There are two main types of driveway available: Concrete and interlocking driveways. Which one you choose is very much down to personal preference, however there are several different things you should think about before making a commitment as choosing the wrong driveway can be a costly mistake. Although interlocking and concrete driveways have some similarities such as being easy to maintain and customisable, they also have some striking differences too. Learn which driveway is perfect for your needs by reading our guide to concrete vs interlocking driveways below.
REASONS TO CHOOSE A CONCRETE DRIVEWAY
Strong and durable. If correctly maintained, concrete driveways can last for up to 50 years. Be sure to occasionally sweep with a stiff brush and for even more protection, consider applying a clear sealer once a year.
If you are on a budget, a concrete driveway makes a good choice. Concrete driveways are cheaper to install than paving slabs.
Concrete driveways can be customised to your exact requirements with a full range of colours to choose from. You can even imprint a design into them to mimic an actual paved area.
WHEN NOT TO CHOOSE A CONCRETE DRIVEWAY
For high spec, customised designs:
Although concrete can be coloured and imprinted, concrete in it’s original form is not particularly pleasing to look at. Be sure to consider this if you do colour or imprint your driveway, it will not last as long as plain concrete.
For a maintenance free driveway:
Concrete driveways must be properly maintained and cannot simply be left alone as this will considerably reduce the life expectancy of the surface.
For an easy to clean surface:
Common spillages on driveways such as oil are, unfortunately, difficult to remove on concrete, so make sure you consider this before kickstarting your new driveway project.
For a DIY project:
Installing a concrete driveway is likely to be a huge undertaking, even for the most savvy DIYer. Be sure to only hire an experienced tradesman to take on the task of laying a concrete driveway.
REASONS TO CHOOSE AN INTERLOCKING DRIVEWAY
Interlocking driveways are comparable to their concrete counterparts in many ways. As well as being easy to maintain, they are also relatively affordable and come in a range of designs. However, there are many more advantages of interlocking driveways you may not be aware of.
Interlocking driveways reduce risk of slips, even when wet. Because the surface also prevents friction from occurring, they are good at protecting people from skidding as well. Snow melting systems are even available which melt snow away in winter, leaving a clear path and reducing the need to clear your driveway.
No heavy tools or equipment is required for installing an interlocking driveway and this type of driveway can be used straight after being laid as there is no mortar to dry. If blocks become stained or damaged, they can easily be replaced at minimal skill level and cost.
Interlocking driveways allow water to permeate into the ground unlike concrete ones which discharge water into nearby drains or streets.
WHEN NOT TO CHOOSE AN INTERLOCKING DRIVEWAY
For a weed or moss free driveway. Interlocking driveways can be prone to weed growth between gaps or moss growth because seeds settle between gaps and lichen forms on the surface. So, if you aren’t committed to cleaning your driveway regularly, this option may not be the best choice.
For a drainage free driveway:
Interlocking driveways require drainage because sand placed between blocks reduces the ability for water to pass into the ground. Be sure to install a drainage system for this type of driveway.
For a driveway which retains its colour:
Interlocking driveways can become faded due to constant use from vehicles and humans, not to mention damage from UV rays too. And so if you want your driveway looking as good as the day it was installed, an interlocking driveway may not be the best choice.
CONCRETE OR INTERLOCKING DRIVEWAY. WHICH SHOULD I CHOOSE?
If you are looking for a strong, customizable, easy to maintain and affordable solution for your driveway, you’ll be pleased to know that both concrete and interlocking driveways suit these needs. Interlocking driveways also having the added benefits of being safe to use, easy to install and environmentally friendly. However, installing a driveway at your home is an expensive project, and costly mistakes are not an option. So be sure to consider the disadvantages too. Again, both types of driveway do require some degree of maintenance, cleaning and skilled labour during installation. A concrete driveway is certainly not a job for even a highly skilled DIYer, and neither is an interlocking one. So consider carefully what you are looking for before making that final commitment.