If you’ve never taken any notice of concrete pavers before, you might have some serious misconceptions about them. Here are ten of the most common – and the reasons why you shouldn’t believe them.
Concrete pavers are boring
Far from it! Concrete pavers offer a wider variety of looks and textures and shapes and colours than any other paving choice. Whether you’re looking to create a modern industrial look with plain grey squares or a warm, cottage garden bursting with colour and intricate patterns, concrete pavers can be adapted to suit your style. Whether you want a paver that looks like natural stone but with a colour that better suits your home’s design or a paver that proudly reveals all the most interesting details of an exposed aggregate surface, concrete pavers have the answers. . Far from being boring, concrete pavers are colourful, characterful, textured, attractive – and interesting!
Concrete pavers are hard to repair and maintain
It’s actually quite easy to replace concrete pavers in the event they become damaged. All you need to do is lift the damaged paver, add some more bedding material and re-install a new paver. It’s wise to keep a supply of spare pavers in case you end up with a cracked or broken one. Plus, they’re low maintenance, and will keep on giving you years of strong use without much help from you.
Concrete pavers are expensive
Actually, it’s hard to beat concrete pavers when it comes to cost-effectiveness. Concrete is a common and widely used material that doesn’t come with a large price tag. With concrete pavers, you get the look of stone at the price of concrete. Concrete pavers can be significantly cheaper than other types of surface material, such as brick pavers, poured concrete or stone pavers. Plus, given their durability, concrete pavers will give you a great return on your money over the long term. They are value for money wrapped up in a beautiful and versatile package, and are a wonderful choice if cost is a consideration.
Concrete pavers don’t offer much choice
Many people mistakenly believe that concrete pavers don’t give you many options, but are uniform and similar-looking. This couldn’t be further from the truth! You’ll be overwhelmed with choice when it comes to concrete pavers, which come in a wide variety of colours, textures, sizes and finishes. This is because concrete pavers are made with natural, uniquely-blended colours that are created with oxides blended with sands, giving you an abundance of choice when it comes to the look of the paver. You can find hand-finished textures, captivating patterns and a wide variety of styles from classic to contemporary – and each one will give a different look and feel to your area. They are endlessly versatile and give you limitless design options for a unique paved area.
Concrete pavers can’t withstand vehicle traffic
Concrete pavers can be incredibly durable and have been the proven choice for some of the most punishing traffic areas imaginable. There’s a very good reason interlocking concrete pavers are used for docks, tank training grounds, shopping centre car parks and industrial driveways: they provide flexibility and strength that other pavement methods cannot match. Those same pavers can be used for domestic driveways that will last the test of time. You just need to make sure the pavers are the right thickness and size (the thicker and smaller the better!) for the type of traffic they need to take and laid on a base that’s designed for the load.
Weeds will grow more readily around concrete pavers
If you’ve ever noticed weeds growing in the cracks of pavers, you might think that pavers encourage weed growth, but this is not the case. While paver joints have the potential for weed growth, there are some simple steps you can take to help reduce the risk. Firstly, try a “polymeric” jointing sand that sets semi-rigidly but still flexible enough to cope with slight ground movements without cracking. Also many paver sealers tend to not only protect the pavers but, as a side effect, bind the jointing sand together. This makes the joints more resistant to weeds. Preparing your base with a few inches of good crushed rock road base with a bedding layer of coarse, washed river sand puts another barrier between weed seeds and the fertile soil they thrive in – starve those weeds with a well prepared base! Finally, regularly sweeping your pavers is usually enough to dispel weed seeds which fall on the pavers and germinate.
Concrete pavers are not a good choice for pool surrounds
It’s important to choose pavers for pool surrounds that not only offer good slip resistance but are also able to resist salt attack if it’s a salt water pool. Both criteria can be successfully met with concrete pavers, but not all concrete pavers. Pavers need to be dense enough to handle repetitive wet-dry salt water cycles without the salt eroding the paver in order to be considered “salt resistant.” Check that the paver you want to use has the “salt resistant” description before you choose it for your pool. It’s also highly recommended to seal any paver around a pool, no matter what the paver’s made from, to protect it from stains and wear and tear.
Concrete pavers can sometimes become uneven
Uneven pavements are the result of improper base quality and preparation. Some slight variation in thickness of pavers is always possible, especially with some methods of manufacture, but the evenness of the finished pavement surface comes down to the amount of effort and put into preparing the correct base and removing
Concrete pavers will show stains and marks
Any outdoor paved area needs to be able to handle the rough and tumble of outdoor life. Concrete pavers are no different. In their natural state, they can absorb stains from animals or plants and many homeowners are ok with this. A good broom or blower is enough to prevent small issues from turning into big ones with some easy maintenance. And many organic stains from leaves, bark or droppings can be removed very safely from concrete pavers with household bleach or diluted pool chlorine. However there’s a big difference between how your main outdoor entertainment area looks and how the side path to the bins or clothesline looks. If you have a special area that you want kept particular easy to maintain at its very best, there are concrete paver sealers to suit any budget that could protect the surface for anything from a few months to 15 years or more.
You can’t use plants amongst concrete pavers, as they will lift the pavers
Tree and plant roots can lift all types of pavers, not just concrete ones, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use plants as a feature among your pavers. You’ll just have to choose a non-disruptive species without a spreading root system to feature in your paved area.