When water falls on solid pavers, it rolls off into the drain and sewers and then flows into rivers, streams and channels. In some cases, water from heavy rainfall picks up heavy sediment and pollutants such as chemicals and oils. Innovations such as permeable and porous pavers can help lessen water pollution by directing the water down to the soil. Choose paving materials that allow grass to grow through and help filter water so that fewer pollutants go down the drain.
Pavers made of heavy-duty plastic with a honeycomb or hexagonal structure allow grass to grow through. Use them for sidewalks, driveways or paths across lawns. The modular system consists of rectangular pavers that, when laid down across the grass area, can support foot and vehicular traffic. You can also plant grass in the open cells of the pavers after they are in place. Each paver's cell grid has a 1-inch-thick wall and a base plate that extends past the edge of the grid on both sides, allowing overlapping during assembly. Construction staples secure the pavers together and keep them lined up evenly. Anchoring spikes secure the pavers into the soil.
Dense concrete pavers come in permeable styles. These pavers interlock to add stability and have holes that allow plants to grow. Concrete pavers weigh more than plastic ones, making them more difficult to handle, and they tend to be more expensive. On the upside, they offer more durability than plastic pavers or even asphalt and last longer. The interlocking joints allow for small amounts of movement without cracking.
Laying down solid concrete blocks or bricks in patterns that create voids or spaces allows grass to grow through. For example, creating a hopsack pattern that resembles an open basket weave creates pockets in the finished patio or driveway. You achieve the same result when you lay down the rectangular solid concrete blocks in herringbone, diamond or square patterns.
Before laying down pavers, make sure that you have a solid base, such as one made of a compacted mixture of sand, soil and gravel; at least 6 to 8 inches deep is ideal. Add 1 to 2 inches of soil over the base before placing each paver and planting grass seeds in the spaces. For a different look, try alternating grass and mulch into each hole.