Paving stones are the best choice for patios because they are more decorative than concrete and are more durable. But if traditional cladding materials make it feel as flat as poured concrete, consider concrete pavers. More affordable than stone, more colorful than brick and more durable than asphalt, concrete pavers are a practical and attractive option anywhere on the property. And because they're modular, they're easy to install and fix, even for DIY enthusiasts.
Paving stones have (almost) infinite design options, shapes and colors. There are many styles of pavers you can use to suit your tastes and complete any gardening project. You can also install pavers in a variety of patterns and styles, such as plain, rustic, cobblestone, and textured. Each one has a unique look and feel.
However, if there is constant foot traffic on pavers (such as cars entering and leaving a driveway), they can settle in common areas of wear and tear. Concrete does not have this problem in which a small crack can form in the concrete, you can obtain an area settled on pavers that will need to be re-leveled. A well-maintained concrete patio that is well-placed and complements the rest of the backyard will offer more value than a cobblestone walkway covered in moss and missing bricks. Concrete pavers are individual pieces, making the overall pattern of the paver more flexible and adapting to fluctuations in the ground when dry setting.
Once the base is ready, borders are installed along the sides of the entrance to contain the pavers and keep them tight. We have already established that both pavers and concrete can cause problems and will eventually need repair. Paving stones can survive freezing conditions without cracking or falling apart if they meet industry standards for minimal water absorption. Another benefit of concrete pavers is that individual pavers can be removed and replaced, if necessary.
Unlike real stone, concrete slabs have repeating shapes and textures, proving that they are false. Regardless of the material you choose, both concrete and pavers will need to be protected to withstand the elements. Considering the two most common paving materials, deciding between patio pavers or concrete slabs remains a difficult task. The resulting pavers are capable of withstanding at least 8,000 pounds per square inch of pressure, compared to approximately 3,000 pounds per square inch of pressure with standard poured concrete.
This means that concrete is more likely to absorb water than to displace it, causing cracks when the air reaches sub-zero temperatures. Concrete production standards require that it have a much lower ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) specification than pavers. Concrete slabs are somewhat easy to install, but the material takes time to dry and cure, which means that the entrance, patio, or walkway cannot be used until this curing process is complete. In terms of cost, concrete slabs are generally less expensive upfront, but may incur more costs over time, as they must be repaired or replaced.
Sometimes, a concrete slab is stamped with a tile-like pattern while it's still wet; this is called “stamped concrete”.