Two of the most common decorative concrete paving options – stamped concrete and interlocking concrete pavers – are often pitted against each other in “winner takes all” contests. Both, however, offer their share of benefits and weaknesses.
In Support of Stamped Concrete
Growing in popularity and perfect for patios, driveways, walkways, entryways, and pool decks, stamped concrete offers an economic alternative to natural stone.
Its claim to fame is its unique texture and ornate design capabilities, as well as its ability to imitate the appearance of more ritzy stone, such as slate, fieldstone, flagstone, cobblestone, or brick. Pattern and color options are virtually endless, while skilled masons can incorporate custom emblems and effects.
Stamped concrete is achieved by first pouring base-colored slab. As the slab dries, paving contractors can apply additional coloring, before using a stamping mat – which is often created from the same material you are attempting to mimic –to create a pattern.
Stamped concrete is largely touted for its longevity and durability, in addition to a resistance to rot and splintering. Because of the nature of a slab of concrete, cracks are a concern, and occasionally do occur, but are also largely preventable with the proper maintenance. Colors also may fade as result of traffic and natural weathering, but the lifespan of stamped concrete can be extended via routine cleaning and resealing, which can restore features to their original state.
For Your Consideration: Concrete Pavers
Concrete paving stones, on the other hand, interlock, which makes them far stronger than concrete slabs. Their interlocking joints, however, are subject to weeds and other growth. They also require far more prep time, with each paver being laid separately. Because they do not require time to cure, they can be used almost immediately following installation.
Additional benefits to pavers include permeability, which aids in stormwater management, and a surface that resistant to slips and skids.
Pavers are also less expensive to maintain than stamped concrete – as any cracked or damaged pavers can simply be replaced, sidestepping a need for a complete overhaul.
Get a Professional Opinion
Regardless of whether you opt for stamped concrete or interlocking pavers, professional installation is highly recommended. Decorative concrete paving processes – in both cases – require multiple steps and precise timing, not to mention the proper tools.
Are decorative concrete paving options worth the money? Thanks to versatility, ease of maintenance, and cost savings compared to natural stone – the answer is a solid yes. Which one is right for you? Well, that’s another question, entirely. A professional paving contractor can provide invaluable insight, however, after evaluating your landscape and its needs.
Call Pro-Pave today at (703) 433-9500 to set up a consultation, and discover how our services have been improving the value and curb appeal of commercial properties throughout the Mid-Atlantic for more than 15 years.