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
Patio After Setting Pavers Over Concrete Patio Slabs
Pavers dress up the patio and make it an attractive outdoor living space. A concrete patio is made for practicality, not beauty. It starts out looking plain and goes downhill from there. As craters, cracks and stains accumulate, it can go from dull to downright ugly in just a few years. But theres a simple solution, whether you want to dress up a bland patio or hide an aging one. Covering concrete with paver bricks is much easier than pouring new concrete or laying paving stones the traditional way. It requires less skill and less time, and its a whole lot easier on your back. Here well walk you through how to lay paving stones over concrete.
Assess your slabThis project will work with most patios. Surface damage like flaking, chips and craters is no problem. But a few conditions make this method a no-go:
- A too-low threshold. Door thresholds have to be high enough above the existing patio to allow for the thickness of the border pavers, plus an extra 3/4 in. to allow for frost heaverising of the slab when the soil freezes.
- Expanding cracks. This method will work over most crackswhich grow and shrink with seasonal ground movement. But if you have a crack that has noticeably grown in recent years, this method is risky. The crack may eventually telegraph through the pavers, creating a hump or gaps.
Make Sure Paver Surfaces Clean
Everything should be clean before attaching to increase the adhesive quality of the glue. Thus, cleaning the paving stones surface is incredibly important.
Use a stiff-bristle brush or broom with concrete detergent to remove all specks of dirt and dust. Then, wash with clean water to make sure no detergent is left.
Let them dry in a few minutes.
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Reasons For The Cement Option
The flexibility of pavers can become a liability if tree roots grow underneath them and cause the paved surface to buckle. That happens much more easily with pavers than a concrete slab, but it is possible to have the best of both worlds and set pavers into place with cement where buckling is an issue. Another problem inherent with pavers is that they migrate outward along edges, weakening the paved surface’s structural integrity. Various forms of edging can be used to combat the migration tendency, including making a concrete lip that forms a rigid border to hold pavers in place. If, however, pavers are laid in cement to begin with, they are immobilized and will not get pushed outward over time.
What Size Joints Should You Make
You will need to leave at least a small gap between your concrete pavers to allow for expansion and contraction, but you have the option to go wider.
Like I mentioned, I was locked into a specific width of just over 2, but with your patio space, you likely will have a choice.
Some people prefer tight spacing because of the look, or to avoid dealing with sand or pebbles in between since they can spill out and get kicked around.
If you want wider gaps, the width can be unlimited if you use grass in between. Otherwise I recommend keeping the spacing under 2 ½.
Its possible to go wider, but youll then want to go with a larger stone which can be more difficult to find and more expensive.
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Give A Kitchen Garden A Contemporary Lift
Bradstone’s Mahina concrete paving in dark grey looks great alongside these veg beds
Raised garden bed ideas might conjure up whimsical images of cottage-style gardens at first thought. However, they can be given an urban edge with the addition of concrete pavers. These designs make a great juxtaposition against the woven edges of the beds, but would also complement sleeker designs perfectly.
Their flecked appearance offers all the visual appeal of granite but for a more affordable price. And, they also make a practical pick not only are they hardy but the subtle texture offers extra grip underfoot.
Put In Edge Restraints
Edge restraints help hold the pavers in place. They are usually made of wood, metal, or plastic and are installed around the edge of the project with 12 spikes. For irregular-shaped patios, the edging may have to be cut to contour to the curves in the project.
The layer of sand under the pavers acts like glue.
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Why Installing Pavers Over Concrete Is A Bad Idea
Pavers can refresh any outdoor space and make it look as good as new. More often than not, people tend to have pre-existing concrete patios in their backyards already. While it may seem like a good idea to install pavers right to the concrete, it may not be the best way to go about it.
Pavers are great because of their flexibility. They are able to move and shift with the ground as it heats and cools. Concrete, on the other hand, can crack under the constant shifting. If there is a problem with the paver patio, those pieces of the paver can be moved and replaced much easier than with a concrete patio.
