Compared to brick or stone, concrete is made up of much cheaper raw materials. That makes concrete pavers the most affordable option of the three. Concrete patio pavers have several advantages, including strength and low maintenance. Poured concrete patios are an even more affordable option due to the relative speed and ease of installation. Concrete pavers do have their advantages over poured concrete:
Their strength comes with their density. Each unit or paver is dense enough to withstand a lot of weight and variations in temperature, including high heat and frost—an excellent benefit for folks living in northern climes. The very fact that they are separate units makes them stronger than poured concrete surfaces because the gaps allow for movement without cracking.
Concrete pavers are also very easy to replace in case of damage: simply remove the paver in question and replace it with a new one. It is not a bad idea to keep a few extra pavers around for this purpose, although concrete pavers usually last for decades anyway.
Colors vary from those designed to look like brick to those with the appeal of natural stone. Like their paver counterparts (brick and stone), concrete pavers are naturally durable but sealants may be used to discourage weeds and insects from making a home between the pavers. Herbicides or pesticides are also used. Concrete pavers, because of their strength, are often used in high-traffic areas such as driveways, walkways, and even crosswalks in addition to patios.
Poured concrete patios do come in several textures, from smooth to aggregate or exposed stones. Concrete is inherently porous and prone to cracking from frost heave and ground movement. Therefore it is highly recommended that poured concrete patios be sealed immediately after installation and curing; a process that should be repeated every few years.
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