Concrete Pavers or Solid Concrete for Patios

posted in: Concrete, Paving | 0

Many homeowners decide to pave areas of the property for convenience and accessibility. 

  • There are many paving options available today, but most choose solid concrete or pavers. 
  • There are pros and cons of each paving design option to consider before committing to one style. 
  • Aesthetics, installation time, and upkeep are all important factors to explore. 

Adding a new walkway, driveway, or patio can increase your home’s value, add convenience, and make an aesthetic improvement. Modern paving choices are abundant, so when you begin to research your options there are many variables to consider. Despite the numerous choices, solid concrete and concrete pavers remain the two most popular choices for most home and business owners. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these options, so learning more about the installation and maintenance process of each can make your decision more clear. 

Solid Concrete

When you think of a patio, sidewalk, or driveway, you probably picture solid concrete as the obvious choice. This is for a good reason; it remains the most popular option for most businesses and homeowners. Solid concrete gives a classic, traditional look that is mostly neutral in design. Outdoor elements created with concrete have high functionality and make it easier for people to maneuver around your property. 

Installation Process

Solid concrete should be professionally installed, but the process can be completed quickly by an experienced paving company. Before the concrete can be poured, the area must be prepared by excavating any current landscaping and grading the soil beneath. The next step is preparing the foundation by creating forms around the future concrete area. Pouring the concrete comes next, which needs to be smoothed and left to cure for a few days before use. 

Maintenance and Repairs

Concrete is durable and, if professionally installed, should be long-lasting. The two most common maintenance concerns for solid concrete are staining and cracking. Concrete patios can be sensitive to ground shifting underneath, leading to cracking once the ground begins to settle. Some cracks are easy to repair, but if significant damage occurs you may need repair work completed by a concrete servicing company. 

Staining is another concern for concrete. What appears to be staining can also be mold growth on the surface of the concrete. Solid concrete walkways and patios need to be pressure-washed periodically to clean any mold or stains. Professional cleaning companies can also use a solution to discourage mold growth in the future. Solid concrete sidewalks, patios, or walkways are lower maintenance than some other surface material options. 

Advantages Over Other Options

Like all material options, solid concrete comes with advantages and disadvantages. One advantage of solid concrete is familiarity. Although it may not be a specific selling point, solid concrete is common and familiar to home buyers, so you can increase the accessibility and functionality of your home’s exterior without hurting your bottom line. Some home buyers also prefer the look of solid concrete to other options due to the sleek lines and classic feel. Solid concrete without any extra modifications is also one of the most affordable options for adding walkways or patios.

Some people prefer the look of concrete pavers, but there are solid concrete options that can mimic the same style. Stamped concrete looks like concrete pavers even though it is solid and not individual pieces. Combining stamped concrete with one of the many concrete stains on the market can add much more variety to solid concrete surfaces than most people expect. 

Concrete Pavers

Concrete Pavers have gained in popularity due to their attractiveness and design possibilities. Pavers come in a variety of shapes and colors, so it is usually easy to find a type that works for your vision. The design arrangement can also vary, making pavers one of the most versatile options available. Aesthetically pleasing and durable, it’s no wonder that pavers have become a popular choice for walkways and patios. 

Installation Process

Concrete pavers should also be installed by a professional service because the process is labor-intensive and difficult to get a high-quality result when installing it on your own. Pavers typically take several days to install and require a multi-step process. After excavation and grading, the installers must prepare and compact several layers of a base substrate before laying any pavers. Once laid, the pavers are trimmed out by a border and compacted into the base sand. The final step is to seal the concrete pavers into place. 

Sometimes pavers need to be installed under particular circumstances, such as a requirement of permeability. Permeable paver installation requires additional steps since water must be able to seep between the pavers into the substrate below. Multiple layers of gravel or rock are involved in this type of installation. 

Maintenance and Repairs

Pavers are a strong and durable option for patios and walkways and can withstand a high level of pressure without damage. They are less susceptible to cracking than concrete due to the natural flexibility of the stone. If a paver does crack or break, an individual piece can be replaced, which is much less labor-intensive than repairing a significant part of solid concrete. 

Unlike solid concrete, pavers have natural color variation, so stains may not be as noticeable. They still need to be cleaned regularly, and since weeds can grow through the spaces between the pavers, they need to be removed and treated to prevent regrowth. 

Advantages Over Other Options

Most homeowners who choose pavers over solid concrete do so for aesthetic purposes. Pavers can be arranged in many different ways, so your design ideas can usually become a reality. Although the cost of individual pavers is higher than solid concrete over the same surface area, stamped concrete is of similar cost as individual pavers. Since pavers are designed to withstand movement and ground-level fluctuations, they are less likely to become damaged. 

Using pavers for your patio or walkway can add excellent value to your home, as most home buyers view them as an attractive and desired feature. For some properties, pavers installed using a permeable process may be an option if solid concrete is not allowed for stormwater runoff reasons. Pavers also offer a less slick surface than solid concrete, making them a great alternative for pool decks and patio areas. 

Design Your Outdoor Patio or Walkway

When you start with a vision for a new outdoor patio space or walkway at your home or business, one of the first steps in the design process is to decide what type of material you prefer. Although many people choose to stay with traditional solid concrete, pavers have also become a popular alternative. If you are considering adding outdoor surfaces in the Cincinnati, OH area, Neyra Paving can guide you through the entire process with a professional attitude and a strong and experienced skillset. For more information about the design process or available options for your property, contact Neyra Paving online today to get started or call 513-986-1011.

Featured Image: Belish/Shutterstock