require unsustainable amounts of water in such parched environments. 

One of the most intelligent and thoughtful ways to implement a sustainable landscaping design is to create drought-resistant gardens. Some cities and regions use the term Xeriscaping to describe reducing or eliminating irritation.

You can create drought-resistant gardens using native plants that have adapted to the arid climate through evolution. Gravel, stone, rocks, and boulders can also create exciting and creative designs.

While these rock gardens can be extremely practical and visually pleasing, gravel can often spill outside its border, which can detract from the aesthetic. Using TRUEGRID permeable pavers, you can lock the gravel into place to maintain a 100% permeable and 100% sustainable landscape.

3. Use Local Materials

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Using locally sourced materials is a great way to practice sustainability. In addition to using local and native plant species, sourcing local gravel, stone, and grasses helps to create a climate-tolerant landscape design and can also reduce your project’s carbon footprint.

4. Erosion Control

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Erosion is not only detrimental to your property, it can also damage the environment.

Erosion can cause polluted waterways, increase water temperature, and raise water levels which creates a greater risk of flooding. Implementing erosion control in your property’s sustainable landscape design can have immeasurable positive effects on your environment.

If concrete retaining walls and other traditional erosion control methods don’t fit your design aesthetic, consider using TRUEGRID permeable pavers as another alternative.

Whether for grass or gravel, TRUEGRID permeable pavers can aid in preventing erosion and keep soil and stone in place. 

5. Grass Driveways

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Grass driveways can be an excellent tool when creating a sustainable landscape design.

Besides creating a visually greener and more eco-friendly space, grass driveways are 100%-permeable and can help to return stormwater to your local water table.

Grass driveways can also go a long way in preventing or reversing the heat island effect. 

The heat island effect is caused when most of an urban area has been constructed from industrial materials like concrete and asphalt. Due to their abilities to hold and permeate heat, regions built mainly from concrete and asphalt can be several degrees warmer than surrounding communities.

By building outdoor surfaces out of natural, organic materials like grass, you can significantly reduce the heat island effect. Additionally, grass can naturally air condition the area through transpiration. 

The big downside to grass driveways is that consistent vehicle traffic will crush and kill grass’s delicate roots, and leave unsightly dirt and mud streaks behind. 

With heavy use, a grass driveway can develop ruts that pool with water after a rain storm and turn into a sloppy, muddy mess.

By supplementing your grass driveway with TRUEGRID permeable pavers, you can eliminate the irritating rutting and dead grass that typically come from driving on grass. TRUEGRID permeable pavers boast industry-leading compressive strength and protect grass from harm while maintaining permeability. 

Use TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers to Enhance Your Sustainable Landscape Design

Since 2013, TRUEGRID has been dedicated to developing environmentally-friendly paving alternatives for your home or business.

Made from 100% post-consumer recycled HDPE and manufactured 100% in the USA, TRUEGRID products have saved millions of pounds of plastics from landfills and returned millions of gallons of water to the water table.

Do you need permeable paving that can withstand the rigors of industrial use? TRUEGRID PRO PLUS permeable pavers are engineered with industry-leading compressive strength, which makes them perfect for commercial road use, heavy equipment, and truck parking.

Do you want to create beautiful eco-conscious, low-maintenance driveways, walkways, and patios? TRUEGRID PRO LITE is precisely what you need to lock gravel in place and protect the grass while maintaining 100%-permeability.

Want to install TRUEGRID permeable pavers over existing grass for a quick, hassle-free indestructible grass surface? Check out the TRUEGRID ROOT® system. 

Simply lay down your ROOT® permeable pavers, spray the area with water, then firmly press or roll the pavers into place. Easy as can be!

Ready to create a jaw-dropping and sustainable landscape design? View the full lineup of TRUEGRID products or get an estimate online and discover how you can be true to your project and true to the environment with TRUEGRID!

Mid-century modern design is having a moment, well, a second moment, that is. With its clean, crisp lines and honest functionality, many hotels and resorts are embracing the quirky retro stylings of MCM. 

It can be easy to furnish a room with MCM-styled nightstands and coffee tables, however it can be more challenging to determine how to design mid-century modern resort paving.

Not sure precisely what mid-century modern design is? Do you need help applying these design principles to create your resort paving solutions? This article has all the information you need.

What is Mid-century Modern?

Mid-century modern design style originated in the U.S. between 1945 and 1969. 

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Defined by its clean lines, simple use of materials, lack of decorative embellishments, and elegant functionality, mid-century modern design often creates a fun, retro appearance that evokes nostalgia.

Key Elements for Mid-century Modern Paving

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While mid-century modern furniture design is well documented, finding examples of mid-century modern resort paving can be more difficult. To create your own unique and stylish mid-century modern resort paving design, there are three main style elements that you should strive to follow: 

1. Less is More

One of the defining features of MCM design is restraint. Mid-century modern design typically refrains from embellishment and excessively ornate decoration. Using fewer materials, fewer patterns, and fewer shapes can aid in developing a cohesive mid-century modern paving design.

