Pavers vs Concrete: A Detailed Comparison

Pavers vs Concrete

The area around your garden and the entrance walkway to your home are among the first things guests and neighbours notice in your house. Pavers and concrete can instantly elevate the look of your home exterior and make it stand out. Therefore, if you are planning to redesign or upgrade your garden or driveway, both pavers and concrete are great options. However, choosing one between the two is not as easy as it seems as both have their pros and cons. In this article, we bring a detailed comparison between pavers and concrete to help you decide the best option for your home.

Appearance

Pavers are generally more beautiful and appealing than concrete roads. You can modify pavers to a large extent as they come in a lot of different designs and colours. Talking about concrete, it does not give you a lot of modification options. You can choose a few designs like the stamped and decorative concrete which can provide a decent appearance. You can also have colour added to the poured concrete, but it does not last for long. The colour fades away in a few years which deteriorates the appearance of the road. If you want the colour to persist, you need to reapply the colour every two years.

Installation

Installation of pavers is more complicated and time-consuming because pavers are laid individually by hand. Concrete slabs, on the other hand, are poured directly. However, it is always advised to hire professional services for installation of either of the two options. You can also do pavers installation by yourself only if the area of action is small. If you need installation for a larger area, you should always seek pavers Adelaide professional service.

Concrete slabs have a simple installation process. They are simply poured and then allowed to dry. Once the area is arid, the area is ready to use. Concrete slabs usually dry in a couple of days. The concrete slab installation typically involves excavation, grading the land, and preparation of the foundation. The installation of pavers is a bit more complicated and requires proper planning, excavation, and grading. Once all of that is done, the pavers are laid. Adhesive-like materials like polymer sand and others are used to join the pavers.

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Costs

The cost of installation of both pavers, as well as concrete slabs, is directly proportional to the area that is to be covered. The cost of installation also depends on the removal of previous pavers or concrete, materials required, and labour involved. Cost of each type of installation is quantified below.

For this quantification, a generalised area of 120 sq. Ft. is considered. To install pavers in a 120 sq. Ft. of land, the pavers will cost $500 to $800. The labour cost can range anywhere between  $600 and $700. Materials such as mortar and binding materials like polymer sand cost around $50 to $60. The equipment required in pavers installation can cost $50 to $70. Therefore, the total cost of installation of pavers in an area of 120 sq. Ft. is $1300 to $1800.

On the other hand, if we talk about concrete installation, the cost of materials, which is mainly concrete, is around $200 to $250. The labour cost for concrete installation is between $500 and $600. Other materials, like cleaning supplies and reinforcement materials, cost between $30 and $40. Equipment costs range between $80 and $150. Therefore, the total cost of installing a concrete slab over the area of 120 sq. Ft. is around $800 to $1,000.

Maintenance

Concrete is considered to be an easy-maintenance option. However, it stains and cracks with time and thus, needs timely replacements. Stamped concrete slabs are the easiest to maintain and require rinsing and washing with dish soap and a scrub brush only. You can also have protective sealants added to the concrete to block stains, but this sealant needs to be reapplied at regular intervals.

Pavers are also easy to clean but not as easy as concrete slabs because concrete slab is a single slab whereas pavers are multiple units. One of the major concerns which you will face with both pavers and concrete is the weed, which grows in between concrete cracks and pavers. During the placement of pavers, polymer sand is added to interlock the pavers to provide durability. It is also used to fill up cracks and crevices.

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Durability and Repairs

Concrete slabs are easy victims of cracking and splitting. Temperature changes can also cause cracks in concrete slabs. Pavers do not crack, but can become loose over time. In the case of loosening, the paver needs to be replaced individually. However, if a concrete slab cracks, the complete slab needs to be replaced. Therefore, repairing of pavers is easy because, if the problem with one paver arises, it can be replaced individually, but in the case of concrete slabs, the entire slab needs to be replaced.

Safety

Concrete slabs get slippery, usually when they are wet. Concrete slabs tend to get more slippery if they are painted or covered with a protective sealant. Shoes cannot get a firm grip on wet concrete slabs and thus, you may slip. Pavers, on the other hand, don't have such an issue because they are placed individually and you can choose pavers with raised for an increased grip. Therefore, pavers are comparatively safer than concrete slabs.

Conclusion

The above comparison proves that pavers are a better option than concrete slabs. Pavers provide you with unlimited design options and look visually appealing. They are not prone to cracking and are low maintenance and easy to repair. All of this contributes to a higher resale value of pavers. However, pavers might not be an ideal option for you, if you are on a low budget and don't have time to clean the pavers regularly. If you are looking for an affordable option, you can consider concrete slabs. Concrete slabs are inexpensive, easy to install, and fairly durable with low maintenance. However, they don't look very appealing and are prone to splitting and cracking.

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