Two common materials for rooftop pavers are porcelain and concrete. While they each serve to cover the rooftop patio and provide a space for gathering or relaxation, they each provide different benefits and have their own drawbacks. When you’re deciding between porcelain pavers or concrete, it’s important to know the differences and look at alternative materials.
Can Mimic the Look of Other Materials
A cool white porcelain may come to mind when you think of porcelain pavers, however they actually come in a wide range of colors and styles. Porcelain pavers can even mimic the look of wood decking but without the maintenance and fire hazard concerns of wood. This allows them to be used in areas where a wood look is desired, but building codes or safety concerns prohibit wood.
Moisture is the enemy when it comes to building materials as moisture can lead to swelling, warping, mold, and mildew. Porcelain is incredibly water resistant and won’t fall prey to these issues.
No Need for Treatments or Sealants
Porcelain is naturally water resistant, so there is no need for the treatments or sealants that are necessary for concrete or wood pavers.
In comparison to other materials, namely concrete, porcelain is lightweight, which saves on transportation costs and makes it easier to lift materials into place on a rooftop deck.
More Expensive Than Other Materials
Porcelain typically costs more than concrete pavers — though they may cost less to transport, leveling out some of the cost difference. The cost also depends on the look of the paver, the manufacturer, and the size.
Difficult to Install
Porcelain pavers use a pedestal paver installation system which can be tricky to install and will likely require professional installation or multiple people to help out. Pedestal paver systems require pedestals to be spaced at the four corners of each paver and adjusted to the correct height to create a level patio surface.
In addition to having a difficult installation system, porcelain pavers are also difficult to cut to size and require specialized tools and specific knowledge of the proper technique.
Porcelain is more brittle than concrete or composite pavers, sometimes leading them to break during transport and installation. They can also break after installation and need to be replaced.
Concrete is a traditional paver material that has been used for a long time, as opposed to porcelain and composite pavers that are relatively new paver materials.
When it comes to concrete pavers, concrete is a cost-effective material to use on a rooftop deck or patio. If you’re working with a tight budget, concrete will allow you to design a beautiful space while sticking to the budget.
Wide Range of Options
Concrete pavers come in a wide range of color, size, and shape options, so you can customize the rooftop patio to your design specifications.
Concrete has been a building material of choice throughout history because of its strength and durability, and concrete pavers are no different.
Higher Transport Costs
Though concrete is a relatively inexpensive material, it is heavy which can lead to higher transport costs than lighter weight materials like porcelain or composite pavers.
Require More Maintenance Than Other Materials
Concrete is porous, and because moisture can cause extensive damage to materials, concrete pavers should be sealed and re-sealed periodically to avoid moisture that can permeate the surface and create problems with expansion and contraction that can lead to cracking, or a buildup of mold or mildew that can lead to erosion.
Fades over Time
Colored concrete can fade over time, which can leave a dull look in an otherwise beautiful space.
Difficult to Install
Like porcelain pavers, concrete pavers use a pedestal paver installation system. Concrete is also difficult to cut and requires special tools.
Concrete is a heavy material, so the costs to transport it to the job site will likely be higher than with other, lighter weight materials. It also requires more effort, and therefore expense, to lift the pavers into place and multiple people may need to be present to install them. The structure may also need additional support to hold the weight of concrete pavers.
Walking on concrete for long periods of time can wreak havoc on feet and knees. Because of its rough surface, falling on concrete pavers can result in skinned knees. To create a rooftop patio that is friendly to everyone — people with foot or knee issues, and/or children who may stumble and fall — concrete may not be the best choice.
Aspire Composite Pavers Are a Superior Alternative
Composite pavers offer a superior alternative to both porcelain and concrete pavers.
Aspire Pavers are made from up to 95% post-consumer recycled content that is diverted from landfills. Our pavers are recyclable at the end of their life, and scraps from construction can also be recycled.
Scratch, Stain, and Crack Resistant
Our durable composite pavers are scratch, stain, and crack resistant which means you’ll feel good about creating a patio that can stand up to years of use without needing constant repairs. We even offer a lifetime limited warranty against cracking in residential applications.
Unlike other materials that need to be sealed or stained, our pavers don’t need any maintenance other than removing debris from its surface to keep it looking clean.
Lightweight and Easy to Install
Weighing half as much as compared to traditional concrete pavers, our lightweight pavers are easy to transport, which saves on costs, and they are easy to move around the job site.
They are also incredibly easy to install with the help of our patented installation grid which also doubles as a drainage mat. Our pavers can be installed in 40% of the time it takes to install traditional concrete pavers, and they can be cut to size with common household tools.
Available in a Range of Colors
Aspire pavers come in four different color options and three size options that allow you to create a stunning design or choose one color for a uniform look.
Comfortable to Walk on
Composite pavers have a slight natural “give” to them that makes them comfortable to walk on, and they aren’t as rough as concrete and are less likely to scrape or scratch if someone falls on them.
Higher Cost Than Other Materials
Composite pavers typically cost more than other paver materials, but some of the cost is recouped in the lower transportation and installation costs as well as having no maintenance costs over the life of the pavers.
Don’t Mimic the Look of Other Materials
Unlike porcelain, Aspire Pavers can’t mimic the look of natural stone or wood, but they are stunning in their own right and will create a one-of-a-kind space.
Create a High Quality, Beautiful Space with Aspire Pavers
To create a high quality, beautiful space, look no further than Aspire Pavers. Our beautiful color options, range of sizes, and easy installation process will allow you to create a space that is used and enjoyed for years to come.
Contact the experts at Aspire today to discuss our options and begin designing your rooftop deck or patio.