Driveway Pavers Vs Concrete Compared

Pavers and concrete are both great materials for a driveway. But depending on your particular situation and needs, one might be better than the other. In this driveway comparison, we compare pavers vs concrete and discuss the pros and cons of each material. At the end of the guide, I recommend the best option for different kinds of situations. 

Driveway Pavers vs. Concrete Compared

Driveway Pavers vs. Concrete Compared

Here’s a quick comparison between driveway pavers vs. concrete. 

Driveway PaversConcrete Driveway
$10-$30 per square foot including installation$5-$20 per square foot including installation
Labor-intensive installation Relatively easy and quick to install
50+ years lifespan20-30 years lifespan
Doesn’t crackCracks in extreme temps or under heavy pressure
Can be difficult to clean between the pavers Easier to clean
Easy to replace damaged paversDamaged concrete is expensive & difficult to repair
Wide range of stylesLimited styles and finishes (though options are growing)
Pavers are designed to be non-slipConcrete requires additional treatments to be non-slip

Now let’s compare the two materials on various aspects, starting with how much you can expect to pay for each type of driveway. 

Driveway Pavers vs. Concrete: Cost 

After gravel, poured concrete is typically the cheapest driveway material. Part of the reason for this is that it’s relatively easy and quick to install. 

Once a solid and sturdy base has been prepared, it’s simply a matter of pouring concrete on top and smoothening it. So installation/labor costs tend to be low. 

You can install a simple concrete driveway with as little as $5-$10 per square foot. 

Pavers, on the other hand, are more expensive and can cost up to $30 per square foot. Pavers are more expensive to buy compared to cement or ready mix concrete. Don’t be surprised to find pavers costing up to $50 to buy and install. 

A big reason a paver driveway costs more is because pavers require more effort and time to install. The pavers have to be laid one by one. 

That said, it’s not always the case that a concrete driveway is cheaper than driveway pavers. 

Once you start adding treatments to concrete, it can quickly get expensive. Things like stamping, staining, and sealers add to the cost of the driveway. 

Some stamped and stained concrete driveways can cost as much as some driveway pavers, or even more. 

It’s important to figure out exactly what kind of concrete driveway you want and how much it’ll cost you. Compare that to the cost of pavers to see which one saves you money. 

Verdict: If you are on a budget, a poured concrete driveway is the way to go. But be careful about extras like stamping and Top Cast as they can make concrete just as expensive or even pricier than driveway pavers. 

Driveway Pavers vs. Concrete: Longevity 

The other thing to consider when choosing between pavers and concrete is longevity. Both pavers and concrete are incredibly strong and last for years. But pavers last the longest. 

Well installed driveway pavers can last up to 50 years or more. Here are a couple reasons why. 

  • Pavers are engineered to handle a lot of pressure, up to 8,000 lbs per square inch. In contrast, poured concrete withstands a max of 3,000 lbs per square inch. So a paver driveway will last longer even with heavy machinery driving over it. Concrete driveways tend to crack if the traffic on them is too heavy. 
  • Poured concrete doesn’t respond well if the ground underneath is uneven. It’ll inevitably sink or crack. But pavers can move up and down with the movements of the earth beneath. They do not crack. 

Driveway pavers are so strong and durable that some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty. 

Something else to keep in mind is that concrete is more vulnerable to extreme temperatures. The contraction and expansion can lead to cracks. 

Because pavers are not one large connected surface, they can individually expand and contract without cracking. 

Verdict: Pavers are the longest lasting type of driveway, beating concrete, gravel and even asphalt. If you live in a place with harsh summers and winters, a paver driveway will last a lot longer. 

Driveway Pavers vs. Concrete: Maintenance & Repair

When it comes to maintaining driveway pavers, the only challenge is cleaning between the pavers. You have to be careful to avoid washing away the mortar or polymeric sand between the pavers. 

You can use a pressure washer, but keep the pressure at no more than 1500 PSI to avoid weakening the pavers. 

