How to Choose Between Brick and Concrete Pavers

Brick paver walk
A paver walkway adds curb appeal to your home.

What’s the difference between brick and concrete paving stones? We want to build a walkway and are trying to decide between the different kinds of paver materials. -Anita

The term “paver” refers to thin, flat stones designed for use in paving projects such as walkways, patios, and driveways. Both brick and concrete pavers are installed the same way, and both offer years of use and durability.

The choice between brick and concrete pavers largely depends on your personal taste. However, here are some tips to help you make your decision:

Brick paver walkway
Brick pavers have a classic, timeless look.

Brick Pavers

Bricks are made from clay that’s formed into shape and cured by baking in a kiln (like pottery). However, be careful when shopping for pavers, since the word “brick” is sometimes used to describe the shape of the stone – rather than the material – so you might see “concrete bricks” that aren’t technically bricks at all.

Advantages of Clay Brick Pavers:

  • Color Retention: Bricks are naturally colored by mixing in various types of clays, so they retain color better than concrete, particularly when exposed to UV rays.
  • Brick walkway
    Bricks are made from natural clay.
  • Last Longer: Bricks may chip or crack over time, but they last for generations. Bricks tend to break in response to stress (such as ice, traffic or moisture) while the surface on concrete pavers can erode and fade over time.
  • Less Maintenance: Clay bricks resist staining and require less maintenance and cleaning than concrete pavers.
  • Timeless Style: Bricks have a distinct edge in looks and style. An aged, worn brick walkway retains its charm while cracked or chipped concrete merely looks worn out.
  • Eco-Friendly: In addition to being made from all natural materials, bricks are frequently salvaged, cleaned, and reused, making them a more sustainable choice.

Disadvantages of Brick Pavers:

  • Higher Cost: Brick can be up to 15% to 20% more expensive than concrete.
  • Brick walkway
    Bricks are more expensive.
  • Limited Choices: Because they’re colored with natural clays, bricks have more limited color choices. They’re generally rectangular in shape and only come in a few sizes.
  • Size Variance: Due to the variables of kiln firing, bricks vary slightly in their dimensions, making them a little trickier to install.
  • Increased Labor: Bricks are harder to cut and may cost more for labor to install.
  • More Breakable: While all pavers are durable, bricks are more likely to crack under heavy vehicle traffic. They’re also more likely to chip or shear, but the solid coloring makes small blemishes less noticeable than on concrete pavers.
Concrete paver walkway
Concrete pavers offer more choices than brick.

Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers are made from cement and aggregate that is poured into forms, compressed, and air cured. Concrete can be formed into all sorts of shapes and sizes and pigmented in a wide range of colors.

Advantages of Concrete Pavers:

    Concrete paver that mimics stone
    Concrete pavers can mimic stone.

  • Less Expensive: Concrete pavers are less expensive than brick, due to the lower cost of raw materials.
  • More Choice: Concrete offers far more design and color options than brick. If you can imagine it, you can make it happen with concrete pavers.
  • Innovation: New and better concrete pavers are being designed all the time, so you might even find choices that correct the known downsides of concrete.
  • Easier to Install: Concrete pavers are precisely uniform and easier to cut, so they’re a popular choice for DIY projects.

Disadvantages of Concrete Pavers:

  • Color Can Fade: Since they’re dyed with color pigments rather than natural clay, concrete pavers can fade over time, especially in sunny areas.
  • Worn concrete showing aggregate
    Worn concrete showing aggregate.
  • May Need Sealing: Optional sealants can help prolong the color in concrete pavers but add to maintenance.
  • Surface Erosion: While brick tends to wear by chipping or cracking, concrete wears more gradually, eroding away the smooth finish and exposing more of the aggregate underneath. Over time, the surface of concrete pavers might look worn while brick stays retain their surface.
  • Varying Quality: Concrete varies widely in strength and durability depending on the manufacturer’s recipe, and sometimes it’s hard to know what kind of quality you’re getting. I’ve seen gorgeous concrete pavers that looked like natural stone, and I’ve also worked with cheap ones that crumbled and cracked before I even got started.
  • Shorter Life Span: While initially holding up better to traffic than brick, concrete pavers have a shorter lifespan (a couple of decades vs. generations).

