What Are Pavers?
These landscaping essentials come in square and rectangular shapes that fit together well. Pavers are interlocking pieces you can arrange in various configurations to suit your space. Paver installation professionals add polymer sand between them to let the individual pieces move and allow proper drainage. No curing process means you can use outdoor spaces you cover with paving stones right away for added convenience, whether your installation is around pool decks, patios or courtyards.
What Is Stamped Concrete?
Stamped concrete is basically a poured concrete slab with extra steps taken. First, installation professionals level off the space and pour a concrete slab. Next, they press and tamp special rubber stamps into the wet concrete to add patterns and textures that mimic the look of natural stone. Finally, concrete stains are added to the dry surface of the stamped concrete slab to tailor the shade of porches, patios and walkways to your personal preferences.
Stamped Concrete vs. Concrete Pavers: Which Choice Is Better?
If you’re considering stamped concrete vs. pavers, there are numerous factors to consider, including weather conditions in your area. Other things to ponder are how much you want to spend and how much maintenance you can perform on your property. Here, we outline the advantages and disadvantages of stamped concrete or pavers for your patio, porch, walkways, driveways or courtyard.
Installation and Repairs
Concrete slabs typically require a flat surface, so installation usually means excavating the space to level it off and ensure the poured concrete goes right where you want it. Remember that poured concrete requires curing time, so you will only be able to use the space partially for a while after installation. In most cases, you need a professional to perform any repairs to maintain the stamped concrete’s unique texture and desired pattern.
On the other hand, paving stones come in individual pieces so that you can install them on hilly areas with the right base paving material. Polymer sand between the pavers lets them move with the ground beneath to prevent cracking and warping. The piecemeal nature of a paver patio, porch, or walkway lets you quickly make repairs by simply pulling out the damaged concrete pavers and reinstalling new ones as needed.
Sealing existing concrete slabs and stamped concrete areas helps them maintain their look and integrity over time. Even when properly installed, a concrete patio or porch may be vulnerable to cracking in areas with heavy freeze-thaw cycles, which can reveal the gray color beneath the concrete stains. Regular maintenance includes simply sweeping, mopping or pressure washing your stamped concrete patio, pool deck or sidewalk.
When it comes to stamped concrete vs. pavers in terms of maintenance, it’s really a tie between the paving materials. While slabs have the potential to crack and require repairs, this is balanced by weed growth between individual concrete pavers that may mean extra yard maintenance. Other than that, cleaning the paver surface, replacing any areas that require polymer sand and sealing the surface completes paver maintenance.