Pavers Vs Stamped Concrete: Ultimate Price Comparison
As the weather gets warmer, you might be looking to spruce up the patio for the summer. There are multiple options for you to consider, but for the sake of narrowing things down, lets stick with pavers and stamped concrete. Both patio flooring types have their pros and cons, but which is the better option for you?
The price of pavers and stamped concrete depends on what youre getting installed. For example, a stamped driveway can cost over $11,000, and a paved driveway can average $6,000. There are also pros and cons to consider, like longevity and durability, where pavers perform better overall.
In this article, well go over the advantages and disadvantages of pavers and stamped concrete. Ill also discuss the least expensive long-term option and the differences between the two.
Stamped Concrete Vs Pavers: Which Is Better
Are you considering fixing up the driveway or sidewalk, or putting in a patio? Trying to figure out which is better, stamped concrete vs pavers? Much depends on your budget, skill level, and preference.
Pavers are made of concrete or natural material, come in different colors, shapes, and sizes, and are individually placed in patterns. They require constant maintenance. Stamped concrete is a single poured slab stamped to look like any of the paver patterns. With minimal maintenance, it will last decades.
In this guide, well explain what stamped concrete and pavers are, do an in-depth comparison, and look at some pros and cons for each. Well provide you with the information to make an informed choice. We are not a stamped concrete or paver installer, nor are we associated with any. The information is presented as unbiased, although we do let slip what our preference is at the end.
Why Spring For That Extra Cost
There are lots of advantages to using brick pavers in your hardscape project.
For one thing, you can get almost any look you can imagine with a paver. Classic-style pavers that mimic the look of brick are perfect for traditional and historic homes your patio, walkway or driveway will look like its been there for decades.
Contemporary home? These pavers suit you, too. Irregular shapes and precision cuts create stunning modern designs.
Secondly, pavers are much more forgiving than poured concrete. They move as the ground shifts. Freezing and thawing? Bring it on.
Why does this matter? Stay with us.
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Stamped Concrete Patio Vs Paver Patio
Are you a stamped concrete patio person or a paver patio person? In the end, they both look great and last a very long time. Justin explains the key differences between the two.
At Don’s Pomeroy House, we tore out a brick paver patio and replaced it with a stamped concrete patio pavers. There’s a lot of maintenance involved in a paver patio then there would be with stamped concrete. The main difference between stamped concrete and paver patios is paver patios are individual bricks or blocks or natural stone laid over the top of a concrete base. Stamped concrete is just the concrete with a stamp and pressed in it that will show you a brick design, a stone design, or random cobblestones. There are a million different selections that you can go with and the color selection is pretty much endless with either one of them.
Pros And Cons Of Stamped Concrete Vs Pavers
Stamped Concrete Pros
Installation: Install for stamped concrete is a great deal easier to install than pavers. The concrete just needs to be pouring into the desired location, and then there is a decorated stamp used to create the pattern on the concrete.
This can also be done on existing concrete by cleaning the surface and adding an overlay of concrete to the existing surface. Then you stamp the top layer with the desired pattern.
Maintenance: The maintenance of a stamped concrete patio is much easier than that of pavers. Stamped concrete is one large slab which does not allow any weeds or grass to pop up in between the stones.
You get the visual of separate stones without having to constantly weed and spray down the cracks of the patio.
Additionally, since the stamped concrete is not as porous as the natural stone used in pavers, they do not collect mold, mildew, or other bacteria. This makes the regular upkeep limited to sweeping and the occasional hose down.
Design: The design of stamped concrete is superb due to the unlimited colors that can be selected, as well as the custom design stamps that can be created.
Stamped concrete can take on almost any look that is desired. You can find stamps that can replicate the look of a wood deck, pavers, cobblestones, bricks and tile. See examples of a wood plank stamped concrete patio here.
Cost: The cost of stamped concrete is significantly lower than pavers in both material cost and the labors costs associated with it.
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What Costs Less: Stamped Concrete Or Pavers
Generally, stamped concrete costs quite a bit less than pavers. But Captain, look! you say, as you look at the very cheap estimate of $288 for a low end DIY installation of pavers. I know, but there are two major caveats here! First, pavers are definitely more economical in three situations:
You see, the low-end of paver installation is a lot lower than stamped concrete. As you increase the quality of building materials, the cost quickly events out. Then, pavers will shoot way higher in price than their stamped cousins.
