Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

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).


Further Information

Please Leave a Comment

6 Comments on “How to Choose Between Brick and Concrete Pavers”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.

  1. Kris Whise Says:
    January 17th, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Extremely helpful; exactly the info I was looking for.

  2. Ernie Says:
    November 1st, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    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.

  3. Julia Carlson Says:
    December 29th, 2014 at 7:46 am

    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.

  4. Jason Says:
    May 15th, 2015 at 3:24 pm


    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.

  5. victor a. Says:
    May 17th, 2015 at 7:35 am

    you have given good tips between the use of brick and paver. My question concerns moss growing on either one if the location is in the shade– will brick most likely have it considering this is made of natural materials like clay?

  6. Mary Says:
    May 24th, 2015 at 1:53 am

    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?

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at todayshomeowner.com.

Click to check out all our great giveaways!