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Is it cheaper to lay concrete or pavers?

Is It Cheaper to Lay Concrete or Pavers?

Your outdoor living area can make or break the first impression of your home. For that reason, your hardscapes and landscapes must stand out to create a good first impression with guests, neighbors, home buyers, and people who drive by your property.

If you’re considering installing or replacing a driveway, walkway, patio, or pool deck, you may be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting the materials to use.

Concrete and pavers are both good choices for driveways, walkways, pool decks, and patios. However, the two materials differ in terms of installation costs, durability, design options, repair costs, maintenance, and safety. 

In this article, we will compare concrete vs pavers in terms of installation costs to help you make the right decision. 

We will also walk you through the basic differences between concrete and pavers to help you decide which is the best for you.

Concrete Vs Pavers

Concrete can be poured on site and left to cure or come in prefabricated slabs that mimic pavers. 

Concrete slabs can be plain smooth, stamped, stained or colored. With modern techniques like concrete stamping and stenciling, the design options for concrete can be even more diverse.

Concrete slabs are easy to install, simple to maintain, and come with a lower upfront cost.

Pavers are made from a wide variety of materials such as concrete, clay brick, natural stone, marble, and even porcelain.

Pavers are not poured like slabs; they arrive ready to install and are laid by hand individually. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors.

The main advantages of pavers include superior strength and longevity, better appearance, and improved safety because they are skid-resistant. 

Concrete Vs Pavers: Installation Costs

The upfront cost of pavers is about 10 to 15 percent more than concrete slabs. The upfront cost of pavers can run anywhere from $23 to $27 per square foot.

However, luxury paver materials can cost up to $35 per square foot and complex designs will cost more. 

A basic smooth finish concrete installation is cheaper than pavers because the job doesn’t take much time when compared to installing pavers by hand individually.

However, a stamped concrete installation that bears the resemblance of natural stone, brick or marble can match or even exceed the cost of pavers. 

Installing pavers requires a lot more preparation, which makes for a more time and labor-intensive installation.

For a 1,000 square foot paver installation, you should expect to pay an average of $23,500. On the other hand, a simple concrete slab installation without stamping or texturing can cost an average of $14,000 for a 1,000-square-foot installation.

Bottom Line

If your choice between concrete and pavers comes down to cost, concrete is a cheaper option. However, both materials can be about the same price when compared to decorative concrete installation. 

Whichever option you think is best for your outdoor living area, it’s advisable to compare quotes from several contractors to get the best deal.