From driveways to patios, pavers seem to be everywhere these days. But you may be wondering if this is a passing fad or something of high quality that will last. After all, concrete has been a go-to landscaping material for decades. Are pavers really better than concrete, or are they simply the next big thing?
As a hardscape contractor in Kansas City, MO, we hear this question a lot. Although we highly recommend pavers, we don’t want to sell you on anything without giving you the facts first. So, if you’re on the fence between pavers and concrete, here are a few things to consider:
- Strength: Pavers have an average compressive strength of about 8,000 PSI (pounds per square inch) or higher. Concrete, on the other hand, has a PSI ranging from about 3,500 to 4,000, which is still really strong. To put that into perspective, however, keep in mind that the average car typically weighs about 4,000 pounds.
- Durability: Both pavers and concrete must go through a curing process to reach their ultimate strength. The difference? Concrete cures after it has been poured, which means it’s exposed to the elements while it’s curing. Pavers, on the other hand, are crafted and cured under extreme pressure in a controlled environment to ensure the highest levels of strength and durability. In addition, pavers are more flexible than a solid slab of concrete. When the ground shifts, or during freeze-thaw cycles, pavers can adjust to the changing environment, while concrete tends to crack under the pressure.
- Maintenance: Pavers only require a few cleanings a year. A simple cleaning solution does the trick, and if you used a paver sealer, even a good spray with a pressure hose can get the job done. Concrete requires more effort to keep clean and can actually stain or discolor easily. When it comes to repairs, any damage to concrete that goes more than two inches deep typically calls for a complete replacement. The same goes for pavers, although with pavers you only need to replace one paver stone. With concrete, you have to replace the whole slab.
- Cost: A comparison would not be complete without touching on the topic of cost. Pavers are more expensive than concrete; they typically cost a few dollars more per square foot than poured concrete. However, when you consider the long-term benefits and savings, a few extra dollars up front may be worth it.
If you’re still thinking that, as a hardscape contractor in Kansas City, MO, we may be a bit biased in our comparison, you wouldn’t be wrong. We definitely prefer pavers over concrete, but you don’t have to take our recommendation. Ask around, and talk to friends or neighbors who have pavers. We’re confident that you’ll find we’re not the only ones recommending pavers as the better option. If you decide that you’d like to learn more about our paver installations and design options, reach out to MSE Hardscapes, LLC. We offer free consultations and estimates!