2. Simple, Elegant, and Clean

Drawing from its modernist roots, MCM design relies on bold, clean lines and honest, raw materials to make its bold architectural statements.

Eschewing Victorian architecture’s gaudy and ornate stylings, Mid-century modern design leans on crisp lines, simple, well-defined shapes, and strong material choices to make a statement.

3. Functionality

At the core of Mid-century modern design is an emphasis on functionality, which makes it a terrific design style for outdoor spaces where functionality reigns supreme.

For a true mid-century modern resort paving solution, creating an exceptionally functional space must be at the heart of your design regardless of your layout or materials. 

Mid-century Modern Resort Paving Designs

Though many options are available to the discerning landscape architect, concrete pavers, grass, and gravel are preferred for mid-century modern resort paving designs.

Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers are an integral tool in any mid-century modern landscape architect’s toolbox. 

Available in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, concrete pavers can make a daring statement in any environment.

Intermittently lay large, sharply rectangular pavers throughout a grassy area or spread small pavers in a geometric pattern throughout a gravel surface to create bold mid-century modern designs. 


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The natural minimalism of using grass as an alternative to paving areas is an authentic mid-century modern paving design. 

A finely-manicured, well-defined lawn can serve as a delightful contrast to the stark shapes and colors of an MCM-designed house, hotel, or resort.

Grass can create a stunning visual effect, but it is not equipped to stand up to the rigors of vehicle weight and consistent foot traffic without supplementation.

TRUEGRID permeable pavers can elevate your grass paving to the next level of functionality and practicality by eliminating the rutting, mud, and dead grass typically associated with high-traffic grass areas. 

By protecting grass’s delicate roots, TRUEGRID permeable pavers allow grass to survive and thrive in high-traffic areas.


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Unrivaled in functionality, gravel driveways, walkways, and patios are a classic design material.

Providing 100%-permeability and the functional simplicity that defines MCM design, using gravel as a paving material fits perfectly into the aesthetic and ethics of mid-century modern architecture.

Use gravel to fill well-defined, curved walkways and patios, or disperse it throughout concrete pavers to create more contrast in your paving design. Create striking, low-maintenance parking lots and driveways that would feel right at home in the 1950s while keeping material and maintenance costs low.

There are some downsides to using gravel as a paving alternative; it can easily spill out of and over its borders and quickly develop deep ruts and divots in high-traffic areas. Fortunately, TRUEGRID permeable pavers can quickly and efficiently eliminate these problems.

TRUEGRID’s open structure creates the perfect system to lock gravel in place, to maintain your crisp, clean mid-century modern lines. Additionally, TRUEGRID’s industry-leading compressive strength easily eliminates ruts and divots, for a durable, low-maintenance, and 100%-permeable paving alternative.

Use TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers for Durable and Practical Mid-century Modern Resort Paving Solutions

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Whether you need to prevent ruts and divots in gravel parking lots or lock gravel into its crisp, well-defined walkway border, TRUEGRID has precisely what you need.

Utilize the industry-leading compressive strength of TRUEGRID PRO PLUS for gravel or grass parking lots and roads or the PRO LITE for long-lasting gravel and grass driveways, walkways, and patios.

Need to create a durable grass surface in a hurry? Try the TRUEGRID ROOT® system. Simply lay down your paver, soak the area, and firmly roll or press the paver into the ground, and voila! You now have a beautiful and durable grass surface ready for action.

Choose TRUEGRID for Long-Lasting and Eco-Friendly Paving Alternatives

Since 2013, TRUEGRID has been developing functional, practical, and durable paving solutions that not only work for your project, but work for the environment too.

Made from 100% post-consumer recycled HDPE and manufactured 100% in the U.S., TRUEGRID permeable pavers have kept millions of pounds of plastics out of landfills and millions of gallons of water in the water table.. Check out the full lineup of TRUEGRID products or get an online estimate to get your project started and find out how you can be true to your project and true to the environment with TRUEGRID.

Whether you’re a homeowner, developer, or property manager, you have undoubtedly dealt with the headaches of traditional asphalt and concrete paving. Could permeable pavers be a better solution to your paving problems?

Permeable pavers offer a variety of benefits over concrete, asphalt, and other more traditional forms of paving, including better water management, easier installation, and lower environmental impact.

What are permeable pavers, and how do they work? It is essential to understand these innovative products so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not they are suitable for you and your project.

What Are Permeable Pavers?

Permeable pavers are plastic, interlocking grids whose structural framework is engineered to allow space for water to pass through into the ground. You can fill these spaces, often a series of circles, with other permeable materials like gravel, or plant grass to grow up through them.

Permeable pavers have impressive compressive strength and can be used in residential or commercial applications for driveways, parking lots, patios, walkways, and roads. You can use permeable pavers anywhere traditional concrete or asphalt pavement would be used where speeds are lower than 30mph.

