All about pavers and hardscaping

What’s Cheaper: Concrete or Pavers?

If you are researching which material to use for your driveway, walkway, or outdoor living space, you probably came across those two options. But what’s cheaper, concrete or pavers? On average, According to Home Advisor, concrete costs about $6-$10 per square foot, while paving stones have a cost of approximately $10-$20 per square foot. But not always what is cheap has superior quality. In fact, in most cases, it’s the other way around.

The purpose of this article is to explain the main differences between the two options. Spoiler alert, in the long run, pavers will be the best choice compared to concrete. Nevertheless, in this article, we will explain to you exactly why. Starting with what is what.

pavers are better than concrete on the long run, but not cheaper
Pavers Being Installed In An Once Concreted Patio

What Are Pavers

Pavers are blocks used to pave streets, driveways, sidewalks, outside areas of houses, etc… The application of pavers is quite varied, but they are always chosen for two very prominent reasons: their beauty and durability.

The reason behind its durability is quite clear. The vast majority of pavers are made of extremely resistant material, such as concrete, natural stone, brick, and clay.

What Are Concrete Slabs

Concrete poured into large slabs is a very common flooring option in America. Generally, the concrete is made out of a pre-blended mix of cement, sand, gravel, and additives. In overall, and thanks to the development of new formulas in materials, patios made of concrete can be quite resistant as well.

Visually speaking, the differences may not be so clear. The concrete can even be stamped so that it looks extremely similar to brick pavers.

But then, is there any reason why we should choose pavers over concrete? The answer comes next.

Which is Better, Concrete or Pavers?

Pavers are superior in many ways. But there are a few important points to note.

1. Safety

On rainy days, or when concrete is wet, it can be quite slippery. Eventually, this becomes a problem, not only on driveways but also on sidewalks.

Pavers are designed to be non-slip. This means that they are excellent for use not only on driveways but also around swimming pools.

2. Aesthetically

The wide variety of types and shapes of pavers makes them superior to concrete, from an aesthetic point of view. 

Even though current techniques allow concrete to be stamped, in order to look like pavers, the added cost of this process makes the final price very close to that of installing authentic pavers.

3. Repair Costs

The value here can vary widely, especially depending on the damage that needs to be repaired. In the case of concrete slabs, for example, it is quite common for that damage to be related to surface cracks. 

Repair costs can be quite high, exceeding $ 1000. This is due to the fact that you have to remove the entire concrete slab from the floor and then pour new cement.

The advantage of pavers is that if there is a damaged block, you can simply replace it with another one. Moreover, the durability of pavers is substantially superior to that of concrete. In such a way that the contractors that install give guarantees that cover some damages.

4. Installation Costs

Installing pavers will cost you more. This is mainly due to the fact that it demands more labor, from the preparation of the area to sealing.

However, from an economic point of view, fewer things add as much value to a property as pavers. As long as the pavers are installed properly, you can expect an ROI (return on investment) of up to 75%.

The ROI for concrete is minimal, as the vast majority of homes have concrete patios.

5. Durability

In the case of paver patios, if properly installed, they can last for decades without any type of heavier maintenance.

Under the same conditions, even if properly maintained, concrete patios can start cracking typically within 12 hours of the finishing process. Most of those cracks are due to shrinkage or shift on the ground beneath the concrete, and they can be accelerated by weather conditions.

Travertine pavers that don't get hot in the sun
These Travertine Pavers Will Not Burn Your Feet

Are Pavers Worth The Money?

In general, yes, due to all that we presented during the article. However, it is important to stress that the choice is also linked to other factors. For example, let’s say that the area you want to put flooring on is very large, and the amount available in your budget is not so much. 

Cases like that, might “force” you to choose the option with a relatively lower initial investment.

However, with so many options of pavers available, we extremely recommend you to contact a paver contractor in your county and request a free estimate first. You never know, maybe prices and payment terms are better than you anticipated.

S&S Pavers has been proudly serving the counties of Manatee and Sarasota for the past 10+ years, if you live in Florida, don’t hesitate to give us a call.


How long do pavers last?

Pavers can last for decades, some even centuries, when properly taken care of. Stamped concrete, on the other hand, can last at most 10 years without starting to present some aesthetic problems and structural damage.

What are the disadvantages of stamped concrete?

Stamped concrete present many disadvantages. The first one being that it will crack, no way around it. This is due to the extremely high porosity level of concrete, that will make it absorb water and crack in time. Also, it is not much resistant to pressure, allowing at most 5000 psi, which is not enough even to be driven on.

How often should stamped concrete be resealed?

Ideally, stamped concrete should be resealed every 2 to 3 years, depending on the weather conditions in your region.

Can you pressure wash stamped concrete?

Pressure washing stamped concrete can be tricky. Stamped concrete cannot withstand too much pressure, so pressure washing need to be handled with extreme care around it. Even so, it is not recommended, as it can cause more harm than good in the long run.