Many homeowners are asking this question. Concrete driveways last forever, but they are not necessarily the most attractive option. Sometimes the concrete gets stained and cracked and a homeowner sees laying brick pavers over the existing concrete the perfect option to improve the looks of the walkway, patio or driveway. Before contacting a pavers contractor for such a brick installation there are a few things that you should know.
The stability of any brick installation depends on several things. There are three forces that are in play, vertical, horizontal and rotational. All directions must be stable and secure for a brick installation to last. A reputable pavers contractor will be aware of this and take it into consideration with any new installation project he undertakes.
The difficultly with laying a one inch brick paver over an existing concrete area is that you cannot guarantee the stability of the subsurface. A crack in the concrete, a slight slopped area and the fact that the concrete does not have the resilience of the normal base used by a pavers contractor is all a set up for failure of the finished surface. It will be just a matter of time before the pavers break.
The correct way to install brick pavers is to remove the existing concrete before installing the new brick surface. You may think you are finding a less expensive option by placing the brick on top of the concrete but the results will likely be more costly. The expense of buying the brick pavers and the brick installation will be entirely lost when they begin to crack and the driveway or walkway starts to disintegrate.
The result will then be the costly removal of the brick and the driveway. Thought removing the concrete may be more costly initially than laying the brick pavers on top, in the end you will be saving money by doing the job properly to start with.
When you discuss this option with a pavers contractor, a reputable contractor will let you know that placing one inch brick pavers on top of an existing concrete surface is not advisable. The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute () recommends that the concrete be removed and a foundation of road rock be set in prior to laying the concrete brick pavers. You can find more information on their website.
There are less than reputable brick pavers contractors that will tell you otherwise. If they do, you may wish to report them to the ICPI as they are misleading the public with regard to the proper installation of brick pavers. Consumers often depend on professional contractors to make decisions regarding their home improvement projects as they assume they are experts. Not all are. Being forewarned is being forearmed when dealing with any construction contractor.