Brick/Concrete/Stone Pavers vs. Stamped Concrete Written By Mike Nelson Every aspect of your home is an investment, including your exterior landscape. Driveways, walkways, and backyard patios designed together will enhance the personal and architectural style of your house. Choosing the design, color, shape and most of all material for these projects are decisions that should be given comprehensive thought and research. The “Hardscape” products used in driveways, patios and walkways can be unit pavers (brick, concrete or stone pavers) or stamped concrete. I will explain some key differences between these two options. The unit pavers are installed on a compacted stone base and the individual units will interlock providing a more giving environment with expansion and contraction due to freeze thaw. The pavers are extremely strong and durable and most have lifetime warranties for structural integrity (even for de-icing salts). The use of polymeric joint sand and paver sealers help minimize maintenance. Repairs are easy and seamless. Paver styles and colors can be mixed and matched to create striking designs with accent borders and bandings. And patios, drives and walks using pavers are ready for use immediately after installation. Stamped concrete is essentially colored concrete which is poured over a flat surface and, while still wet, stamped with a pattern and texture. After installed the concrete will need 3-5 days to cure before it can be walked on. Because of its continuous slab feature and the fact that concrete does shrink over time, factors like heavy loads and settlement will be cause for a maintenance challenge. Hairline (or bigger) cracks will appear over time and stamped concrete has a harder finish and therefore shows more wear and tear. It can be difficult to provide an exact match to the color and pattern of the original when a repair may be needed. Control joints (saw cuts) are necessary to help control where the concrete cracks. They are sometimes made across the stamped pattern lines which can disrupt the overall look. There is also the possibility for deterioration from de-icing products. When considering whether to go with stamped concrete or unit pavers, it’s important to keep the above-mentioned factors in mind.
Quick Tip: Beautifying your outdoor space in an affordable and attractive way definitely requires some careful deliberation. A great place to start is visiting our outdoor and indoor paver displays. If you would like more help with your driveway, walkway or patio project, please call us today.
LOCATION Weckesser Brick Co., Inc. 450 Trabold Rd. Rochester, NY 14624