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Pool Patio Materials: Stamped Concrete vs Pavers

  
  
  

So which is the better swimming pool patio material:  Stamped Concrete or Pavers? 

That's currently the debate in the pool patio world.  Both are durable, relatively affordable, and look great; that's probably why consumers find them the two most popular options on the market today.  But which is better?  Let's discuss the pros and cons of each so you can decide for yourself.    

Stamped Concrete:

Cost:  Usually priced between $12-$16/square foot depending on the region. 

Advantages:

  • Many stamp patterns are available. Seamless stone, slate, and flagstone are some of the most popular.
  • Wide variety of colors to choose from. Stamped concrete is often composed of at least two colors; a base color that is mixed in the concrete or trowelled into the surface, and a second color called a release agent that is broadcasted on top of the concrete just before stamping.  The relationship of these two colors is what gives stamped concrete it's unique antiqued look. 
  • It can mimic other materials such as slate, flagstone, or brick for a fraction of the cost of the natural material.
  • Stamped concrete is sealed which protects it from the elements as well as pool chemicals like salt from salt water systems.

 

Disadvantages:

  • It's concrete so it will crack. Two guarantees on concrete: it will crack, and no one will steal it without you knowing about it. The contractor's job is to place control joints to cause the concrete to crack where they want it too....but sometimes concrete cracks where it wants to. The only way to guarantee no crack is to get no concrete! 
  • If more than one truck load of concrete is required there is no guarantee that the colors of the two trucks will match perfectly.
  • The sealer needs to be re-applied every 2 to 3 years.
  • The surface can be somewhat slippery without the addition of an anti-skid agent mixed in with the sealer (and it should be).

jumbo stone stamped concrete pattern

 A picture of stamped concrete pool patio.

 

Pavers

Cost: Usually between $16 and $24 per square foot.

Advantages:

  • They won't crack...if installed correctly.
  • Can be easily added to in the future.
  • If underground repairs are needed, a seamless fix is possible.
  • Not slippery unless sealed, which is seldom done around pools.

Disadvantages:

  • There's a possibility that they will settle and move over time if not installed correctly. 
  • Weeds can grow up between pavers unless polymeric sand is used. This is sand with a polymer additive that causes it to bind together between the pavers and harden. It does prevent weeds, but needs to be re-applied every couple years.
  • More limited color and pattern selections.
  • There can be unwanted variation in color of the product.  Even between different pallets of material from the same truck. 

paver patio

Here's a picture of a paver pool patio. 

So what say you...which do you prefer?  Asking me if I prefer stamped concrete or pavers is like asking me if I would rather have a porter house or rib eye steak....the answer is "yes".  But seriously, there are situations that call for both.  A few things to consider are the compatibility of the material with existing elements of the yard, color compatibility, and weather you plan to add to expand the patio in the future.  One things for sure, with the durability and beauty of both of these patio materials it's hard to go wrong.   

describe the image

 

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Comments

We live in Florida and are going to replace our old river rock pool deck. We have several cats and birds who can be messy so we are hosing or pressure washing fairly often. I like the idea of pavers but are they going to be hard to clean and my husband is concerned that the sand between them will have to be replaced more often than usual. Is there a way to butt them really close together to reduce the gap and is there a good sealer that will hold up well? Stamped concrete looks nice and easy to clean but don't like the cracking.
Posted @ Friday, January 29, 2010 11:32 AM by gayle pilson
Great questions Gayle! All pavers are designed to be installed as tight as possible so reducing the gap between them is not really an option, but the type of sand used between the pavers can make a big difference in your case because of the constant cleaning. Many paver installers are now using polymeric sand, which is sand with an additive that causes it to harden. It stays in place much better and will not require as much maintenance as regular sand. Sealing the pavers is definitely a must in your case because of the animals. There are many grades of sealers on the market and typically the ones from big box home improvement stores are very poor quality. A local store that specializes in concrete products could steer you in the right direction. I think pavers with polymeric sand and a high quality sealer may be the way to go in your case if you're strongly opposed to cracks in concrete.
Posted @ Friday, January 29, 2010 2:34 PM by Jason Hughes
Thanks for the info on the pavers. I have also looked at interlocking pavers but they are filled with plain sand(which has to be added often)and not polymeric sand. Why can't they use polymeric sand for interlocking pavers also?
Posted @ Monday, February 01, 2010 8:51 AM by gayle pilson
Gayle, they can use the polymeric on interlocking pavers, we do it all the time. They just set their pavers as usual, sweep it into the cracks, and mist with water to activate the stiffening agent.
Posted @ Monday, February 01, 2010 12:56 PM by Jason Hughes
natural stone pavers is a great application for any patio or pool deck. The benefit of Olimpic stone is that our product stays cools to the touch and its not slippery when wet.  
 
