Just how sturdy are pavers? Do they last much longer compared to concrete pieces? When attempting to make a decision whether to utilize pavers or concrete, these are some of the key inquiries individuals ask.
Pavers and concrete are very similar. In fact, both products are made with cement. When you hear pavers referred to as “brick pavers”, typically, that means the paver was made with clay instead of cement. Pavers are technically concrete; however, they are produced prior to installation and have to adhere to certain technical definitions to be considered a paver. The definition of a concrete paver is a cement based product that is produced with aggregate, sand, water, and color dye which maintains a maximum aspect ratio of four and typically has a surface area less than one hundred square inches.
A common four inch by eight inch brick shape, which is two and three eighths inches in thickness has an aspect ratio of 3.37. The reason the aspect ratio is so important is that it quantifies the durability of a paver. If you have a large concrete slab with a few expansion joints cut into it and you want to determine how strong it is relative to its own size, then the aspect ratio is the quantitative way to figure it out. Let’s say your driveway is ten feet wide and one section, between expansion joints, is ten feet long.
Let’s give your concrete contractor the benefit of the doubt and say he poured your driveway extra thick and that it is six inches from top to bottom. If you take the length, ten feet and covert it to inches, you’ll get one hundred and twenty inches long. Now, divide one hundred and twenty by the thickness of the slab, six inches, and your aspect ratio is twenty! What does this mean? Basically, it means that your concrete slab is a lot longer and wider relative to its thickness and therefore more brittle and easier to crack.