I've gotten a bunch of quotes to have the walkway from the sidewalk to the
front stoop be redone. Most have quoted a job using brick pavers. One
contractor suggested stamped concrete as an alternative - turns out price is
same as that of brick pavers. He said that stamped cement has the advantage
of not requiring adding stone dust every few years and that weeds will not
grow between the cracks. We saw some of his work and it looks pretty good.
I'm curious to hear other's opinions of stamped concrete - both good and
I live in the NYC area and have a large stamped concrete patio which I
had done about 7 years ago. It looks good and overall, I'm happy with
it. Like you, I was considering pavers as the alternative. I haven't
had pavers, so I can't directly compare them. However, what attracted
me to stamped concrete, besides the look, was not having to worry about
weeds or potential future uneveness if some of the pavers were to move
in realtion to others.
One thing I did not realize, was that stamped concrete needs to be
sealed about every 2 years to keep it looking good. Otherwise, weather
will gradually deteriorate the surface, so that it looks worn and
beaten up. And if that happens, it can't be repaired. The sealer
also gives it a shiney look, which I think looks good. You can also
seal pavers to give them a similar look, however I don't believe it's
really necessary to keep the std finish looking good. So, I think the
maintenance issue between the two may be a wash.
Also, as with any concrete, stamped concrete is prone to cracking. If
it's done correctly, this can be minimized, but it can still happen.
With pavers, that problem is eliminated.
couple of other "benefits" of pavers
If a few years down the road you decide to add more or change the
landscaping, you can reuse all the existing pavers.
Also depending where you are, pavers can be brought in where some ready mix
concrete trucks just can not go.
and if you spill something (paint ) or drop something heavy and crack or
chip the surface, pavers are easily replaced, concrete must be washed or
pavers offer a wider variety of patterns and colors easily.
It really depends on what your priorities are, pricing for materials/labor
in your area, type of soil you have, etc.
No right or wrong answers for everyone.
What new product is this, I like to get some if it really works? I've used
two layers of professional weed paper underneath and done it with sand,
stone dust and mortar between the pavers or bricks but sooner or later,
usually within a year after a good rain, there will be weeds, less so with
the mortar until it develop cracks.
I have heard about this "winter" thing, can you tell me about it?
Around here they use pavers because it forgives grading sins. The down
side is the afore mentioned weeds and ANTS!
Them bitin' bastards. I know you can treat that but at a certain point
you start to wonder where all that poison is going.
BTW around a pool you now need a copper grid (2005 NEC) within 3 feet,
bonded to the pool steel. With the concrete it can just be 20' of
rebar or 8 ga wire. That will certainly add to the cost delta.
I recently finished (well ALMOST) about 400sq ft of large concrete
pavers in the front yard. 8" of gravel and limestone screen, and then,
between the cracks, a product called 'magic sand' that I got at HD. It
is sand, with polymer in it. When it gets damp it binds together
loosely. Supposed to keep out weeds and prevent water from undercutting
the slabs. So far it looks fantastic, but ask me next spring after a
good Canadian winter.
I recently considered both options. What happened was we installed
tile on the walk and entry area of the front door. Using three sizes
and three colors we had a nice pattern and looks great.
In the back, instead of pavers between the patio and pool space it
will be natural stone walk..
Depends on your choice and circumstance.
At this moment I do not have a personal relationship
with a computer. Janet Reno, Attorney General 24 May 1998
I go for pavers, because you can add sand or dust after a few years to
re-secure them and if needed take a few up and re-level them. Pavers can be
easily repaired, concrete just cracks and can't be repaired.
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