Why Not Wood? Pavers vs Wood
Whether you’re building a retaining wall, a pool deck or a patio, you have a few options when it comes to choosing the materials for your project. Your outdoor living space is one that you will want to use frequently, so the major considerations that you should keep in mind include durability, the amount and type of maintenance required, and safety.
Pavers made from various types of stone or concrete are quite durable, and can last for decades. If one paver cracks or breaks at some point, just that one can usually be replaced without need for tearing up the whole paver driveway or patio. This is particularly important when an area will receive a lot of foot (or car) traffic.
Wood, on the other hand, tends to break down over time. A cedar deck, for example, will begin to turn gray within a couple of years. The wood will swell with the rain and splinter, which necessitates periodic board replacement. Wood is susceptible to not only water damage, but also damage from carpenter ants, termites and other pests.
Depending on the type of paver you choose, the maintenance required will be minimal to none. You will need to pick weeds growing between pavers, though you won’t if you choose a stamped concrete hardscape instead of individual pavers. If an individual paver does crack, you will probably want to have it replaced, but damage will not spread to other pavers, so it’s not an urgent necessity. In the case of paver retaining walls, replacing cracked stones is more important, as the ones above could shift and crack as well.
Wood requires sanding, sealing, inspection and periodic board replacement. While it may be less expensive than some types of pavers, you are likely to make up for it (and then some, in some cases) in time and money investment in the coming years. Neglecting your wood deck or retaining wall can lead to widespread damage throughout the structure, and this can turn into a safety concern.
If you have little feet running on your patio or deck, you will need to be sure that there are no sharp splinters. You won’t have this problem at all with pavers. When you choose what type you want, you’ll want to see how it responds to being wet; in addition to turning a different color, some stones can be slippery. Choose textured pavers that will offer some skid-resistance and you’ll be able to enjoy that quality for the life of the structure.
Wood can splinter and nails can occasionally come up. Each season, you’ll need to check to be sure there are no loose boards that someone could trip on. Also, if mildew is allowed to accumulate, wood can become very slippery, particularly on structures like pool decks. Depending on what you plan on using your hardscape for, these are all considerations to keep in mind.
For most homeowners, pavers are the clear choice over wood. If you would like information on paver pool decks, paver driveways, paver patios, or any other type of hardscaping structures, please contact Omniscapes for a free consultation.