Are you thinking of paving a walkway to your front door or a patio area around your home? One of the first questions you will want to ask yourself about this upgrade is, “Between concrete and pavers, which is the better material for my project?” You may want to know which of the two options offers the most benefits in terms of cost, durability, and appeal of the final product.
According to House In Order, a professional property management company, the main reason most homeowners want to pave their driveway or patio is to improve the appeal and market value of their property.
The type of material they chose for this project influences how well they meet those objectives. Their choice also impacts the cost of maintaining the patio or driveway. That’s why you want to answer this question before you start your project.
Concrete and pavers are great options for a driveway or patio, but depending on your unique needs, one could be the better choice for your home. What are the factors to consider before you make your selection? In this post, we compare the qualities of concrete or pavers for use in a driveway or patio. The insights will help you make an informed decision.
Concrete versus pavers for driveways and patios; which is better?
We will compare these two materials across seven important parameters; aesthetics, versatility, durability, drainage, maintenance, repairs, and cost.
Concrete is poured as a solid surface that can be embossed or textured to mimic the appearance of brick, stone, wood, slate, or flagstone. The surface can be designed with colors/patterns and polished to give it a glossy finish. Because it comes in a range of styles (smooth, cobbled, or rustic) and colors (light grey, dark grey, tan, brown, or red), it is easier to mix and match pavers to create an infinite variety of patterns.
Pavers are more versatile than concrete because pavers come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. Even though you can paint or stencil concrete to make it look any way you want, it is easier to do it with pavers. Pavers are versatile from the get-go, but you have to design concrete after it is poured. Pavers are also non-slip from the outset, but this is not a standard option with concrete.
Concrete is highly durable and will withstand the assault of foot traffic, bike wheels, and car tires. The main challenge with concrete is its tendency to crack if it is not sealed. Pavers don’t crack because the natural density of the stone does not allow it to absorb water, and the method of interlock makes room for those expansions and contractions caused by extreme temperature changes.
Concrete is porous and will normally absorb any water that falls on it. But when fully saturated concrete will not retain water. Instead, the water will puddle or drain. Water will puddle on concrete if it is not graded accurately. Although pavers are not porous, they will drain water through their sand-filled joints. That is something to consider if you live in an area with heavy rainfall.
To preserve a concrete driveway or patio, you must protect it from weeds, stains, and cracking. Stains can be removed with a concrete cleaner. You can also prevent cracks and stains with a protective sealant.
Paving stones may need to have their joints sealed to prevent weeds, moss, and grass. Weeds are a bigger issue with pavers, and if this problem persists, you may need to use a weed killer.
Fixing pavers or anything below them is easy. You need to pull up the pavers to replace them or access the problem areas below them. You can do this with a hand tool. The surface will look the same after you replace the pavers. To fix concrete, you have to chip away the broken area and patch it. You may also need heavy machinery to fix plumbing or utilities beneath a concrete driveway or patio.
Paving stones cost more than concrete. However, when you add color staining and stamping, the cost of concrete comes closer to the price of pavers, yet pavers are still more expensive. Installing concrete is simpler, and the cost of labor is lower. The upfront cost of installing pavers is higher than the price of concrete, but the long-term cost of concrete is comparable to pavers.
Between concrete and pavers, which is the better option for your driveway or patio? The fact is that there is no perfect option; using each material will require you to make some tradeoffs. To make the best decision for your home – a decision that will not cost you in the future – it is a good idea to talk to an expert.