Is It Cheaper To Lay Concrete Or Pavers?

The all-American lawn is not the only choice for your front yard, but you’ll quickly find yourself comparing concrete slabs and concrete pavers. Ever wondered which of the two options fits your budget?

It’s cheaper to lay concrete, but pavers are comparatively more durable, making them less costly over time. Paver repairs are also inexpensive. Concrete slabs wear out and crack faster, and repairs are very expensive. So, concrete pavers are the most cost-effective option.

Is It Cheaper To Lay Concrete or Pavers?

Read on for a comparison between the monetary cost of laying concrete vs. concrete pavers. I’ll also cover the reasons you might choose one over the other, regardless of your budget.

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What Is The Average Cost For Laying Pavers?

Expect to pay between $9 and $16 per square foot to purchase and install concrete pavers in your driveway or patio.
However, the price can vary depending on the material used to make the pavers.

Depending on your preference and budget, you can lay pavers made of the following materials:

  • Concrete: most similar to concrete slabs.
  • Brick: gives an old-school look to your patio.
  • Flagstone: a very popular aesthetic that gives a natural look.
  • Natural stone: the most expensive and luxurious option.

Needless to say, other factors vary between those materials.

For one thing, the wear and tear on more expensive materials like natural stone are less of a concern when compared to concrete pavers.

That is, the more you pay for the materials (not the labor cost), the more durable the pavers you will get.

How Much Does It Cost To Lay Concrete?

worker laying concrete

You pay $4 to $10 per square foot to lay concrete slabs in your patio or driveway.

Reinforced concrete slabs are priced towards the higher end of that range, but they’re worth it in the long run.

The following are a few factors that can affect the cost of laying concrete:

  • Finishing: Concrete is such a familiar material that it can look very bland, which is why you may consider adding protective finishing or a shiny coating for cosmetic purposes. However, you can expect the price to increase for such luxuries.
  • Slab thickness: Thicker slabs use more material, and they are more durable than their thinner counterparts. Also, the labor cost of laying thicker slabs is typically higher because they are heavier.
  • Reinforcement: As I’ve mentioned earlier, reinforced concrete is generally sold at a higher price because it is valued for its durability. If you do opt for concrete slabs over pavers, reinforced concrete is worth splurging for because it is the most cost-efficient in the long run.

Concrete vs Pavers: What Factors To Consider?

The cost to purchase and lay pavers or concrete varies not only based on the material used but several other factors also affect the price.

Here are a few factors regarding the cost of laying concrete or pavers that you need to consider.

1. Landscape

Regardless of whether you’re laying concrete or pavers in your patio/driveway, the existing landscape can seriously change the quote that a contractor will give you.

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay less for laying pavers or concrete if your chosen plot is perfectly flat.

A sloped or irregular landscape adds more steps to the process because the contractor must bring in a professional landscaper to assess how to proceed with the specifics of your plot.

For example, they may need to construct steps or another elaborate design to deal with the slope.

2. Purpose

Any contractor will tell you that pavers can handle higher pressure than concrete.

In simpler terms, this means that they won’t show as much wear and tear when heavier loads (like a car) are placed on them.

So, the purpose of your paving can significantly change depending on whether you are working on your driveway, patio, or other areas of your property.

However, it is worth noting that because concrete cannot withstand as much pressure, there is a higher chance of the concrete cracking.

This will drastically increase the cost of maintaining concrete driveways, but you won’t need to worry about those costs if you lay pavers instead.

3. Design and Shape

Especially when laying paver stones, there is a design aspect to be considered.

Of course, some designs and patterns will cost you more during the installation process, and some will be more durable in the long run.

The same of the pavers will also affect the price, so take the time to compare the different options you have available.

Concrete slabs, however, do not have that many options regarding design or shape.

There is also the option of pouring concrete. It’s an easier project, but it is relatively less durable than either pavers or concrete slabs.

Also, many architects and landscaping professionals feel that poured concrete is not aesthetically pleasing.

What To Choose: Concrete or Pavers?

work in progress: pavers

Now that you know the differences in pricing, you may still be wondering which is the better choice.

While both are viable options, I generally prefer pavers over concrete. Nonetheless, here are a few reasons that would compel you to choose over the other.

A. Pavers

As mentioned earlier, I would always recommend pavers.

Here are a few advantages of laying pavers that might persuade you to splurge and make the bigger investment upfront:

  • Higher durability: Given that driveways and patios laid with pavers can withstand higher pressure, you can safely expect them to last a long time. In fact, pavers are stronger than both concrete and asphalt. This reduces the cost of repairs and makes the overall investment more cost-efficient.
  • Lower maintenance costs: Although it takes a lot of wear and tear to show any damage on pavers, repairing any damage is relatively cheaper. This is mainly because it is easy to remove the damaged pavers and replace them, and there is no need to repave the entire driveway or patio.
  • More design options: Since pavers are smaller in size, there is a wide variety of combinations that can be used to create designs using the paver blocks. Also, differently shaped pavers can have more desirable aesthetic effects. For example, varying colors and shapes can be used to create a patterned design in your driveway.

B. Concrete

Despite the various benefits of choosing pavers, there are still people who choose to lay concrete in their driveways and walkways or other outdoor areas of their homes.

Here are a few reasons you may consider laying concrete slabs when paving:

  • Lower installation costs: If your budget is tight and you want to pave your driveway with something stronger (and better) than plain old asphalt, concrete slabs are a low-cost option to consider.
  • DIY repairs: Concrete is such a ubiquitous material that you can easily repair any cracks or other damages in your driveway on your own. This will significantly reduce the maintenance cost as well.

What is the Cheapest Way to Pour a Concrete Slab?

Achieving a budget-friendly concrete slab involves smart choices.

Optimal planning, basic concrete mixes with local aggregates, and efficient formwork design minimize material waste.

Collaborating with local suppliers and labor reduces costs, as does strategic pouring during favorable weather.

Consider DIY for small projects, while simpler finishes can save expenses.

Balancing these factors ensures an economical concrete pouring process without compromising quality.


If you have the money upfront, I highly recommend laying pavers.

You’ll get more bang for your buck, and repairs are a long time away.

Even then, pavers are much easier to repair than concrete, making them a worthwhile investment.

Make sure to take note of the materials used in your pavers and match it with the purpose of your paved area.

The design options are endless, and pavers add great value to any landscape.

Recommended Tools For You:

If you want to lay pavers or concrete by yourself you will need some tools to achive results.

Check the list I’ve made with most useful tools that you will use:

Cheers, tools owners!

Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.