Concrete slabs and pavers each have specific advantages and disadvantages. These include initial cost, ease of installation, and choice of color, choice of surface finish, durability and maintenance.
The initial cost of a concrete slab is typically 10 to 15 percent lower than paving stones. Poured concrete normally requires a minimum order; this could mean having more concrete than is necessary for the job.
Different finishes and colors are available with a concrete slab, although the color is subject to deterioration over time. Paver colors are typically more durable.
While both systems require excavation and grading, pavers require more steps to complete than a concrete slab. Concrete requires several days to dry and cure, depending on weather conditions and thickness of the slab. A paver installation is typically ready to use as soon as the installation is complete. An error or change in grade is easy to correct using pavers.
A concrete slab is quite easy to maintain; however, cracking and staining can occur, causing the slab to become unsightly with age. These conditions are often expensive to correct and difficult to hide.
Paving stones require little care after installation. The joints between stones are subject to unwanted plant growth (grass, moss, weeds) that require periodic removal. Settling of paving stones requires only lifting the stone, adding or removing material and replacing the stone.
Changes in temperature cause cracks in the slab over time, as well as any movement in the ground below the slab. Paving stones handle changes in temperature and ground movement due to their ability to expand and contract without cracking.