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pavers vs stamped concrete: which one to choose?


Pavers VS Stamped Concrete: Which One to Choose?

November 8, 2016

When talking about flooring as an element of home exterior construction, no matter whether is the patio, walkway, or driveway, it is very interesting for us to talk about the kinds of material can be used to adorned its flooring.

Since exterior surroundings are usually tougher than surroundings in home interior, it is very important to make sure that the choice of flooring material to install has the strength and quality needed so it can also be considered as another form of home investment.

In relation to that, pavers and stamped concrete are often considered as the best choices for investment when it comes to exterior home flooring.

Besides the fact both materials are very attractive, the very basic reason why so is because both are basically made of concrete, a material strong enough to endure exterior conditions no matter how the weather is.

The question then is; which one is better than another so you can be sure about picking it to cover the flooring of some area of your home exterior?

To know about the answer of question mentioned earlier, here is brief information about pavers VS stamped concrete recommended for you to read further.

Here, you will be able to know some related aspects, including look, durability value, installation, safety features, and also the cost you should pay.

However, we will not mention about who the winner between the two is since every detail information that is about to shared here is designed to help you decide on your about that based on your own consideration and personal taste.

The Look

backyard concrete pavers: the look


First, let us start with the look of each pavers and stamped concrete. Essentially, each of the two options is aesthetically beautiful. Even so, still each of those has its own uniqueness that can be taken as point to regard before making a decision.

Pavers, in one hand, are great since they have high level of beauty paired with other elements in the design. Those elements include color, shape, surface finish, and texture. The best thing of all, everything looks very natural in pavers.

Pavers are also a very good choice because it is very possible for you to create custom design on the flooring since every paver is separated from another. For example, you can create a certain image, pattern, or writing on the exterior flooring design to create a more decorative look on the outdoor paved area.

DIY stamped concrete patio: the look


Stamped concrete on the other hand may not have the real natural look as pavers. However, this is designed really nicely in order to resemble the natural beauty. All of this depends on the patterns available in the mats used to stamp the concrete pouring so the design imitation can finally be seen.

The best thing of all, there is way more pattern options offered by stamped concrete. The patterns are not only limited in paver pattern but also many others.

The examples are natural stone pattern and natural wood pattern. If paired with the right coloring option, certainly those patterns will look very natural and possibly no one will know about that.

But of course, the pattern offered by stamped concrete is based on the capability knowledge, creativity, and technique of the constructors. Indeed, stamped concrete gives more chance to create new pattern which no one already has it. Therefore if you are a person who has different taste from general people have, stamped concrete is probably good choice for you.

Durability Value

durability value pavers vs stamped concrete


If seen from the durability value, as a matter of fact both pavers and stamped concrete has great durability because both are made from natural concrete material. However, there is a thing makes concrete pavers to be a slightly better choice when the point of consideration is nothing else but durability.

The reason why pavers are slightly more durable is none other but the flexible system they have. This can avoid pavers to crack easily, especially during extreme heat and cold. Even the space between a paver to another is so very tight this enables pavers to adapt with weather better so cracking can be avoided better.

On the contrary, cracking is a problem often found in poured stamped concrete exterior flooring, especially when the installation is not done properly. This is why the choice is considered less durable than the previous one, which is paver.

Even so, you need to know that cracking can be avoided when expansion joints are added when installing the stamped concrete flooring as done by many professional builders this time.

An important thing you should know here is the durability of stamped concrete can also be enhanced better when color hardener is applied to the surface of the flooring after installation. Color hardener like this is not only found to be advantageous to the coloring of stamped concrete.

Instead, this can make the surface stronger. The surface may also be more resistant to different types of possible environmental damages.

Installation of Pavers and Stamped Concrete

pavers concrete being installed


If installation is the main point to consider, there are some things to pay attention from the installation of pavers and stamped concrete.

Pavers need specific base system in order to make the construction more stable and stronger. If the layering or the choosing of base materials for the base system is wrong, there is a possibility for the paved area to be damaged real soon, seen by the existence of dents here and there.

Even stamped concrete also needs special base, the system is not as complicated as the one designed for pavers.

Moreover, the installation of the concrete itself seems simpler. While each paver needs to be placed individually, which means more time and energy are needed, basic material to create stamped concrete can be poured in bulk and then the pattern will be created by stamping special mat on the poured concrete.

stamped concrete installation process


Another thing you should not forget here is about the readiness of the flooring after being installed. Basically, pavers can directly be stepped on after the installation is done.