Other than regular cleaning, driveway pavers generally don’t need any other maintenance. You can seal the pavers to keep them looking great for a long time, but it is not absolutely necessary.

Driveway pavers are easy and cheap to repair. You only need to replace those that have chipped or broken. If you don’t have spares around, it’s usually easy to get the exact pavers online or at a store. 

Concrete driveways require a bit more work to maintain. You definitely have to seal the concrete if you want it to last. You can also apply an epoxy coating. 

If you use a regular sealer, you have to re-apply it every 2-3 years. 

When it comes to repairs, a concrete driveway is not always easy to deal with. Small cracks are easy to fix (though they could re-appear after sometime). 

But large cracks, potholes or sunken areas may require ripping up part or the entire driveway, which is expensive. 

Where concrete driveways win is ease of cleaning. A pressure washer or a garden hose and stiff broom are enough to keep the driveway clean. 

Verdict: Driveway pavers win when it comes to ease and cost of maintenance. 

Driveway Pavers vs. Concrete: Curb Appeal & Resale Value

Driveway pavers generally have a more refined and upscale look. And there are so many options and styles to choose from to get the exact look you want. 

When you combine this with their strength and longevity, paver driveways usually increase resale value more compared to a concrete driveway.

There are plenty of ways these days to make concrete driveways look good instead of boring strips of gray. But it’s still hard to beat the look of driveway pavers. 

Usually, a concrete driveway doesn’t have as much ROI (return on investment) as a paver driveway. Over the years, a concrete driveway adds less and less value to your home since it ages quicker. 

That said, beauty is subjective. If you are not that concerned about resale value, then go for whichever driveway you think is most appealing. 

Verdict: In most cases, driveway pavers have a better curb appeal than concrete. They also add more value to your home. 

Driveway Pavers vs. Concrete: Safety 

Safety is important when considering driveway material. You don’t want a driveway that’s slippery. It’s dangerous to walk and drive on it. 

Pavers come with a non-slip texture right out of the factory. You don’t need to do anything else to make them grippier. The spaces between the pavers add to their safety. 

Poured concrete on its own can be too smooth and slippery. You have to use extra treatments to make it non-slip. 

For example, you can have the concrete stamped or treated with Top Cast when it’s installed. This creates a textured surface that’s less slippery. Another option is to apply a non-slip sealer or coating on top of the concrete. 

Verdict: You have to spend extra to make a concrete driveway safe, while driveway pavers come ready with a non-slip surface. 

Final Verdict: Should You Use Driveway Pavers or Concrete

As I mentioned in the beginning, the best choice depends on your particular situation and needs. 

  • If you are working with a tight budget, a poured concrete driveway is cheaper to install. Keep in mind, however, that driveway pavers are better value in the long term. They are cheaper to maintain/repair and they last much longer. 
  • If you want the best looking driveway, driveway pavers are the best choice. They have a more refined look and there are a wide range of styles to choose from. 
  • If you want a driveway that won’t need to be replaced in your lifetime, driveway pavers are the best option. They can last 50+ years. 
  • If you are not a fan of the textured look of pavers, go with concrete. You can make it look even smoother and sleeker by applying a coating. 
  • If you want a DIY driveway, concrete is easier to prepare and pour. Just make sure you take the time to install a good base to ensure the concrete driveway lasts a long time. 
  • Looking to boost the curb appeal of your home and increase resale value? Driveway pavers are your best bet. 
  • If you expect the driveway to receive lots of heavy traffic from vehicles and machinery, go with pavers. They can take more weight without cracking. 

For more on driveway pavers vs. concrete, here’s a great explainer video that compares the two materials. 

2 thoughts on “Driveway Pavers Vs Concrete Compared”

    • It is less important to seal pavers than concrete, but if you want a driveway that lasts and looks amazing, you should definitely seal your pavers. Skipping this step means that you may end up with weeds growing between the pavers, and they may lose their color and fade over time.


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