Thin Pavers Cost Guide
Many outdoor remodeling jobs require a significant amount of time and money to be done right. The multiple steps involved in planning, executing and maintaining an outdoor feature such as a patio or deck may make such a remodel inaccessible to homeowners with tight budgets. Thin pavers offer an attractive, low-cost solution to this problem.
- Materials cost: $320-$565
- Average total cost per square foot: $6.60-$11.72
Home location and paver quality may result in higher project costs.
What Are Thin Pavers?
Thin pavers are a manmade paving material that can be installed on top of an existing concrete base. Sometimes called "brick pavers," thin pavers are actually made of concrete and come in the same variety of colors, styles, shapes and sizes as other types of pavers. Thicknesses also vary, but all types are much thinner than their brick, stone and thick concrete counterparts. These pavers are meant to be used to update old designs and create new looks without a lot of work. Available in loose and interlocking varieties, thin pavers are an economical choice for outdoor remodeling.
Uses for Thin Pavers
Thin pavers are best used in areas of the yard and garden that get only foot traffic. Though some may be able to stand up to the weight of a small car, it's best to avoid installing this type of paver on driveways. The most common uses for thin concrete pavers is on decks, patios, walkways and garden paths.
Updating existing patios and decks with thin pavers allows homeowners to create a variety of fresh designs. Colors, shapes and sizes can be mixed and matched in contemporary or traditional styles. Tight-fitting pavers make for smooth surfaces while openwork designs result in a more subtle, whimsical look. Thin pavers may also be placed in alternating patterns that resemble tiles for an eye-catching finishing touch to any paved outdoor area.
Thin pavers are a good choice for creating borders around flowerbeds and gardens as well as coping at the edges of pools. The many different colors and designs available means that homeowners can choose a look that matches existing patio and deck areas or opt for contrasting colors for a bold appearance. Traditional neutral colors allow the blooms of flowering plants to stand out. Darker shades provide earthy tones that match the natural look of the yard.
Thin Paver Advantages and Drawbacks
All outdoor landscaping materials have their own pros and cons. Thin pavers offer many advantages when it comes to outdoor remodeling, especially when on a budget:
- Installation is easier than with thick pavers, as no excavation is required.
- Thin pavers can be installed faster and with fewer materials.
- The ease of installation makes this type of paver a more accessible design option for do-it-yourself enthusiasts.
- Changing the appearance of even large areas using thin pavers can be done without a lot of hassle.
- Easier installation and fewer required materials means a lower project cost overall.
- Thin pavers resist cracking in changing weather conditions and are easy to replace if need be.
- Homeowners should also consider the potential drawbacks of choosing a thinner paving material before beginning an outdoor remodeling job.
- Less thickness means less durability.
- The only material available is concrete which, since it's manmade, is not as strong as natural materials such as stone.
- Thin pavers can't stand up to vehicular traffic or heavy-use patios with large installations such as hot tubs.
- Excessive temperatures or overuse may cause thin pavers to crack or break at the corners.
Weighing the pros and cons can help homeowners decide if thin pavers are right for their landscaping and remodeling needs.
Installing Thin Pavers
The complexity of thin paver installation depends on whether or not a solid, level surface is already in place. Very little prep work is required for areas with concrete decks and other outdoor features. If no concrete surface is available, one will need to be laid before thin pavers can be installed.
To prepare an existing concrete area for thin pavers, homeowners will need a level, which can be purchased for $3-$150 depending on features. A basic, low-cost level will work well to check if the concrete is even. If not, it may be evened out with concrete leveler. Cracks should be filled in with caulking to ensure a smooth installation surface.
Once the concrete is level, pavers can be mortared in place in the desired pattern. Thin pavers are relatively easy to cut, so any necessary shaping should go quickly. A wet sponge easily wipes up excess mortar before it sets and grout seals any cracks between joins in the pavers.
Using interlocking pavers eliminates the need for mortar as each piece fits snugly into the ones next to it. Finishing an interlocking paver project is as simple as sweeping paver sand over the surface to fill in any cracks and level out the area.
The maintenance required for thin pavers is similar to that of thick pavers as both are subject to the same types of dirt, debris and temperature fluctuations. A regular broom makes short work of simple messes such as leaves and pine needles while rinsing with a garden hose removes sand and mud. Dried dirt may require gentle scrubbing with a solution of dish soap and water.
Since thin pavers don't require sealing, homeowners don't have to worry about re-applying sealant or other coatings. The most complicated part of thin paver maintenance may be fixing cracks in mortar or replacing a paver should one become damaged. Fortunately, both of these steps are easy to complete and repairs should last for a long time.
Choosing thin concrete pavers instead of thicker materials saves homeowners time and money on outdoor remodeling jobs. Instead of having to pull up existing patios, decks and walkways, excavate the areas and lay new pavers, a fresh design can simply be installed over the existing surface. This simple yet beautiful method of home improvement results in eye-catching changes that make a home more attractive and inviting.
Last updated on Nov 18, 2015
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