 
 
though the initial cost for the natural stone pavers are usually more expensive you will find that it saves you money in the long run. Natural stone pavers do not need to be sealed and does not take much to maintain throughout the years. Also, the great this about natural stone is the color never fades. 
 
 
 
check us out! 
 
www.olympicstone.com 
 
866-40-STONE
Posted @ Wednesday, February 03, 2010 2:11 PM by helen zahralban
Although I suspect it would be more expensive, would placing the pavers on a concrete base prevent the settling and weed disadvantages associated with pavers?
Posted @ Thursday, April 01, 2010 1:26 PM by Steve
NO SAND of any kind should be used with pavers. One should use blue stone dust. sand just washes out and away and your left with nothing between the cracks. Blue stone should be used for the base and dust should be brushed on top.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 11, 2010 7:33 PM by Cj
We are about to replace a concrete deck around our 25 year old fiberglass pool with pavers. When we contacted the original installer, we were told that we MUST have a 2 foot band of concrete, 4 inches thick to keep the pool locked in place. Is it true that we actually need concrete and cannot edge the pool itself with pavers?
Posted @ Thursday, May 27, 2010 8:08 PM by Mabel Lux
I am so "stuck"  
 
have approx 1260 sq ft pool deck needs to be replaces - we have the old "coolcrete" look - 
 
were looking at stamped concrete 
 
until i heard about " slippery  
 
when when wet" and discoloration  
 
esoecially where the sprinkler system hits 
 
so looked at "lime coat" which seems to have a better longevity and look  
 
but really like pavers but am also worried about the weeds and sand"leaking" from joints  
 
and so i have to jack hammer the old deck out?? or how would you lay pavers on a coolcrete deck 
 
