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Concrete Pavers vs. Bricks: Choosing The Best Material for Your Outdoor Project
Whether on a walkway, driveway or patio, both concrete pavers and brick pavers offer durability and a variety of style options.
We’ll compare pavers vs. bricks in terms of style, maintenance, cost and other key touchpoints, and share a comparison chart to help you navigate the pros and cons of each for your home project.
Elevate your hardscaping project with Unilock. Explore our concrete pavers!
What’s the Difference Between Concrete Pavers vs. Bricks?
The key differences between concrete pavers vs. bricks are the material they’re made of and how they’re formed. Brick pavers are molded out of a natural clay blend and fired in a kiln, while concrete pavers are composed of a cement and aggregate mixture that is molded, then air-dried.
Comparing Concrete Pavers vs. Bricks
When choosing between concrete pavers vs. bricks for your hardscaping project, consider the size, shape and color you’re looking for, and the style you want to achieve.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison chart to help you make your decision:
|Characteristic||Concrete Pavers||Brick Pavers|
|Size||Extensive selection of sizes||Extensive selection of sizes|
|Shape||Wide range of shapes to choose from||Limited choices|
|Color||Wide range of colors to choose from||Limited to shades of red, brown and pink|
|Texture||Many variations of texture, from smooth to rough||Rough texture|
|Flexibility||Can accommodate different patterns||Limited pattern styles|
|Durability||Slip-resistant, durable and requires sealing||Durable and requires sealing|
|Maintenance||Holds color with regular sealing||Holds color with regular sealing|
|Cost||Between $2 and $4 per square foot||Between $4 and $8 per square foot|
Concrete Paver Characteristics
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of size, shape and other key factors for concrete pavers.
Concrete pavers come in various sizes, from small 4″x8″ and 6″x6″ stones to larger 36″ slabs. The paver size you choose must match the scale of your hardscape project. For example, if you’re constructing an intimate patio for entertaining guests, opt for small pavers, and if you’re working with a larger outdoor space, like a pool deck, consider large format slabs.
From rectangular and hexagon-shaped pavers to concrete that have corrugated sides, this type of paver comes in a wide range of shapes you can choose from.
- Type A: These are paver blocks with plain vertical sides (think rectangles and hexagons), that do not interlock into each other.
- Type B: These are paver blocks with alternating plain and corrugated vertical sides, that can lock into each other.
- Type C: These are paver blocks with curved or corrugated sides.
- Type D: These are paver blocks that are shaped in an ‘L’ or ‘X’. All sides are corrugated and can interlock into each other.
At Unilock, you can choose from our wide range of high-quality pavers, whether sleek, rectangular pieces for simple outdoor projects or traditional hand-cut granite cobblestones for striking accent options.
From neutral shades of cream to darker tones with various color blends, concrete pavers are available in an extensive range of colors and shades. Choosing multiple colors can add creativity and style to your outdoor space, without appearing busy. For example, you can choose tones that complement or enhance your home’s architecture to achieve visual cohesion with your outdoor living area.
From sleek, modern pavers with clean lines to polished textures paying homage to old-world charm, concrete pavers are available in a wide array of finishes and textures. The texture you choose can play a key role in your hardscaping project. For example, when designing your in-ground pool deck, it’s best to select a more textured paver that is slip-resistant.
When it comes to patterns and style, the possibilities are endless with concrete pavers. From a traditional herringbone pattern to a modular fan layout or even an asymmetrical zigzag, concrete pavers provide many opportunities to get creative, showcase your personal style and complement your outdoor space.
Unlike asphalt, concrete pavers don’t crack, expand or contract with seasonal weather changes, thanks to their thickness. They are designed to resist wear and tear, allowing you to create a surface that can withstand heavy foot and vehicle traffic without running the risk of cracking or breaking. They can also withstand damage from environmental factors, such as freeze-thaw cycles and UV rays.
Concrete pavers require minimal upkeep; cleaning them twice a year can help keep these pavers looking their best.
To keep your pavers in tip-top shape:
- Fill a bucket with a mild solution of soap and water
- Pour the solution on the paver surface
- Use a stiff bristled broom to scrub off the cleaning solution
- Rinse clean using a hose or pressure washer
If you choose to seal your concrete pavers after they have been installed, they must be re-sealed every three to five years, to maintain their appearance.
