Concrete is the most popular material used for outdoor construction. It offers a great advantage of a durable surface that can be designed to match with any landscape. Paving stones are individual pieces with square-edged or interlocking design and are made from different materials such as bricks, pre-cast concrete, bricks, cobbles or stone slabs. Paving stones are used extensively as an alternative to concrete in paving driveways walkways, and patios.
Cost and Installation
Generally, the cost per sq. foot of concrete is very low when compared with another type of paver. Hence, concrete appears to be the cheapest of all the paving materials. When it comes to installation, concrete is cheaper and requires a lesser time while the overall process involved in its installation is seemingly easier than paving stones. Paving stones require difficult site preparation such as the clearing and packing of the base.
When it comes to visual appeal, paving stones cannot be defeated. It looks better than concrete. In fact, the texture and color of paving stone are naturally charming. Nevertheless, concrete is so versatile that any form of design can be done to it which is capable of totally transforming its look. Without having to spend much as installing paving stones, concrete patios can be designed to look exactly like paving stones. Concrete can be embedded with stones, stamped, engraved, stained, stenciled, scored, to name a few.
Concrete patios require little or no maintenance. If the surface of the concrete is sealed, it will become impervious to any kind of stain or spill. Whereas, with paving stones, there is a need for frequent maintenance as the spaces between each piece can harbor weeds, moss, and grass. Apart from the regular removal of weeds and grass before they occupy the patio, you also need to check out for paving that has shifted, cracked or mortared.
Concrete patios are more durable than pavers. Nevertheless, ground movement has an immense effect on the concrete. When there is a ground movement, the concrete patio will be exposed to the hazard of cracking. Be that as it may, a more intense effect is experienced in paving stones as some pavers may shift as a result of irregular ground movement.
Repair and Replacement
Paving stones have a lot of advantage when it comes to repairing and replacement. This is because pavers consist of individual elements. Hence, if one or more pavers get damaged, all you need to do is to remove those pieces and replace them. This process is very easy and less expensive. Whereas, when it comes to concrete paving, it is an entirely opposite event. If a slab suffers a severe damage, you will have to remove the whole slab and install an entirely new concrete. However, this event can be avoided to a greater extent by hiring a professional for the installation of your concrete paving at the initial start of the project. Concrete replacement is rare and often the last resort when the entire patio system is damaged. Petty damage such as surface problems can be easily repaired by resurfacing the concrete at a low cost.
Combining Pavers and Concrete
In summary, both the concrete and paving stone patios have their advantages and disadvantages. Be that as it may, if you are still having a problem deciding on which to use, why not combine them? Concrete can be used as a great base for paving stones. Having your pavers laid on concrete will mean that the problem of moving and shifting of paving stones and uneven surfaces will be eliminated. However, consulting a professional patio contraction will provide you will enough options.