Pavers VS Stamped Concrete

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How do I decide? We're looking to put in a 25'x16' Patio. I'm trying to decide between pavers and stamped concrete. Hoping to get some advice from people with experience using both.
I live in South Central Ohio so climate change is an important factor.

My main Cons:
Pavers - annoying because they shift over time
Concrete - once it's cracked it's cracked.

My Main Pros
Pavers - Would lay myself saving labor costs, Can be repaired individually
Stamped Crete - Would have done, so no labor for me :) and wouldn't shift and be all uneven over time.

So whats the general public's opinion?
 

menschmaschine

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I've heard other opinions, but I've seen too much cracked stamped concrete. I've built houses with pavers used on the walkways and driveways and they look beautiful. I think if they are properly laid (soil compaction), shifting is minimal. I'd go for pavers.
 
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IrregularPulse
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I came into work (pre any actual research) with stamped concrete thick in my head. But after reading up on the two I'm leaning the way of the paver.
Any more personal stories?
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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I'm in NE Ohio.....This weather is way too brutal for solid concrete IMO. ......Unless it's 6" thick with steel reinforcing and several expansion joints. A stamped concrete guy won't give you specs like that.

Personally, having seen the weather here, I would go for a concrete slab under pavers with a central bed of sand or dry mix mortar. It sounds like overkill, but I like my stuff to stay pretty....And this climate has screwed me over too many times as I'm not used to it. ;)
 

RICLARK

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Unless its a road you will be lucky to get 2-3" of concrete and no rebarb unless you request and pay for it. Through my exp durabilty of anything like this all comes down to ground compaction. Laying anything on top of clay is going to shift or crack and break over time.
 

springer

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the pavers I have on my patio haven't shifted on bit in 5 years I do however have to add sand to the joints at times. After we dug out the area the ground was compacted with a pavement roller Then an 8 inch base after compaction of item 4 compacted again pavement roller then a 1 inch course sand was layed down damp. All pavers put in then hit with a plate compactor big ass vibrator . Then you need to lock in the pavers with more sand and compact again. Its a lot of work to do it right but like I said nothing has moved and not one paver has cracked

My neighbor does driveways so I had access to this equipment
 

Hugh_Jass

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I'm going to go the other way. If poured properly, the stamped concrete will last a very long time with little to no maintenance. If it were me, I'd go with colored concrete with highlighted colors applied to the cream and stamped in. There's a wide assortment of patterns available to choose from. My FIL had a paver patio. Every year it would heave and become uneven from the freeze/thaw cycles in Ohio. Finally, he tore it up and had stamped concrete poured.

Keep in mind, if you're going to pour a patio(or install pavers for that matter), you're going to have a table and chairs on the patio. If you want the table and chairs to sit even, go with a pattern that is fairly flat.

If you choose to lay pavers, you'll need a solid foundation. Maybe consider pouring a concrete slab under the pavers. It might be more costly up front, but it will save much labor down the road.

Good luck. Which ever you choose, I hope you're satisfied.:mug:
 
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Thanks for all the advice. I think we'll go with pavers but will look into a slab underneath, but most likely won't have one.

LGI, Since when are you in Ohio??
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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Pavers for me, at least for a patio and if it's not going to bear heavy load. I'm going to be putting in a paver patio myself this summer, but smaller at 14'x14'. I hear the biggest problem with pavers is preparing the surface. If you are very careful to level the surface and put down several inches of road base or crushed rock, the patio will be level and stable for many years.
 

Bobby_M

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The biggest problem with pavers is horribly inadequate base prep. I see weekend DIYers laying them on the soil after removing the sod. What a joke. With both patio types you need to dig out at least 8" of soil and compact in a stone base for drainage.
 

Displaced MassHole

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Never done stamped concrete before but I have put in a few paver patios. The oldest one I did is now a little over 10 years old and it hasn't shifted a bit, and its in New England.

I agree with Bobby though, you have to get a good base, its the only way it's gonna last. I think I went down 10 inches and then used a plate compactor after every couple of inches of base I laid.

Did it all with the knowledge learned from watching "Hometime" with Dean Johnson as a kid. I still cant believe I talked my parents into letting me do the work at age 15. I miss that show.
 

Bopper

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Never done stamped concrete before but I have put in a few paver patios. The oldest one I did is now a little over 10 years old and it hasn't shifted a bit, and its in New England.

I agree with Bobby though, you have to get a good base, its the only way it's gonna last. I think I went down 10 inches and then used a plate compactor after every couple of inches of base I laid.

Did it all with the knowledge learned from watching "Hometime" with Dean Johnson as a kid. I still cant believe I talked my parents into letting me do the work at age 15. I miss that show.
OT: "Hometime" and "This Old House" man do I have great memories of watching those with my Dad when I was a kid!
 

macabra11

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I have a stamped concrete patio and it is wonderful. But then again, I currently live in a super dry climate (Idaho). I am from Ohio and lived there for 21 years, so I KNOW weather is a factor. I would go with the pavers, but PLEASE make sure you hire a bona fide contractor so your base is set properly. That is the most difficult part, and where most of the work is.
Good luck!
 

arturo7

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+1 to laying down a good base first, concrete or pavers.

You can DIY stamped concrete. I think it would be easier than laying all the pavers.

As you are probably finding out, pavers come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Don't be afraid to try something wacky.

I've got a backyard project scheduled for this summer using decomposed granite, or DG as it is often called. It's incredibly easy and cheap to install. And, you can always lay pavers on it later. However, I'm not sure how it would fare in your environment.