A professional paver contractor will be able to lay a good, solid foundation that is appropriate for pavers. Installing directly on old concrete can cause many more problems in the future. Also, installing directly on top of concrete will raise your patio by inches, which may not seem like a big deal, but can cause a hazard in your yard. By hiring a contractor, they will be able to dig a foundation that looks like it was a part of your yard the entire time.
Another good reason to hire a contractor to dig a foundation is to remove the roots and soil that can cause cracks in the foundation and replace it with a gravel base and bedding sand. Your paver patio will be smoother and more uniform than simply installing pavers on top of the existing concrete. It can also save you money in the future from having to repair the concrete underneath.
Create A Terrace With Pavers
A terrace can dramatically enhance the appearance of a yard.
Most people use stones and other materials to create terraces, but theres no reason that you cant use pavers.
Youre going to want your terrace to stand the test of time though, which is why you should hire a company to do the work for you.
Make a few calls.
Let them know that youd like to use pavers.
Before calling, select the pavers youd like to use.
You should be able to find a contractor whos willing to build you a terrace with the pavers of your choice.
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Should You Do It Yourself Or Hire A Pro
There are plenty of directions online for installing pavers to create patios and pathways.
If youre going to try a more offbeat idea though, doing it yourself may not be practical.
Of course, if you have an artistic streak, you might be able to pull it off.
If youre not confident in your ability to do any of the ideas above, you should plan on hiring a contractor to do the work for you.
Theres sure to be at least one contractor in your area who can help.
In many ways, coming up with the idea itself is a lot more difficult than making it happen.
As long as you have a clear vision about how youd like to use pavers in and around your home, making your dream a reality shouldnt be difficult.
Dont be afraid to try something a little different.
Concrete pavers are brimming with possibilities, and the 15 ideas that are listed above are just the tip of the iceberg.
Whether you inherit used pavers from someone else or go out and buy your own, try to use them creatively to add flair and excitement to your yard.
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Mixing Concrete Paver Sizes Gives You The Best Of Both Worlds
The great thing about concrete pavers is they come in many different sizes, which means you can really get creative with your space. We love seeing our large format concrete patio pavers mixed in a pattern with regular-sized pavers:
We also love the way regular-sized Rice White rectangular concrete pavers and edging are used throughout the luxurious outdoor living space pictured below. The hardscape designer added a little something extra to the side yard by installing large format rectangular pavers punctuated by lush green grass:
Another great example of this concrete patio design trend is this hardscape that pairs large square concrete pavers with smaller red brick pavers as edging in a diagonal stacked bond pattern:
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Figure B: Border Layout
A Snap a chalk line parallel to the house to mark the location of the border decorative pavers. Remember to leave a gap of at least 1/4 in. between the border decorative pavers and the house.
B Lay out field pavers to locate the side borders. A simple row of pavers will work even if you plan to lay them later in a herringbone pattern as we did. The goal is to establish a field width that allows each course to end with a full or half paver, but not smaller pieces. That means less cutting, less waste and a neater look.
C Position the border pavers and mark their locations. It’s OK if the border decorative pavers don’t quite reach the edge of the patio, but don’t let them overhang. Nudge one border patio block outward by 1/4 in. to allow a little extra space for the field pavers.
D Snap a chalk line to mark one side border. To make this line square with the line along the house, use the 3-4-5 method.E Mark the other side border. Measure from the first side to make sure the two sides are parallel.
F Leave the final border unmarked and install the border after the field is complete. That open end makes screeding off the excess sand easier and lets you position the final border perfectly.
Patio Paver Versus A Stamped Concrete Patio Which Is Better For Me
Potential and current customers frequently ask us if they should choose patio pavers or a stamped concrete patio. Theres no simple answer because every homeowner has different desires and expectations, so we begin to help them choose by explaining the significant differences between these two materials. Lets clarify that pavers is a generic term for interlocking concrete pavers. Patio pavers are manmade from high-strength concrete and come in an almost infinite variety of shapes, thicknesses, textures and colors. We use pavers frequently, and we also construct many hardscapes from natural stone materials, using similar installation techniques.
