Pavers are the most common ingredient of the typical KC home’s back patio. While some homeowners prefer the look of natural stone installations instead of the classic patio paver, there is a pretty big gap between the two in terms of value.
While natural stone does feature appealing colors, interesting shapes and is often pleasant to the touch, many homeowners will find the cost of the material and installation very prohibitive. Because natural stone is a natural product, it is not designed to be easy to install or maintain – it is simply natural stone! Paver products, on the other hand, are engineered with these very considerations in mind, meaning that initial and ongoing costs are going to be less than and more predictable than natural stone.
Here are the big differences between pavers and natural stone broken down by category:
- INSTALLATION: It is far more difficult to install natural stone than pavers. Because it’s natural, there is no predictable way that the stones fit together and they have to be adhered to a flat solid surface like a concrete slab. This makes it expensive to have installed, and much more difficult to do it yourself. Pavers fit neatly and logically together, they do not need bonding and require only leveled ground. This makes installation straightforward (and less expensive) for both contractors and homeowners doing it themselves.
- AESTHETICS: This one is up to personal taste really – while there was a trend toward using natural stone because of it’s pleasing colors and feel, pavers today have closed the gap on natural stone in recent years. Pavers now come in a wide range of colors and even textures, features which are often guaranteed to last by warranty (as natural stone naturally fades over time). For those who love the aesthetic of natural, but want the longevity and savings of pavers, check out our Castello Flagstone – it’s designed to look like natural stone but it fits nicely together and offers considerable cost savings.
- MAINTENANCE: Flagstone must be sealed regularly or it will break down quickly, flaking off the top layers of the stone, fading and breaking. Flagstone is brittle, so shifts in the substrate will lead to obvious cracks in both the stone and the grout – meaning that if any maintenance has to happen beneath the natural flagstone (i.e. sewer line, cable, etc.) there is significant risk of damage. Once installed, it is very difficult to impossible to remove flagstone without causing damage, and replacing damaged flagstone can also be very difficult to impossible – once quarried there is a limited supply of any particular type of flagstone, and the kind you have may no longer be available. Even if you can find the correct stone, wear over time could mean the replacement looks totally different, and that’s if you can find a piece in the right shape. Pavers are easy to replace, can often be moved without damage, shift with the substrate if it moves, keep their color over time, and are usually produced for a very long period of time – they are overall much easier to maintain than natural stone.
Shop our selection of concrete pavers on our products page.