Pavers Over Concrete



Do you have a concrete slab and want to install pavers directly over the top?

This is a very popular question amongst homeowners. Many people want the look of a new driveway or patio but don't want the cost and hassle of having to rip up the existing concrete slab. There are many different views on this and it really does depend on the nature of your particular project and the condition of your existing concrete slab.

Pavers Over Concrete—Can it be done?

pavers over concreteYes, it can be done but there a few things to consider before carrying out such a project. First, it is a good idea to get professional advice. So contact a licensed contractor and ask as many questions as you may have. Basically, installing pavers over concrete has its limitations. If money and time are not an issue to you, it is best to get rid of your concrete slab and start your new project from scratch. However, if this is not an option for you there are varying opinions on how it should be done. There are two trains of thought on installing pavers over concrete:

  1. Lay  the pavers over concrete directly with the use of mortar

  2. Lay the pavers over concrete by first adding an aggregate base

Slab Problem

The problem with a concrete slab that has pavers installed on top is that there can be some issues such as grading and drainage. By adding pavers you are raising the height of your surface and thus can be putting the grading out of whack. Another issue to determine is the condition of your existing concrete slab. Some say that if it is in good condition then installing on top should be fine, whereas if your slab is in poor condition with cracks and not level, then it may be better to demolish the slab and start over.

Amount of Load

pavers over concreteAnother point is that it may be fine for a project like a patio. But for a driveway that has a lot more load to bear, installing pavers over the concrete may not last very long or be able to handle the stress. You don't want to try to save money with this technique only to discover that it is not durable.

It is really important for any flooring project that you have a safe, durable and visually appealing end result. In these tough economic times we want the best value for the money that we spend on our properties whether it is a residential or commercial site.

Should it be done?

Here are a few things that should be considered when installing pavers over concrete:

  • Will the increase in height of the surface be a safety hazard?
  • Will the increase in height of the surface cause any grading or drainage problems?
  • How will I conceal the surrounding edges and borders so as to hide the increase in height of the surface? This is an added cost.
  • Will freeze/thaw conditions during the winter months affect the surface?
  • If water and ice settle beneath the pavers, your surface may experience some damaging heaving and settling.
  • Certain installations will require the use of mortar and not the traditional sand set paving system.
  • Consider what type of paver material you will be using. Concrete pavers may cause the appearance of efflorescence, while other pavers such as natural stone and brick may cause various drainage issues.
  • More expensive paving stones like the natural stone varieties may increase the cost of your installation to a point where it would be much wiser to spend that money and start your project from scratch.

Installing Pavers On Concrete

Installing pavers over concreteThis is a tricky job and should be carried out by a professional installer for best possible results. You want your new installation to increase the aesthetic appeal of your property and the best way of doing that is by ensuring an experienced contractor has gone through and planned out the installation properly. This should guaranteed a great looking, stable, durable and affordable new pavement!