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Patios: Natural Stone Pavers vs. Stamped Concrete

The benefits of using Natural Stone Pavers vs. Stamped Concrete

A popular addition to a landscape is a patio, creating a hard surface to extend the living space from indoors to outdoors.  Outdoor living spaces allow for enjoyment of the outdoors by creating dining areas, fire pits, seating walls and even built-in bars and grills.  The main factor in deciding which materials to use is the installation method and durability of material types.

Although the popularity of stamped concrete has grown over the years, there’s nothing like the beauty and quality of natural stone.

Pros and cons of concrete and interlocking concrete pavers:

Stamped concrete:

The reason people choose concrete:

  1. Relatively low cost.
  2. Ease of installation
  3. Versatility of the material.

There is a lot less labor needed to for the installation of concrete since it can be poured into virtually any shape, color or size.  This also allows the designer to be very creative in the design phase of the patio.  On the other hand, there are a good bit of disadvantages as well.  Concrete tends to crack sooner than paver systems.  Sealant can be slippery which can be dangerous.  In Pennsylvania, concrete patios develop cracks sooner due to the northeast climate of the freeze and thaw cycles from Fall to Spring.  The rigid system of concrete holds more water than that of a flexible paver system.  This ultimately leads to molecules contracting during the winter (freeze) and then expanding during the spring (thaw) when the temperatures begin to rise.  The expansion of the pore spaces within the concrete leads to cracking which is not as prevalent in paver systems.

When a concrete pad cracks or chips, the only way to completely repair it is to rip out the entire pad and start over.

Interlocking pavers:

  1. Paver patios are easier to maintain and repair.
  2. There is no cure time.
  3. They are more durable, and they are very versatile.

Due to the installation methods and crushed stone base, these systems last longer and are more durable than concrete systems.

If a paver cracks or chips, the broken pavers can be removed and replaced.  This cuts down on maintenance costs over time.  There is also no cure time with pavers.  Once the pavers are laid, they are ready to be walked on.  Pavers are built to withstand the freeze and thaw cycles of the seasons.  The only real maintenance to be done is to power-wash every 5-7 years and fill in the poly-sand if needed.  With the increase in use of paver patios, the selection has also increased.  Paver patios can virtually be built into any pattern, color or size.

The only down-fall to patio pavers is the cost.  Pavers are hand laid, one-by-one, which increases the labor cost to the project.

As a long-term maintenance cost between the two, pavers will cost less in the long-term considering the cost of having to re-do a concrete patio when it cracks.

Still not sure?  Book an appointment today with our designer, Jason to discuss in more detail the advantages of natural stone pavers.

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