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Concrete or Pavers: Which Option is Best For Your Patio?

When considering which type of material to utilize for your backyard patio, it can be challenging to find an unbiased comparison. It shouldn’t be too tough to find an objective source of information when comparing pavers and concrete patios. In an effort to provide an objective source, we will include a list of pros and cons for each material, allowing you to make an informed choice that is not based on our opinion but purely facts.

Concrete Patios Pros and Cons

Concrete patios or cement-based patios provide a perfect sanctuary for your outdoor living space. Concrete is made of aggregate, usually a mixture of sand and gravel, that is mixed and bonded together by water and cement and used for patios and other structural and architectural features. Concrete is a popular choice in part because it offers decorative finishes as well as unlimited designs.

The Pros

  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Easy to Maintain
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Stable

Versatile– With advances in dyes, coloring techniques, and stamping tools, concrete patios come with almost endless design options. With the variety of stains and other coloring options, it is quite easy to blend your patio with the natural landscape of your house. In addition, the combination of stamped patterns and design options like engraving and stenciling allows you to get creative with your patio.

Durable– If adequately taken care of, your concrete patio will give you decades of service, at least 30 years or so. Concrete will also stand up well in most weather conditions, including rain, snow, and heat.

Easy to Maintain– Unlike some other material choices, concrete patios don’t require a lot of maintenance. Concrete only needs to be sealed once a year and cleaned to keep it looking good.

Budget-Friendly– Concrete is less expensive than wood, brick, and pavers; it gives you the look of costly materials at a price that fits your budget.

Stable– A concrete patio is a stable area that offers an even surface, so patio furniture and other items are at no risk of toppling over. Concrete is also mold-resistant and hypoallergenic, making it the ideal place for people to gather.

The Cons

While there are plenty of benefits in choosing concrete for your patio, keep in mind there are some negative aspects as well. Here are a few concrete cons you need to consider when making a choice.

  • Repairs
  • Safety
  • Strength
  • Loss of Color

Repairs– In places like Northern Colorado, where we experience high and low temperatures, there will be levels of shrinkage and expansion, which will make the patio prone to cracking and other damage. Repairing cracks can be difficult and costly as it may require portions to be demolished and re-poured. Matching decorative concrete can also come at a high cost.

Safety– We get our fair share of rain in Northern Colorado, as well as snow and cold. When concrete gets wet, it can become slippery and can pose a hazard. And if cracks and chips are present, they can pose a tripping hazard.

Strength– While poured concrete has around 3,000 to 4,000 PSI, pavers boast 8,000 PSI or more. This means pavers are a more robust material and have fewer chances of cracking.

Loss of Color– In many cases, the colors in a concrete patio are not entirely integrated; they are often just added to the top layer. As such, the colors can chip or wear off over time.

Paver Patios Pros and Cons

Pavers or paving stones are blocks or slabs made of natural stone, including clay brick, marble, and flagstone. You can use pavers to create unique patios, driveways, and walkways. Pavers come in various patterns, colors, sizes, and shapes, and the joints are filled with a poly sand, which keeps them in place.

The Pros

  • Repair and Maintenance
  • Strength
  • Cost Benefits
  • Versatility
  • Eco-Friendly

Repair and Maintenance– Due to the patterns on pavers, stains are difficult to see, and they can be easily cleaned with hot water and soap. Repairs are pretty easy as well; all you need to do is break out the damaged pavers and replace them with new ones.

Strength– Pavers are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions; if properly installed, they can last as long as 50 years.

Cost Benefits– While the initial cost of pavers is higher than concrete, maintenance and repair costs are significantly lower. So you will save money in the long run.

Versatility– There is virtually no end to the designs you can create with pavers. And since they are made from natural materials, their colors will remain vivid for a long time.

Eco-Friendly– Pavers are made from renewable resources, they are reusable, and they last a very long time, which is all good for the environment.

The Cons

  • Cost More Than Concrete
  • Take Longer to Install
  • Weeds
  • Uneven Pavers

Cost More Than Concrete– Compared to concrete and other patio options; pavers will cost more. It is labor-intensive to install them, and it takes experience to get them placed correctly.

Take Longer to Install– The installation of pavers will typically take longer than concrete. Depending on the size of the project, installing pavers can take as long as five days to complete.

Weeds– Pavers are individual pieces that are put together like a giant puzzle, and sand is used to fill the joints. Pavers are notorious for growing weeds and other foliage between the cracks. Often, you must contend with this problem every spring and summer.

Uneven Pavers– If the pavers are not properly installed or if there are changes in the soil, pavers can become uneven and pose a hazard.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that concrete and pavers are both excellent choices when you are in the market for a patio. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it is up to you to decide which looks better for your project. Both concrete and pavers have their share of advantages and disadvantages. If you have questions, we are more than happy to give you honest and unbiased answers as our concern is to ensure you are getting what you really want. Feel free to call us or fill out our estimate form.

NEXT: Creative Ways to Improve Your Backyard

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