Corten Steel Pavers

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    Emily Bauer

    Question: I’m doing a residential project in the Northeast US and was thinking of specifying corten steel 1ftx3ft pavers on a highly trafficked area of the site. Has anyone had experience with corten paving in the past? Any problems with slipping?

    Robert Anderson

    With twenty five years of experience I have never heard of anyone using corten as a paver. You will have issues with slipping and icing in the northeast. I would be very concerned about using this even with a diamond plate finish.

    Dave McCorquodale

    When I think of corten I initially think about the oxidized/rust surface.  That may not be what you’re planning on, but if so, I’d wonder if there would be a problem with shoes leaving tracks at the ends.  If this was an approach to a house or motor court, would the rust/residue be carried onto car floor mats or the entry of a house in wet weather?  I don’t work with corten really at all, so again, there may be finishes that I’m not considering…

    Jason T. Radice

    Excellent point about the finish. Underfoot, the protective coating of intentional corrosion will wear off and cause the next layer to rust. That, and the surface of Cor-Ten is quite fragile and the ‘rust’ will come off on user’s feat. Cor-Ten does not equal corrosion or rust-proof, it is a mix of alloys in the steel that intentionally corrode and “seal off” the steel underneath to prevent that from corroding. But excessive moisture is still an issue, as is the wearing of the surface. Steel that is heavily tread upon with polish itself and become slippery if no precautions are made to create a non-slip texture on the surface.

    Those truncated dome inserts you see from time to time are made from grey iron which naturally develops a patina and is corrosion resistant. That is why things like manhole covers and such are made from gray iron, not steel.

    Phil Moorehead

    Maybe if you did something like this? I don’t know how an interface with a different alloy would affect the cathodic protection of the Cor-Ten, or vice versa (or if this kills your motif), but it’s a thought.

    Jason T. Radice

    They use raw iron (rusty color) or ductile iron which creates a darker non-orange patina.

    Wes Arola, RLA

    There are ceramic tiles available now that look exactly like corten. You could form and pour small concrete pads the size of your pavers and then fix the tiles to the top of them…

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