Paving: Clay Brick Pavers vs. Concrete Pavers

Clay Brick Pavers vs Concrete Pavers. Which one?

Both brick and concrete pavers are installed the same way, and both offer years of use and durability. The choice between brick and concrete pavers largely depends on your personal taste. But here are some tips to help you make your decision:

Brick Pavers

Advantages of Clay Brick Pavers:

  • Color Retention: Clay bricks are naturally coloured by mixing in various types of clays, so they retain colour better than concrete, particularly when exposed to UV rays.
  • Clay bricks are made from natural clay and have a classic, timeless look
  • Less Maintenance: Clay bricks resist staining and require less maintenance and cleaning than concrete pavers.
  • Timeless Style: Clay bricks have a distinct edge in looks and style. An aged, worn brick walkway retains its charm while cracked or chipped concrete merely looks worn out.
  • Eco-Friendly: In addition to being made from all natural materials, clay bricks are frequently salvaged, cleaned, and reused, making them a more sustainable choice.

Disadvantages of  Clay Brick Pavers:

  • Higher Cost: Clay brick can be up to 15% to 20% more expensive than concrete.
  • Limited Choices: Because they’re coloured with natural clays, bricks have more limited colour choices. They’re generally rectangular in shape and only come in a few sizes.
  • Size Variance: Due to the variables of kiln firing, bricks vary slightly in their dimensions, making them a little trickier to install.
  • Increased Labour: Bricks are harder to cut and may cost more for labour to install. .

Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers are made from cement and aggregate that is poured into forms, compressed, and air cured. Concrete can be formed into all sorts of shapes and sizes and pigmented in a wide range of colours.

Advantages of Concrete Pavers:

  • Less Expensive: Concrete pavers are less expensive than brick, due to the lower cost of raw materials.
  • More Choice: Concrete offers far more design and colour options than brick. If you can imagine it, you can make it happen with concrete pavers.
  • Innovation: New and better concrete pavers are being designed all the time, so you might even find choices that correct the known downsides of concrete.
  • Easier to Install: Concrete pavers are precisely uniform and easier to cut, so they’re a popular choice for DIY projects.

Disadvantages of Concrete Pavers:

  • Colour Can Fade: Since they’re dyed with color pigments rather than natural clay, concrete pavers can fade over time, especially in sunny areas.
  • May Need Sealing: Optional sealants can help prolong the color in concrete pavers but add to maintenance.
  • Surface Erosion: Concrete wears, eroding away the smooth finish and exposing more of the aggregate underneath. Over time, the surface of concrete pavers might look worn .
  • Varying Quality: Concrete varies widely in strength and durability depending on the manufacturer’s recipe, and sometimes it’s hard to know what kind of quality you’re getting.
  • Shorter Life Span: While initially holding up better to traffic than brick, concrete pavers have a shorter lifespan (a couple of decades vs. generations).

 If you're feeling stuck, perhaps lacking design inspiration and need ideas on how to incorporate your pavers into your garden design, why not contact Eco Balance Landscaping for a garden visit to ascertain how we can help?   

clay vs brick pavers