If you are thinking about replacing or building a driveway to your outdoor living area, you are probably feeling dizzy because of the variety of choices you have.
Surely, some of the materials are more cost-effective than the rest, others are more durable and the third ones are easier to maintain. However, in today’s market, the most commonly used options are stamped concrete and driveway pavers. Let’s go through each of these options to find out their advantages and disadvantages.
Stamped concrete is commonly used for outdoor spaces. It’s considerably cheaper and has an easy installation process. With stamped concrete, we shouldn’t worry about the boundaries of having different textures and designs.
The difference is that here the concrete is tinted before it is poured. Thanks to this the concrete gets your preferred color all the way through. After the concrete is poured, now it’s time to stamp your chosen design. In the end, the result is very surprising and natural-looking.
Stamped concrete has multiple benefits among which are:
1. Quicker Installation Process
Welcome the fastest way of building your driveway. It’s multiple times faster to install than the natural stone (paver driveways) as it requires less labor and your driveway will be out of commission for considerably less time.
2. Color and Pattern Options
As the concrete is poured on-site, it’s responsive to many different customizing options. Due to your wish, the concrete can be colored to match the exterior of your house or surrounding: existing concrete, a pool, or anything else. This is nice as you can make a new driveway look like it’s been a part of your area design meanwhile keeping the fine and fresh look.
It’s important to pinpoint that giving you limitless design options, concrete can be stamped in any pattern.
3. Strength and Outstanding Performance
A stamped concrete driveway will surely serve you well for a very long time. It won’t sink and will hold up to heavy traffic. In any case, if you’re looking for a lovely driveway that will perform well without any hassles and will be durable, stamped concrete may be your right choice.
4. Low Maintenance
Stamped concrete will keep your home maintenance to the minimum. Stamped concrete indeed looks beautiful and its only maintenance requirement is that it be resealed once every other year (sometimes two, depends on its usability). It’ll keep the concrete from cracking or chipping as well as will help to preserve the color.
5. Low costs
The considerably cheaper option for your driveways will be stamped concrete. It’s more affordable than any other driveway surface services. The reason behind is simple – it doesn’t require much installation labor and the concrete itself is inexpensive.
Stamped concrete has a lot of other minor advantages as well but one thing that should be mentioned is that it is completed in a few days with the minimum manpower. The second very important point is that you don’t need to worry about different kinds of grass growing on your driveways as it happens with the driveway pavers. Stamped concrete is poured all into a single slab.
If you are considering driveway pavers as an option, we need to tell you that it is very time consuming and requires intensive labor work. This is because pavers are individual sections each made from various materials like brick, concrete or natural stone and each must be laid one at a time.
Unfortunately, driveway pavers are limited on designs and colors and are more expensive as they’re being priced at a per piece cost. So if you have a large area, take into account that it might cost you a lot.
However, here are some nice advantages of the pavers to help you make your final decision.
1. Maximum Curb Appeal
A paver driveway is an investment that adds value to your property. A survey among householders showed that many people still would prefer pavers as an option, however, the rest preferred stamped concrete. However, pavers are a classical option and are available for many years so you may ask people around for an advice.
2. Different Design Options
A lot of companies nowadays offer more than one-hundred different driveway pavers options to choose from. One can find different options of sleek modern look, natural stone appearance, classical elegant style, the casual antiqued look, etc.
It’s possible to explore driveway surface textures, colors or paver shapes to find the perfect one for your overall design aesthetic. Additionally, many driveway materials require you to pick a style in only one color but the segmental nature of pavers makes it possible for you to easily mix complementary colors, shapes, and styles to create your unique driveway.
3. Long-Lasting Color Options
Choosing an option that stands the test of time discoloration is a common complaint of natural stone owners but by choosing the right driveway paver we can overcome this issue.
Some years ago, all of us remember, driveway pavers were installed in tan and grey shades only but nowadays we have a wide range of rich colors to choose from as well as technologies ensuring those colors will last.
4. Good Pavers Will Never Crack or Settle
Numerous driveway pavers options (which are usually a bit expensive) are designed to be freeze-resistant and are flexible with the seasonal changes. This is an advantage which you need to take into account while choosing drive pavers as an option but as well have a second thought that a lot of other materials which you may buy (cheaper ones) do not guarantee a solid response to the climate changes and can get unsightly cracks that are difficult to repair. To support this flexible system, kind of excavation and the use of certain draining materials are required. Basically, it’s the quality of this “base” that determines the durability of your paver driveway. This is the main reason we highly recommend hiring a professional paving contractor for installation.
5. Surface Will Not Spall
The term used to describe a surface failure is guaranteed spalling. What happens here is that the top layer of a product is shed, revealing a surface below that is undesirable in texture or color. During the time, spalling can cause both a natural stone or stamped concrete driveway surface to appear patchy or unattractive. This is one of the reasons that while choosing driveway pavers you need to choose the best one (and make sure they will never spall).
Taking into account all these advantages, we also need to mention that driveway pavers have the issue of shifting and settling that creates surface disbalance.
Long story short, both options have their pros and cons and the decision is up to you to choose which one fits your house and your budget well.