“Should we go with pavers or stamped concrete?” This is a question we are asked a lot. As with any material selection there are a lot of variables to consider. What is the climate? Is it a high-end resort? A high-end home? How budget driven is the project?
More often than not our response is “Pavers.” Here’s why:
Many of our projects are in high-end environments. Resorts, golf courses, custom homes etc. Pavers are a high-end material and contribute to the high-end look and feel of these projects. Stamped, stained concrete just doesn’t have the high-end look and feel of pavers.
Pavers are easier to maintain than concrete. A common adage is there are two guarantees with concrete: 1) It will get hard 2) It will crack. Cracking is a frequent cause of complaints with stamped, stained and any type of concrete surface.
When concrete cracks or heaves due to freeze/thaw or wet/inclement conditions the only solution is to cut it out and replace it. Cutting and patching concrete is messy, loud, expensive and time consuming. The cycle will continue because the new concrete is going to get hand and crack, too. This is typically not ideal at a resort full of guests or at a high-end custom home.
When concrete is patched and/or replaced it won’t match the existing concrete.
On the other hand, pavers can be removed and replaced individually when necessary at a much reduced price than sawing and replacing concrete.
Stamped, stained etc. concrete can be less expensive to install initially but the long-term maintenance cost/benefits and high-end look of pavers far outweighs the initial cost difference.
THE TEST OF TIME Pavers tend to look better over time as they wear and develop character. Concrete looks its best the day its put down and goes down hill from there. Matching new concrete to old, existing concrete is impossible no matter what type of stamps and/or stains used.
moral of the story
In any high-end outdoor environment pavers are the clear choice. Stamped/stained concrete has its place but in a resort setting pavers will give the high-end look and feel guests expect.