Are Concrete Pavers the Best Choice for You?
Concrete pavers are widely used to pave driveways, sidewalks, patios, and other surfaces. Though “cement pavers” is a common word for them, it’s a bit deceptive. Cement (often Portland cement) is a key component of all concrete, although it is far from the only one. Sand, aggregate (such as gravel), and water are also present in concrete, as well as additional additives for colour and special performance qualities.
A dry concrete mix combining cement, sand, gravel, and colours is used to make concrete pavers. Before being allowed to cure, the wet mix is put into moulds of various shapes and sizes, which are vibrated to compress the concrete. The resultant pavers can endure at least 8,000 pounds per square inch of pressure, whereas normal poured concrete can only take roughly 3,000 pounds per square inch. The pavers are made to exacting specifications, resulting in a long-lasting, consistent product that is actually stronger than poured concrete. The integrity of concrete pavers is frequently covered by a lifetime guarantee.
Cost of Concrete Pavers
The cost of a concrete paver driveway can vary greatly, with professional installation accounting for the majority of the expense. A properly built work with high-quality pavers can cost $30 to $40 per square foot, but pavers can cost anywhere from $3 to $10 per square foot, depending on size and design. This is a time-consuming activity for which you may save a lot of money if you do it yourself.
Repair and maintenance
Concrete paver driveways require very minimal maintenance on a regular basis. They’ll stay clean enough with a sweeping or hose rinsing every now and again. If weeds break through the surface, simply pull them out as soon as they appear. Concrete cleaners can typically remove stains, but check with the manufacturer for specific instructions. Concrete pavers’ smooth surface might deteriorate with time, especially if they’re exposed to anti-ice salt. The pavers may be protected from this to some extent by using a sealer on a regular basis.
If a piece of the driveway is damaged by tree roots, frost heave, or settling, it is simple to remove the damaged pavers, correct the underlying problem, and reassemble the driveway. A well-built and well-maintained concrete paver driveway may endure anywhere from 25 to 50 years.
Although actual stone pavers are the most prestigious paving material, concrete pavers are a close second in terms of reputation and are equivalent to clay brick pavers. Concrete pavers are more durable than clay brick pavers, but not being as robust as true cobblestone, and they come in a variety of colours, styles, and sizes. Concrete pavers may be used in practically any home design, although their appearance is quite standard. For older, more traditional home types, natural cobblestones or clay brick pavers are a better aesthetic match.
Installation of Concrete Paver
The removal of existing pavement or excavation of the grass and loose soil on the construction site is the first step in installing concrete pavers. Then a gravel base is placed down and well compacted, followed by a sand layer. A normal driveway will have 1 inch of sand over 4 to 6 inches of gravel, while a foundation of 10 to 12 inches is suggested for driveways that must handle heavier cars. A modest slope is also graded into the base to aid water discharge.
Once the foundation is complete, edging is built along the driveway’s sides to enclose the pavers and keep them in place. Set the pavers in place and closely fit them together to complete the installation. A masonry saw may be used to cut the pavers to fit around edges and corners. It’s preferable to have a pattern with the pavers rather than setting them in straight lines since the surface is firmer with an interlocking design. Popular patterns include a staggered brick-wall type arrangement or herringbone.
When all of the pavers are in place, a motorised plate compactor is used to compact the whole surface and set the pavers into the sand base. The surface is brushed with paver sand to fill the spaces between pavers, then compacted again to ensure that the sand completely covers the joints. To cover any gaps, more sand is raked over the top. The entire procedure tightens the surface, making it more stiff and monolithic.
Although this is a time-consuming and labor-intensive job, it is well within DIYers’ capabilities, especially if they have support. Because the majority of the expense of a concrete paver driveway is in the labour to construct it, DIYers may save a lot of money. However, plan to put in several full days to do the task properly.
Top Concrete Paver Manufacturers
Concrete pavers are seldom transported over great distances due to their hefty weight. Concrete pavers are moulded and sold by local concrete enterprises rather than being made and marketed by major brands. Look for local concrete fabricators and landscaping supply stores on the internet.
Poured Concrete vs. Concrete Pavers
Concrete pavers come in a wide range of forms, styles, patterns, and colours, offering homeowners lots of options for designing a driveway that compliments their home and surroundings. Poured concrete slabs, on the other hand, are usually plain, but there are some staining and stamping alternatives available. Concrete paver driveway, unlike poured concrete, do not require a curing period. They’re ready to use after they’ve been installed. When wet, they also provide better traction than poured concrete.
Individual pavers may also be removed and replaced if required, which is an advantage of concrete pavers. Cracked or heaved poured concrete slabs can’t be mended as effectively, and any repairs will be apparent for the rest of their lives. Concrete paver driveways, when properly maintained, outlive poured concrete, which normally lasts 20 to 30 years against a possible 50 years for concrete pavers.
Finally, concrete pavers are a perfect material for a DIY driveway since they are tiny and easy to handle, and they don’t require heavy machinery to install.
Are Concrete Pavers the Best Choice for You?
Concrete pavers are a great option for outdoor paving Dublin if you want something more beautiful and appealing than poured concrete but don’t want to pay the expensive price of genuine stone cobblestones or clay brick pavers. They’re also a wonderful option if you’re a DIYer who is prepared to put in the effort in return for saving money on professional work.