Sealing your pavers allows you to:
- Prevent weeds from growing between pavers
- Prevent stains from sticking to the surface
- Protect the color of your pavers against fading
The cost of concrete pavers varies based on the exact type of pavers you use. Without installation fees, basic pavers typically cost between $2 and $4 per square foot. On the other hand, premium pavers — made from higher-quality specialty aggregates — can cost $6 or more per square foot.
Shop Unilock pavers. Explore our selection!
Brick Paver Characteristics
From shape to cost, here’s how brick pavers fare against concrete.
Similar to concrete pavers, brick pavers allow you to choose from an extensive selection of sizes. Brick pavers are typically grouped into two sizes: standard and large-format.
- Standard bricks are usually 4”x8” in size, with a thickness of 2 3/8”. This size is typically used for walkways, patios and driveways.
- Large-format bricks can range from 6”x9” to 24”x24” or larger. Larger bricks create a more modern look and can be used to make outdoor areas look more spacious.
One stark difference between concrete pavers vs. bricks is the variety of shapes you can choose from. Traditionally, this type of paver only comes in rectangular and square shapes. In addition, they are prone to shape irregularities, which can make it difficult to seamlessly interlock bricks into each other.
Brick paver colors depend on the color of the clay used, limiting your choice to shades of red, pink and brown. While you can only select from a few variations, brick pavers retain their color (even decades in!) despite being exposed to excessive sunlight and UV rays.
The texture of brick pavers depends on how they were manufactured, but they typically have a rougher, more porous surface. Brick pavers are commonly used for driveways and walkways, to create a traditional or rustic look and feel.
Unlike concrete pavers where the design options are limitless, brick pavers are only limited to stacked, running bond, herringbone and basket weave paver laying patterns.
Known to be one of the most durable construction materials, brick pavers can retain structure and appearance even after many years. Made from clay or natural stone, brick pavers can withstand the test of time with minimal chipping and cracking.
Similar to concrete pavers, brick pavers need to be sealed every three to five years to prevent weed seeds from germinating between the bricks.
Clay bricks can cost up to 15-20% more than concrete pavers. Clay and natural stones are more expensive than cement, and the time and method to manufacture clay bricks can be more labor-intensive.
Explore the Highest Quality Concrete Pavers and Bricks at Unilock
At Unilock, we have dedicated years to building world-class outdoor spaces across Canada and the United States. As a market leader in the retaining wall and paving stones industry, we manufacture the highest class of products while providing unrivaled customer service. We offer a Transferable Lifetime Guarantee on the lifetime of our concrete pavers, retaining walls, slabs and steps for residential use. Any materials installed and maintained to our guidelines, and subject to normal wear, that prove defective, will be replaced without cost.
Whether you’re looking to create your own driveway or build an intimate patio to enjoy with family and friends, we have pavers for every type of hardscaping project.
Some of most popular paver products include:
- Beacon Hill™ Smooth – Smooth surface texture offering a more contemporary color palette. Ideal for patios, pool surrounds and walkways.
- Copthorne® — Inspired by the rich color and timeworn beauty of European street pavers. Perfect for driveways, walkways, patios and accent borders.
- Eco-Optiloc™– High-performance, heavy duty permeable paver ideal for large-scale commercial projects where heavy-vehicular traffic occurs.
- Umbriano® — Granite-like mottled surface achieved with ColorFusion™ technology, delivering a natural, non-slip texture that makes it a popular choice for pool decks.
Whether you’re an architect or a DIY expert, you can find your unique style through our extensive selection of Unilock concrete pavers! Choose from a wide range of colors and shapes, textures and finishes to match your style, whether working on a driveway or walkway, or building your dream patio.
Ready to transform your outdoor space? Find a Unilock Authorized Contractor
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Browse our Design Idea Catalog
Explore endless design possibilities through our Design Idea Catalog. Browse our extensive portfolio of paver and wall products, and get inspired by our outstanding design projects that will fuel your creative expression.
Visit an Outdoor Idea Center
Experience the beauty and quality of Unilock paver and wall products in a life-sized setting by visiting a local Outdoor Idea Center. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff are on hand to answer any questions and offer free product samples.