Block Paving Vs Imprinted Concrete


Concrete block paving (CBP) and pattern imprinted concrete (PIC) – which one is the better choice for you? This will of course depend on your personal requirements and the functionality of your new driveway.

Each and every driveway is somewhat different from the next and each may serve a totally different purpose. So which of these options should you choose? Find out by taking a closer look at these two concrete choices for your new driveway.

Concrete Block Paving

Concrete block paving first came into fashion during the 1970's with a limited choice of colours and design styles. Since then the market has expanded massively and the industry itself has developed along with it.

Now there is a whole range of products and styles available to you, from traditional to contemporary designs. You now have a variety of colours, textures and materials to choose from to create your perfect driveway.

The Pros and Cons of Block Paving

Block paving offers an attractive and long-term finish to complement any property. With the amount of choices available to you, there really is something to suit every taste and desire. Therefore, the most obvious benefit of CBP is the aesthetic appeal. The material is also extremely durable and will last a very long time with proper maintenance.

Movement is also relatively simple, should you need to uplift a section of your driveway and/or relocate. Areas can be reinstalled with minimal fuss, so you don’t have to worry about the possibility of having to ruin all of your hard work.

Block paving can be supplied as permeable too, so there is no requirement for additional drainage efforts.

The only significant drawback to CBP arises with the use of an incorrect sub-base material. If your driveway appears to be sunken or movement occurs then this is a good sign that the subbase material is unsuitable. This should not be a problem if you use an experienced and professional surfacing company, such as Premier Surfacing Ltd.

Imprinted Concrete

In comparison, pattern imprinted concrete is relatively new to the industry but the trend is ever growing in popularity. The process involves pouring a layer of concrete over a suitable subbase and then colour is applied before being hardened.

The wet concrete will then have a patterned matt applied to it in order to create your desired effect. The main aim of this material is to replicate another and therefore provide a more interesting finish to plain concrete.

The Pros and Cons of Imprinted Concrete

This is a very popular alternative for many people due to the magnificent finish and image it provides. Perhaps the biggest benefit is the material’s ability to cover large areas of land quickly. When compared with CBP, PIC has just as many design options but the finished product can sometimes be lacking in aesthetic appeal if the patterned matts aren’t aligned properly.

The main downside to pattern imprinted concrete is that it can be prone to occasional cracking, which can become an issue if left to develop over time. Extra consideration should also be taken towards drainage as PIC is non-permeable.

Without adequate drainage your driveway will not meet planning regulations for surfacing gardens and if any service work is required underground you will have to rip out the PIC and re-patch it again once finished.

The sealant used on PIC will need to be reapplied every 2-4 years, especially on a driveway with heavy traffic. So this choice of material is not the most durable and will require some level of frequent maintenance. This sealant can make the surface slippery in cold weather conditions too, making it slightly dangerous for the elderly and children alike.

Which One is Best for You?

As you can see above, both materials have their own advantages and drawbacks, but PIC perhaps shows more cons and therefore acts as the inferior option. CBP allows you to choose from a multitude of shapes, colours, styles and finishes for the ultimate tailored driveway.

Ultimately though, your decision will depend on your personal taste, requirements and budget. If you still can’t decide though, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help!

Published: April 2017

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock