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Porcelain Pavers vs Concrete Pavers

This will be a hardscape battle for the ages. In one corner: concrete pavers. One of the oldest, most reliable and most versatile forms of paver in the industry. In the other corner: porcelain pavers. The rising new start of the industry. Conquering the hearths of homeowners with its recently discovered incredible cost benefit and aesthetic appeal. So which will go out victorious in this porcelain pavers vs concrete pavers battle?

First, we need to set the rules of the battle and decide how exactly we will compare the two. Second, we will talk about each one based on the categories we established. And finally, we will make a direct comparison and determine which is the superior material.

So let’s get right into it.

Porcelain Pavers vs Concrete Pavers

Porcelain Pavers vs Concrete Pavers: What to Consider?

Let’s start with a simple question: what do most people consider when thinking about acquiring pavers?

Common answers to that question would be cost, options, durability, versatility, maintenance and appearance.

Those are good starting points to start thinking about pavers, so let’s expand on them a little to know exactly what we are analyzing.

  • Cost: When talking about cost, it is important to keep in mind the difference between short term and long term investment. Pavers are often thought of as a form of investment, an element that can increase the overall value of a house. So, while paver that win in the short term might be critical for the ones with a limited budget, the one with a better long term cost prove to be the better ones.

  • Options: Having a greater array of options, both in color, design and size, increases the chance of a paver to fit into a project, so that is an essential aspect to consider when comparing pavers.

  • Durability: In durability, we can analyze both the upfront sheer resistance of the pavers to shock, as well as resistance to weather conditions and daily wear and tear.

  • Versatility: A versatile paver can be used to any number of hardscape projects. Being a pool side, under a hot tub, as a driveway, walkway, you name it. In the more different types of projects the paver can fit, the better its chances of winning at this category.

  • Maintenance: How easy it is to clean and take care of the paver in question? Does it stain easily? Does it need sealing? All important aspects to determine how much time and money you’ll have to reinvest in paver in the long run.

  • Appearance: Of course, things need to be aesthetically pleasing. Pavers have a great upside of being an amazing choice from both the structural point of view and the aesthetic one. So it is important to take that into consideration as well.

So now that we know exactly what we are comparing between concrete and porcelain pavers, we can talk about how each performs in each category.

Porcelain Pavers

porcelain pavers

The pristine appearance and incredible long term resistance of porcelain are their main selling points. The manufacturing process produces a non-porous and incredibly resistant material, used both inside and outside.

Cost
Porcelain pavers cost around $7 – $9 per square foot. They are considering one of the best long term investments.

Options
Since they are essentially made from clay, which is an extremely easy and very versatile material to work with, porcelain pavers can come in a wide variety of colors and prints. It can even simulate the look of natural stone or other types of pavers.

Durability
Porcelain pavers are uncannily resistant. They are so resistant that they are the top choice for industrial flooring and heavy traffic areas. Also, since they are non-porous, they are impervious to weather conditions and most forms of stains.

Versatility
Due to the heavy weight and very specific “big square” size approaches, porcelain is not a very versatile material. Aside from being used in flooring, few other applications are possible when it comes to porcelain pavers.

Maintenance
Maintenance is a huge selling point of porcelain. They do not need to be sealed and are extremely easy to clean. A simple sweep every week to get rid of leaves and other biological material and a deep cleaning every month with a pressure washer are more than enough.

Appearance
Porcelain is very versatile in appearance, since it can simulate the looks of most other paving options. But in its base natural state, it is still wonderful with its smooth surface available in different finishes.

Concrete Pavers

concrete pavers

Carefully manufactured by engineers using a special type of concrete put is mold, concrete pavers are as resistant as any natural stone and can perform just as well, if not better. Versatility and cost are the strengths of this material.

Cost
Concrete pavers cost around $4 – $6 per square foot. Might be cheaper upfront, but fall behind in the long run.

Options
Although not as intense as porcelain pavers can be, concrete also comes in many colors and can assume an unmatched range of sizes. Chances are that, whatever the project you’re working on, there will be a concrete paver that fits it.

Durability
They are also incredibly resistant. Individually, not as much as porcelain, but when installed in an interlocked system, they are one of the most resistant structures there is. They are porous though, so sealing is required to withstand stains and weather conditions.

Versatility
Few paver options are as versatile as concrete pavers. Again, it can fit almost any hardscape project imaginable and are used in a variety of ways for professionals in the industry.

Maintenance
Concrete pavers require a bit more attention in the maintenance department. Starting with the sealing, which is a must and must be performed every two years or so. Also, a deeper cleaning with special stone cleaning products might be necessary every once in a while to keep it looking good.

Appearance
As for the appearance, concrete pavers look beautiful once they are installed, even if individually they aren’t so special. The timeless look of a beautiful paver patio is the dream of many homewoners.

Final Comparison

So let’s see which option get ahead in each category.

CategoriesPorcelain PaversConcrete Pavers
CostWinner
OptionsWinner
DurabilityWinner
VersatilityWinner
MaintenanceWinner
AppearanceTieTie

Indeed, a very hard battle. Porcelain pavers win by a hair overall, but concrete pavers are by far the most versatile choice.

Flooring is dominated by porcelain. They are resistant, have the best long term cost and can last for decades with no headaches when it comes to maintenance.

But the versatility of concrete cannot be overlooked. The most beautiful and intricate hardscape projects out there use concrete pavers at some point or another, simply because only them can deliver in some aspects.

As always, one of the best things you can do to make a more informed decision according to your specific project is to ask for professional help.

We here at S&S Pavers have been helping homeowners around the Sarasota and Manatee counties, in Fl, for the past 11 years, and we would be happy to include you on our satisfied list of customers in case you’re around the area.

Give us a call anytime at 941-773-3098 or email us at sales@sspavers.com 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.

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