Pavers Vs Concrete Patio: Which Is Better?

If you can build a patio in your yard, then you are lucky. So before stressing about which type of patio you are going to build, take a deep breath and be thankful that you can build a patio at all. Because they are a luxury. 

Pavers Vs Concrete PatioView in gallery

However, when you do decide to build a patio, there are generally two options. You can build a paver patio or a concrete patio. Both are viable options and both can work for any space. It’s all about preference.

In the end, you will probably choose to use the one that you like the look of better. The two are different aesthetically and neither is better than the other. So this is all up to you are your preferences.

Pavers Vs. Concrete Patio

Traditional Patio in San FranciscoView in gallery

Before we begin comparing the differences in pavers and concrete for a patio, let’s start with what each of them is. First of all, some pavers are made of concrete, but what we are referring to here are concrete slabs. 

Concrete slabs are solid slabs of concrete that are poured in a way similar to what you’d see in a basement. And pavers are the same type of blocks you’d use to pave a walkway or driveway. But what are the other differences between the two?

Today, we are going to compare the cost of the materials, the cost of the installation, and the aesthetics of the patio options. We won’t be able to cover everything, but we can go over the most important aspects. 

Cost Of Pavers Vs. Concrete Patio

Contemporary Patio in MilwaukeeView in gallery

The cost of a concrete slab patio can be very similar to the cost of a paver patio, however, in general, the cost of a paver patio is a bit more. Most of the time, it’s around 10-20% more than a concrete slab patio. 

This is for a few reasons. The main reason is that paving stones are more expensive than concrete. There are some paving stones that are cheaper but in general, the paving stones will cost more than standard concrete.

On top of that, there is a lot of installation add-ons needed for pavers such as sand. This also includes excavation, grading, compacting, and planning out the pavers. Concrete is simply poured into a frame and left to dry. 

Cost Of Pavers

For a paver patio, you will probably end up paying around $15 per square foot. So a 500/sqft patio will cost around $7500, a 1000/sqft patio will cost about $15,000, and so on. But this is just an estimate, so get a quote from your contractor. 

There are many ways to lay pavers too. You can do them yourself if you compact the base properly because that is the primary danger of mislaying pavers. Designing a paver patio is super fun too, even if someone else does the work. 

Cost Of Concrete

Most concrete is very common and fairly cheap. It requires many of the same steps as paying pavers but is much simpler. The usual cost is around $14 per sqft. This is just a little less than pavers but the cost of both varies. 

If it wasn’t for mixing the concrete then you could do it yourself. But if the concrete isn’t mixed properly then it could cause problems. For example, it could crack and cause someone to fall, which is tragic. 

Installation Of Pavers Vs. Concrete Patio

Contemporary Patio in San FranciscoView in gallery

Installing a concrete patio and a paver patio are both equally trying for different reasons. It’s a good idea to not do them on your own but instead hire a professional. That said, if you have experience, then you can attempt one on your own. 

A concrete patio usually consists of a frame made out of wood and rebar. The concrete is poured over this frame and completes the concrete patio. It is very simple if you know how to use concrete at all and have done other projects. 

Then there are pavers, which are installed in layers after the land is excavated. Pavers come in many different types. There is usually a frame to deal with for footers. Then a gravel base is followed by sand is tamped down.

A weed barrier is also recommended for patios but isn’t necessary for concrete. The weed barrier will prevent weeds from growing through the pavers and keep them smooth. But the concrete will do this itself. 

Maintenance Of Pavers Vs. Concrete Patio

Example of a mid sized eclectic home designView in gallery

It’s very important to keep your patio maintained, no matter how nice it is or what it is made out of. However, the process of maintaining them is quite different as they each have different problems they commonly face.

Don’t let maintenance deter you because you can always hire someone to check your patio every few months if you want to ensure it is staying safe and secure. They can prevent any problems that may appear before they get out of hand.

Concrete Slab Maintenance

Concrete slabs usually age fairly well if they are sealed. There are different types of concrete cracks that tend to appear but they are usually fairly easy to repair because the concrete doesn’t really change with time.

Meaning, you can always replace it later with standard concrete from the hardware store. Drainage can also be an issue with concrete slabs because the water sits on top of the concrete with nowhere to go. 

But the real problem comes with the concrete needs to be replaced instead of just repaired. Because if it can’t be patched, then you will need to replace the entire concrete slab, which can really add up in costs. 

If you do hire a professional to fix the concrete then you could pay $100 or $1000, it’s so unpredictable. But as long as you don’t have any plumbing or wiring under the concrete then you should be able to take care of it yourself.

Paver Maintenance

Pavers are different than concrete slabs as far as repairs go. The simple maintenance involves keeping them clean and getting rid of any weeds that make their way through the weed barrier that you installed. 

The thing about pavers is that they are easy to replace because you can simply chip away one paver and lift it up to replace it. You don’t need to take out the entire thing when there’s a problem like you do with concrete.

However, pavers do change over time. So the old pavers and new pavers probably won’t match whenever you put it down. Keeping the original pavers on hand can really help with this, so buy a few extra when you build the patio. 

As far as durability goes though, if installed properly, it is said that pavers are four times stronger than concrete slabs. Many of them even come with a lifetime guarantee, so look for that when searching for companies. 

And when it comes to utilities, you can safely put them under the paving stones because the pavers can be removed and put back again, unlike concrete. So always use pavers if there are utilities under the patio. 

Versatility Of Pavers Vs. Concrete Patio

Contemporary Patio in Salt Lake CityView in gallery

It’s probably no surprise to hear that pavers are much more versatile than concrete slabs. That’s because pavers come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. But that doesn’t mean concrete doesn’t have options.

Concrete can be stamped and it can be stained. It can even be painted and stenciled to look any way that you want it to. It’s simply that pavers start out with versatility and with concrete, you have to create it.

If you want to know which one is cheaper to make versatile, then it’s concrete. The materials used for making concrete look the way you want it to are generally no more than a couple of hundred dollars. 

As far as safety options go, pavers come out on top because they’re non-slip whereas concrete can always be slippery. And when it comes to added value, any high-quality patio will add value to your property. 

So take your budget and concerns into consideration making your decision. But in the end, you will want what you prefer the look of. Even if you have to save up for it! Choose what you prefer and find a way to make it happen. 

Alternatives To A Patio

Traditional Patio in RichmondView in gallery

There are many alternatives to a patio. The most common alternative is a deck or a porch. A deck is like a wooden patio that you build attached to your home while a porch is a deck that is covered with a roof.

Those are two of the most common options. There are many others such as a gazebo or a pavilion. Then there are uncovered options that are similar to those like a pergola. Take a look at all of your options before deciding

You never know. Your original idea might sound great until you find the outdoor structure that was meant for you all along. So don’t give up any time soon because that dream yard is out there waiting just for you.