Which is Better: Stamped Concrete or Paved Stones?

Which is Better: Stamped Concrete or Paved Stones?

When it comes to landscape design an individual faces a tough choice - whether to go with stamped concrete or paving stones. This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

Stamped Concrete

A popular choice for landscaping lately has been stamped concrete. This is because it offers relatively quick installation and can be customized to mimic any design - provided the installer has the equipment to perform the stamping. 

Location matters with stamped concrete - Since the concrete is susceptible to cracking, it's best to avoid using it in a driveway since the heavy weights of cars can provoke the cracking to begin faster. If considering a stamped concrete driveway, it's important to consider pouring it in chunks that could then be replaced easier than having to replace an entire slab. 

One of the biggest factors with concrete is that it cracks easily. That is why it is important to choose a design that can easily hide cracks and can be coloured matched effectively in the event of cracks. Otherwise, the repair will be noticeable or it will require a full replacement if it becomes too noticeable. 

image © Techno-Bloc

image © Techno-Bloc

Paved Stones

Immediately after the installation of paved stones you can walk on it and already begin setting up your patio. This is because the stones are more forgiving than concrete and don't need to go through a 3-4 days curing process. 

Since the stones are individual units it means that they are susceptible to shifting over time and succumbing to expansion and contraction. If this happens however, the stones can be easily replaced and will have the same aesthetic quality as when it was new. 

image © Ross Catrow

image © Ross Catrow

As far as upkeep for stones they require a different kind than stamped concrete. Instead of putting a sealant over top, with stones you can expect to have to replace the sand in between the stones and occasionally pull out weeds that manage to infiltrate the landscape. 

image © Stone Hardscapes

image © Stone Hardscapes

Ultimately, one option is not inherently better than the other. Both of them are aesthetically pleasing and require similar maintenance. So since each option has their advantages and disadvantages, the choice really comes down to personal preference. 


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