Julie

Further Information

44 COMMENTS

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed this content! Please share it with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content.

  1. We have 8″ x 4″ brick walkways and want to brick in the dog yard. They have a doggie door into house and the dirt they track in is horrific along with the opening of door itself.

    We have a 26′ x 26′ yard. How many of the above brick would we need? Best place to buy? We have someone to lay brick as did walkways.
    Great website.
    Thanks

    • Hi, Ernie,
      Need more information about this topic? Connect one-on-one with a home improvement pro immediately through JustAnswer, a Today’s Homeowner partner: http://justanswer.9pctbx.net/c/2342074/565926/9320
      Good luck with that dog yard!

  2. You have taught me so much about pavers. I have been trying to decide for months whether concrete or brick pavers are best or my landscape. My yard looks horrible, and I finally decided that the only way to make my yard look presentable is if I paved the walk way out to my garden. I think I’ll go with concrete pavers because they are less expensive. That’s most important to me right now.

  3. Hi-

    We have a sloped driveway that’s deteriorating. It’s a concrete driveway that a previous owner decided to put a stamped concrete over top of it. Lucky us-not. Now the stamped layer is crumbling and we’re looking at some improvement options. We do see some snow and ice in the winter, but it usually melts off within 72 hours. That said, do you recommend a paver option or new concrete? Please let me know your thoughts and thanks for your time.

    • Hi, Jason!
      We would need more details about the project. You can connect one-on-one with a home improvement pro immediately through JustAnswer, a Today’s Homeowner partner: http://justanswer.9pctbx.net/c/2342074/565926/9320
      Good luck with that driveway! 

  4. I have concrete pavers for a sun deck. While there is no furniture on it to cause this problem there are small rust spots that appear to be coming from within the paver. What causes this and how do I remove the rust spot?

    • Hi, Mary,
      Need more information about this topic? Connect one-on-one with a home improvement pro immediately through JustAnswer, a Today’s Homeowner partner: http://justanswer.9pctbx.net/c/2342074/565926/9320
      Good luck with those rust spots!

  5. It really helps that you explained the advantages and disadvantages for both brick and concrete pavers. I was wondering about whether brick lasts a long time and how much maintenance it requires, so it helps that you pointed out that it requires less maintenance and lasts longer than concrete, even when it chips and cracks. I’ve always loved the rustic look of brick, so it’s good to know that installing brick means that I’ll most likely have it for a long time.

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed this content, Dee! Please share it with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content.

  6. I love how, “Bricks may chip or crack over time, but they last for generations.” I’ve always thought brick walkways and patios bring a nice, classy look to whatever area it’s found in. My wife and I have a generous amount of room to play with in our back yard. We were thinking of different options we could do for a patio. I’m really liking the idea of using brick pavers. Thanks for sharing!

  7. We ‘r relatively ok. Just moved from half acre of packed shrub/tree garden. Now have small space with garage at back lots clay n mud. Sounds terrible. Finances are limited. Gardener wants £3-4000 for paving/ stone path. Paving side entrance etc., seems lot as I did everything myself before. Thinking of having gravel path and gravel under window looking at back garden. Do you think this is a cop out? Should I pay and get it done?

    • Hi, Anita,
      Project estimates vary by location. We’re based in the United States and can only speak to what’s generally reasonable here. We recommend checking your local phone listings for contractors and quotes.
      Do a little homework, compare each price and then make your decision.
      That should give you some peace of mind. 🙂
      Good luck!

  8. What are your thoughts on poured concrete (not pavers but the entire walk way). I’m looking at expanding my business locally and doing my research. Thanks!

