Brick Pavers vs Stamped Concrete: Pros, Cons, and Costs

Brick pavers? Stamped concrete? Either way, it sounds like you’re getting a new patio or driveway, so apparently it’s your lucky day.

How to celebrate? A pitcher of margaritas is appropriate for this kind of occasion. But hold the limes for now — you have some decisions to make. 

Which is better, stamped concrete or pavers?

Let’s take a look:

First, the Cost of Stamped Concrete vs Pavers

A paver patio can cost anywhere from $25 to $50 per square foot, depending on the size of the project, access, slope, shape and other variables.

Paver driveway? Plan to spend from $25-$35 per square foot. 

paver driveway close up

How about a paver walkway? That’ll cost you $35-$60 per square foot. 

If you’re gulping a bit as you do the math, you might be happy to hear stamped concrete will give your wallet a bit of a break, at $15 to $22 per square foot to install.

Yikes, Why the Cost Difference?

When you weighed the cost of brick pavers vs. stamped concrete, you probably said, “Whoa.” Or some other word of your choosing. 

Why are pavers more expensive than stamped concrete?
The biggest factor? Labor.

paver patio under pergola with outdoor fireplace

Concrete is a pretty easy install. And the material itself is inexpensive, too. 

Pavers, on the other hand, are each laid by hand. Piece by piece. It’s a painstaking process that takes extra time, skill and effort.

And even before the pavers are laid, extra preparation goes into the base underneath. The time-consuming prep involves excavating the site, adding layers of crushed granite, ensuring it’s level, repeatedly tamping it down.

Pros and Cons of Stamped Concrete vs Pavers

Aside from cost, each of these options has pros and cons:

Read our Detailed Guide to Planning your Landscape Design in Idaho

Paver Pros

For one thing, you can get almost any look you can imagine with pavers.

Classic-style pavers that mimic the look of brick are perfect for traditional and historic homes — your patio, walkway or driveway will look like it’s been there for decades. 

paver walkway

Contemporary home? Pavers suit you, too. Irregular shapes and precision cuts create stunning modern designs.

Pavers are perfect for Idaho Falls’ climate because they can rise with the winter freeze and settle back into place during the summer thaw. Freezing and thawing? Bring it on. If damage does occur, pavers can be pulled up in isolated sections and relaid without tearing out the entire area.

Paver Cons

Well, price. Pavers are more expensive, as we explained earlier, due to the extra skill and labor involved to install them.

Stamped Concrete Pros

Price. Poured concrete is the most inexpensive hardscape option. Add decorative stamping and you get a high-end look at half the cost of pavers. 

stamped concrete

Stamped concrete can be stamped and colored to accommodate any pattern and color scheme.

Stamped Concrete Cons

There are two types of concrete: Concrete that hasn't yet cracked. Concrete that will crack. 

Concrete — even stamped concrete — will crack eventually, especially in our Idaho climate.

As the ground freezes and thaws, shifting over time, concrete cracks and breaks, while pavers move with the ground.

Can’t those cracks be repaired?

concrete sidewalk with cracks

Well, not perfectly. The cost to repair cracks in stamped concrete is usually higher than other materials and the repairs are often noticeable. 

It’s tough to exactly match the color. Worst case scenario? Your concrete patio will have to be removed and re-poured.

Pavers or Stamped Concrete? Ask Outback in Idaho Falls

Still pondering brick pavers vs. stamped concrete? The best way to determine which hardscape material is right for you is to have one of Outback Landscape's hardscape specialists come out and visit your property. 

We have Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) certified installers on staff, and we’ll help you choose the right material and design to build the patio, walkway or driveway of your dreams.

Outback Landscape is a full-service landscaping company offering landscape design and installation in Idaho Falls, ID and throughout Southeast Idaho and Wyoming. 

We install beautiful, functional landscapes. But our work doesn’t stop there. We’ll stay with you for the long haul, taking care of your property through all four seasons.

We serve residential and commercial properties in Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Pocatello, Idaho, as well as Bonneville, Madison and Bannock counties.

Call us at 208-656-3220. Or fill out the contact form to schedule a no-obligation meeting with one of our team members.

We can’t wait to hear from you.

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