Though many types of pavers are factory-made, meaning the mass production follows specific colors, shapes, and sizes, the flexibility of concrete lets you design pavers custom to your goals and needs. A major benefit of using concrete pavers is the ability for water runoff to pass between and through the pavers. This reduces the chance of water ponding and creating a potential slip and fall hazard for anyone walking on the path.
What’s The Difference Between Pavers & Natural Stones?
Ultimately, the first difference comes from what each consists of. Stone pavers are natural stone, such as granite and marble, while concrete pavers are made from the design mix used for the specific application. Then, two major differences lie in cost and consistency. Natural stone pavers can be 20 percent to 30 percent higher in total cost — labor, materials, and time to install — than cement pavers. Also, since the colors and texture range in natural stone, no two pavers will look exactly alike.
Installing Concrete Pavers
Pavers are mostly divided into two categories, architectural slab and interlocking, based on the concrete pavers thickness.
These pavers are generally molded to mirror brick or stone but are thinner in depth and not recommended for driveway use or any area which would be subject to higher weight loads.
Interlocking Concrete Pavers
Interlocking pavers are made from a strong concrete mix and formed to a thicker depth, allowing for use in all applications. Uniform joints are a hallmark of these pavers, made possible by using edge spacers.
Applications For Cement Pavers
It’s important to work with professional concrete paver contractors as several nuances during installation will affect the longevity of the pavers and their application in the short- and long-term. This includes proper excavation and using an adequate base.
Whether you’re looking for a timeless pattern, such as herringbone, or a design not yet visualized, driveways are a common accent point for a business or home. Interlocking concrete pavers for driveway are most common, but your contractor can discuss options best suited for the driveway.
In landscaping applications, the term hardscaping is frequently used referencing the paths, walkways, and other man-made features. Generally, any pavers used in this setting are placed on gravel and/or sand base after excavation. A common application is a backyard patio and the individual pavers can be laid out to appear rough-hewn for a more rustic look, crisp and precise, or in a format to accentuate the rest of the landscape.
It’s common to see the use of pavers around pool deck for many reasons. Because concrete can be designed, formed, and manipulated almost any way imaginable, a custom area to swim and relax is quite possible. Many pavers are of a lighter hue to reflect sunlight off the surface as to not increase the ambient temperature.
Sidewalks & Walkways
Because of the adaptability of pavers, many people are turning to them for sidewalks and walkways for both commercial and residential uses. They can be used alone or to offset existing concrete.
Should I Use Pavers Instead Of Poured Concrete?
It hinges on what your end goal is. While there are positives and drawbacks to both, one positive to using pavers lies in their ability to handle ground movement better than a concrete slab. When the movement begins, such as from growing tree roots or shifting soil, pavers move independently of one another while poured concrete must move as a whole or develop cracks and other structural issues.