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Benefits of natural stone over concrete and native stone

System Administrator posted this on 12 Apr 2019


Natural stone is sometimes wrongly considered as a delicate and fragile material to be avoided if children are playing on bikes in the yard or you need to use the area for vehicles.

It may come as a surprise, but the natural stone we offer is often up to 10 times the strength of concrete pavers!

Like all good quality building materials, paving is tested against specific criteria to ensure it is robust enough to use for the purpose in which it is intended.

These test results show natural stone to be signigicantly better than both concrete and native US stone on all test data.

The chart below shows two of the key indicators of a quality paving material - water absorption and flexural strength.

Water Absorption

The lower the water absorption, the lower the risk of algae growth and staining. Natural stone averages at less than 2%. By comparison, concrete paving has an average water absorption of 6%

Flexural Strength

The flexural strength value shows how much bending stress a paving unit can be put under before it breaks and the higher the number, the stronger the paving. Natural stone paving averages at around 25 Mpa Mean flexural strenght. By comparison, concrete paving has an average flexural strangth of 5 Mpa

Sandstone sizesImage shows Natural Paving's Harvest paving in a mixed size project pack

What makes natural stone the best alternative to concrete and native stone?

Natural Paving's hardscape products present homeowners with the ultimate in durability and beauty with:

  • A vast choice of ethically sourced, luxury paving options
  • Pre-cut and packaged packs of natural stone in a gauged thickness for ease of handling and prject planning
  • Quicker and cheaper installation
  • A choice of installation techniques including set in mortar, thin-set or sand set
  • Long lasting and low-maintenance solution
  • Competitive pricing when compared to concrete and native stone alternatives.

These credentials make natural stone the best choice over concrete and native stone.

Other points to consider

Natural stone is more attractive than concrete

  • Each piece of natural stone is a unique piece of nature with its original colour and tone which makes your garden and driveway completely individual.
  • Concrete on the other hand, comes in a regulated, artificially produced mono-color slab where all pieces are identical and comparatively characterless. 

Natural stone is more durable than concrete

  • Natural stone is a durable and hardwearing, frost resistant paving material tested to extremes of temperature to ensure it will not crack.
  • Natural stone does not wear to expose aggregates like concrete does

Natural stone paving is easier to maintain than concrete paving equivalents

  • Concrete requires ongoing maintenance and as it is prone to fading, requires periodic repainting
  • Natural stone simply requries cleaning to being it back to its true colors

Natural stone is simple to install

  • Natural stone paving may be installed using the same teqhniques as regular concrete paving
  • Does not require cutting to size or the careful positioning needed with native stone

Natural stone is a better investment than concrete paving equivalents

  • Using natural stone materials will add greater value to your property
  • Natural stone will not necessarily cost more than concrete

Natural Paving's stone hardscape products are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than concrete paving equivalents

  • Natural stone is the most sustainable building material as resources on the earth are vast, plentiful and  data back billions of years. Although the regeneration of stone is not as readily available as the regeneration of trees, it is a continuous process with natural stone havin an enduring lifecycle. 
  • Natural stone is exactly that, natural, meaning that our stone products have not been manufactured to the degree that concrete products are. 
  • As a natural product, stone products are recyclable and can be used as reclaimed paving or crushed for aggregates
Faded concreteConcrete pavers weather over time and expose aggregates at the surface. This is unsightly and cheapens the appearance of the pavers.
Concrete and weedsConcrete pavers weather back to cement gray color and as a result of the high porosity levels within concrete paving, these are more prone to attracting moss and alga
Grey sandstoneNatural stone has a beautiful array of subtle colors that never weather down to expose aggregates, nor does the paving become less attractive over time. 
Grey sandstoneNatural stone driveway pavers offer curb-appeal to your home as the gentle variation in shades is easy on the eye and remains good looking even after years of wear and tear.
Native shapesNative stone such as Oklahoma sandstone and Pennsylvania bluestone are produced as random shapes and sizes that need skilled stonemasonary and installation on site. This is not only time consuming, but adds considerable costs to the project both in terms of skilled labor, time taken in preparing the stone in addition to considerable material wastage. Further to this is the limitation on appearance as this type of stone is available only as a random layout.
Sandstone sizesThe natural stone manufactured by Natural Paving and sold to you from Paving Superstore is provided in pre-cut sizes, gauged thickness and a specified coverage per pack. This not only offers a quicker installation method, often suited to a keen enthusiast, but as the paving may be installed in several different ways, this makes a more cost-effective option. Most of our paving packs are available as premixed project packs in addition to paving slabs of just one uniform size