Pros and Cons of Concrete vs Brick Walkways in Toronto

Pros and Cons of Concrete vs Brick Walkways in Toronto

When it comes to constructing a walkway that leads to your home or throughout your yard, you are faced with a lot of different options – including concrete vs brick walkways. Concrete and brick are easily two of the most common options for walkways in Toronto, and for good reason, they both make a great choice.

Concrete vs Brick Walkways in Toronto: Concrete Pros & Cons

While concrete tends to be more cost effective to install, there are some long-term expenses to consider with concrete. That’s because concrete tends to crack over time and these cracks will require repairs.

Pros:

  • More affordable to install
  • Option for traditional concrete or stamped concrete
  • Produces a solid flat and even surface
  • When properly applied, can be very strong and uphold heavy loads including vehicles
  • Well-cared for and maintained concrete can last 50+ years

Cons:

  • More expensive to maintain over time because it requires annual maintenance like sealing
  • Difficult to remove stains like oil and dirt
  • Likely to crack under pressure from heavy loads, movement, and weather
  • Not the most attractive building material

Concrete produces a strong and even surface, but an earthquake, major storm or any type of ground movement can cause concrete to crack. In fact, concrete is highly prone to cracking. In addition, heavy loading of surfaces may also produce cracks.

Small cracks or fissures in the surface will let water inside, and in cold climates like Toronto, freeze/thaw cycles will occur. As a result, the water will freeze and expand once inside of the cracks and then decrease in volume as the temperature increases. This puts a lot of pressure on concrete and will cause larger cracks to form. That’s why people who live in colder climates may opt for a different material other than concrete.

There is always the option for stamped concrete, which resembles the look of cobblestone or pavers. This gives industrial concrete a more decorative appearance. There are some drawbacks to stamped concrete to consider before choosing it over brick. Stamped concrete tends to wear down faster when exposed to the elements and may lose its original coloring over time. In addition, it can be costly to make repairs when the time comes.

If you don’t foresee a lot of traffic, concrete may make an excellent option because it can stabilize soft paving materials for driveways and walkways. If you do foresee a lot of heavy traffic, cobble, flagstone and exposed aggregate concrete are not highly recommended.

Concrete vs Brick Walkways: Brick Walkway Pros and Cons

Brick walkways tend to be costlier to install upfront but tend to hold up better over time, while providing a more classic look.

Pros:

  • Classically beautiful appearance
  • Low maintenance
  • Sustainable
  • Long lasting

Cons:

  • Higher cost to install
  • Potential to chip or break, especially around the edges
  • Some limitations to color and size

Brick tends to be more durable when it comes to upholding heavier loads and resisting cracks related to movement. Yet, it is costlier to install a brick walkway as opposed to a concrete walkway because more manpower is needed to get the job done. Although, the extra costs come with reduced maintenance over time.

Brick tends to be an eco-friendlier option because it allows a small amount of rainwater to penetrate the ground. Plus, it is made from all-natural materials and is recyclable.

Brick walkways provide a beautiful appearance that is classic and can be matched to the look of your home because there are so many different shades of brick – from red to brown to orange. There are rustic bricks, as well as bricks with a cobbled design or herringbone. You can also place brick in a variety of patterns to create a unique look that fits in with your home and style.

It’s easier to fix mistakes made when installing brick walkways, while mistakes made pouring concrete may require a complete re-do.

Brick is also considered to be more aesthetically appealing than concrete – although stamped concrete does offer a more attractive option than traditional concrete.

Still Need Help Deciding?

We are more than happy to help! Contact us today to set up a consultation and we can provide a quote for both options.

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