Pavers vs. Concrete: What’s the Difference?
If you are thinking of remodeling your walkway, driveway, or patio, you will have to choose the materials to use. Pavers and concrete are two popular and different materials. Each of them has specific benefits and drawbacks. The choice you make should depend on your goals and the advantages you intend to get from them.
Walkways, driveways, or patio upgrade offers the following benefits:
- Boost the property’s value – The primary aim of most renovation projects is to improve the property’s value. When you remodel your driveways, walkways, or patios, you add more value to your property.
- Give a lasting impression – Another crucial reason you may want to update your walkway may be to boost the property’s curb appeal. Your home’s exterior is the first area that people will see. It is an opportunity to create a lasting impression of your property specially if your goal is renting or selling your home.
- Boost parking functionality – You can improve the parking functionality of your home by upgrading the driveway. Your driveway can be safe for parking, walking, driving, and even playing, depending on how you perform it. It would be best to consider the material’s durability because of their susceptibility to high traffic by foot and cars.
With all these in mind, what are the differences between pavers and concrete?
Difference between pavers and concrete
Pavers are durable. They can withstand high traffic and harsh weather conditions. Because they have joints between the stones, water drainage is not an issue. You may even get a lifetime guarantee from manufacturers.
If your pavers develop any cracks, some manufacturers can offer you a free replacement. Where this is not possible, you can just easily replace the individual stone.
However, concrete doesn’t have this feature. They cannot withstand high traffic and extremes of temperature. If they get exposed to these conditions, the slabs will split up, resulting in ugly cracks. In extreme cases, the driveway or walkway will no longer have the appropriate leveling, leading to issues with water drainage.
If you want to add more curb appeal to your property, your best option should be pavers. Pavers are more attractive than concrete and will also look better and improve your landscaping value. They come in different shapes, colors, sizes, styles, and patterns. You also have options to customize your driveways. Because pavers are less likely to fade or wear away, they maintain their curb appeal for years. This is not so for concrete.
Traditional concrete is not aesthetically appealing, but you can get an updated version such as stamped concrete. Stamped concrete has designs that boost its aesthetics. Some of them are even tinted. If you choose this upgraded version of concrete, it may be easier to hide stains and cracks.
When renovating your home, it is essential to consider the future maintenance cost. Pavers and concrete have different maintenance needs. Since pavers are more durable, they are less prone to crack. If they should develop a crack, all you need to do is replace the affected stone.
The joints between pavers make them susceptible to weeds. You will need to apply weed killers or remove the weeds with your hands. With pavers, you don’t need to worry about stains because they will be less noticeable.
The contrary is the case with concrete. Concrete is more prone to crack. That will require you to patch it or apply protective sealants. Frequent patching can deface the concrete. Also, your concrete may have stains that require power washing. However, concrete has an advantage because weeds do not grow on them except if they have long-standing cracks. With concrete, you don’t need to worry about weeding.
What is your primary aim in conducting the upgrade? If you intend to increase your property’s value, then you can go with pavers. Since pavers are durable, boost your property’s curb appeal, and attract buyers, it adds significant value to your property. Concrete does not have these qualities. So, the value they add wouldn’t be as high as that of pavers.
- Difficulty with installation
The installation of concrete and pavers is not for amateurs. It entails several procedures and steps. Any mistake during the process can result in terrible outcomes. Concrete is less hectic to install than pavers because it requires fewer steps which include excavation grading, foundation preparation, setting forms, concrete pouring, and curing.
The steps involved in pavers installation are more tedious. Pavers require excavation, grading, compacting the sub-base, installing geotextile fiber, preparing the base, compacting the base, sand preparation, laying pavers, cutting borders, preparing bond beam, stones compaction, and sealing pavers. However, you can use pavers immediately after the sealants dry up because it doesn’t require curing.
Pavers are recycled concrete that is formed by densely compacting the concrete into a mold and allowing it to set. The psi should be at 7000. Pavers are usually installed used for installation on a compacted road base. Pavers come in different shapes, colors, and blends.
Concrete that is mixed by hand or by truck should have a psi of 2500. It is poured directly to the area that has been prepared with wood frames and wire mesh or reinforcement bars. The recommended thickness should be at least 4” thick. After the concrete sets, the wood frame is removed.
Concrete can be finished in different ways. Some options include smooth, broom finish, acid wash, or stamped. Concrete can also be mixed with colors.
When it comes to durability, pavers are more resistant to cracks because of their high psi and installation method. While concrete is more sensitive to cracks and has a higher chance of cracking in areas where the earth moves a lot such as South California.
The bottom line
Pavers and concrete are good options for your driveways and walkways. The material you choose should depend on your goals, needs, budget, and the environmental conditions of your neighborhood.