thanks 
 
Posted @ Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:55 PM by afenu
Do you know something that stamps concrete in Raleigh?
Posted @ Friday, July 01, 2011 1:29 PM by Stamped Concrete Contractor Raleigh NC
it is great pleasure to visit your site. thanks
Posted @ Monday, August 01, 2011 3:41 AM by tiffany rings online
live in central FL and have pavers around our pool. Beginnig to have weeds grow between them and am thinking about sealing since we were told that would also seal the sand and thus no more weeds. Worried that the pavers would be slippier and also the drainage would not be very good in heavy rains. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated. Thanks!
Posted @ Monday, August 08, 2011 3:07 PM by Roy
there is no other practical and excellent way to enhance the look of driveway but letting it have a concrete finishes for a long lasting purpose. A practical and efficient solution. 
Posted @ Tuesday, October 11, 2011 12:38 PM by stamped concrete calgary
This is a great breakdown of stamped concrete vs. concrete pavers. Very valid points on both sides and interesting to see the comments from consumers
Posted @ Monday, January 30, 2012 12:20 PM by Todd Fisher
Great article of pro's and cons of each. I recommend using Pavers, but concrete has it's advantages.
Posted @ Saturday, February 04, 2012 10:42 AM by Wholesale Pavers Mn
Is it better to put concrete or rc under pavers around a pool?
Posted @ Monday, February 20, 2012 2:53 PM by Adrienne
Thanks for such an awesome blog and article! I am a homeowner who is researching & ready to buy a fiberglass pool. Read and enjoyed your free guide, helped us on several KEY factors. Would love your opinion about travertine decking if you have time! Weeds between pavers would drive my hubby crazy and concrete cracks are not something we want to deal with. Love the look of Euro-Tile and the Olympic stones from the lady above but not sure if they are available in central Alabama.
Posted @ Sunday, March 11, 2012 2:35 PM by SuperMama
This is yet another informative article. Choosing the best deck is just as important as choosing the best pool.
Posted @ Tuesday, September 04, 2012 2:50 PM by Arizona Pool & Spa
The entire design needs to be considered when choosing the deck. What else is in your backyard? What other features will be included? A comprehensive design is your best bet!
Posted @ Monday, October 22, 2012 12:31 PM by Unique Landscapes
I am about to pave around my fiberglass pool and wonder if putting some kind of plastic cloth down over the stonedust base. I have used landscapers cloth in the past and it seemed to withold weeds for about two to three years. Any recomendations or thoughts?
Posted @ Sunday, December 23, 2012 6:22 PM by Joe
We have a fiberglass salt water pool that needs it's concrete copings replaced as they have been patched over a few times now. We currently have regular concrete around the pool but are considering going with pavers at the time the copings are being replaced. The concrete person is going to use concrete first and then lay the pavers so there isn't issues with them sinking. Will this still be okay as far as not being a slippery surface? Also do you have any recommendations for the concrete copings not eroding. I think having a salt water pool contributed to that cracking/eroding at such an early time. The pool was installed n May 2006. We also live in NE.
Posted @ Thursday, January 31, 2013 12:32 PM by Rhonda Harris
Developmental use of concrete Sealer for concrete pour has been used here by giving the indirect renovation of Curing Compound by expanding it with greater frequency. 
Posted @ Saturday, March 16, 2013 12:18 AM by Curing Compound
I don't think that there is any comparison between stamped concrete and Pavers, both are good and having their own values.
Posted @ Friday, March 29, 2013 4:04 AM by stamp concrete driveway in los angeles
Were can I buy swinning pool edge pravers for my pool, have the pravers but can't find the edge ones. Thank you Ms Sanders OH yes live in Palm Harbor FL.
Posted @ Sunday, March 31, 2013 11:48 AM by Rachel Sanders
Stamped concrete and pavers are both good options, but I'm with you, if I had to pick one over the other it would have to be pavers. In my experience, when installed correctly, pavers are a lot more durable than concrete, the surface is easier to clean and in general more pleasant to look at.
Posted @ Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:44 AM by Cal
Three years ago we purchased a total fixer upper. This year we are finally going to tackle the pool area. Currently there are pavers that I'm guessing have to be at least 40 years old. They are breaking, crumbling, uneven, and weeds everywhere. Our concern with pavers is that we notice sand getting into our pool, which we are assuming is coming from the pavers. With the polymeric sand that is now available, do you know if this will happen? Another concern we have are weeds. I believe it was mentioned somewhere that the polymeric sand prevents these, but how often does this have to be reapplied?
Posted @ Saturday, May 04, 2013 7:12 AM by Tammy
Tammy, the polymeric sand will not wash into the pool and yes, it does prevent weeds. You can expect to re-apply the polymeric sand about every three years. Hope this helps!
Posted @ Monday, May 06, 2013 9:57 AM by Jason Hughes
Jason, thank you so much for your response. This is going to be the way we will do this. Thanks again!!!!
Posted @ Tuesday, May 07, 2013 7:13 PM by Tammy
This is yet another informative article. Choosing the best deck is just as important as choosing the best pool. Thanks for the info on the pavers. Natural stone pavers are a great application for any patio or pool deck.
Posted @ Monday, May 13, 2013 5:22 AM by Belman Living LLC
thanks for sharing 
 
I totally agree to the fact that you need Stamped Concrete vs Pavers for a beautiful river pool.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:39 AM by Biswa Mohanty
The concrete surrounding out inground pool in MN is old and cracking. We would like to resurface but not thrilled with the idea of concrete due to our weather variations and cracking. We are leaning towards pavers. It has been recommended that we do not take up the old concete due to the age of the pool and possible damage, we also have a stainless steel edge that would be damaged in teh process and would have to be replaced. So my question is if installing pavers, do you use the half pavers or can we use the full sized ones. Do we glue to the concrete or use concrete to apply? I have been told the weight of the pavers could be a problem too. Please can you help we have been holding off on this and we are running out of the time the landscaping job has begun surrounding the pool and we need a decision. Thanks
Posted @ Tuesday, June 11, 2013 3:24 PM by Sue
Interesting article you have been shared. 
Great Job...!!!
Posted @ Wednesday, July 03, 2013 6:52 AM by Patio Calgary
I have just purchased a home in Sarasota which has a pool. I want to update the present deck with pavers. A good friend tells the way to go is to lay thin pavers over the existing deck. What can you tell me about this process and perhaps some idea of the cost per sq. ft. Thanks very much.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 03, 2013 8:03 AM by Robert Richards
Pavers are a superb option to laying a concrete slab and will improve the look and feel of any outside living area; even as adding importance to your home.
Posted @ Friday, August 09, 2013 6:02 AM by samueljordan
in my opinion Stamped Concrete pool is good. If you are thinking about advantage and disadvantage of Stamped Concrete pool , then ill tell you every thing has some bad and some good thing but the main thing is which suite you :) 
 
