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Choosing Brick or Concrete Pavers in Denver


February 29, 2016

With this recent spate of warm weather we’ve been having, it’s possible you’ve been thinking about a few outdoor projects you’d like to get underway. One of them may involve installing pavers for a walkway, patio, or other outdoor living space, but when it comes to paver materials, choosing between brick and concrete may have you confused. What are the actual differences between the two, and which is more appropriate for the project you have in mind? Let’s find out:

Brick Pavers

Brick pavers are made from clay that’s formed and fired in a kiln, like pottery.

Pros:
  • They’re easy on the environment since they’re made from natural materials, and also because they’re frequently reclaimed and reused, which makes them a more sustainable choice.
  • They retain their color better over time, especially when exposed to UV rays, and can typically last for generations.
  • They never go out of style, since brick is a classic material that wears well and exudes charm, even as it ages.
  • They’re a low-maintenance option that requires less cleaning than concrete and is more stain-resistant.
Cons:
  • They generally cost more, sometimes up to 20 percent more than concrete, and the labor expense is higher, too, because they’re harder to cut.
  • They are more breakable than concrete in that they’re susceptible to ice, high traffic, and moisture.
  • They tend to vary in size more than concrete due to variances when the brick is fired.
  • They tend to be more limited in look and feel since they’re made from materials that usually come in one color family and are cut to one shape with few variations in sizing.
Concrete Pavers
Concrete pavers are made from cement and aggregate and can be formed into many different shapes and sizes.

Pros:
  • They’re less expensive than brick because the raw materials used in concrete cost much less than in brick.
  • They’re easier to install because you can cut them precisely to any shape, which means they’re also great for DIY projects.
  • They’re constantly being improved as new designs and innovations help to correct the flaws in previous generations of concrete pavers.
  • They offer more choice as noted above—in color, shape, and size—which make them ideal for a variety of different  projects.
Cons:
  • They require more maintenance than brick in that they’re more prone to staining and need to be sealed to retain their color, especially in sunny areas.
  • They’re prone to erosion over time, when the smooth surface wears away and the aggregate starts to show underneath.
  • They have a shorter lifespan than brick—think years instead of generations.
  • They vary widely in quality depending on the manufacturer and quality of materials used.

When it comes down to it, concrete pavers offer more choices and flexibility, so if you have an irregularly shaped area or if you want to install a paver patio yourself, concrete is the way to go. But for timeless beauty and low maintenance, brick pavers are perfect, especially for square-shaped projects that you want to last a long time. And to learn how stone can be used for paving, read this stone pavers comparison.

Ready to get started with your outdoor project? Contact the experts at Kona Contractors. Whether installing quality pavers in Denver, or a new deck, fire pit, or pergola, we’ll help you bring your outdoor ideas to life.