Though brick and concrete pavers are installed the same way and both offer years of use and durability, there are numerous differences between the two that can influence your choice of materials for your patio.
Brick is made from clay that is formed into shape and cured by baking in a kiln. Concrete pavers are made from cement and aggregate poured into forms, compressed and air cured. Concrete is formed into different shapes and sizes, and offered in a wide range of colors. Today we’ll look at a few key differences between these two great paving options.
When it comes to color retention, clay bricks win the day. Because they are naturally colored by mixing in various types of clays, they retain color better than concrete, especially when exposed to UV rays. Concrete is dyed with color pigments rather than natural clay, which means these pavers can fade over time, especially in sunnier places.
Though they hold up better to traffic initially, concrete pavers typically have a shorter lifespan than brick pavers, meaning they tend to last a couple of decades compared to generations. Concrete pavers can also erode over time. Brick pavers last longer, and though they may chip or crack due to damage, they could last for generations.
If cost is a factor in your decision, go for concrete pavers, which are less expensive than brick due to the lower cost of raw materials. Brick can be around 15 to 20 percent more expensive than concrete. Because they are harder to cut and tricky to install due to variety in their dimensions, bricks could cost more for installation labor as well. Concrete pavers are easier to cut, and could be used in DIY projects for cheaper cost.
You are limited in style when you use brick pavers. Because they are colored with natural clays, fewer color choices exist for this material. Additionally, bricks are typically rectangular in shape and come in only a few sizes. Concrete, though, offers an array of color and design options. However, buyers beware: because concrete varies widely in strength and durability, it could be difficult to know the quality of concrete you are getting (think a beautiful, natural stone look compared to cheap, crumbling material).
When it comes to maintenance, bricks resist staining and require less cleaning than concrete pavers. Concrete pavers may need sealants to help prolong their color, adding to maintenance.
Though both options are durable, brick pavers are more likely to crack under heavy vehicle traffic. They are also susceptible to chipping or shearing, though this is not too noticeable due to their solid coloring. On the plus side, aged and worn brick tends to retain its charm. Also, because bricks are made from natural materials that can easily be reused, they are the more eco-friendly and sustainable choice.