Deciding Which Paver Project Look is Best For You

Deciding Which Paver Project Look is Best For You

Deciding which kind of pavers for your paver project is a big decision and understanding the options that are available is the first step. For example, there are concrete pavers versus stamping concrete. Both of these options offer durability and affordability. Design choices and budget considerations are also very important to consider.  It is best to look at materials and consider the pros and cons for each.

Stamped concrete can be made to look tile, stones, wood, brick, or other materials. The look is completed by pressing a design into concrete before it dries. This method is meant to copy the look of pavers. Stamped concrete offers a variety of beautiful design options, creating full hardscapes, walkways, and driveways that are easily maintained. However, pavers are interlocking tiles/bricks of concrete, and many homeowners prefer their flexibility, color options, and architectural appearance. The use of concrete pavers allows for grass, plants and flowers to be placed between the pavers.

Some benefits of Pavers:

  • Paver patios do not typically crack and will stay attractive in appearance for a very long time as long as they are well cared for. Because of their small size and that they are placed individually, there is a much smaller chance of any cracking.
  • Repairs can be done easily by simply replacing a few individual pavers or lifting them up and putting more sand underneath
  • Adding to or modifying the shape of pavers can be done easily anytime down the road and you can exactly match the previously placed pavers
  • Pavers provide a pool environment that is less slippery, and has the desirable look of natural stone

Benefits of opting for Stamped Concrete:

  • Stamped concrete is less costly compared to pavers
  • Stamped concrete requires less maintenance. Keeping up with a coat of clear sealer every few years is typically all that is needed
  • Because stamped concrete is one continuous slab that should be rebarred together, there’s no worry about tripping hazards that individual pavers can create.
  • There are many different options in regards to patterns, textures, and colors; you can also use concrete stains, dyes, and scoring techniques to further enhance stamped concrete
  • Stamped concrete is sealed which protects it from the elements as well as pool chemicals like salt from salt water systems

Possible “Cons” of Stamped Concrete include:

  • The fact that almost all concrete eventually cracks can be a major disadvantage vs. pavers
  • Cracks that may occur away from the control joints are impossible to fix and any repairs usually end up being more unsightly than the crack itself
  • If you want to change the shape or add on to stamped concrete, it’s almost impossible to exactly match the existing concrete without it looking like it was added on
  • The sealer needs to be re-applied every 2 to 3 years
  • The surface can be somewhat slippery without the addition of an anti-skid agent mixed in with the sealer (and it should be)

Possible “Cons” of Pavers include:

  • Paver installation usually costs more than stamped concrete. Brick and interlocking pavers aren’t too costly but other pavers such as stone can be very expensive
  • Installing pavers is more labor intensive and time consuming
  • More limited color and pattern selections
  • There can be unwanted variation in color of the product.  Even between different pallets of material from the same truck

Both pavers and stamped concrete are excellent options and can be a beautiful and lasting addition to your home as long as installation is done correctly. It is important to not make a decision based solely on the cheapest price and rather choose the best material based on your expectations and needs.