Crazy Paving: Why One of the World’s Oldest Paving Styles is Staging a Comeback in Modern Homes

Crazy paving is gaining popularity in contemporary Australia. Its eye-catching look and unique benefits ensure that while it may be historic, its appeal is timeless. 
Cushions on crazy pavers

What is Crazy Paving?

Crazy paving, also known as flagstone, uses irregularly shaped pavers rather than uniformly cut ones. Originally, people used crazy paving out of necessity rather than stylistic choice. By re-purposing the off cuts of regular pavers, people could save money and avoid waste. 

Over time, crazy paving began to change from a cheap alternative to pavers to a popular design choice.

Where Does it Come From?

Crazy paving

Believe it or not, historians have traced crazy paving all the way back to ancient Rome. Before paving was commonplace, wet weather meant that people and transport animals would struggle in the mud. The Romans solved this problem by laying pavers, which were so  resilient that some can still be seen in the world today.

In fact, as recently as 2020, pavers that are over 2000 years old were discovered in Rome. They were made of travertine, a material still used in crazy paving today. There aren’t many materials that offer you a 2000 year lifetime guarantee!

As technology improved, cutting uniform shapes became possible. However, crazy paving would continue to be a cheap and fast paving method.

The 1970’s were a time of experimentation. Colours, shapes and materials in Australian homes all aimed to break the traditional conventions of older styles. This was a golden age for crazy paving. The irregular and highly customisable shapes and patterns perfectly captured what the 70’s were all about. 

Now, many 1970’s era homes are being renovated, especially in Sydney and the Central Coast where old homes can be sold for massive profits. Through this process, many renovators have rediscovered the benefits of crazy paving and the style has become incredibly popular. 

What are the Benefits?

Crazy paved outdoor area

There are many benefits to crazy paving, and they aren’t just limited to how it looks.

Cost of Materials

The cost effectiveness of crazy paving is just as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. Full sized pavers must be cut to specification, which cost money and time.

They also cost more because they have to cover more of the surface. A crazy paver design includes natural stones and concrete, which are cheaper than the pavers themselves.

Simply put: crazy paving uses cheaper material, and you don’t have to buy as much of it.

Sustainability

Crazy paving began as repurposed off cuts, and it can still be today. If you are environmentally conscious, crazy paving is a great option. Manufacturing pavers, like any manufacturing process, causes carbon emissions. By using recycled off cuts, you are doing your part to reduce these emissions.

Easily Cleaned and Maintained

To clean a crazy paved surface, a garden hose, some detergent and scrubbing brush will usually do the trick. For tough stains, feel free to use a gurney. 

The advantage of crazy pavers versus traditional pavers is that stains or cracks are less noticeable. Crazy pavers naturally have a range of colours and shapes built into the design. A discoloured or cracked traditional paver will stand out immediately, but in a crazy paver design it will blend in. 

If one of your crazy pavers does require replacement, it will be easier to find a match for the design because it contains a variety of shapes and colours. 

Versatility

Most people think that they need to commission costly landscaping jobs to flatten their yards for paving. The beauty of crazy paving is that, because the pavers don’t need to be flat to interlock, you can pave surfaces of different shapes and gradients. 

Customisable

Crazy paving is, by definition, customisable. You can control the shape, the material, the colour,  and even the ratio of pavers to filler material. The configuration possibilities are vast. 

Retro and Contemporary

Due to its history, crazy paving can work as a retro feature piece, or as a part of a modern aesthetic. Many of the 1970’s homes currently being renovated have the original crazy paving preserved as a retro talking point. 

For a more modern feel, using shades rather than colours can give your crazy paving a sleek, industrial feel. 

With the variety of materials, colours and configurations available, crazy paving empowers you to create the precise atmosphere that you envision. 

What Kinds of Settings are Suitable for Crazy Paving?

Crazy paved outdoor area

Crazy paving can be used almost anywhere around your home. Some popular examples are:

  • gardens
  • firepits
  • outdoor entertainment areas
  • patios
  • courtyards
  • backyard paths
  • pool copings
  • driveways
  • *walls

*Walls? You probably associate pavers with floors, but crazy paved walls are becoming increasingly popular. When we think of interior design, we often think of walls as something to support other features, or to be minimised to make a room feel larger. 

In many contemporary homes, walls are being redefined as bold, eye-catching design opportunities. A crazy paved wall is a guaranteed statement in your home.

What Types of Stone Can I Use?

At Central Coast Tile and Stone Warehouse we have a variety of popular stone materials available for your crazy paving project.

White Limestone Slabs

Our 20mm thick white limestone slabs are elegant and classy. They are perfect for well-lit areas, because the light reflects off the white surface, rather than being absorbed.

Travertine Classic 

Our Travertine comes in two varieties: 30mm slabs or pre-broken. It also has two colour ranges to choose from: classic or silver. 

Classic is a soft beige colour that adds warmth to space. Silver contains a range of colour grades, including greys, blues, whites and cream. With silver travertine you have a palette of stylish, modern colours at your disposal. 

Bluestone

Bluestone pavers are made from basalt, a volcanic rock. With a typically bluish-gray hue, bluestone looks incredible when used in pool copings. Bluestone is a favorite for people seeking a brooding, postmodern style. 

Sandstone

Sandstone pavers are perhaps the most ‘natural’ looking stone, especially when crazy paved. The irregular shapes can create the impression of natural rock formations, and the rougher texture mimics sand on a beach. For an outdoor setting, it is hard to overlook sandstone.

Time to Go Crazy?

If you feel inspired to get creative with crazy paving for your home, contact our team of expert designers to plan your project.