Understanding Lightweight Roof Pavers


Transforming an unused rooftop space into a beautiful outdoor oasis is the ultimate way to upgrade an exterior space. Choosing the right materials to complete THE transformation is the key to creating a space that will be used and enjoyed for years to come.

Creating a rooftop deck isn’t as easy as adding a few carefully placed plants or chairs. With the right planning and material selection, you can design and install a paver system that will protect the underlying structure as well as the people who use the space.

Structural Considerations

A typical roof assembly on a low-slope roof includes insulation covered with a waterproof roofing membrane. The membrane can be left exposed or covered with aggregate to protect the roofing membrane and underlying insulation, roof deck, and structure. An aggregate layer may be prohibited in some areas, namely those that are prone to hurricanes and high winds.

Installing pavers over a low-slope roof can fulfill the dual purpose of protecting the roof membrane and creating an inviting outdoor space for the building’s inhabitants. Traditional pavers, like concrete and brick, can be heavy, which requires additional structural support to carry their weight along with the additional dead loads and live loads that will be added with furniture, plants, and people.

Having a licensed structural engineer evaluate the property’s structural capacity can help you ensure that you are making choices that will adhere to building codes and safety requirements.

Lightweight Rooftop Paver Options

Concrete and brick pavers have been a traditional choice for rooftop decks, but their weight can make it prohibitive and costly if structural modifications have to be made. There are a variety of lightweight roof pavers that can also create a beautiful space, though they come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Porcelain Pavers

Porcelain pavers are more lightweight than concrete and feature a slim profile of only about ¾” thick — concrete pavers are typically two-inches thick. Since they are non porous, porcelain pavers won’t stain or become discolored or fade over time.

Proper installation requires that they are adhered to the pedestal or tray system, making installation more difficult and requiring periodic maintenance to ensure they are secured properly. Porcelain tiles also require specialized tools to cut them to size.

Wood Pavers Or Decking

Depending on the needs of the space, wood can be used as deck tiles or as decking boards. The benefits of wood include a lower cost to purchase materials and a natural aesthetic. The tiles and boards can be treated for a specific aesthetic and extra protection against the elements or left to weather naturally, to produce a soft gray finish.

Unfortunately, over time, wood is prone to warping, cracking, and rotting and should be regularly inspected, and boards should be replaced when necessary.

Synthetic Pavers

Synthetic pavers are made with recycled materials and they are highly durable and crack-resistant. They are easy to install, and because they aren’t on a pedestal system, they can follow the contour of the roof. Due to their low weight, they typically won’t require that the structure be modified to support their weight. They are also easy to move around to access the roof if an issue arises in the underlying structure.

The initial cost of synthetic pavers can be higher than other materials, but because of their easy installation, labor costs may be lower, making the overall cost of materials and installation somewhere between traditional rooftop pavers and a pedestal paver system.

Choose Aspire For Lightweight Rooftop Pavers And Easy Installation

Our beautiful synthetic pavers are available in four color options — Boardwalk, Olive, Redwood, and Waterwheel — and three different sizes, allowing you to create a stunning pattern that will elevate your roof above a standard concrete or wood paver installation. With a patented grid installation system, installation is easy and only requires standard tools to cut the pavers to size.

The entire roof can be paved with synthetic pavers, or you can mix and match synthetic pavers with other styles to create a truly one-of-a-kind design, as long as the structure will support the weight of the various materials.

Now part of the Brava family, Aspire offers the same high-quality products that come with the Brava name. Aspire Pavers come with a 10-year limited warranty and additional lifetime no-crack guarantee in residential applications, so you can rest easy knowing your outdoor space is protected.

Contact the experts at Aspire today to see what you can create with our lightweight rooftop pavers.