While comparing interlocking pavers to stamped concrete is a bit like comparing apples and oranges that doesn’t stop folks from wanting to know which of the two might be best suited to their property. In this post, our interlocking contractors will take a closer look at both paving options, highlight their strengths and weaknesses and hopefully provide you with enough information to make an informed decision about which is best for you.
Interlocking Contractors :Biased or Just Well-Informed?
Typically Toronto homeowners are concerned with three things when they need to have their driveway repaved: looks, durability and price. Below we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each paving method as filtered through the lens of these primary concerns.
- Impervious to the freeze/thaw cycle.
- An unlimited number of designs possibilities.
- Ready to use the moment they’re installed.
- Will last for decades or longer.
- Virtually maintenance free.
- Easily adjust to variations in grade.
- A high degree of flexibility and permeability.
- Can be repaired without creating an obvious patch.
- An extraordinary long-term value.
- May need to ‘top-up’ joints every few years (can be avoided by using polymer sand).
- If ordinary sand is used you may need to pull weeds from between the pavers.
- Dye colours can vary from batch to batch so the installer must be careful.
- A variety of colour and pattern options available.
- Able to mimic natural stone or other types of pavement.
- On-site blending allows installer to match colour to the surroundings.
- Sealants help protect the surface from stains and environmental damage.
- Susceptible to cracking from freeze/thaw cycle.
- Repairs are difficult to effect and produce obvious patches.
- Greatly reduced lifespan compared to interlocking pavers.
- Must be allowed to set properly before being used.
- Colours susceptible to fading over time.
- Requires obvious expansion joints.
- Needs to be sealed every few years.
- Lifetime maintenance costs can be substantial.
To this point it doesn’t seem like much of a contest. But is that a function of this article being written by interlocking contractors or are interlocking pavers really that much better? Let’s take a closer look using the three previously mentioned criteria.
- Looks – Interlocking contractors could install pavers in every driveway on your street and no two would look the same. Some will argue that a talented installer of stamped concrete could do the same and they’d be right: to a point. Because anyone who cared to take a closer look would notice the expansion joints running across the various stamped concrete effects betraying their true nature.
- Durability – The ceiling of the Pantheon in Rome is 2,000 years old and may be the best example of concrete’s durability. That said, the ceiling of the Pantheon is just that: a ceiling. It’s never been driven on or exposed to the elements. Go farther up the Italian peninsula and you’ll find roads made of paving stones just as old as the Pantheon that are still in regular use.
- Price – Typically interlocking will cost a bit more to install but once installed the cost of maintenance is virtually zero; and we’re talking about a product that will last for decades. With stamped concrete your installation costs may be slightly lower but maintenance costs will be a regular part of your life.
The bottom line is that you don’t need to be interlocking contractors to recognize the extraordinary value proposition that are interlocking pavers. Call M.E. Contracting in Toronto and find out more about how interlocking can increase your home’s market value and provide you decades of maintenance-free beauty and service.