Stamped Concrete vs Paving Stones
There is more to know when choosing a pavement material than just what meets the eye. While stamped concrete may initially achieve a look that is somewhat similar to pavers, poor durability and difficulty in making repairs have a dramatic impact not only on the appearance, but also on the actual cost in the long term.
Stamping” concrete is a common way of trying to achieve the attractive patterns associated with actual paving stone material. The stamping is done after the concrete has been poured and before it begins to harden. Stamped concrete is usually tinted (colored) before it is poured. There are standard colors that can be added to the concrete as it goes into the truck.
Unfortunately, the problems associated with maintaining concrete are compounded with the addition of pattern and color. Patching cracks with regular gray concrete means creating unsightly scars, while trying to replace a cracked portion of concrete with a new piece that exactly matches in pattern and in color is nearly impossible.
Concrete can crack as a result of the expansion and contraction caused by freezing, thawing, and other changes in the weather. The reason contractors place joints in concrete pavements and floors is to encourage the concrete to crack in a neat, straight line at the joint. But this doesn’t always happen, and cracks can appear at random anywhere across the surface of the concrete. As these cracks form one by one, year after year, it is often difficult to exactly match the color and composition of the original material each time a repair is needed.
Interlocking pavers solve all of the problems described above, and are appropriate for any paving application including patios, pool decks, driveways and walkways. Because pavers are individual units or “bricks,” the natural joints between each paver will “give” with pressure, expansion and contraction, eliminating the cracking inherent to conventional asphalt and concrete pavement.
Installed over a base of sand, pavers actually increase their structural capacity over time.
One of the biggest advantages of pavers is that if a repair ever does become necessary, pavers are manufactured to be uniform and can therefore easily be replaced without leaving ugly patches or scars.
Paving stones come in a wide variety of surface finishes, colors and shapes that will compliment and enhance the architectural style of any home. Moreover, a skilled installer can create a variety of laying patterns, further expanding the customization possibilities.
OTHER ADVANTAGES OF PAVERS OVER STAMPED CONCRETE
Pavers do not require time to cure. Unlike concrete, which can take 3 to 5 days before being ready for traffic, paver structures can be used immediately after installation.
The high number of joints in the surface facilitates the drainage of water from rain and snow. This enhances skid resistance and decreases nighttime glare.
If deformation should occur due to shifting of the base, the structure can easily be repaired by removing individual pavers, re-leveling, and then reinstalling the same pavers.