CostsLets get right to it many people assume that a stamped concrete patio will be less expensive than a paver patio. In some cases, they will be right but since no two design/installations are the same, its not really possible to make this judgment without some research. Its also not really an apples-to-apples comparison, as we will explain.
The most important part of any patio installation, regardless of material type, is the base. This is the foundation of the final surface and as the saying goes, what you see is only as strong as its foundation.
Patio pavers share a similar first step in excavation, but even this step is different.
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Should I Leave A Gap Between Concrete Pavers
Pavers come in all shapes and sizes as well as varying materials. They can be made of stones, bricks, or concrete blocks. They can be formal shapes such as rectangles or squares, or irregular shapes, like fieldstone and flagstone. You can use pavers for your patio, walkway or even driveway. The common thing about pavers is that they must be laid on a base made of compacted rocks and gravel, usually topped with a filler such as a layer of sand in between the pavers to secure them. A common question among homeowners is: Should I leave a gap between concrete pavers?
Courtyards And Covered Patios
The slate-colored pavers of this exterior patio contrast with the white pavers inside, while emphasizing the black-and-white color palette of the entire space.
These rice white pavers add a sense of richness to this covered outdoor living area, contrasting beautifully with the natural wood beams and rafters.
Dolphin grey concrete pavers blend perfectly with the grey doors and distressed white brick of this covered patio complementing the interior color pallet in the process.
This covered white concrete paver walkway creates a timeless look, tying together the brick archways and the dark wood accents.
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How To Glue Pavers Together The Step
Pavers are increasingly popular in construction as they offer long-term durability, elegant design, and a variety of styles. Thats also why you often see them used in walkways, swimming pools, or gardens.
When it comes to sticking paving stones, this task isnt too difficult, but it requires you to apply proper materials and methods.
How to glue pavers together? Click on this article of Gluecare to get the answer!
Before you start your project, here is the list of necessary things you must have:
- A torpedo level
Concrete Slab Is Functional And Economical
A smooth concrete slab might be one of the first things you think of when you consider a backyard patio. You may even have grown up with a patio like this at your house. Concrete slab patios are common because it’s a reliable material that does the job without breaking the bank.
In fact, this can be one of the most reasonably priced options for adding hardscaping to your yard. Saving money on the patio surface may free up more of your budget for adding plants, furniture or other decorative elements to your backyard makeover.
Because concrete is poured to cover large areas, a concrete surface is smooth. This increases its safety and reliability for people with mobility issues.
Another great thing about concrete slab is that you can arrange it to fit any size or shape. Whether you want a simple rectangular patio, a round eating area, or a curved surface next to your kidney-shaped pool, you can achieve it with poured concrete.
You may worry about the plain look of concrete. It’s true that concrete on its own is a pretty basic material. That may suit the look that you’re going for just fine. If not, you can dress concrete up by adding colors, textures, patterns or pressed-in elements.
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Express Your Own Personal Style With Limitless Concrete Paver Patterns & Paving Stone Colors
Each of Belgards concrete pavers, paving stones, and slab pavers offer multiple laying patterns, giving you the flexibility to create unique outdoor living spaces that complement your personal sense of style.
Our selection of concrete pavers offer limitless creativity and possibilities. Use contoured paver patterns for elaborate driveways and entrances, or apply more simplistic designs for walkways and patios.
Whether your color palette is neutral, warm or cool, we have multiple options and paver styles with rich color blends to complement the architecture of your home. Enjoy a natural stone look for backyard patios and pool areas, or add warmth to your outdoor living space with unique shades of subtle or vibrant colors in a wide variety of tones. For any design scheme, Belgard pavers come in a shade or blend to match your desired look.
Cementing Pavers In Place
Pavers are ornamental alternatives to concrete for building pathways, patios and parking areas. Generally, installing pavers involves more work than installing concrete, but pavers open the door to designing with textures and patterns that are hard to match in a concrete slab. Pavers usually are installed on a bed of sand. Certain conditions, however, may warrant the use of cement to hold pavers in place.
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