Concrete is already quite durable and sustainable for patios, driveways, and pool sides. However, installing pavers over a particular concrete surface can add aesthetic appeal to it.
Unfortunately, as beautiful and advantageous, there are also quite a few problems with pavers over concrete.
Many homeowners around the US mistake installing pavers over a concrete surface without knowing the issues it might occur later.
So let’s have a look at some of the common issues so that you can better understand if pavers over concrete should be a legitimate concern or not.
Pavers over Concrete Drawbacks
Here is a list of its common disadvantages:
- Serious drainage problem.
- Trip hazard.
- Uneven paver placement.
- Cracks easily.
Now that you know the potential drawbacks in brief, let’s shed some light on the downsides here in detail.
Although, as I mentioned before, pavers over concrete are just way faster and look more efficient financially, the downsides easily fall under the shadow of these two main benefits.
So, before you consult with a contractor, let me give a little heads-up about the issues here.
- Drainage Issue
The first problem you will notice is water pudding on your patio, driveway, or poolside on rainy days. Why is that happening?
Because now that you have put pavers on the existing concrete slabs, the water has nowhere to go. With water on top frequently, your pavers might start to crack over time.
On a bigger scale, a drainage issue caused by pavers can actually affect your home too. How? Well, the waters collected between the pavers and concrete slabs can begin to go towards your home.
Eventually, it can end up flooding your basement. However, the chance of that happening is pretty low.
Still, we want to avoid the water puddle and cracked pavers, right? So then, you should make sure that the concrete surface is sloped correctly to drain all the extra water.
Additionally, make some small holes in the concrete slabs so that the water can drain into the ground through them.
- Potential Trip Hazard
We want the pavers to enhance the beauty and not fall flat on our faces on the patio. Well, uneven pavers can cause that too.
When you decide to install pavers on concrete slabs, you somewhat surrender control of what will happen under the pavers.
You blindly install the pavers on the existing concrete hoping the beautiful patio will stay the same forever.
However, if the concrete below is not durable enough or old in some areas, pavers over there can get sunk under pressure. Concrete underneath can also cause gaps between the pavers.
Now, both the gaps and sunken pavers can be a potential trip hazard on your patio unless the concrete slabs are examined and fixed by a professional beforehand.
- Uneven Paver Placement
As I mentioned before, once you install pavers, you lose control of the concrete below. What that basically means is whatever happens later underneath, for example, the concrete cracks, you won’t be able to do anything to fix that.
Each of these cracks can be a challenge to repair and affect the pavers installed on them.
Make sure your patio, driveway, or poolside concrete is in good shape, or else it’s highly recommended that you don’t proceed to overlay pavers over concrete there.
Again, considering the concrete condition is the key here. Also, the height of the concrete surface can be another issue.
If the pavers are not high or low enough, they won’t be aligned in parallel with your house floor or the door of your house.
Also, as the concrete surface will be the paver foundation, make sure the concrete is in top condition.
- Concrete Is Not Flexible
This is one of the most significant problems with thin paver over concrete. To understand this, you have to understand how pavers and concrete surfaces work.
Concrete by nature is not flexible at all. For that reason, concrete can easily crack under extreme weather conditions. Eventually, lack of flexibility can affect the pavers installed on the concrete surface, and they can crack too.
On the other hand, various materials such as concrete, travertine, rubber, porcelain, flagstone, or even plastics are used to make these pavers. As opposed to concrete, pavers are pretty flexible.
They can expand and shrink as necessary depending on the surrounding weather condition. This way, pavers can respond much better if installed on a sand or gravel base.
Can You Put Pavers Over Concrete?
The question here is more like, should you do it or not. Before getting into the answer to this question, let’s see why homeowners want pavers over concrete in the first place.
While the concrete surface gives you the longevity and durability you need, they are not that pleasing to look at.
An exposed and rough concrete surface seems pretty dull. This is precisely where the pavers come in to enhance the beauty of that concrete surface.
Pavers come in a ton of different shapes, styles, and colors. Additionally, you get to arrange the pavers in different shapes and patterns to show off your unique personality.
Besides visual appeal, pavers over the concrete surfaces add more value to your home.
Now to the actual question, should you put pavers over concrete? It mostly comes down to your financial ability. Most people see this as a viable option because it’s faster and cheaper.
If you got the time and money, you should get rid of the concrete first. Because installing pavers over the concrete slabs can be done, but it’ll always have some limitations.
Stay with me as I discuss the limitations in short. This way, you can easily understand what shortcomings pavers over concrete will have.
As you can see from the discussion above, problems with pavers over concrete can sometimes outweigh the benefits.
From my experience, I think people do it just because they don’t know how paver can behave on concrete.
We aren’t saying it’s not doable, but you should definitely consult with a paver contractor beforehand. They can analyze the concrete surface of yours and give you helpful advice.
That way, you can have durable pavement which will last a long time.