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Concrete or Clay Pavers?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DoubleB, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. DoubleB

    DoubleB LawnSite Member
    from So.Dak.
    Messages: 60

    Have any of you guys ever used clay pavers? Alot of guys around my area use clay instead of concrete pavers. Had a rep. from where I get my stone/pavers from tell me clay pavers are alot stronger than concrete. What do you guys think?
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,602

    To my knowledge Clay is NOT stronger than concrete.

    Ask your rep How many highwways he has seen that are made out of clay!

    And yes, we do work with clay pavers.
  3. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    LOL it's called BRICK.

    But... they do make BRICK PAVERS...harder PSI than building brick.
  4. senatorcongressman

    senatorcongressman LawnSite Member
    from WDC
    Messages: 40

    I would not say clay pavers (bricks) are stronger than concrete. Clay pavers are extruded and cut (optionally they can be pressed into a mold afterwards to get a tumbled or aged look). Then they are dried and kiln fired. Fired clay can have a fracture strength close to or higher than cast concrete. The problem is often you get defects inside the brick for various engineering and QC reasons that I won't get into. These defects make a weak spot and there you go, easily broken paver. Cast concrete pavers are usually vibrated during casting to settle out air pockets etc and therefore have fewer critical defects compared to clay bricks. The real world breaking strength of concrete pavers is usually higher than for clay pavers.

    That said, clay pavers do usually have a better wear resistance than concrete pavers. This is due to the composite nature of concrete, and the tendency of the cement to abrade more easily than the aggregate. Fired clay pavers also have color throughout so when they do wear, they wear "nicer". I recently installed a sunken clay paver patio at my home mostly because I prefer the look compared to concrete.

    Not too many clay highways, but there are a few clay paved sidewalks and streets in the US still in use from 300+ years ago. But, they've settled a bit.

    (I am a materials engineer, not a hardscaper, so your "real world" observations will differ.)

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