Stone paving vs poured concrete driveway

There are significant differences between both materials, how they perform and the financial outlay required. Understanding the benefits of using one material over the other will see you create a driveway that not only improves the appearance of your home but also enhances your property’s value.

Poured concrete driveways 

Concrete driveways are often selected for its affordability and versatility. A well-poured concrete driveway will provide you with a durable and dense surface. As concrete can be poured to form straight or curved lines, the material offers the flexibility to create a driveway that will work within the constraints of your block.

The pros and cons of a concrete driveway

One of the main reasons people opt for a concrete driveway is its affordability. A plain poured concrete driveway is one of the most inexpensive options. For those with a slightly higher budget, exposed aggregate is a popular choice.

Concrete driveways are also durable when poured by a professional and require minimal maintenance. The surface can be easily swept and cleaned with mild detergents or pressure washed when required.

A major weakness of concrete driveways is that they are prone to cracking. To avoid this, control joints are required which can impact the overall look of your entrance. If you need to get under the concrete or repair sections, it’s almost impossible to do so without ripping up the entire driveway.

While relatively quick to install, concrete driveways create a greater time to cure restricting usage for up to 7 days.

Stains are inevitable in this application, however, some surfaces disguise them better than others. Stains on a plain concrete surface will be more evident than on an exposed aggregate or stone driveway. Another disadvantage of a concrete driveway is that it the surface can become slippery when wet and glare can be an issue particularly in areas of full sun exposure.

Stone paved driveways

Stone Vs Concrete Driveway 01
Cobblestones driveway entrance of a contemporary home

Natural stone paved driveways are well regarded for their durability and long-term performance. There’s a reason roads in Europe are paved in stone! Stone also come in a variety of types that offer an array of tones and textures, providing a greater choice.

The pros and cons of a paved driveway

Most homeowners opt for a stone driveway for their aesthetic value. With a wide variety of stone types, you’ll have the ability to create a contemporary driveway that compliments the modern architecture or a classic design.

The natural tonal variation in stone also helps conceal stains and marks that may have occurred through constant vehicle traffic. An advantage of using natural stone paving in a driveway application is that it is a non-slip surface and provides the traction required for regular use.

The performance of quality natural stone is one of the major drawcards of using natural stone in a driveway application. By choosing the right stone, you’ll have a surface that will stand up to the heavy weight of vehicle traffic due to its flexural strength.

In the event a paver does crack, removing and replacing is much easier than tearing up an entire driveway. This is also the case if you need to access the ground or drainage.

Stone pavers may require more ground preparation before the installation and depending on the type of stone chosen, laying the pavers can be more time consuming than pouring a simple concrete surface.

Feature image: Cobblestone driveway of a beach residence by Cadence & Co.

For more inspiration and advice about driveways, click here.