No conversation about stamped decorative concrete versus
pavers would be complete without talking about weeds, so let’s start with that
most obvious reason (Number One), that decorative concrete from Concrete Craft®
could be the better choice. “Paver ravers” insist that weed and grass growth in
the joints is not a big problem but, yes, it can be, as evidenced by the image
Individually placed pavers made of concrete, clay brick, or
natural stone have joints between each stone and, although filled with a sand
mixture, stubborn weeds and grass will push through, especially in wet and
humid climates. Constant surveillance for intruders is required, and either
pulling the weeds or applying weed killer in the crevices is part of the ongoing
With stamped decorative
concrete, you can have a real-stone mold stamped design, custom colored for
authenticity, that is one continuous, sealed surface. The joints are part of
the overall design and there is never a problem with grass or weed growth. You
can spend your time enjoying your outdoor surfaces, not weeding them.
Installation of pavers is much more complicated and takes
longer than a stamped, resurfaced decorative concrete overlay to an existing
patio, driveway or walkway. The description of the process of laying pavers the
right way is quite complex and takes three to five days for an average patio—“The installation
process includes excavation, grading, sub-base compaction, geotextile fiber
installation, base preparation, base compaction, sand preparation, paver
laying, border cutting, bond beam preparation, and stone compaction.” Taking
shortcuts or missing steps increases the likelihood of pavers shifting and
creating an uneven surface.
Application of a concrete overlay involves cleaning and
prepping the slab, applying the overlay, pressing the stamp pattern into the
overlay, coloring with UV-stable concrete stains, and applying a final sealer.
Only a few days will take a weather-worn concrete surface to a new faux stone
finish that is resistant to weather extremes, moisture, mold and bacteria
growth, spills of all kinds, chipping, cracking or peeling.
A concrete overlay will not alter the height of your patio or
driveway, but pavers over concrete can increase the height by up to three
inches, depending on the pavers installed. Additionally, pavers over an
existing concrete surface have inherent moisture problems that can create
serious problems over time. If you want to go from a concrete patio to a paver
patio, it’s recommended to remove the concrete first. Or … Concrete Craft can
install a stamped decorative concrete overlay for your patio in your choice of
rock or stone pattern, including flagstone, cobblestone, limestone, and Travertine.
We’ve touched on some issues of maintenance already but will
get more specific. Pavers, including brick, natural stone, and manufactured
products, can readily absorb moisture due to their porous nature. This creates
issues with stains, rust, and the growth of mold and moss, especially in shaded
areas where the stones may never get completely dry. Specialty products are
available to clean the mold, involving lots of elbow grease and scrubbing.
Power washing is an option but will tend to dislodge and wash away the sand in
the joints. Reapplying sand is a maintenance step as well, refilling the
crevices as the sand erodes. Stones can shift or sink, creating an uneven
surface and requiring repair.
Decorative concrete sealers create an industry-tough surface
that is extremely low-maintenance. Driveways, walkways, patios, and pool decks
require very little upkeep. Regular sweeping will prevent dust and dirt
buildup, stains don’t penetrate and can be wiped up with a cloth, mold, moss
and bacteria growth are repelled, and an occasional washing with a neutral-Ph
cleaner is all your need to keep your concrete like new. And, since no weeds or
grass intrude, there’s no back-breaking weeding for large areas like a driveway
and the faux stones will never shift or create an uneven surface.
Reason Four: Unlimited design potential
Pavers are especially popular for the intricate designs that
can be accomplished. But the more complex the design, the longer it will take
to install and the more it will cost. There is also the limitation of available
color options, especially with natural stone.
With decorative concrete, there are no limitations on color,
our MasterProTM concrete stains open up a world of possibility for
custom colors to create any look you want. Custom concrete stamps and stencils
allow us to formulate intricate designs and patterns, including multiple
designs together as in this flagstone driveway with a stamped cobblestone
Reason Five: Cost
One online source stated that a basic (simple pattern) paver
installation is initially 30% higher than the same-sized stamped concrete
patio. Decorative concrete can give you all the bells and whistles of pavers,
i.e., intricate patterns, the look of real stone, natural colors, and custom
design for much less cost than pavers. And, if you have an existing patio or
driveway you want to update, with decorative concrete overlays you don’t need
to demo the existing slab, installation is quicker with much less mess, and the
cost savings will delight you. You’ll save time and money year after year due
to the low-maintenance requirements for decorative concrete and its rock-solid
Embrace the dream of stone
With Concrete Craft you can have to look of pavers for your
outdoor concrete surfaces through the “magic” of decorative concrete! There are
many options to updating and restoring imperfect and worn out concrete surfaces
that don’t involve demolition and replacement. Talk with your local Concrete
Craft professional about the many ways to enhance your indoor and outdoor
spaces with beautiful decorative concrete finishes. Call 866-813-3699 today or go online to www.concretecraft.com to find the
Concrete Craft location nearest you and request a free design consultation.
View our MasterProTM Product Catalog to
see what decorative concrete in stained, stamped and
resurfaced faux stone designs, including vertical
concrete resurfacing like fireplaces and seat walls, can do to enhance your
home or business.