Pros And Cons Of Pavers Vs Stamped Concrete
The pros and cons for pavers depend on the product being viewed. Pavers may be thin or thick, concrete or natural material, smooth or patterned, large or small, or regular or irregular in shape. In general, here are the pros and cons:
- Single, solid, uniform 3,000 or 4,000psi concrete slab
- May crack due to freeze-thaw action
- Difficult or expensive to repair
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Reason Four: Unlimited Design Potential
Pavers are especially popular for the intricate designs that can be accomplished. But the more complex the design, the longer it will take to install and the more it will cost. There is also the limitation of available color options, especially with natural stone.
With decorative concrete, there are no limitations on color, our MasterProTM concrete stains open up a world of possibility for custom colors to create any look you want. Custom concrete stamps and stencils allow us to formulate intricate designs and patterns, including multiple designs together as in this flagstone driveway with a stamped cobblestone entrance border.
Concrete Vs Pavers Vs Asphalt
In terms of cost, asphalt is on a par with concrete but doesnt last as long as either pavers or concrete. Pavers have the longest lifespan of up to 100 years, concrete lasts 25 to 30 years, and asphalt lasts 15 to 20 years if properly maintained.
There are many differences between asphalt, concrete, and pavers. While all three are solid surfacing options for driveways, asphalt wouldnt generally be used on patios or pool decking. It should also be noted that asphalt requires more regular maintenance and sealing than either concrete or pavers. However, it is easy to install and many people find the black, uniform finish appealing.
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How Long Do Stamped Concrete Patios Last
We established that paver lifespans are dependent upon the material being used. Stamped concrete patios have a similar dependency: if your contractor cuts corners or otherwise does a poor job installing it, you can suffer major issues down the road. One common fault introduced from poor craftsmanship is severe cracking of the concrete surface. Many sub-par contractors fail to ensure that the surface is stamped to a uniform depth.
Under ideal conditions with competent contractors and regular upkeep, you can expect a stamped concrete patio to last at least 25 years .
Durability And Staying Power
Stamped Concrete:The problem with stamped concrete is the fact that it is made of concrete! Being one continuous surface, there is absolutely no place to expand with the heat or contract as it is cooled. So, when Mother Nature changes her moods, internal pressures within the slab cause cracks to develop on the surface. Crack repairs are an expensive and time-consuming affair, usually involving replacing the entire slab. Rain and snow are especially damaging to the surface. One way around this issue is to pattern a textured finish to better hide the cracks.
It is important to understand that being rougher than paver blocks, stamped concrete is more prone to wear and tear, specifically from heavier loads such as car tires. As a protective measure, a sealant can be applied to the surface every 3 4 years, which can protect against the elements while also adding a glossy sheen to it.
Paver Patio:Paver blocks are designed to weather the elements. They are molded under very high pressure, making them much more resilient to environmental changes. They are used as individual units, placed one after another in a chain-like fashion. The only weak-link in this otherwise durable chain is the sand filling in between each block. It is known to erode over time, requiring time-to-time refilling. Also, weeds may grow in it with their roots weakening the binding. If the base foundation is made incorrectly, the blocks may even heave or settle, making for an uneven surface.
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Concrete Patio Pros And Cons
Versatility of Concrete Patio
The advances in coloring techniques, dyes and stamping tools have contributed much to the design versatility of concrete patio.
With the variety of stains and other coloring methods and options available nowadays, make it easy to achieve just about any hue to match or blend with the natural landscape of your house and compliments the indoor living space.
There are also a variety of pattern and design options such as stamped patterns, stenciling, engraving, exposed aggregate and more to create a surface that blends with the interior décor as well as the outdoor landscape.
Durability and Strength
Concrete patios is also highly durable and can stand extreme weather conditions. Concrete patios wont ever rot, warp or sink, and it is completely fireproof.
When installed with proper curing, accurate reinforcement, having good drainage and control joints, these factors can prevent concrete slab from random cracking.
