Are you trying to decide whether to get stamped concrete or concrete pavers for your driveway/walkway, front, or backyard? This guide will help you make the right decision!
While there will many people advocating for stamped concrete, others may think concrete pavers to be better. But what is the right choice for you? Let’s find out.
Design and Construction
Liquid concrete is poured onto the surface to be coated and leveled. Then, before it starts to dry, patterns are stamped (pressed) to give it an aesthetic appeal.
This is quite a complicated job because you have to be both fast and precise. If the concrete dries before it is completely stamped, or if you make a mistake in the stamped patterns, then you have no choice but to redo the entire slab!
It may take up to five days for the stamped concrete to dry and harden.
Pavers are prefabricated blocks of cement, placed one after another on a prepared surface. Before laying the blocks, the surface is dug to a suitable depth and filled with the “base” or foundation.
This involves pouring concrete over the excavated surface, then spreading the base over it. The weight of each block causes it to adhere to the concrete base.
The paving blocks are placed on the base in the desired pattern. Once installed, they are open to traffic.
Look and Feel
Stamped concrete is more customizable. You are free to add any color you want to the mix. There are several stamping designs available in the market too, and with a little mixing and matching, they are sure to look unique.
When finished, the surface looks and feels quite hard and solid.
While smaller in comparison, paver blocks are also available in many colors, patterns, and finishes. And with a little creativity, you can make many unique designs.
Durability and Resistance
The concrete material cannot expand with heat or contract while it is cooled. So, during the rainy or snowy season, the external pressure from the vehicles’ load can cause cracks in the surface. The repairing can be costly and time-consuming.
However, one way to cover the cracks is by modeling a textured finish to hide cracks better. Or you can seal coat the surface every three or four years to prevent it from deterioration.
Concrete patio paver blocks are molded under very high pressure, making them much more resistant to environmental changes. The only weak link in this otherwise durable chain is the sand infill between each block and weed growth.
However, if you carefully lay the foundation and choose the right quality and sand infill grade, the paver can be more durable and resistant than stamped concrete.
Safety and Convenience
Stamped concrete tends to be more slippery, especially during rain and snowfall. But, one way to avoid this is to use a suitable non-slip coating.
Moreover, if leveling is not appropriately done during construction, water could collect on the surface, making it slippery and dangerous to use.
Because the individual blocks come together during construction, there are many grooves between the blocks, allowing for more efficient drainage of water from the surface.
However, this hinged design has a drawback. Over time, individual blocks can start to detach or lift, which can cause sudden tripping accidents.
Initial Cost and Maintenance
There are no such initial costs of stamped concrete, but the grim fact is that periodic maintenance costs are likely to be considerably higher. Since these surfaces are prone to cracking and much more wear, repairing requires heavy machine tools and equipment. At times, you might need to replace the entire slab.
The initial investment on pavers may be higher in comparison, but a well-constructed paver can be virtually maintenance-free. The higher durability of these blocks ensures your track withstands the harshest weather conditions, stress, and friction-induced wear without breaking down. And even when they do break down, fixing them is much easier than stamped concrete.
Need professional assistance before you decide on the best paving option? Click here to get a free estimate for your paver installation project with Straight Edge Contractors today. We also offer expert asphalt and concrete paving services in Las Cruces, NM.