If you’re thinking of adding a new patio to increase the functionality of your outdoor area, you may be wondering if you should choose brick pavers or concrete.
Your patio is an investment in your house, just like any other home improvement. Think of your patio as you would think about flooring for rooms inside your house. Not only do you want it to look beautiful and create an enjoyable space for you and your guests, but you want your "outdoor floor" to be durable and easy to maintain.
It can be difficult and confusing to choose what materials are best for a patio. You want good quality materials but don’t want to break the bank.
While it may be tempting to install a patio yourself, professionals can ensure that you're getting the best materials for your budget and that it is installed for long-lasting quality. Do you want to use a material that is cheap and easy to install yourself but is not long-lasting and is expensive to replace? Professional landscapers can help you make the best choices for your patio.
What are My Options for Patio Design?
Basically, there are two kinds of patio materials: pavers or concrete.
As experienced landscape designers, we’ve had decades of experience using both materials. In our opinion, pavers are the best patio material.
We love designing gorgeous patios for our clients with many paver options. It’s a lot of fun to imagine the possibilities for pavers surrounding pools or outdoor kitchens. Pavers give us many more tools to work with to design an amazing space for you, including sitting walls, grill surrounds, steps and pillars.
What are Brick Pavers?
Brick pavers are individual units made of concrete that interlock together. This provides a more giving environment for expansion, contraction, and even heavy loads. They can be replaced individually. They come in a variety of shapes and colors. Paving materials include sandstone, limestone, slate, concrete, granite, tar and porcelain are options.
What are Concrete Patios?
Concrete is a large slab. Concrete is, well, concrete. You probably have it in your driveway. Design options are limited. It is long-lasting but not very visually attractive unless you “stamp” it to get a more elegant look.
Which is More Durable - Concrete or Pavers?
Concrete, while it is durable, it is almost guaranteed to crack due to ground settling, and repairs are a fairly-involved operation that usually requires heavy equipment. Changing temperatures can also affect concrete’s durability. Replacing a concrete slab can be expensive and frustrating.
Take a look at the "before" photo here. You can see that time and the weather have caused the concrete slabs to sink and crack.
On the other hand, because pavers are inter-locking individual units instead of one huge piece of cement, they are a more “giving” environment for weather changes that may cause expansion or contraction. High-quality pavers can take heavy loads.
This all adds up to the fact that a paver patio is much less likely to settle, but if it does, then you only need to easily raise that area.
What is the Difference in Terms of Design Choices?
Just like picking out a floor covering for inside your home, the options for outdoor patios are endless in shape, sizes, and finishes!
Pavers: Pavers come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Brick pavers are the cheapest. Natural stone pavers, called flagstone pavers, provide added elegance.
Color choices with brick pavers range from shades and blends of brown, red, grey. Earth tones are very popular now in outdoor settings. With brick pavers, we can lay a different color on the outside edge of the patio for a beautiful border.
Texture in pavers can be smooth using travertine stone or can have a texture like the Roman Tumbled pavers or Beacon Hill Flagstone textured pavers.
Create a unique design using different shapes- tumbled, to look very natural or a basic mission paver that is a rectangle and squared-off edges. Brick paver sizes range from your standard 4” x 8” to 21” x 14” and the list goes on. See our catalog for lots more options!
Concrete Patios: Yes, concrete patios have come a long way in beauty with the stamped concrete finishes and different color choices. But in my mind stamped concrete is trying to give the look of bricks and stone knowing people typically like that look better. Why not have the real thing? Your home is worth it!
Can I Build a Patio Myself?
Remember, whatever type of patio or sidewalk you choose, it will only be as good as the contractor that installed it. A company that does quality work and stands behind their work is who you want.
For a high-quality, long-lasting outdoor floor, we recommend having a professional hardscaping company do the work.
As you can see from this "before" photo, gaps between the DIY panels have allowed grass and weeds to grow in between. You deserve better than this!
After My Patio is Installed, Which is Ready to Use Fast?
After installation, a concrete patio needs to cure for a couple of days before it can be used.
A paver patio, however, can be used almost immediately.
Which is More Expensive - Pavers or Concrete?
Concrete patios tend to be cheaper than brick patios but be careful. Plain concrete patios with no color or stamping is the cheapest but don’t look very nice. When you add in the nicer options to concrete, the costs start to even out.
Pavers have many different varieties, styles, and colors. With the beauty, durability come a price. Concrete is cheaper, but in terms of beauty, design options, and easy maintenance, brick pavers are a better choice. Brick pavers do come in different levels of pricing.
Are Pavers or Concrete Easier to Clean and Maintain?
If concrete cracks, you will spend money to maintain it, and eventually you will have to replace the entire slab, which could be a bigger investment. With pavers, you can replace pavers individually when the need arises, keeping costs manageable.
As far as cleaning, both options are easy to clean. Concrete can stain, so watch those spills!