What is the difference between stamped concrete and patio pavers?

Offering reliable landscaping services to homeowners in British Columbia since 2013

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Natasha Maerz

Owner/Office Manager

When thinking about installing a  patio, driveway, or pool deck homeowners like  you may be wondering what material you should use. Materials like stamped concrete and brick patio pavers can give you an outdoor living space to entertain on, and be functional for you and your family. The type of hardscape material you choose should be based on the usage of your space (Like how big your patio area is), and the look that you are hoping to achieve for your finished hardscape project.

If we haven’t met before allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Back 40 Landscaping and our expertise is in retaining walls and hardscaping. We also like to bring education to those looking for retaining wall and hardscaping solutions.

What is stamped concrete?

Stamped concrete is textured or patterned concrete that resembles brick, stone, tile and flagstone. It is commonly used for sidewalks, driveways, pool decks, and patio design.

What are patio pavers?

Patio pavers are concrete paving stone that are made by pouring a mixture of concrete and coloring agent into a mold of a shape, and allowing it to set. Paving stones are commonly used to make driveways, roads, patios and paver walkways.


Patterns, design, and colors for stamped concrete and patio pavers

Both stamped concrete and pavers come in a variety of colors and textures. Concrete pavers  can come in different sizes, and range from plain squares to more intricate designs, like flagstone.

If color is something that is important to you, keep in mind that with stamped concrete you will not be able to see the color you are getting before the concrete slab is installed. This can be a problem if you want your hardscape materials such as stamped concrete patio, concrete driveway, or pool decks to have an exact color. Stamped concrete is prepared on site, and skill is required when mixing in the color. The colors of a stamped concrete design are added to the top of the slab, and are not integrated into the entire concrete slab, so the color can chip or wear off. Once the color is mixed, you are stuck with it. If you going for a specific coloring for your outdoor living space it can be tricky. 

Brick pavers however, are a different story. When choosing what color of brick pavers you would like, you are able to see the exact color, texture, and style of paver you are buying, and the amount of paver patterns are endless. Concrete pavers also give you the added touch of being able to do a border around your hardscape project, and to have more than one color in the paving stones. Some paving stones look more like a natural stone while others look man made. For whatever patio installation that you are doing, you want to make sure that your patio are matches/compliments any hardscape that is in your outdoor living space. 

What is more durable? Stamped concrete or concrete pavers

Brick pavers are significantly stronger than stamped concrete and can handle all outdoor living weather conditions, and traffic. For high foot and vehicle traffic areas, stamped concrete is not ideal because concrete cracks and breaks under pressure. In areas with heavy rain and cold winters ( like our Canadian winters!)  where the ground is prone to expanding and heaving, stamped concrete accelerates cracking.

To help make stamped concrete more resistant to cracking it is constructed with control joints that are typically cut through the pattern on the concrete. This control joint detracts from the overall look of the finished product, and may make homeowners dislike the look of the finished hardscape project.

Repair and replacement

In the unlikely event that your pave patio gets a crack, or cannot be cleaned, they are easily replaced by removing the individual pavers, adding base material if needed, a layer of sand, and putting in a new one. You can even DIY, if need be, and concrete pavers are easy to find in store, so this makes finding a color match much easier. This makes your outdoor living space useable again in a short amount of time, and because of how easy it is to replace the individual concrete pavers, is a low maintenance option for paver patio installations.

Stamped concrete on the other hand is not as simple to fix. A contractor will need to come and patch the damaged area, or cut it out. Matching the existing concrete with a new patch or repair is hard because the concrete fades over time.

Whatever option you choose, be sure that you keep all of these factors in mind when choosing which product to go with.  Hardscape projects of any kind can add richness and beauty to your outdoor living space and are definitely worth the investment.

Interested in investing in a patio? read how much does a paver patio cost?