As a homeowner, you take pride in every square inch of your home, and rightly so. All that you do to modernize and upgrade your home is a major investment. That shouldn’t just mean furniture and decor. From patios to driveways and walkways, these vital paths and outdoor spaces link up the different areas of your property, enhancing its personality, architecture, and value. The first question to consider is: Which is better in the stamped concrete vs pavers debate?
Outdoor features must stand up to the elements and can’t be too demanding in terms of maintenance. Pavers and concrete are two of the most attractive and affordable styles of concrete for your patio. Discover how they compare to each other with regards to aesthetics, cost and safety and in terms of how much maintenance is required for each.
Which Style of Patio Looks Better?
The answer to this question is highly subjective, due to how nuanced our tastes and personalities are. Paver patios are made from multiple pieces of concrete. First, you lay a standard concrete foundation, then spread sand over the top and arrange the paving stones in your desired pattern. You pour the concrete as a liquid. Once it solidifies, you emboss it to resemble tile, wood, stone, brick or slate.
With paving bricks, you can mix and match different colors and shapes to create striking, bespoke designs. For example, you could create a border with rounded pavers and use rectangular pavers to fill in the rest. Paving stones create a rustic, traditional look. Concrete, after it has been stamped, has a unique texture, giving you the scope to design it however you like. You could argue that this style is more aesthetically pleasing and has more curb appeal due to the infinite possibilities for customization.
The way the settling process works, as well as the potential for slabs to become loose, means that pavers can be a trip hazard. Over time, if not properly installed, they may become uneven and increase this risk. That said, if you get the pavers laid by a reputable professional team, the chances are they will last for a long time without causing any hazards. The fact that they have lots of joints on the surface means they provide grip, which prevents slipping, even in wet weather.
Due to the continuous nature, it can become slippery when it’s wet and produce glare from the sun. If you live in a place with a lot of rain, it’s recommended that you safeguard it with a non-slip coating. It’s also important that you consider drainage if you choose this ornate style of patio. While pavers naturally allow for drainage from snow and rain, you would need to factor it into your design with concrete.
Paver Patio vs Concrete Patio: Maintenance And Usability
Brick Paver Patio
One of the great things about paving stones is that they can be constructed and made use of quickly. This type of patio is made up of multiple individual units that can withstand a whole lot of pressure. The industry standard for pavestones is 8000 psi, but most of them can actually withstand around 10,000 to 11,000 psi. If a crack appears, only one of the bricks will need to be replaced or repaired.
The uniform style of pavers makes maintenance and repairs fairly easy. They’re often conveniently designed so that you wouldn’t even need to go to the same store to get a replacement. Every now and again, the sand in between the slabs may erode and require refilling with sand. However, this is often a low-cost DIY job. If your patio has been installed by trusted professionals, you shouldn’t have to worry about problems with heaving or settling.
Stamped Concrete Patio
The process of installing stamped concrete is slightly more complex and time-consuming. It goes through a process called curing, which is another word for slow-drying. Until that time is up, you won’t be able to use it at all. Once it’s ready to go, it will require maintenance to keep it looking good as new. Factors such as heavy loads, heating and cooling from the weather, settling and the fact that concrete has a tendency to shrink over time mean that this type of patio is likely to get cracks in its surface at some point.
We advise choosing a pattern that’s forgiving of hairline cracks so that the minimal effects from the weather and time don’t show. The hard finish of a concrete patio gives it a beautiful, clean appearance when it’s new, but it can also show wear and tear more quickly than individual brick pavers do. Repairs and maintenance can be quite an extensive process because you’ll need to repair an entire area instead of just one single stone. Heavy-duty equipment such as a jackhammer may be required to do this work, too.
Pavers vs Concrete: Which Is Better Value For Money?
The upfront paver costs tend to make it seem like the higher option. However, factors such as correct installation, due care, maintenance, and climate can be hugely influential factors over which style offers the best long-term value for money.
If you’ve been thinking about installing a new patio or pathway but you’re still not sure which style is going to be best for your home, give Prince William Home Improvement a call at 703-492-1294. You can discuss climate, budget and your specific needs or set up a free estimate with one of our friendly team.