On the contrary, you cannot do so when the choice you pick is stamped concrete since the stamped concrete needs to get perfectly dry first before being stepped on or else it will be damaged. The time needed for the whole curing is various from 1 up to 3 days depending on the natural heat come from the sun.

Safety Features

safety features: pavers vs stamped concrete


This perhaps never really occurs in your mind previously but safety features are other interesting things we can discuss further in pavers VS stamped concrete. Let us start with stamped concrete first.

Stamped concrete is a type of exterior flooring made by using continuous slab system, which means there is almost no joint found in it. This is found to be a bit problematic because of some possible problems it may create.

The most common ones are wet and slippery flooring. Those are not only possible in making someone tripped while walking of the stamped concrete area but are also possible in creating glare at daylight.

Because of the problems mentioned earlier, stamped concrete is not really a suitable choice to pick if you live in an area with frequent rain. This may be possible when you add special protectant to make the floor less slippery and wet.

As for pavers, these may have better system making the flooring quite away from being slippery and wet. Even so, it does not mean walking incident will never occur when pavers are chosen.

As told in the previous explanation about pavers’ installation, when installed wrongly, pavers may be uneven so it is still highly possible for people to experience some incident while walking on paved area.

The Maintenance

the maintenance: pavers vs stamped concrete


Both pavers and stamped concrete are not maintenance-free. Both need special treatments in order to keep the durability value as well as quality. Even both are made from the same natural concrete material, each need different kind of maintenance as a matter of fact.

Let us start with stamped concrete. The maintenance needed by this type of exterior flooring is needed directly after the installation. The form of aftercare needed is related to the fact that the poured concrete will not dry and harden directly after installation.

Therefore, when you choose this flooring choice, you need to be sure it is dried perfectly by using sunlight and is avoided from being stepped on before that.

As told in the previous part of this post, cracks on stamped concrete can in fact be avoided by adding expansion joints during the installation. However, those cannot 100% guarantee that the cracks will never appear in some months or years after the installation.

Moreover, the finish of this flooring type is usually harder so cracks sometimes are quite visible and hard to hide. That is the reason why special services offered by professional party might be needed sometime in the future in order to remove the cracks.

Besides the two different types of maintenance for stamped concrete, regular maintenances are also needed. Those include regular cleaning and sweeping.

On the other hand, pavers may not need direct aftercare since it can directly be used after installation. Whenever there is some damage found on the flooring, it is commonly also easier to deal with because the flooring is not a single continuous unity like stamped concrete but consist of many separated pavers.

Therefore, when damages occur, such as cracks or dents, those can be fixed rather easily by uninstalling the damaged area instead of doing so to the whole flooring surface.

Talking about cracks, it is possible for pavers to get some of those. However, you need to remember that the durability value is better in this case because pavers are basically molded by using extreme pressure technique.

The meaning is it can endure pressure even better without getting cracked. Perhaps this is another point to consider when choosing between pavers and stamped concrete.

The main maintenance you should do to pavers to sand material used to fill space between a paver to another. From time to time, the amount of sand may reduce based on some factors. That is why after one year or more you need to check whether or not sand filling is needed.

Other upkeep to do may be related to a problem hated the most by people who have pavers in their surroundings. It is none other but weeds. Pulling out weeds from pavers is not only tiring but also takes too much time. It makes people think about how to avoid weeds from growing in the paved area.

One of the ways is by placing plastic under the paver construction. Even so, you should not think it as a solution you should choose since this will cause another problem in the future, especially unstable pavers.

To avoid weed growing, it is more recommended for you to use better draining system as a better choice than plastic bedding. When water is drained properly in the paved area, it will not be easy for weeds to grow there. Besides, you should not forget to perform regular sweeping to the paved area.

The Price

the price: pavers vs stamped concrete


In the field when we talk about price both pavers and stamped concrete are winning. The reason is because the cash you need to prepare to build both constructions is quite the same.

It means, when you have certain amount of cash and already make your own consideration, it is totally fine for you to choose any choice between the two. What makes it different is that perhaps the cost for the constructor, not the material.

In conclusion, actually both pavers and stamped concrete have plus and minus points in some different aspects. So, again, it can be said choice can be taken based on personal preference and taste. As long as you are able to install and then maintain each flooring type properly, there is no need to worry about it.

Even so, still each of them has certain longevity making you have to prepare for repair or even replacement to perform sometime in the future.

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