Pea Gravel vs. Concrete Pavers

Concrete Pavers The Pros and ConsIf you’re wondering about the relative merits of pea gravel vs. concrete pavers, there are a few pros and cons to keep in mind.

Both materials are very popular with New Jersey homeowners, and both have advantages and drawbacks relative to the other.

There isn’t necessarily a right choice between the two, just factors you should evaluate to determine which of the two options is best for your project.

Pea Gravel vs. Concrete Pavers: Advantages and Drawbacks of Pea Gravel

Looking at pea gravel vs. concrete pavers, you can begin by weighing the advantages and drawbacks of pea gravel.

In this case, the list of advantages is long and the list of disadvantages is short.

The advantages of pea gravel include:

  • Low cost – Pound for pound, pea gravel is one of the most affordable landscaping and construction products on the market. If you’re looking for a low-cost, high-payoff home improvement project, pea gravel patios and exterior features are hard to beat.
  • Ease of maintenance – Once you’ve laid your pea gravel, there will be very little to do to maintain it. At most, you’ll need to re-level the surface and top it up to replace any stones that have been dislodged.
  • Ease of installation – Even inexperienced DIYers can handle the installation of a pea gravel patio or walkway. It doesn’t take much specialized expertise or skill; just an afternoon of hard work.
  • Value – For a very low cost, you can significantly improve the value of your home when you choose pea gravel over concrete.

However, pea gravel does have some drawbacks to consider, including:

  • Loose stones – Pea gravel often isn’t the best choice for high-traffic areas, since the gravel can easily become dislodged, scattering into the grass and other adjacent areas.
  • Potential hazards to children and pets – Toddlers and pets may put small stones in their mouths, creating a choking hazard. Be very careful if you have young kids or pets.

If you don’t mind occasionally topping up your pea gravel and you don’t have toddlers or pets to worry about, gravel is an excellent choice.

Pea Gravel vs. Concrete Pavers: Advantages and Drawbacks of Concrete

Comparing pea gravel vs. concrete pavers, here are the pros and cons of concrete, beginning with its advantages:

  • Durability – Concrete is one of the most durable construction materials on the market. If it’s installed right, it will last a lifetime.
  • Ease of maintenance – Beyond basic weatherizing treatments, you won’t have much to do to maintain your concrete once it’s installed.
  • Beauty – Concrete can be very beautiful, particularly if you hire a skilled contractor who can create striking patterns and intricate designs in the finished work.

However, these bonuses come with a couple of drawbacks to consider:

  • Chipping – Even with regular use, concrete can chip and degrade slightly over time. This can necessitate costly repairs, or force you to live with imperfections that could effectively be erased had you originally opted for pea gravel.

If you’re willing to make the investment and you take good care of your concrete, it will last you a lifetime.

Pea Gravel vs. Concrete Pavers: The Verdict

At the end of the day, neither one of these options is always better than the other.

It comes down to your own assessment and evaluation of your budget, building conditions on your property, how much maintenance you want to put in and which look you prefer.

Be wary of any company that insists that pea gravel is better than concrete, or vice-versa.

Any reputable company or supplier will be honest with you, and communicate that both choices have their pros and cons and the best choice is a situation-specific proposition that requires individual evaluation.