Poured concrete is the most common material used for outdoor spaces and offers the advantage of a durable surface with many design options to fit any landscape. Pavers are individual pieces that can have an interlocking or square-edged design and can be made from different materials, such as precast concrete, brick, stone slabs, or pavers. Pavers are used as an alternative to concrete for paving driveways, patios, walkways, and other exterior areas.
Cost and Installation
The cost per square foot of concrete is lower than any type of paver, making it a more affordable paving material. Concrete also offers savings in labor costs and time because its installation is relatively easier than installing pavers, which require tedious site preparation as the base must be packed very well so that the pieces do not settle.
Without a doubt, pavers look much better than a simple gray concrete pavement. The colors and texture of the pavers exhibit a natural charm. The good thing is that concrete is such a versatile material that many techniques can be applied to it to completely transform its appearance. Being able to look like real pavers is just one of the effects that can be achieved with concrete, without the price of pavers. Concrete can be stamped, stained, engraved, scratched, stenciled, and stone embedded, to name a few possibilities.
Concrete slabs are virtually maintenance free, especially if sealed, making the surface impervious to all kinds of spills and stains. With pavers, the material itself is also low-maintenance, but the spaces between each piece often need regular care because weeds, grass, and moss will grow in these joints. In addition to regularly removing weeds before they infest the area, the homeowner should also watch out for shifting pavers and cracks in mortared pavers. Brick and concrete pavers are also susceptible to staining. The gravel or sand between the boards
Concrete slabs are significantly more durable than pavers, but ground motion greatly affects the concrete, making it more prone to cracking if the ground below becomes unstable, even though its surface will remain flat. However, the pavers will not crack when the ground settles because the settlement will affect the individual units. However, they could become tripping hazards when some of the pavers move up as a result of ground movement.
repair and replacement
This is where pavers have an advantage over concrete. Since pavers consist of separate units, if a couple of pavers get damaged, simply remove those pieces and replace them with new ones, easy and inexpensive. It is the opposite with concrete if the slab is severely damaged and requires replacement. The entire slab would have to be removed and a new concrete surface installed. This problem can be largely avoided by hiring a professional concrete contractor to do your concrete work to ensure quality base preparation and concrete installation. Also, keep in mind that concrete replacement is always a last resort and is done only when the structure is no longer sound. Aesthetic problems on the concrete surface can be repaired or the concrete can be resurfaced at a reasonable cost.
Combination of pavers and concrete
As you can see, concrete and pavers have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you have a hard time deciding which one to use, why not combine them? Concrete is a great base for pavers. Laying pavers over concrete will eliminate problems with pavers moving out of place and creating uneven surfaces. Consult with a professional concrete contractor to explore this option.