A brick or natural stone patio can be a beautiful addition to your outdoor living space. It is always a good idea to do a comparison when trying to decided on a patio surface. Consider the following pros and cons of natural stone and brick patios to determine which material will work best for your needs.
1 - Cost Comparison
Brick is a lot less expensive than natural stone. Bricks can be easily made, where natural stone must be mined and cut. The cost can be double or more for natural stone. Expect to pay at least $50 per square yard for natural stone, as opposed to approximately $18 per square yard for the brick. This is the cost of the stone or brick only; does not include the cost of installation.
2 - Durability
Brick is a natural product as is the natural stone. The difference is that brick is made of clay, whereas the stone is solidly formed. Brick that is manufactured today is very durable. As for durability, either option is good for a patio, so your decision will be a personal choice.
3 - Surface Structure
A brick patio will be a rough surface, but natural stone is smooth. If you plan on having a patio where you will have a lot of accessories, you will want to consider the best option for its use.
4 - Design Options
Brick can be formed in very ornate patterns, and you can use different colors of bricks to make a mosaic pattern. Although natural stone can be made into several patterns, they are mostly a classic design that does not have a lot of flair. If you want the patio to be the focal point with an ornate pattern, brick will offer more options.
5 - Water Concerns
Both offer good drainage if correctly installed. Natural stone is porous enough to allow moisture from rain and humidity to dissipate. Brick is more porous than natural stone, and the water will be able to quickly seep into the ground or evaporate. Natural slab, because it is less porous, will hold water long, which causes it to become very slippery when it is wet.
6 - Stains
Many things can cause stains, like salt used in the icy months, a spill from a drin, or a dropped plate of food during a barbecue. You will need to use a power washer and a natural soap to remove stubborn stains on natural stone. Never use a harsh cleaner or bleach as it will ruin the natural stones color. Brick can be scrubbed with a stiff brush and soap for removal.
If the stain does not come out, it will have to be repaired. With brick, you will simply replace the piece that is ruined. With natural stone, you will have to refinish the surface with a product made specifically for the task that can be purchased at a tile store or home improvement center. In either case, keep in mind that you will also need to reapply the grout.