6 Paver Myths Debunked (PRO Insight)
If you are considering paving materials for a patio, driveway, walkway or other hardscape installation, it is likely the case that you are trying to decide between slab concrete, asphalt, stamped concrete or paving stones. It is also likely that you may have heard one or more paving stone myths that have you wondering if this attractive option is really the best choice for you.
For example, you may have heard that paving stones are too expensive, difficult to repair or will shift over time. To address these concerns, as well as others, we have debunked six of the most common paving stone myths for you.
Paver Myth #1: Paving stone driveways, walkways and patios get lots of weeds.
Truth: Any hardscape with joints has the potential for weeds growing up through those joints; however, you should not expect to see any more weeds than you would with other hardscapes. In fact, you should see fewer (if any) weeds, due to the installation of a weed barrier and the joint sand. If you are concerned about weed growth, you can also seal your paving stones an appropriate amount of time after installation, or you can regularly spray an all-natural weed killer on the joints as an extra precaution. However, most customers find that this is not necessary and that they can simply pull an occasional weed that may appear.
Paver Myth #2: Paving stone hardscapes are difficult to repair if a paver is damaged.
Truth: If you damage a slab concrete or stamped concrete driveway, walkway or patio, you either have to replace an entire section or attempt to patch the damaged area. Unfortunately, when you replace a section with new concrete or perform a patch repair, it is nearly impossible to get the color of the new concrete to match the existing concrete. To complicate things further, you can expect slab or stamped concrete to require repairs over the years, because it is going to crack as it ages, as the weather continues to influence it and as the ground or tree roots change beneath it.
None of this is true with paving stones. This durable hardscape option is less likely to crack or incur other damage and, if it does, it is easy to repair. Because paving stones zip together much like a zipper and without mortar, you can simply unzip the design to replace one or more damaged pavers, and then zip it back together to look just as it did before the damage occurred.
Paver Myth #3: Paving stones shift over time.
Truth: It is true that paver patios or driveways that are improperly installed by an inexperienced crew can shift. This is why savvy homeowners who like to do home improvement projects right the first time hire professional, experienced paving stone installers, rather just having their gardeners do it or taking it on as a do-it-yourself project.
If you have your paver hardscapes professionally installed by a reputable company, you should have little concern about shifting. Now, of course, Mother Nature happens, so if there is an earthquake or a mudslide – or you decide to plant an oak tree right next to your driveway – you may see some shifting over time. The good news is that this can be repaired much easier and faster than having to replace an entire slab of concrete damaged in one of these situations.
Paver Myth #4: Paving stones take a long time to install.
Truth: A typical, 1,000-square-foot, paving stone driveway usually takes between three and four days to complete, which includes all of the ground work that needs to happen before the paving stones are laid. A slab concrete driveway of the same size might take about two days to complete with the ground work and pouring the concrete. So just looking at the installation times, we can see how some homeowners might get the idea that installing a basic, concrete driveway might be faster. But – and this is a big but – even though a paving stone driveway might take longer to install, you will still be able to use it sooner.
You can begin to enjoy your paving stone hardscape as soon as the installers complete the project and hop in their trucks to head home. This is definitely not the case with concrete. When a concrete driveway is installed, you have to wait two days before you can even walk on it, have to keep your dogs off of it for at least four days and cannot start driving and parking on it for seven days.
Some concrete installers say that you can drive small, light cars on it after about three days, but even waiting that long means that you could have already been enjoying your normal parking spot if you had opted for paving stones.
Paver Myths #5: Paving stone patios and driveways do not last.
Truth: Paving stones are designed to last a lifetime and reputable manufacturers provide a lifetime guarantee. These companies would not be offering lifetime guarantees on their products if they thought they would be paying to replace them in a decade or two. Of course, things happen, so it is possible that one or more of your pavers will chip or crack over this lifetime, but you can simply have that one paver replaced and go right on enjoying your patio or driveway.
If you are at all concerned about how long paving stone driveways and patios last, read “How Long Do Pavers Last?”, which goes much deeper into the integrity and longevity of installations and compares the longevity and durability of paving stones to slab and stamped concrete.
Paver Myth #6: Paving stones are too expensive.
Truth: The upfront cost of installing paving stones is higher than installing slab concrete or asphalt and is usually very similar to the cost of the same project completed with stamped concrete. However, while pavers might cost more upfront than slab concrete or asphalt, repairs are easier, less frequent and have a more satisfying result. This, alone, can save you money over time. At the same time, paving stones can actually increase the value of your home, which makes them a far better investment.
This, of course, is before you even consider the vast difference in aesthetics. Paving stones are, by far, the most attractive option and that, too, has value.