Pavers are one of the best hardscape elements there are. Their functionality, visual aspect and long term value are unmatched. So for all the homeowners who are thinking about acquiring pavers but already have a concrete installation, how to make that concrete to paver transition?
Let’s start with some good news already: at first, you don’t have to get rid of your concrete installation. There are ways to make a paver installation over a previous concrete one, as long as it is structurally sound.
But maybe you don’t want to substitute the concrete altogether, and simply want to add pavers to your design. In that case, you also have some good options to work with.
So let’s talk about these two different approaches and how can you best work with them, as well as talk a little about the overall advantage of pavers.
Concrete to Pavers Transition: Is it Worth it?
So if you are considering changing to or incorporating pavers in your project, you might be asking yourself if it is even worth it to go through all the hassle.
Yes it is. Abosolutely.
Pavers, when properly installed and cared for, can last for years on end without giving you headaches. They are way more durable than concrete, and you have much more designing options, delivering also on the aesthetical front.
Pavers can be of several materials. The most common types are concrete and natural stone, but is common to find brick and porcelain ones as well.
They work in an interlocked system. That means they work together to create a sort of grid that can distribute weight all around it, relieving the pressure on a single block of paver, which increases durability.
If you have an existing concrete installation that you want to replace for pavers, you have two options: you can either remove the concrete and start everything from scratch or, if your concrete installation is still structurally strong, you can install a thinner version of pavers on top of it.
But you can also simply add pavers to an existing concrete patio, as long as you’re aware of a few things.
So let’s discuss these two options more in depth, starting with the first one.
Replacing an Old Concrete Installation
On the “destroy everything and start from scratch” scenario, there’s not much mistery.
What often motivates people to renovate their concrete installation is precisely the problems in the structural aspect of it, so there’s a high chance that’s your case.
In that case, there’s no way around it. Pavers cannot be installed over a concrete patio that is compromised structurally, so maybe the best idea is to in fact remove all the concrete and perform a proper paver installation.
But if your concrete is good enough, maybe you can skip that part altogether.
With the use of thin pavers, you can perform an installation on the top of the concrete itself.
It basically works the same way as it would a regular paver installation, with the addition of making some holes in the concrete with the help of a drilling machine. These holes mush reach all the way through the ground. This is to ensure proper drainage of the installation.
Then the concrete gets a thorough cleaning using a pressure washer and, following that, you fill these holes with small rocks and spread sand all over the installation. Pavers are placed on top of the sand, more sand is spread afterwards to fill the gaps between pavers, and there you go.
Incorporating Pavers to a Concrete Patio
Pavers are incredibly versatile hardscape elements. They can work perfectly on small portions to just compliment an existing concrete installation or work alongside one.
The exact aesthetics and design of it is only limited by your imagination. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that a regular paver installation will require some digging. But that is entire dependable of what kind of pavers you’re working with.
For example, if you’re working with larger pavers, maybe you can get way with placing directly on top of grass, for example, to form a pathway. The same goes for cobblestones, even though they are not technically pavers.
But a regular paver patio, even a small one, will require some digging and bedding in order to function properly. And, since digging is required, it can sometimes even compromise your concrete installation if you intend to put things too close, so be careful.
Ask for Professional Help
Installing pavers is not hard at all. This article can help you with the basics of it. A simple paver installation can easily be done as a DIY project over the weekend.
However, it is always recommended that you hire professionals to help you, especially in this “pre-existing concrete” scenario.
They can help you determine which of your ideas would work and which wouldn’t, and even give some other ones in the process. With professionals, you would also be working optimally, without waste of time or resources, and preventing future problems in your installation.
We here at S&S Paver have been helping people around the Sarasota and Manatee counties with their paver installation for the last 11 years, with a long list of satisfied customers.
If you happen to be area the area, you can give us a call anytime at 941-773-3098 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free estimate on our services. We would be happy to hear from you and help you with any paver installation and maintenance need you might have.