cost of pavers vs concrete

Summary: Average Costs of Concrete Patios vs Interlocking Pavers

Concrete patios have an average cost between $2 and $5 per square foot for a plain patio and between $6 and $10 per square foot for stamped concrete. Patios made from interlocking pavers have an average cost between $12 and $22 per square foot.

In This Article

  1. Concrete Patio Pricing
  2. Interlocking Paver Pricing
  3. Concrete Patio Pros
  4. Concrete Patio Cons
  5. Pros of Interlocking Pavers
  6. Cons of Interlocking Pavers
  7. Patio Installation and Maintenance
  8. Free Patio Installation Quotes >>

Concrete Patio Pricing

The cost of concrete patios depends on the amount of groundwork and/or leveling that needs to be done, complexity of the patio design, and the size of the patio.

  • A plain concrete slab has an average cost between $2 and $5 per square foot.
  • Decorative or stamped concrete has an average starting cost between $6 and $10, with costs depending on the design.
  • Custom work, such as borders, colors, or hand-application has an average cost between $10 and $15 per square foot.
  • In total, a 16′ x 20′ concrete patio has an average cost between $640 and $1,600 for a basic slab, between $1,920 and $3,200 for stamped concrete, and between $3,200 and $4,800 for a custom concrete patio.
  • Repair costs for concrete patios can be as low as $5 or as high as upwards of $300. It all depends on the extent of the damage and the difficulty of the repair.

Interlocking Paver Pricing

The cost of interlocking paver patios depends on the amount of groundwork and/or leveling that needs to be done, the pattern and type of paver you choose, and the complexity of the patio’s design.

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  • Interlocking paver patios have an average cost between $12 and $22 per square foot, depending on the type of paver you choose, its color(s), and its design.
  • In total, a 16′ x 20′ patio made from interlocking pavers has an average cost between $3,840 and $7,040.
  • Repair costs vary widely depending on the extent of the damage, the difficulty of the repair, and whether you fix it yourself or hire someone. Interlocking paver patio repair costs may be as low as $1 or rise above $75.

Pros and Cons of Concrete Patios

Concrete is the traditional option for installing a patio. Poured concrete is installed in continuous slabs to allow no room or spaces for weeds to grow. Stamped concrete has patterns or textures impressed into the concrete before it dries, as well as added pigment. There are both advantages and disadvantages to concrete patios.

Concrete Patio Pros

  • Cost: Concrete patios are more affordable than concrete paver patios, often coming in at 50 percent less or more.
  • Durability: A well maintained concrete patio will last for years. Concrete is incredibly strong and, with no spaces for vegetation to grow through, this type of patio comes with little worry of weeds causing damage.
  • Simplicity: Though it may seem like concrete would be more difficult to install and maintain, it is actually easier. Pouring the slabs is quick and simple, and maintenance is as easy as regular cleaning and inspection for cracks.

Concrete Patio Cons

  • Lack of customization: While stamped concrete does offer some degree of personal design or customization, concrete patios have fewer design options overall. There are not as many style and dimension choices available in comparison to pavers.
  • Repair costs: Though concrete patios are highly durable, when there are issues it can be costly to fix. Serious cracks or heaving may even require you to rip out the entire patio and put in a new one.
  • Temperature and weather: Concrete is strong, but it is still susceptible to the elements. Extreme temperatures can cause cracking, heaving, or splitting. Rain, snow, and hail can also cause damage, as excess moisture accumulation underneath the patio disturbs the soil.

Pros and Cons of Interlocking Pavers

Pavers can be made from multiple materials and are most commonly found in brick, concrete, stone, and tile. They come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and shapes. This style of patio is usually installed over a based of crushed limestone, gravel, or sand. As with concrete patios, there pros and cons that come with interlocking paver patios.

Pros of Interlocking Pavers

  • Customization: Unlike concrete patios, interlocking pavers offer a large degree of customization. With multiple colors, materials, sizes, and styles available, there is virtually nothing you can’t do with interlocking pavers.
  • Low maintenance: Interlocking pavers offer low maintenance upkeep over their lifetime and are not as prone to cracks as concrete. Repairing an interlocking paver patio is often as simple as replacing a single paver.
  • Visual appeal: There is only so much you can do to increase the visual appeal of a concrete patio. Interlocking pavers give you a way to create the perfect aesthetic for your home that matches your vision exactly.

Cons of Interlocking Pavers

  • Cost: Interlocking pavers come at a much higher cost than a concrete patio.
  • Difficult installation and cleaning: Installing interlocking pavers is harder than installing a poured concrete patio. There is typically more leveling and groundwork that needs to be done, and often custom dimensions to follow. Cleaning is also more difficult, as dirt and debris can build between the pavers.
  • Loosening: When first laid, pavers are locked together tightly, creating a cohesive surface. But over time, they may begin to loosen and separate from each other, which causes structural issues and looks less appealing. Loose pavers may also allow vegetation to sprout throughout the patio.

Patio Installation and Maintenance

Whether you decide to build a concrete patio or one made from pavers, it is always best to hire a professional to do the job. Pavers lend themselves to DIY jobs more than poured concrete, but it is still a good idea to hire someone with experience.

For concrete patios, the slabs are poured, then dried and cured. After the area is dry it can be used. Before installation, the area generally needs to be excavated, graded, and the foundation prepared.

Interlocking pavers, however, require a more intricate installation process. Excavation and grading still needs to be done, after which the pavers are laid. From there, polymer sand or another similar material is used to join the pavers.

Both types of patio need regular maintenance. Concrete is easier to take care of, needing only soap and water to clean, but it will still crack and stain over time. Sealants can be added or applied to the concrete to help prevent cracks and stains, but they must be reapplied regularly.

Pavers are also simple to clean, but not quite as easy as concrete due to being comprised of multiple pieces. The biggest concern for interlocking pavers is weeds and other vegetation, which can grow between any cracks that may form in or between the pavers.

Author: Ashley Smith


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