When creating any outdoor space, from residential gardens to parks, there are two main design elements to consider. These are soft landscaping and hard landscaping.

Hard landscaping refers to major design elements of an outdoor space. They tend to lend form and structure to an area, and usually have a distinct and recognisable purpose or goal. An example of hard landscaping is park footpaths. These are usually laid around green spaces and parks to allow visitors and pedestrians to easily access and navigate them.

Hard Landscaping Elements & Materials

There is a wide range of hard landscaping materials and elements to consider when designing outdoor spaces. In this article, we’ll take a look at some popular hard landscaping materials that are suitable for a wide range of projects.


The addition of a decorative driveway to residential property can change the whole look and feel of a home. Not only does it provide a space for parking, either for homeowners or visitors, it can also increase the value of a property, too.

Driveways can be created out of lots of different materials. Most commonly, materials such as concrete, paving stones, resin bound or resin bonded aggregate, and asphalt surface courses (such as NatraTex Cotswold and Colour) are used to create sturdy and durable driveways.


Patios are a common feature in many domestic properties. In gardens, a patio can be used as a place for outdoor furniture, or as space for children to play. Paving slabs and stone are most commonly used in the creation of patio areas, this is due to their stability, durability and aesthetic appeal.


Footpaths are essential for the creation of accessible public spaces. Not only do they provide a safe area for pedestrians to navigate busy streets, but they also can be used to make spaces more accessible and navigable for those travelling on foot.

Footpaths are most commonly made up of loose or bound gravel, asphalt (such as NatraTex) or concrete. These materials are the most cost-effective and durable, which means not only are they cheap and easy to lay, they’ll also last for a long time and need repatching less even in areas where footfall is heavy.

Access Roads

Access roads are a common feature within new housing estates, particularly those which are tucked away. Much like normal roads, access roads are usually created from asphalt to ensure they are hardwearing and able to cope with heavy use from vehicles.

Asphalt surface courses such as NatraTex Colour are often used in the creation of access roads for new housing estates because this type of material is not only hard-wearing, but aesthetically pleasing too. For example, NatraTex Colour is available in a wide variety of shades to blend in with the surrounding landscape.

Multi-Use Games Areas

For schools, leisure centres and community spaces, multi-use games areas (also known as MUGA pitches) are great for making full use of an area. These multi-purpose areas can be used for a number of different sports, with different markings and colours being used to mark out sports pitches.

As they endure such a lot of use, it is important for sports and MUGA pitches to be constructed from hard-wearing surfacing materials.

Coloured Surfacing and Decorative Paving from NatraTex

NatraTex is a fully bound surface course which is suitable for use in hard landscaping. It is routinely used by surfacing contractors in England and Wales to create attractive, hard-wearing and low maintenance residential, recreational, regeneration and retail spaces.

To see NatraTex in situ, take a look at our Case Studies section. Alternatively, you can request a free sample of any of our surfacing types online today, including NatraTex Colour, NatraTex Cotswold and NatraTex Eco.

If you are a surfacing contractor or architect in the UK looking to learn more about NatraTex surfacing, contact us today. We would be happy to arrange a CPD session to help you understand the core benefits of using NatraTex surfacing in your next project.