When it comes to concrete pavers versus stamped concrete, there isn’t really a right or wrong choice. Both material are considered by consumer as the two most popular options on today’s market because they are durable, relatively affordable, and look great. Of course, both pavers and concrete have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Once you consider how you want to use your pavement, the size of your budget, your expectations of durability, and your design vision, one will probably emerge as your preferred choice. Keep in mind that before making your decision you should examine each material and evaluate their pros and cons.
Increasing in popularity, stamped concrete is designed to look like tile, stones, wood, brick, or other more expensive materials, but a design is pressed into the top before it dries. This effect more or less mimics the look of pavers for a lower installation cost. Stamped concrete can provide many beautiful design options, creating full hardscapes, walkways, and driveways that are easily maintained. On the other hand, pavers are interlocking tiles/bricks of concrete, and some people like their flexibility, color, and architectural appearance. Utilizing concrete pavers will allow options for lawns, and flower beds to be placed between them.
Concrete Pavers – Pros
- Paver patios don’t crack and will stay beautiful for as long as you’re in your home. Because pavers are small and individually placed, there are never any cracks to worry about
- Most repairs can be done easily by simply replacing a few individual pavers or lifting them up and putting more sand underneath
- Adding to or changing the shape of pavers can be done with ease 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
Stamped Concrete – Pros
- Stamped concrete is less expensive compared to pavers
- Stamped concrete requires less maintenance. Nothing more than a coat of clear sealer every few years is 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
Stamped Concrete – Cons
- 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)
Concrete Pavers – Cons
- 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
- Pavers can be a maintenance nightmare trying to keep up with the settling of individual pavers and removing the weeds that grow between them
- Installing pavers is usually much more labor intense 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 flooring materials are excellent products and can be a beautiful and lasting addition to your home as long as installation is done correctly. Just remember not to settle for the cheapest price. Choose the best material based on your expectations and needs.
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