Hardscape Comparison

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Natural Stone

Precast Pavers

Stamped Concrete

Unique Concrete, Hand Crafted Stone

Design Versatility: Considersations such as color choices and pattern choices Limited color choices, limited shapes and sizes Limited color choices, many patterns, but limited to small shapes Unlimited color selection, wide pattern selection but limited to contractors inventory Unlimited color selection, 22 different patterns available at no extra costs, custom patterns available
Ability to Customize:  Customized shapes and free flowing patio designs Limited stocked shapes and patterns; curved shapes involve more cutting which drives up labor and material costs Limited stocked patterns, custom orders available at additional costs; free flowing designs involve more cuts than natural stone which cause higher labor and material costs Able to adapt to most shapes or designs Only limited by imagination, since the concrete tile is made on site and in place, shapes sizes, colors, and designs are unlimited.
Strength, Durability and Performance Very durable if laid on structural slab and stone thickness is a minimum of 1.5″.  Stone has been around forever but is subject to quality of its foundation. Very durable as individual units but only as durable as its foundation. If laid in sand, subject to individual settling, erosion, insects and uneven wearing. Very durable and strong if properly reinforced using steel and synthetic fibers. Color hardeners only color top 1/8″ of concrete, has faux grout lines. Topical sealers will limit performance in salt conditions. Unique two step process allows for unparalleled amounts of reinforcement. Coloring is throughout top 1.5″ and actual grout is applied to joints. Utilizes state of the art lithium siliconate penetrating sealers that seal from the inside out. Similar deicer considerations as Pavers.
Maintenance Considerations Very low maintence if installed properly. Frequent resetting due to settling, spraying for insects and weeds, reapplication of sand in joints. Sealing is required for stain resistance. Requires resealing a minimum of every 2 years in order to preserve color contrast between pattern and faux grout. Minimum of 2 coats of penetrating sealer applied upon job completion which densify and protect from staining. Resealing is not necessary for color preservation, only needed if highest stain resistance is called for. Can be applied by customer or professional.
Environmental Impact Very high impact on enviroment. Extensive mining and milling of stone, as well as heavy emissions for deliveries Manufactured in large factories. Mining of natural resources. Lots of waste that ends up in landfills. Heavy emission’s from large equipment in production and delivery. Mining of natural resources. Require resealing with high VOC sealers at least every 2 years. Mining of natural resources, however since product is made to order right on site there is very little waste and emissions due to delivery. Sands are sourced locally and we have the ability to use recycled materials. All sealers are either zero or low VOC.
Expansion Joints/ Saw Cuts Not necessary if dry laid Not necessary Required and often detract from job. Most indiscriminately cut right through patterns, voids can fill with dirt and promote weed growth. They are required, however we can incorporate them into the design to draw less attention. Grouted or filled so there is no void.
Heat Retention and Slipperiness Very hot if in the sun and very slippery when wet.  Not ideal for swimming areas with young children or commercial applications Retains some heat and usually not slippery when wet. If topical sealers are applied, can be very hot and very slippery Heat retention similar to a paver, however with our unique texture, we create peaks and valleys so barefeet are not in constant contact with surface.  Textured surface creates a slip resistant surface.
Natural Look Yes, probably the most natural hardscape material. Even though manufactured, maintains a natural look Very unnatural, tries to mimic brick or stone.  Topical sealers create high shine which can look unnatural.  Sealer is necessary The option is yours.  Since this is truely a customized material made to order on site, the option is yours. Without the addition of topical sealers, we can maintain the look of a paver, or if more of a shine is desired, a sealer can be applied, however it is not necessary
Grouted Can be grouted if laid in a concrete base or sand is used if dry laid Utilizes sand joints in between pavers which can be prone to insects and weeds Faux grout joints designed to trick the eye.  Accomplished by either stains or antiqued release.  Must be resealed to maintain the fake grout joints. Actual grout is mixed on site in any color.  Since this is an actual grout does not require resealing to preserve the color contrast.
Versatility Widely used for both horizontal and vertical applications. Applications now include covering elevated wooden decks. See info below chart for examples. Typically reserved for just flatwork applications, however many are trying to push the limits of this product to include elevated decks over wood substructures. See info below chart for examples. As of now mainly featured in on grade applications. However, many new technologies are pushing the application to other areas.  See info below chart for examples. We have been offering our concrete tile over wooden decks for over 25 years. Our same process applies to new construction, resurfacing, and elevated decks.  We have developed a unique process that is exclusive to us. It is competively priced with vinyl and composite decking alternatives, without that cheap plastic like feel. It is a custom concrete tile over an elevated wooden deck that can also weatherproof the area below.
Unique Characteristics Natural beauty, perhaps the most beautiful in this category. Timeless look. Very little uniqueness, manufactured look. No unusual characteristics, some take steps to tumble and age, attempts for a more natural look. Very little uniqueness. Textures repeat giving it a manufactured look. Most patterns repeat. Gives the impression that it is trying to mimic a natural product such as stone. Handcrafted look. Since each concrete tile is cast in place on the jobsite, every piece has its own unique characteristics. The texture varies from piece to piece. While patterns and colors can be similar from job to job, each installation has it own uniqueness.
Costs Per Sq. Foot $18 and $40(can go higher).  Costs vary dramatically, from thickness of stone, type of stone, availability, shape and size. As well as installation methods. $6 – $16.  While material costs remain consistent, installation charges can vary widely. Rule of thumb says that the harsher the climate, the more excavation is required. Proper excavation could require up to 16″ of soil removed, then filled back with proper drainage material. Pavers are only as good as their foundation. $8 – $20. Cost vary greatly due to many factors, such as: coloring method, variety of colors, reinforcement, pattern, texture, finish and excavation. $10.50 – $20. Costs vary dependent on job size and amount of excavation required. However, unlike pavers we do not require and over dig. With the ability to add more reinforcement than any other method, we are able to work with almost any job condition. 

Here are some examples of other types of hardscaping options that are now being used over elevated wooden decks.

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