Choosing stamped concrete or pavers for your back patio, even walkways or a driveway, is a great way to add a bit of pizzazz to your home. However, each material comes with its own pluses and minuses.
So what’s better for your patio when both are viable options for beautifying your outdoor space?
Today, the experts at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers breaks down everything you need to know when making your decision. Generally speaking, there are 4 main areas to consider:
- Creating a patio that fits your style and coordinates with your home’s architecture
- Ensuring your safety and preventing slips or falls, especially if you have a pool
- Looking at the maintenance and upkeep needed to enjoy your patio for decades
- Deciding on a cost that won’t stress you out – after all, you want to enjoy your patio
Deciding Between Stamped Concrete or Pavers
Pavers and stamped concrete both have their good points and their not-so-good points. Both make for attractive and reasonably affordable options, but one or the other may offer a better solution for your situation. Let’s look at both and see how each one performs in the following four areas.
Style and Aesthetics
Even though aesthetics is the least important aspect practically, it is the first thing everyone thinks of when planning, and the first thing your guests will notice upon arrival. Style is very important and the reason why many people even consider installing outdoor flooring.
So, which one looks better – stamped concrete or pavers? Ultimately, that’s personal opinion. Some people love the texture and versatility afforded by stamped concrete. You can shape and color it in infinite ways, even to mimic natural materials like brick, slate or flagstone.
On the other hand, stone pavers offer a beautiful, natural finish while masonry pavers come in quite a few varieties to create the look you want. Pavers offer flexibility in design, and many people love the ability to personalize the pattern.
There is no clear winner in the aesthetics category. It truly comes down to personal taste and what type of look you prefer. Let’s move along and consider the other categories to help determine a winner.
Safety and Preventing Slips
Safety concerns are generally not the first thing that people think of when choosing stamped concrete or pavers. However, they are obviously a critical consideration.
The main safety concerns with any type of flooring are slipping and tripping.
Stamped concrete is poured in a continuous slab which makes tripping a rare problem. It also means that it does tend to get slippery when wet. However, the right installation experts can add texture, even a special sealer to greatly improve its slip-resistance. There would be a very low hazard at that point.
Pavers, while they might not get as slippery thanks to good water drainage, tend to present a tripping hazard. When pavers are first installed, the surface is usually very even, and tripping is not too serious of a problem. However, the ground settles over time and the pavers shift, making the surface deceptively uneven and posing a significant hazard. It’s an issue that may require upkeep or repair along the way.
For this area, stamped concrete sneaks ahead, though pavers still have their own merits.
Maintenance & Upkeep
Maintenance is a very significant aspect of choosing between stamped concrete or pavers. Nobody wants to spend all their free time or money on upkeep. They want to spend time enjoying their patio.
Stamped concrete is a bit of a hassle when it’s first installed. It requires 3-5 days of curing before you can even walk on it. Because of its continuous nature, it is also more prone to cracks than pavers.
Many factors (like traffic, hot and cold temperature changes, settling, and shrinkage) affect how quickly cracks may appear. Unfortunately, you can be assured that they probably will appear at some point. For this reason, people often choose a textured pattern to camouflage cracks as they appear.
Pavers are generally not as delicate. You don’t have to wait 3-5 days to start using them, and they are not nearly as prone to cracking. Because they are individual pieces, they have the flexibility to move with settling and hot and cold pressure changes. It is also easier to replace just one section if it gets damaged and makes the patch look uniform with the old pavers.
However, you do have to be aware that from time to time you will need to buy sand to refill the spaces between the pavers.
Material & Install Costs
When you can’t decide on a material, it often comes down to cost. Fortunately, both are relatively affordable options. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help much with the decision-making process!
The upfront cost of stamped concrete is generally less than that of pavers, especially if you want high-end natural stone pavers installed across a massive patio area. That can really add up.
However, long-term costs are harder to gauge. The same material in one yard, where it was installed the right way and taken care of, will last longer and be less expensive than in another yard where the installer was careless and the homeowner skipped all upkeep work.
The long-term cost is just one of the reasons why it is so important to choose a reputable company to install your outdoor flooring whether you choose stamped concrete or pavers.
Carefree Decks and Patio Covers has been providing excellent deck and patio services to our neighbors here in the metro Denver area for over 20 years. We would be happy to help you make the best choice for your specific circumstances, as well as provide expert installation!
Because we are acquainted with these materials, you can trust us to point you in the right direction for your home and budget. Contact us today to request a free quote on stamped concrete or pavers and any other project you’d like to take on to beautify your outdoor space.