Posted @ Thursday, August 29, 2013 5:03 PM by classicpatiosandpools
Thanks for sharing this article
Posted @ Friday, August 30, 2013 6:37 AM by Metro Mix Concrete
Every thing has advantage and disadvantage but see the percentage. Swimming pool is most choice-able in landscaping. 
http://goo.gl/nrKTG
Posted @ Friday, September 20, 2013 5:08 AM by Sergio Valles
thank you for sharing 
 
Tile Adhesive is a dry entry line polymer modified thin-set mortar used in the installation of tiles and stones over floors or walls. This mortar is recommended for most interior and exterior residential uses as well as light interior commercial uses.
Posted @ Thursday, September 26, 2013 2:58 AM by VIMALESH K.M.R
Thanks for the post.According to me pavers material suits for swimming pool.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 01, 2013 4:02 AM by Tiles
Landscape plants have overgrown onto my patterned concrete. When cut back, the concrete is really stained. Ive scrubbbed with a stiff brush, but not all the stain is coming off. Any recommendations on products that wont kill landscaping near the edge of concrete?
Posted @ Monday, October 07, 2013 9:47 PM by Karrie
Karrie, 
 
There are numerous concrete stain removers that work on organic materials like this. check this one out:  
http://www.eaglebayusa.com/system66/wp-content/uploads/resources/Resources%20for%20Accessories/Sands%20and%20Sealers/Techniseal/OrganicStainRemover.pdf 
Good Luck!
Posted @ Tuesday, October 08, 2013 9:26 AM by Jason Hughes
I think the two materials are very distinct and you should select one based on the kind of look you want to get in the long run. Pavers give out a more sophisticated and elegant look and stamped concrete is simply neat. Your budgetary constraints and overall theme of your home or any other setting should dictate the material to go for.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:55 AM by Woodlands patios and decks
I have some samples of travertine pavers for my patio. The job calls for 270 sq. ft of pavers. The samples are an inch thick. Do you need to use pavers that thick on a concrete, covered patio? Can I just use travertine tiles or is the process of setting them different, i.e.. sand in the joints vs. thin set and grouting
Posted @ Tuesday, November 05, 2013 4:14 PM by mary
I have a 30 year old pool and pool patio/deck. The deck is river rock and total surface area is approximately 3200 sq ft. It has been resealed 4 times in 30 years but now large area of loose pebbles and cracks are appearing. As I planning on putting my house on the market in the next 6 months to a year which would be more cost effective and can a surface go directly over the existing deck. The pool needs resurfacing as well, which means the tile coping will need to be replaced. A separate hot tub also needs renovating. I live in the Palm Harbor,FL area zip code 34683.
Posted @ Sunday, November 10, 2013 9:40 AM by W W Moss
Thanks for the article! It was a great read, and had a lot of good information. I am, in fact, doing research for concrete slab sydney
Posted @ Monday, November 25, 2013 6:13 PM by wayneparker
Nice location and swimming-pool 
 
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Posted @ Wednesday, January 01, 2014 11:02 PM by G Mitchell
nice blog  
 
Thank you
Posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 1:31 AM by NZstays
Pool Patio Materials: Stamped Concrete vs Pavers very useful blog i like it this is the most useful way to provide help to others
Posted @ Thursday, January 23, 2014 6:58 PM by Pool Service Pompano Beach
Nice location and superb swimming-pool
Posted @ Thursday, February 06, 2014 7:27 AM by Centrale verwarming Limburg
Investing in a great paver is an important part of designing your pool area. From concrete to brick to stone, finding a suitable paver that meets your aesthetic and practical needs is within reach. Whether you want the budget-friendly concrete, the visual appeal of stone or the easy maintenance of brick, all three should be considered before making a decision. 
Good read!
Posted @ Friday, February 28, 2014 5:28 AM by Brick Pavers
I think everything has their pros and cons of both sides. I heard a lot about these pools and it is highly demanded now in these days, but some says that it has lots of disadvantages also. Through your blog my all doubts are clear and I would like to say thanks to you for sharing this news here.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:19 AM by Interlocking Tiles in Delhi
Hello experts, 
 
I am a first time home owner with a 20 year old pool. We have Pea Rock around the pool and due to the poor up keep over the years from previous owners, the rock has started to crack and come loose. I am looking for guidance on resurfacing this area around the pool. If anyone has experienced this or has recommendations I am open to listen! Also I live in Minnesota. 
 
