Your home patio surface is probably made of concrete or brick, as these two are the most popular materials used nowadays. Concrete patios have become essential elements in today’s homes due to its endless possibilities in design, cost efficiency, and durability.
But some homeowners incorporate bricks on their patios to either match the brick material on their homes’ exterior and create a nice connection between the outdoors and indoors. Bricks can create a timeless appeal that can complement any modern architecture.
One thing is for sure. Every homeowner knows what a distinct feeling the patio brings to the home. Sometimes it acts as a relaxing place after a long hard day at work, other times it’s a place to self-reflect or reminisce. So while some homeowners are spending countless hours remodeling their homes’ interior, let’s take pride in our own patio and take care of it.
Of course, no patio floor is indestructible, whether its brick or concrete. You can easily tell if it has weathered all the natural elements fairly, or if it has grown old and tired. A crack here and there that didn’t use to be there, a faded color that was lush and vivid before, a nice, clean and flat surface that now starts to chip and pop in some places, and other things can start bothering what used to be a neat functional space. It’s natural to think which material is better when it comes to looks, durability, safety, and cost.
So let’s get straight to it: Which is a better material for your patio, concrete or brick? Let’s compare them side by side.
- Est. Cost
Brick: $10 to $50 / sf.
Concrete: $3 to $15 / sf.
Brick: When properly installed and cared for can last for decades, with the exemption of chips and color fading. Depending on the surface underneath, it bricks can sink and become uneven. Some people claim that certain bricks are 3 times stronger than concrete.
Concrete: Due to its sealant preventing moisture, chemicals, and damages from the elements, it is also very durable with proper maintenance. Heavy traffic though can cause cracks over time depending on underlying surface condition.
Winner: Brick by a hair
Brick: There are plenty of designs and colors to choose from. You can incorporate intricate patterns, such as basket weave or herringbone. Designs can be just about any shape. It has a very distinctive and traditional look.
Concrete: With stamped concrete coming into the picture, designers can mimic or create any design. There’s virtually no limit to it. Depending on the workers’ craftsmanship, it can probably mimic brick or any material amazingly. Of course, your patio is the canvass and the contractors are the artists here, so it still depends on skill, tools, and timing. Concrete can be stamped, texturized, or added anti slips and heat-reflectors.
Brick: Depending on the condition of sand or underlying surface, brick can become uneven with some areas sinking. You might need to spray weed killers from time to time as weeds can sprout in between the pavers. Colors are not immune to dirt so one may need to apply sealant when colors start to fade. Although resistant to cracks, bricks can also chip over time. Cleaning can be tough, as crevasses and spaces in between can fill up with dirt and dust. Power cleaning can destroy the underlying surface.
Concrete: Mop occasionally. To ensure long-lasting colors, coat surface with sealer based on contractor’s recommendation. If cracking starts, fix and fill immediately to prevent bigger damages.
As you can see, both materials offer durability, amazing designs, and low maintenance.What do you really want to do with your patio? Do you want something that can mimic natural stones that cost so much more? Concrete can do this. Do you want to go traditional and copy brick settings for your home? Go for brick. But carefully weigh the cost and what your goal is. Also consider which is going to be more practical, as concrete is cheaper but if not properly maintained, can cost more in the long run because of repairs. Of course, brick patio repairs can also be very expensive depending on varying circumstances. Concrete can offer more features when it comes to safety. Now that you have all these factors, which one is the real winner for you?