Concrete and pavers are two common materials in the construction of residential patios. Concrete patios feature poured concrete while pavers comprise various stones and slabs in different colours. While both materials are excellent for patio construction, they have significant variations that you should consider before making a choice. With this in mind, here are the key distinguishing factors you should consider when choosing between the two materials:
Sturdiness and Durability
The sturdiness of your chosen material determines the durability of your new patio. Both concrete and pavers are durable and strong materials, and with proper maintenance, they can last for years. However, concrete slabs can shift or crack over time due to ground shifting or changes in temperature. If they crack, the repair process can be intensive.
Pavers, on the other hand, can loosen over time due to neglect, heavy traffic and poor drainage. Since the stones and slabs are installed individually, the gaps in between can compromise the structural integrity of the patio. However, repairs are easy, and all you need to do is replace individual stones.
Budget and Installation Complexity
Concrete slabs are generally cheaper than paving stones. The installation process is also fairly easy, and this translates into lower costs. However, the slab has to dry and cure first before use; therefore, you can't use your patio until then. Nonetheless, this is a small compromise when compared to the amount of money you save on the project.
On the other hand, pavers have a complex and lengthy installation process. There's excavation work, grading, sub-base compaction and other site preparation tasks before the actual installation of the pavers. This, coupled with the cost of paving stones, makes the project more expensive than its counterpart. However, once the prep work is done, there's no curing required — the pavers can be installed immediately.
Design Options and Aesthetic Appeal
If you intend to build a visually appealing patio, paving stones are your best bet. The slabs and stones come in varying colours which can improve the curb appeal of your outdoor area. What's more, paving stones come with various design options. You can alternate the shape, colour and size of the slabs to create visual interest.
Standard concrete slabs can't match up to pavers. However, there are other things you can do to the concrete to improve its appearance. These include stamping, staining or embedding the slabs with decorative stones.
Whichever the material you choose, work with an expert contractor for quality installations. If you opt for a concrete patio, your builder should apply an anti-slip coating to prevent accidents that may occur when the surface is wet.
For more information on choosing a material for a patio, reach out to a local patio builder.