    • Hi, Brice. We’re fans! Poured concrete is a durable option for walkways. You can leave them the traditional gray color or add stain to the concrete mix and have them match surrounding buildings.

  9. Great info..I’m looking for some more concrete pavers that look like your first concrete paver picture in this article. I live in Houston but can’t find them at any of the bog box stores or stone places. Any ideas? I need these because I am matching another area that I already have them.

    • Hi, Laurie,
      We recommend checking specialty paver websites (for companies that deliver, or at least aren’t too far from your area, for pick-up). Of course, your best bet is pavestone.com, the leading paver company. 🙂

  10. I love the look of a brick driveway. My wife and I are going to put a new driveway in our place this summer. I really like the look at rich color of brick over the concrete bricks. I also like how yous said the bricks last longer and don’t erode as fast. I feel like that is the way we are going to do. Thanks for the info.

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed this content, Kody! Please share it with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content. Good luck with your brick driveway!

  11. We have brick pavers. A company in Florida installed them and recommended that they be sealed every 5 years. Is that necessary?

    • Regular upkeep is necessary, Jim, yes. How often you’ll have to reseal will depend on many factors including the climate, the covering such as a roof or pergola (or lack thereof) and general maintenance. 🙂

  12. I have a house that had the old wooden floors installed on top of a concrete floor. The glued 2×4 material on the slab and nailed the oak flooring onto the 2x4s The house flooded and termites ate up the 2x4s We removed the 2x4s and hoed wood floors. I have some bricks that have the holes in them that I am contemplating installing them where the hardwood floor were. This will level up the floor with the rest of the house Would this work without grief I am concerned that the house May flood again someday so will it give me grief withe the holes

  13. Dear Sterling,

    Thank you, your article helped me to decide on Brick.

    However, Will the brick be better for a small scooter for my friends occasional visits? Cement walkway is not an option.

    Thank you
    RT

    • Hi, Rick,
      It sounds like you’ve already decided on a brick walkway, so whether the scooter rides smoothly on it is a matter of personal preference.
      Good luck!

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed this content, Ryan! Please share it with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content. And good luck with your paver (or brick!) project.

  14. Hi, I recently purchased a home in the Phoenix area. There is a substantial installation of pavers that have never been sealed. I would like to proceed with sealing but can’t tell if these are clay or concrete pavers. Is there a way to determine what material they are formed from? It obviously impacts how to seal them.. Thanks, Jake

    • Hi, Jake,
      Thanks for your question. We have forwarded it to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show’s producer.
      He will contact you soon to discuss featuring it on an upcoming show.
      Take care!

  15. Thanks for sharing this comparison between brick and concrete for pavers. I personally think brick pavers can be durable and stylish solutions. This article is so helpful and I’m off to The Home Depot now!

  16. I am planning to have our patio paved this summer, and I just CANNOT choose which material is better. But you know what? I totally learned something after reading this article! It’s good to know that clay bricks require LESS maintenance compared to concrete pavers. LOVE that it is a sustainable material too since it can be reused. Now, I’m made my choice and just need a contractor!

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed this content, Victoria. Please feel free to share it with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content!

  17. I want to get a driveway for my house that won’t need a lot of attention, so I’m considering having a brick paver one installed.

  18. I want to have a great-looking yard, so I’m considering hiring someone to install brick pavers for me to create a walkway. Thanks for the tips!!!

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed this content, Conrad! Please share it with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content.
      Thanks for reading, and good luck with your paver walkway.

  19. I have 2 steps up to my porch. The first step should be higher. Brick guy suggesting pavers on first step to bring it up to code. It is in the weather, hot and cold. What do you think?

    • Hi, Barb,
      Need more information about this topic? Connect one-on-one with a home improvement pro immediately through JustAnswer, a Today’s Homeowner partner: http://justanswer.9pctbx.net/c/2342074/565926/9320
      Good luck with those porch steps! 🙂  

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