Deco-Crete Supply |690 Harrison DrColumbusOH43204 | (614) 253-3326

Pavers vs. Decorative Concrete

While many homeowners immediately think of pavers when considering a patio, walkway or garden area, there are other attractive landscaping techniques that can be accomplished using concrete. Stamping, stenciling and decorative concrete are all great alternatives to pavers and are highly customizable. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages when used in the home landscape.


Pavers have a brick-like form that comes in a variety of interlocking shapes. They also come in a variety of colors, which allows installers to create unique and customized installations. The initial installation for pavers costs around the same as a basic decorative concrete installation. However, DIY’ers may be able to take on this project to save some money. Pavers have a long life and resist cracking when they are installed correctly. This reduces the overall cost of pavers over their lifetime because they rarely need to be replaced.

Disadvantages of pavers typically revolve around their maintenance and include the following:

·         New sand must be added periodically as it settles into the grooves.

·         Weeds grow in the sand requiring regular weeding or chemical treatment.

·         Pavers sink or settle when not installed correctly.

·         Paver colors vary even among the same lot. Thus, if you are using all the same color, care must be used to mix them so that blotchiness or uneven coloring is avoided.

Decorative Stamped Concrete

Decorative stamped concrete  looks very similar to a paver installation except that there is no sand. This installation consists of a solid base of concrete on which molds are pressed to create a design. The advantage of stamped concrete is that it  mimics any type of finish , including pavers, brick, natural stone and rock. Stamped concrete can also be colored with specialty dyes. A top sealant provides long-term durability for these installations.

However, stamped concrete has several disadvantages as well, including:

·         Installation costs can be high, especially when coloring and specialty customizations are desired.

·         Stamped concrete is a job for a  concrete contractor.  It requires special knowledge and tools to install properly. In addition, concrete cutting is required to create control joints.

·         Concrete cracks in extreme climates and uneven terrain. For this reason, the ongoing maintenance costs for stamped concrete are higher than for pavers.

·         Dyes fade over time and are very hard to match when repairs are required.