Permeable paving systems can eliminate the negative features traditionally associated with gravel driveways, like rutting and spilling, and they prevent grass from dying when being driven on.

How Do Permeable Pavers Work?

Unlike concrete which requires extensive formwork and finishing, or asphalt, which relies on expensive machinery, you can easily install permeable pavers without special equipment or years of experience. While concrete or asphalt paving funnels stormwater towards storm drains and detention ponds, permeable pavers allow water to pass directly through them and re-enter the water table.

What Are the Benefits of Permeable Paving Systems?

There are a variety of benefits to using permeable paving systems, including better stormwater management, reduced runoff, maximized land use, and more.

Stormwater Management

By allowing stormwater to pass directly through their surface, permeable pavers naturally replenish the water table. Additionally, by installing permeable paving, you can help alleviate some of the stress on your city or town’s overworked storm drains.

With concrete or asphalt paving, stormwater flows off these impermeable surfaces, down the street, and into a drain. During large storms or during seasons that experience significant rainfall, the drains can quickly become overfull and cause irritating puddles or even flash floods.

By redirecting your stormwater, you are depriving your local geography of its natural groundwater supply, which can be detrimental to the health of your environment. You can easily remedy these issues by using permeable paving.

Impervious Cover Code Compliant

Some cities and towns have strict impervious cover codes in place to reduce stress on stormwater systems and help replenish vital local groundwater supplies. These codes typically limit the number of impervious surfaces a property or residence may legally have. One of the best ways to comply with these codes is to use permeable pavers instead of concrete or asphalt.

ADA Compliant

Permeable pavers can build excellent, environmentally-friendly walking surfaces for people of all abilities. With careful installation, teamwork, and good old-fashioned elbow grease, Boy Scout troops installed a beautiful ADA-compliant walkway in the New River Gorge National Park using TRUEGRID® permeable pavers. The new walkway provides unprecedented access for people with limited mobility.

Reduced Heat Island Effect

When large urban areas are built out of substantial amounts of asphalt, concrete, brick, and other industrial materials, they can experience an effect referred to as “heat island effect.”

Concrete, asphalt, and brick absorb the Sun’s heat at a much higher rate than natural, organic materials. When a whole community is constructed from these heat-absorbing materials, the local temperature can significantly exceed the surrounding areas. Using permeable pavers to create grass walkways, paths, and other high-traffic surfaces can greatly reduce an area’s heat island effect. Stone-filled permeable surfaces can have up to 40% void space and countless surface angles to reduce absorbed and reflected heat compared to asphalt and concrete.


In addition to replenishing groundwater supplies, TRUEGRID permeable pavers are made from 100% post-consumer recycled HDPE, which saves millions of pounds of plastics from entering our landfills.

Maximizes Land Usage

When building a new neighborhood or community, developers often have to sacrifice a large portion of otherwise usable land for the use of a detention pond. Detention ponds collect the runoff produced by all of the impermeable surfaces used to construct communities. However, by using permeable pavers, developers can reassign most, if not all, of the land previously reserved for water detention back to housing.

Cost Effective

Unlike concrete and asphalt paving which cracks and splits with the natural movement of the ground, permeable paving is immune to such damage. Due to its flexibility and resilience, permeable paving requires very little maintenance compared to traditional paving materials, which saves money over the long haul.

Additionally, the installation costs for permeable pavers are substantially lower than that of traditional paving materials. Complicated formwork and specialized finishing techniques are required for concrete work, not to mention the necessary concrete truck for larger projects. Asphalt requires special tools and machinery to heat the material upwards of 350 degrees, a steam roller for compaction and smoothing, and a crew of workers to get the job done.

Permeable pavers can be easily installed by any motivated DIYer, don’t require special tools, and can be properly installed by one person. All of these factors contribute to a significantly lower labor cost during installation.

3 TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers That Can Transform Your Property


The PRO LITE residential paver is perfect for creating beautifully durable grass or gravel walkways, driveways, parking lots, and paths.


The PRO PLUS industrial paver is engineered for industry-leading compressive strength, which makes it the perfect option for permeable parking lots, heavy machinery storage, and roads.


ROOT® is a permeable paving system specifically developed for high-traffic existing grass areas. Simply lay the pavers into the existing grass, soak the site, and press the pavers into the soil. The grass will grow up through the paver, and its delicate roots will be protected during walking, driving, or parking.

Choose TRUEGRID for Economical and Ecological Paving Solutions

Since 2013, TRUEGRID has been producing products that offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional paving products.

TRUEGRID permeable pavers are manufactured 100% in the USA from 100% post-consumer recycled HDPE, and help deliver millions of gallons of water back to the water table and keep millions of pounds of plastic out of our landfills.

Want to create your own beautifully durable paving project? Check out the full line of TRUEGRID products, or get an estimate online and discover how you can be true to your project and true to the environment with TRUEGRID!