Strength. Concrete slabs are extremely durable and impact resistant. Paving stones, on the other hand, are even stronger than concrete and can withstand greater weight on their surface before cracking. Most pavers can endure up to 8,000 PSI on average, however concrete can only tolerate up to 2,500 PSI. The strength of both materials is basically equal when it comes to pavement applications.
Maintenance. Concrete requires regular maintenance or it will deteriorate faster than asphalt. This includes cleaning away any debris that may be embedded in the slab, washing the car over time to remove any concrete residue, and sealing the surface to keep moisture out. Paving stones don't require as much maintenance as concrete, but they do need to be cleaned regularly if you want them to look new again. Scuffing up the surface with a steel-faced shoe or sandpaper will help lighten the color and make it less visible.
Cost. Concrete is cheaper than paving stones, but that doesn't mean you should always go for the lower price tag. There are several factors to take into account when choosing between the two materials, such as quality, durability, and maintenance. If you plan to drive over your driveway often, then concrete is the way to go. It's also a good idea to check with your city or county about any requirements for concrete surfaces before you start building.
In residential and commercial constructions, the compressive strength of concrete typically ranges from 2500 psi (17 MPa) to 4000 psi (28 MPa) and higher. Several applications also make use of pressures greater than 10,000 psi (70 MPa). Concrete's tensile strength is about 25% of its yield strength, or 0.35-0.5 MPa.
Concrete's failure is usually due to one of three factors: voids that allow the material to collapse, cracks created by excessive loading, or corrosion of the reinforcement. Corrosion of the reinforcement occurs when it comes in contact with moisture, which increases its resistance to fatigue failure. This phenomenon may not be significant until after a number of years have passed. For example, low-quality steel used in early buildings was more likely to corrode before breaking down than high-quality steel installed later.
The strength of concrete can be increased by adding materials such as coarse aggregate, fine aggregate, cement paste, water, air, and fiber. Coarse aggregate makes up most of the mass of concrete, so increasing the size of the particles results in a stronger material. Fine aggregate is smaller than coarse aggregate and acts as a lubricant during mixing and casting. A small amount of water is required to produce a workable mixture, but too much water causes the material to expand as it sets, leading to cracking.
A stone floor must bear the weight of humans and large things. As a result, compressive strength is the maximum load per unit area that the stone can withstand without giving way. A compressive strength between 1,800 psi (12.45 MPa) to 19,000 psi (131 MPa) indicates that the stone can withstand a larger crushing load. Compressive strength varies depending on how the stone is made up and the type of material it is composed of.
Concrete is a mixture of water, cement, sand, and gravel used to make buildings, bridges, and roads. Concrete has greater compressive strength when it's fresh out of the mixer; however, as it cures over time, its compressive strength increases further. For example, if you pour a concrete slab today, it will be at its lowest strength until it cures completely in one year. After that, it can be carved, drilled, or cut into any shape you like—as long as you don't put any weight on it.
The average person weighs about 140 lb (63 kg). This means that the maximum load that a 4-foot by 8-foot (1.22 m by 2.44 m) section of concrete would need to support is about 56,000 lb (25,500 kg). However, for most people to be able to walk across it, the surface would need to be at least 6 inches (15 cm) deep.
The strength of different varieties of stone varies. If you use a stronger stone, such as granite, it may last longer than concrete, which is widely acclaimed for its strength. Stone, like concrete, may require sealants to keep it from deteriorating. Over time, both materials can be stained by soil and weather elements if they are not kept clean.
Concrete tends to be stronger than stone, but only when it is new. The weight of vehicles driven over concrete, the action of sunlight on the surface, and the penetration of air pollution can all cause it to break down over time. Concrete also requires maintenance, such as washing away any dust that collects on its surface or spraying with a hoseful of water to remove any salt residue that might form if it is used as a road surface.
Stone is resistant to most chemicals and pollutants, although it can become weathered with use. It can also be damaged by heat or cold, so place it in a warm, sheltered area when cleaning it up to avoid causing stress cracks in your stone. Cleaning concrete will usually involve just rinsing it off under running water unless it has heavy dirt or debris stuck to it. For very dirty concrete, you can use a brush and some soap to get the job done or hire a professional cleaner. For extremely dirty stone, try rubbing it with a cloth soaked in alcohol.