Stamped concrete is one single slab. Patio pavers are individual pieces.
Both types of patios can have a variety of textures, colors, and patterns.
Unless the area you wish to cover is small, both require professional installation to ensure a long lifespan.
Costs are similar for stamped concrete and basic paver materials but can go up if you choose natural stone materials.
Repairs to paver patios are relatively easy for homeowners, whereas stamped concrete repairs usually require a professional.
While adding square footage to your house might not be feasible, the solution to a beautiful expanded living space lies right outside your door. By adding a new patio to your yard, you create a gathering place outdoors you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Stamped concrete and patio pavers are both attractive patio options, but before you start planning that barbecue, you’ll need to figure out which type of patio is best for your home.
Stamped Concrete vs. Pavers
To decide between stamped concrete or a paver patio, compare the two side-by-side. Consider the type of space, your style, and your budget.
Pavers are separate pieces arranged to create a single, flat space, such as a paver patio or walkway. The most common pavers are concrete pavers, paver stones, and brick pavers.
Stamped concrete is a single slab of poured concrete stamped with a textured pattern to look like pavers, tile, brick, wood, or stone.
Pros and Cons of Stamped Concrete
Here are some things to consider about stamped concrete.
You can get the look of pavers with one solid pour
Straightforward daily maintenance
Prevents weeds from growing
Can last 25 years or more with proper maintenance
Generally more affordable for large areas than pavers or custom stonework
Repairs can be complex, requiring a professional
Can crack in areas prone to earthquakes, extreme temperatures, or other foundational shifts
Salt used to de-ice in the winter can cause deterioration over time
Colors fade and can be tricky to match when patching repairs
Limited color pallet
Needs to be resealed every year
Concrete must cure before it’s sealed, so it can take several days before it’s ready to use
Pros and Cons of Pavers
Depending on your needs, pavers can be the go-to.
Time-tested: they have been used to make patios, walkways, and courtyards for hundreds of years
For smaller areas, homeowners can usually install paver patios themselves
Basic repairs, such as swapping stained or cracked paving stones, are relatively easy
Pavers have a lot of variety in texture, size, shape, and more
There is no curing process
Can last 50 years or more with proper maintenance
Allow for better drainage
If the pavers shift, you can repair by removing stones, leveling, and replacing stones
Weeds can grow in the cracks
Individual bricks or pavers can have color variation within one batch, so colors aren’t uniform
Loose pavers can be a tripping hazard
Need to be re-sealed every few years
Needs professional installation for large and/or uneven surfaces
Materials can be costly if you use natural stone
Can settle in individual areas of high traffic
Pavers vs. Stamped Concrete
Now that you know the basics of pavers and stamped concrete, here’s how to choose which is best for you based on what’s important to you.
Both can be customized with color, pattern, and design. The hand-made patterns of stamped concrete can create a more uniform appearance, but the combinations of various pavers can make something truly one-of-a-kind.
Most Attractive: Tie
Both are very durable. However, if there is consistent foot traffic on pavers (like cars pulling in and out of a driveway), they can settle in common wear-and-tear areas. Concrete doesn’t have this issue—where you might get a small crack in concrete, you can get a settled area in pavers that will need to be re-leveled.
Most Durable: Stamped Concrete
Stamped concrete usually has a lifespan of about 25 years. With proper maintenance, paver patios will last you 50 years or more, but you will have to replace a few pavers here and there.
Longest Life: Pavers
A sealant is required for both paver patios and stamped concrete. Stamped concrete requires more frequent reapplication, but patio pavers will need more maintenance work overall, especially if they settle.
Easiest to Maintain: Stamped Concrete
The typical range for installing a stamped concrete patio is $2,705 and $6,238. Stamped concrete costs on average between $8 and $12 per square foot, including materials and labor.
Because there are more materials to choose from, the cost of paver patios can vary more than stamped concrete patios. Most homeowners, on average, pay between $2,400 and $7,000, but prices can go up depending on the materials chosen. The average cost of pavers runs from $8 to $25 per square foot, including labor.
Most Affordable: Stamped Concrete