When compared with other masonry paving materials, concrete is easier to maintain because of its solid surface and saves you the labor of staining and resealing yearly.
Concrete is also invulnerable to termite or insect infestation, wood rot, mold, splintering and wont harbor weed growth. Simply sweep the concrete clean and occasionally wash it down with water using a garden hose.
Concrete Patio Cons
Cons To Stamped Concrete
One of the most significant downsides to stamped concrete is that it can be quite difficult to repair or replace. For example, if cracks form or part of the concrete is discolored, it will need to be either patched or cut out completely. It can be difficult to match the repaired part with the original design, too.
Another issue is that stamped concrete tends to wear down, especially under consistent heavyweight or traffic. For this reason, patio areas and driveways typically need to be resurfaced every 5 to 7 years!
Poured concrete can also be quite slippery if it gets wet. This means that it is not always best for areas around pools or climates that get frequent rainfall. Additionally, concrete can expand and crack with extreme temperature changes. High heat or freezing cold can cause it to crack or warp.
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Do A Paver Patio Or Stamped Concrete
9 years agoPavers are nice, and they’re ‘authentic’. But you’ll have to pay attention to preventing weeds and grass from coming through between the bricks.A stamped concrete patio will be solid and neat and tidy and easy to clean. You can use finishes on them that will give you a nice reflective surface too, if you like. Our next door neighbour has this style of driveway and he puts a coat of sealer on every couple of years. It’s been there about 20 years and it looks as perfect as ever.
Why Are Paver Patios Better Than Stamped Concrete
There are 6 reasons why paver patios are better than stamped concrete patios:
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Can Pavers Or Stamped Concrete Be Used Indoors
It may not come as news to many of you reading this, but concrete interior flooring isnt new. Stamped concrete is a viable choice as inside flooring too. If youre tired of wood or carpet floors, stamped cement is a refreshing choice.
You can have the cement stained with whatever color you want and sealed to prevent damage. The design and pattern can be whatever youre willing to pay for.
You can choose from two kinds of concrete floors existing and decorative. You can modify existing concrete floors with stains, polish, and decorative overlays are installed on top of preexisting hard floors for a new look.
Stamped concrete is a good flooring alternative for homeowners that are looking to go green too. Concrete doesnt reduce natural resources, and its mold, mildew, and odor-proof.
Stamped concrete flooring is a good fit for rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, and basements because it can be made slip-proof, stain-proof, and is easy to keep clean.
The hard, easy-to-clean surface makes stamped concrete ideal for pets. Cats and dogs claws cant damage concrete very easily, and removing pet hair or messes is simple.
What may come as a surprise to some readers is that pavers can also be used as interior flooring.
There is a difference between indoors and outdoors pavers, though. Interior pavers are thinner, and your choices should be limited to brick, natural stone, and cement. Pavers used for outdoor purposes are thicker and would be harder to use inside.
Pavers Vs Stamped Concrete: Which Is Cheaper
It is possible to find cheap pavers. Youll have to do a bit of shopping around, but it is possible. In general, though, concrete is an inexpensive material.
Still, comparing the cost of laying pavers vs. stamped concrete is a bit complicated. How much you pay depends on factors like the type of pavers you want and where youre getting the stamped concrete installed.
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Concrete Slab Installation Costs
As a common material choice for most patios and walkways, the price of installing concrete slabs comes down to similar factors of installing interlocking pavers.
Concrete slabs are somewhat easy to install, but the material takes time to dry and cure, which means that your driveway, patio or walkway cannot be used until this curing process is completed. The installation process includes excavation, grading, preparation of the foundation, setting forms, and pouring the concrete.
Because a minimum order may be required, you may end up paying for more concrete than you need. One of the major downsides to concrete is it can crack when the ground below it flexes, if tree roots grow beneath the slab or for other reasons as it ages.
It is also very important to get the grading just right with a concrete installation, as it can be a very costly error to fix once the concrete has been poured. Improper concrete grading can lead to low spots which will retain water, leaving discolorations and staining.
For a simple quality concrete slab installation with no texturing/stamping, the estimated average cost is roughly $13 per square foot. This equates to $13,000 for a 1,000 square foot patio, walkway, or driveway.