The frequency of earthquakes, even mild ones, in California makes it important to select a material that is earthquake-resistant. Solid driveways, walkways and patios are made of large sections of concrete, which simply are not flexible.
During an earthquake, concrete tends to crack as the earth beneath it shifts.
When comparing pavers with stamped concrete, pavers are the clear winner when it comes to being earthquake resistant. Because they are set on top of a gravel base with sand filler in between the stones, they can shift and move with the earth.
If there is an earthquake they won’t crack, but simply adjust as the earth does. This means less maintenance for homeowners and a cost savings down the road.
Stamped concrete can look attractive and mimic the effects of paving stones, but it is similar to laying laminate in your kitchen instead of actual tile. The look may be similar, but it isn’t the same.
Paving stones give you more choices because not only do they come in a variety of colors, similar to stamped concrete, but they come in various textures as well. This allows you to further customize the look of the space.
The biggest warning we give homeowners about stamped concrete is that the color will fade. In the bay area and most of California this is especially true, as the bright sunshine will bleach away the color.
With stamped concrete the color is simply placed on top, making it more likely to fade quickly. With paving stones, the color goes all the way through the paver.
Many people ask us how to install pavers as compared with a concrete patio. It is faster to install patio pavers or driveway pavers because once the stones are in place; you can start to walk or drive on them immediately.
With a concrete patio or driveway, you have to wait for it to dry and set.
This can be inconvenient if you are on a deadline or it is difficult to find street parking. When you read through pavers contractors reviews, you can see how quickly projects can be finished.
When comparing pavers to stamped concrete, paving stones are the clear winner when it comes to fixing any damage.
If a paving stone gets cracked or chipped, that stone can be replaced in a matter of hours without disrupting any of the surrounding stones.
On the other hand, repairing damage to a concrete patio can result in a noticeable line … or the concrete might need to be entirely replaced