Why It’s Worth Considering Pavers Over A Stamped Concrete Patio

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When it comes to patios, stamped concrete can leave a lot to be desired. While it has its benefits and may be a fitting and functional choice in certain applications, is it really a better option than paving stones? The truth is, if you’re considering stamped concrete, you’re likely better off upgrading to interlocking pavers. Here’s why.

Stamped Concrete vs Pavers: Which is Better?

A stamped concrete patio is essentially a concrete slab with a few additional steps. The finished space is intended to mimic the appearance of natural stone, which is achieved with special rubber stamps and are pressed and tamped into the wet concrete. Stains are then added to the dry surface of the stamped concrete for a natural stone look. Different stains are often mixed for a customized effect.

Pavers are interlocking pieces that come in various square and rectangular shapes, which means they can be combined for multiple configurations. There is no curing process, so you can enjoy a paver patio immediately after installation. Polymer sand is used to help them the stones in place. While paving stones can follow the natural rise and fall of your landscaping, poured concrete will need a space that’s been leveled and cordoned off.

A few other key differences between stamped concrete and paver patios:

  • Installation and repairs. Concrete slabs usually require a flat surface, so excavation will be necessary. Concrete also needs time to cure before it can be used. If repairs are needed, due to inevitable cracks, you’ll most likely need a professional to do the work. Repairs on paving stones are often much more straightforward—you can simply pull out damaged pavers and reinstall new ones as necessary.
  • Maintenance. To maintain their aesthetic, stamped concrete patios should be sealed properly. Freeze-thaw cycles, which are common here in northern Nevada, often leads to cracking, which will reveal the concrete’s natural color beneath the stain. Regular maintenance typically involves sweeping or pressure washing. Pavers can also benefit from being sealed, and replacing sand may be an annual chore. Weeds may also creep up between paving stones.
  • Aesthetics. Both stamped concrete and paver patios can look incredible immediately after installation, and both options come in fairly endless options for texture, color, shape and size. But maintaining the good looks of a stamped concrete patio will require some upkeep, which is worth keeping in mind.
  • Lifespan. It’s reasonable to expect a stamped concrete patio to last around 25 years with proper care and maintenance. You can expect almost double that from a properly-installed paver patio.
  • Safety. Poured concrete slabs, particularly those with certain finishes, can be surprisingly slippery when they’re wet. Paver patios, however, are a non-skid, non-slip surface.
  • Price point. It’s true that you’ll likely spend a little less on a stamped concrete patio than you would a paver patio, but don’t overlook those repair costs for the former! If you’re adding a pergola to an existing patio, paving stones make it a much easier and more attractive job than concrete, which will inevitably have a line indicating the new pour. In terms of cost-efficiency, paving stones are likely the better choice.

The Bottom Line

If you’re ready to upgrade your patio and you’re exploring stamped concrete, do yourself a favor and get a quote for pavers, too. Significantly reduced maintenance costs, long-term durability and good looks, and greater versatility make pavers a great option. In Reno and Sparks, Harris Landscape Construction can answer all of your questions about a new paver patio. Contact our team today!

 

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