When deciding on the finished surface of your outdoor space, a paver patio has probably become one of your considerations. Before making that decision, though, there are some essential points you need to know about paver patios.
After all, this project does not come cheap, especially if you have to redo your patio or if it becomes costly and cumbersome to maintain.
Installing pavers is labor-intensive
Paver stones are not easy nor quick to install.
To begin with, installing pavers involves a lot of ground preparation, which makes it very labor-intensive and quite time-consuming. Imagine these steps:
How to Lay Pavers
Laying the gravel
The depth of the gravel layer depends on how that surface will be used. For foot traffic, a 4-inch depth of the gravel layer is okay. If a lawn tractor will go over it, the layer should be 6 inches deep. For a patio wherein a vehicle will park on it, it has to be 12 inches deep.
Laying the sand
On top of the gravel, tightly pack 1 layer of sand. This must be packed tight and level if we want the final result right.
Then again, packing these layers of gravel and sand tightly does not guarantee that the ground will remain level. Over time, the layers settle and will cause an uneven surface.
Install the Paver Stones One by One
After these layers are set, it also takes a lot of time to set the individual paving stone by hand. Neither can the process be made faster by simultaneously working on other parts within the same section of the space. Understandably, installing pavers has to be one at a time from one section to the next.
Pavers loosen over time, causing tripping hazards
No matter how tightly packed the installation was done, pavers loosen over time, and the uneven ground can result in tripping hazards.
You will then need to have the pavers adjusted when the ground starts getting uneven. When the ground shifts, this involves even more work, taking out the stones and packing the ground again with sand before putting back the pavers.
Paver patios require much more in terms of maintenance
A common problem with paver patios is that plants eventually grow in between the stones, requiring much more in terms of maintenance.
No matter how well you prepare the groundwork such as tightly packing the layers of gravel and sand, there is no guarantee in keeping weeds out of pavers.
Seeds of weeds also float in the air, and when they settle in between the slits, with the moisture and humidity, the weeds will start growing all over your patio.
At that point, the solution to permanently remove the weeds is to reinstall the entire paver patio. This is something you do not look forward to doing every three to four years.
Paving stones are also prone to moss. Aside from being unsightly, growing moss makes it harder to clean and maintain. Moss and other growth between patio pavers can also be a cause of accidents as they make your paver patio slippery.
Pavers are more prone to cracks
Cracks can cause further tripping hazards aside from being unsightly.
Paver patios are limited in design
Other surface materials, such as stamped concrete, offer a wide array of designs, textures, and colors to mimic the look of wood, stones, and a whole lot more.
A paver patio is more expensive over-all
Pavers alone are more expensive due to the manufacturing process involved.
Installing a paver patio costs much more, not only in terms of labor and materials but also in terms of maintenance.
The Smarter Choice – Stamped Concrete
Stamped concrete continues to be a popular choice for your patios, driveways, and walkways – and a host of reasons.
It has been a favorite for such projects because stamped concrete means reduced costs, a wide variety of designs and colors, and easy maintenance.
Stamped concrete is less expensive than pavers
Stamped concrete in itself costs less than pavers due to the latter’s manufacturing process. Not to mention the fact that installing stamped concrete patios is easier and faster, thus cutting labor costs significantly.
Stamped concrete is quite easy to maintain. All it needs is a concrete sealer every few years. There is no worry about weeds or moss growing on the surface.
Safer floor material for your patio
Because stamped concrete is reliable and sturdy, there is no risk of tripping hazards that come with a paver patio. Neither will there be moss growing on the surface, which is common with pavers, thus eliminating the risk of slipping due to moss-covered stones.
Stamped concrete is more durable
Concrete is extremely durable, it stands up to practically any type of weather, and withstands foot traffic and wear and tear.
A wide array of designs, colors, and textures
Your patio can practically match any house design as stamped concrete comes in a broader variety of colors, designs, and textures. It can mimic the look of weathered lumber, stone, or marble.
Paver Patio or Stamped Concrete?
The aim of any homeowner is a property that is low in maintenance on the longer term, especially when it comes to that part of your property that is more exposed to the elements.
Point by point, a stamped concrete patio wins over a paver patio in terms of cost, maintenance, durability, and design. This adds further appeal and market value to your home.
A patio should be a place that is nice to come home to and relax in, and not a nightmare to have and maintain. With that said, having a stamped concrete patio will be the best investment for your outdoor space.