Thank you!
Posted @ Wednesday, March 19, 2014 10:26 PM by Jason
Nice collection of pavers that is explained here. The advantages and disadvantages is also well explained. Will love to hear about the varieties of limestone and coral stone.
Posted @ Monday, March 24, 2014 3:36 AM by Bonitastone
I just bought a house with an inground pool the deck is done in pavers, my question is can a child safty fence be installed with the paver decking???? The pool guy told me no but there has to be a way. Right ?? Please help I would like the mesh fence or my be fiberglass. help!
Posted @ Sunday, March 30, 2014 1:55 AM by Jennifer
Nice blog, 
beautiful swimming pool 
informative and useful too 
Thank you for sharing
Posted @ Tuesday, April 15, 2014 6:26 AM by Sunsoft Infoway
Thank you posting this useful information regarding swimming pools.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 15, 2014 3:39 PM by granny flats perth
I had to refresh the page times to view this page for some reason, however, the information here was worth the wait.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 22, 2014 1:41 AM by Patio Contractors Houston
Do you know of any companies in Brevard County, Florida that you would recommend on new fiberglass pool installation that comes close to using your method and recommended products? We would like to finance a fiberglass pool with pavers and a lanai.
Posted @ Sunday, May 04, 2014 1:05 PM by Arnold Vann
The item appears to be excellent despite the fact that.... Appreciate it pertaining to producing.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 07, 2014 2:53 AM by Patrick Lackey
This information was new to me that there is so many differences between pavers and stamped concrete.Had a lot of good information.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 20, 2014 5:36 AM by Katy Kraus
this is a interesting and informative artile,and well explained about pros and cons of pavers and concrete.
Posted @ Thursday, May 22, 2014 5:39 AM by Abraham V G
Thank you for posting this type of great content ... I was looking for something like this.
Posted @ Sunday, June 01, 2014 2:31 PM by Ecommerce Templates
I agree all your points. Both stamped concrete and patio have their own significance. Cleaners are recommended to maintain surface.
Posted @ Friday, June 13, 2014 5:58 AM by Randy Cox
We've had pavers around our inground pool for 19 years. Have had a lot of settling and weeds/moss over time. Pool is in upstate NY and open late May to mid- Sept. There is an original concrete apron 3-5 ft. deep from pool edge to the pavers. Was considering replacing the pavers with stamped concrete & leaving the existing apron. Any advice would be welcome. Am I asking for trouble with abutting the 2 concretes? Cracking? Might it be more cost effective to have the existing pavers reset?
Posted @ Friday, June 27, 2014 12:02 PM by M M LITZENBERGER
Do you know of any companies in Brevard County, Florida that you would recommend on new fiberglass pool installation that comes close to using your method and recommended products? We would like to finance a fiberglass pool with pavers and a lanai.
Posted @ Monday, July 07, 2014 8:50 AM by Ramen deuren Leuven
Do you know of any companies in Brevard County, Florida that you would recommend on new fiberglass pool installation that comes close to using your method and recommended products? We would like to finance a fiberglass pool with pavers and a lanai
Posted @ Monday, July 07, 2014 9:30 AM by PVC ramen en deuren
I want to create a nice new pathway from my backyard to the pool, and I think stamped concrete might be the answer for me. I don't want to spend a fortune on something that is so minor. Thanks for posting these facts on stamped concrete, now I feel much more informed about stamped concrete! 
 
Seth Ashford | http://www.imagineconcrete.com/stampedconcrete
Posted @ Monday, July 14, 2014 9:47 PM by Seth Ashford
Great information
Posted @ Saturday, July 19, 2014 2:03 AM by saransh khanna
Outstanding blog post, I have marked your site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future.I never read such beautiful article before. Liquid Roof Coatings
Posted @ Monday, July 21, 2014 12:25 AM by EVELYN
Do you know something that stamps concrete in Charleston?
Posted @ Monday, July 21, 2014 10:29 AM by brick paver company
outdoor pavers 
At Gaiastone we take great pride on the values we bring into work; we are passionate about natural stone, and we are also passionate about our environment. In fact, our name, Gaiastone, means Stone from the Earth
Posted @ Thursday, August 28, 2014 7:04 AM by gaiastone11
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