Concrete Products vs Natural Stone: Which is best for my NJ home?

Gorgeous, authentic natural stone! That’s what most homeowners imagine when they think of outdoor living areas and patios. Stone offers a natural, timeless look that is always fashionable in Bergen County, NJ, homes. It’s durable, functional, and offers some fantastic colors and textures. But with so many concrete products now offering all of these aesthetic advantages and often greater structural strength and durability, it’s becoming harder and harder to decide between the two.

In light of this, which one is best for your home? It depends. Your decision to go with either stone or concrete pavers depends on your design, the appearance of your home, your landscape and the purposes of your outdoor living space. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each to help you better decide between the two.

Heavy to Haul Into the Yard

Dense natural stone such as granite is incredibly heavy. The processing and transportation cost of granite adds significantly to its cost, which can make it impractical for many homeowners. For projects such as driveways or patios where significant quantities of the stone are needed, concrete pavers with a similar look and feel may prove to be a more cost effective option. On the other hand, for key features such as countertops and polished accents, the additional investment can be well worth it.  

A Natural, Random Look

The irregular, random sizes of natural stone is often exactly the look homeowners wish to achieve. Flagstone, for example, creates a surface that is visually interesting, richly detailed and full of nuance. The natural inconsistencies that make this surface so rich can also lead to unevenness and will require a well-thought out laying plan to make the most out of the different sizes and shapes of the stone. While the same level of irregularity isn’t possibly with concrete products, a randomized laying pattern can be used to achieve a more natural look. With concrete pavers, the resulting surface is also more even and without inconsistencies in thickness and strength. Both are excellent options, but offer a different level of rustic aesthetic.

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Maintenance

While many types of natural stone are incredibly durable, others require special attention in keeping them protected against the elements as well as the spills and stresses that come with outdoor living areas. Travertine, for example, is a soft stone that creates a luxurious aesthetic, but is also vulnerable to weathering and is susceptible to staining. Concrete pavers can offer a similar, luxurious appeal and silky texture, while offering low maintenance. Manufacturers often equip their products with specialized treatment to prevent fading, staining and surface wear.

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Color and Texture

 Concrete Products vs Natural Stone: Which is best for my Bergen County NJ home?

Many concrete pavers and concrete wall stones are designed to look and feel identical to their natural counterparts. They offer the same earthy colors and often recreate natural patterning as well. Being manufactured, the colors also extend beyond those found in nature. This can mean that concrete products may be best suited to finding a match to your particular color scheme. On the other hand, the forms created by natural stone slabs or boulders may be best suited to the shape conventions of your design.

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