Good luck whichever way you go. Post some pics when the job's done.
 

Austin_

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The biggest problem with pavers is horribly inadequate base prep. I see weekend DIYers laying them on the soil after removing the sod. What a joke. With both patio types you need to dig out at least 8" of soil and compact in a stone base for drainage.
Too true. I would go a step further and recommend a geotextile fabric to go under all of that. We crack down on contractors all the time for putting down an improper base.
 

PT934

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I work for a ready mix/cinder block & paver/Landscape retaining wall precast producer (pretty much anything concrete) in the precast division. Either way you go will give you a nice patio. Definitely go with a good base, I would skip the concrete under the pavers, but put some good compacted drainage stone under there, then a layer of filter fabric with an inch or 2 of sand. Compact everything really well. Once its down, for both pavers and concrete, use a high quality sealer. I prefer a good penetrating sealer. Unless you have expierience finishing concrete flatwork, I wouldnt try it yourself as once concrete is set, you are stuck with the results.
 
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well good news, I think I have SWMBO talked out of the patio all together! :) I think we're just going to stick with the small deck addition this summer and add a patio next year or so instead of doing both right now. The truck needs tires before they fall apart and we just put up a privacy fence 2 weeks ago. I will definitely be going with pavers when we do it though. My uncles are both landscapers. One heads commercial and the other heads the residential of the same company. I'm swamped with home projects as it is and the backyard needs a general cleaning and re-work of existing landscape before the August bday party for the little one. Another big weekend project is not what I need to be spending time on planning and stressing over. Thanks for all your input. It is not in vain,, we will be doing the patio, just not this summer I hope, and at least not in the next couple weeks.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Why even have a patio when you can have a bigger deck? That would save cash on those interweb spam pills! :)
 

Hugh_Jass

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Who needs a patio at all when you have a big deck?:cross:

I, myself, have a patio.:eek:
 

david_42

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Pavers can always be pulled up and re-leveled with some sand. Can't do that with stamped concrete. That said, my patio is concrete, but it is heavily re-enforced and 8" thick. I'm on a steep slope and the ground here is almost fluid in the winter, so I would be re-building pavers every Spring.
 

CBBaron

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Properly lain pavers will remain level and look great for decades. Concrete patios however will crack and chip long before that. One problem with stamped concrete is when the surface chips the base color will be different and the result looks bad quickly.

A good paver job does require a good well compacted foundation. You can't just lay pavers on the soil and expect good results. You also need to have a good edging. We had a patio done for our home 6 years ago and it looks great and is still nearly perfect. One a couple bricks are not quite level and those are where the patio abuts the asphalt driveway and the patio guys were not able to put down the kind of foundation they did every where else.

I think a concrete slab under the pavers is unnecessary. A good compacted foundation will be just as effective. However it is probably easier to ensure the job is done right with a concrete pad. Remember that most old cobblestone roads were built without concrete and they are far older and take much more punishment than a patio.

Craig
 

CBBaron

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Build a bigger deck. :D
I hate decks and would much rather have a good patio. A paver patio will last for decades takes no maintenance and continues to look great. Not so with decks. Plus I think they look much better as part of the landscape.

Craig
 

keelanfish

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I vote pavers because you know what you're getting. A good outcome with architectural concrete is highly dependent on the craftsmanship of the contractor. I've seen more bad examples of stamped or stained concrete than I have good ones.
 

Bulls Beers

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I was going back and forth about concrete and pavers, but I'm choosing pavers for myself. I have a tree right next to my front walk way and some very large roots are growing right under the current space. If I go with concrete, I believe in time the roots would push up and crack, but with pavers you can pull them up if needed. I think. Pavers are more money, but I think it's worth it.
 
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Holy necro thread Batman! And for what it's worth, we did nothing and moved to a different house this summer with a large concrete patio :)
 

mmb

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I think you should go for a paver because concrete tends to crack and you will not stand the unsightly appearance and cost of replacement. You will have to get the pavers properly installed if you want to minimize on the shifts. There are also many styles and designs when it comes to pavers so its easy to find something that blends well with the rest of your home.
This is a fantastic first post for a beer forum. You, sir or madam, win the Internets.
 

Hang Glider

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I sooo want to call the above post spam, but it ain't. Not really. :)


First ever post by new member in a beer forum and its in a "pavers v stamped concrete" 4½ y.o. thread???

not sure about 'winning the internets' but very odd, indeed.


congrats on the new house, IP !


apparently Qqueen disappeared, as did his post.
 

Vervel

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Based on our current experience with stamped concrete we have to say, we are disappointed with the product. There are just too many variables to get the look and colors the concrete installer tried to promise. Granted.... our contractor sucked. But, he had no bad reviews and came recommended!

We just went through a pure nightmare and created a blog to document the fun. It has turned out to be something others may find useful if they are having issues with a stamped concrete project or just want to see what could go wrong. We certainly found out what could go wrong. The link is attached. Good luck!

You can read about our stamped concrete patio experience here: http://www.stampedconcretepatiova.com/
 

johnbrown86

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I will suggest for stamped concrete. Stamped concrete is available with uniform colors. If concrete once cracked it’s cracked - right. Need to maintain this properly. Glass doors or anything made of glass once cracked are useless, do you not using glass product. The fact is to get a beautiful and stylish look you need to take extra care. Get some advice from a local concrete walkway contractor for your area to be built exactly and differences between both of them.
 
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