Nearly as hard as diamond, granite is practically maintenance-free and impervious to damage.
Colors: Gray is most popular, yellow is ideal for beach properties, pink suits urban settings, and "black goes with everything," says David Croteau of Stoneyard.com.
Sizes: Cobblestones come in cubes (4x4x4 inches), regulations (4x5x9 inches), and jumbos (4x7x10 inches). Pavers are sized in 6-inch increments, from 1-by-1-ft. squares to 2-by-3-ft. rectangles. Anything bigger is a custom order. Patio pavers should be at least 1½ inches thick. If cars will be driving on them, they should be at least 3 inches thick.
Finishes: Smooth granite is slippery when wet; outdoors it should be thermaled, flame-heated with a torch until the smooth layer pops off. The tumbled finish on cobblestones and split faces on some slabs offer traction.
Costs Cobblestones cost about $6 to $10 per square foot. Regulations are the cheapest. Pavers run $15 per square foot.
Weight: One jumbo cobblestone weighs 36 pounds. An 18-by-24-by-4-inch paver weighs 170 pounds. Hiring a pro to move it adds add $10 to $15 a square foot.