Replacing Pavers With Concrete

Updated on July 5, 2017
Virginia Allain profile image

Florida lifestyle, decorating, and retirement are topics covered by Virginia who shares her own experiences.

Here's the Reason We Wanted to Replace the Pavers

The frequent rains of summer caused mold to grow on the pavers. Pressure washing worked to get it off but was a nuisance on a large patio like ours.
The frequent rains of summer caused mold to grow on the pavers. Pressure washing worked to get it off but was a nuisance on a large patio like ours. | Source

Transforming Our Patio by Changing the Pavers to Concrete

After 14 years of pavers on our patio, we decided to switch to a concrete surface. The pavers looked great at first, but over the years became prone to mold and had weeds coming up between them.

This switch from pavers to concrete was part of our project to expand our screen room. In Florida, the weather is great for outdoor living, so we wanted a bigger space and one that was easier to take care of.

Follow along below to see what was involved in switching from the original pavers to a new patio of concrete. Although it took some time, we expect to enjoy our outdoor living space more now without spraying chemicals on the weeds or having to pressure wash to remove mold.

This photo essay doesn't include the removal of the screen room or the construction of the new one. It covers the removal and replacement of the patio surface.

Mold Builds up on Pavers from Frequent Rains

Since many Floridians are snowbirds, they head north in the steamy summers. When they return, the pavers in their screen room might look like this. The pressure washer removes the mold, as you see here.
Since many Floridians are snowbirds, they head north in the steamy summers. When they return, the pavers in their screen room might look like this. The pressure washer removes the mold, as you see here. | Source

Removing the Old Pavers

Removing the Pavers

We started the removal ourselves, so that a friend could have some of the pavers for her patio. It was hard work with inadequate tools (a trowel, crowbar, and a shovel)
We started the removal ourselves, so that a friend could have some of the pavers for her patio. It was hard work with inadequate tools (a trowel, crowbar, and a shovel) | Source
Here's the worker from MD Construction doing a more expeditious removal of the pavers.
Here's the worker from MD Construction doing a more expeditious removal of the pavers.
As you can see, he's using a mattock which worked well for bringing up the pavers.
As you can see, he's using a mattock which worked well for bringing up the pavers.
The last batch of pavers, stacked for removal.
The last batch of pavers, stacked for removal.

Rain Delay

The time between removing the pavers and getting the concrete poured was several weeks. Rain every day delayed the project. Then we had several days of fine weather but the concrete companies were behind schedule.

Finally, our turn came and the rains held off. The concrete was poured in one day and smoothed for drying.

Pouring and Spreading the Concrete

The Concrete Pour

It took a full crew to spread the concrete as it was pumped to the patio.
It took a full crew to spread the concrete as it was pumped to the patio. | Source
For our size of patio, it took 3 cement trucks plus a small unit that pumped the concrete through large, flexible tubing to our backyard.
For our size of patio, it took 3 cement trucks plus a small unit that pumped the concrete through large, flexible tubing to our backyard.
Here the workers are leveling the concrete as it was being pumped into the area. The edges were previously defined with boards and stakes to contain the concrete. The proper slope was determined at that time.
Here the workers are leveling the concrete as it was being pumped into the area. The edges were previously defined with boards and stakes to contain the concrete. The proper slope was determined at that time.
The workers wore rubber boots to move around in the liquid concrete.
The workers wore rubber boots to move around in the liquid concrete.

Do You Have a Patio of Pavers or Concrete?

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Smoothing out the Surface

Getting the Concrete Smoothed

As the concrete was poured into each section of the patio, a worker with a long, very long, pole smoothed the surface.
As the concrete was poured into each section of the patio, a worker with a long, very long, pole smoothed the surface. | Source
Here's the long pole for that part of the job. It meant that he could stand outside the poured section and reach across to smooth it out.
Here's the long pole for that part of the job. It meant that he could stand outside the poured section and reach across to smooth it out.
The next step was hand smoothing. The surface isn't getting stepped on at this point, so the worker used a platform to distribute his weight while he trowels the cement smoother still. He went over the same area several times.
The next step was hand smoothing. The surface isn't getting stepped on at this point, so the worker used a platform to distribute his weight while he trowels the cement smoother still. He went over the same area several times.
Next came a further smoothing with a machine that  had rotating smoothers. This part of the operation went over the full surface several times. Additional helpers added small amounts of cement to certain spots as this man smoothed.
Next came a further smoothing with a machine that had rotating smoothers. This part of the operation went over the full surface several times. Additional helpers added small amounts of cement to certain spots as this man smoothed.

Did You Know There Was This Much Work Involved?

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Now the Concrete Has to Dry

This will get a special finish that keeps the surface cool, but first, it has to cure. Luckily, we had 2 days of sun to help the concrete dry and set.
This will get a special finish that keeps the surface cool, but first, it has to cure. Luckily, we had 2 days of sun to help the concrete dry and set. | Source

Adding Expansion Joints?

Cutting Lines in the Concrete

I didn't find out what the purpose of this was. The worker came the day after the pour to measure out a grid on the pavement. Then he cut along that grid (about 1 inch deep). My guess is that these allow for contraction and expansion of the concrete.
I didn't find out what the purpose of this was. The worker came the day after the pour to measure out a grid on the pavement. Then he cut along that grid (about 1 inch deep). My guess is that these allow for contraction and expansion of the concrete. | Source

Finishing the Surface Work

Finishing the Surface

The upright worker has a hopper filled with the CoolDeck solution and he's spraying it on the concrete. The worker who's leaning down has a trowel to spread and flatten it. He's wearing spikes strapped on his shoes to avoid treading on the wet glop.
The upright worker has a hopper filled with the CoolDeck solution and he's spraying it on the concrete. The worker who's leaning down has a trowel to spread and flatten it. He's wearing spikes strapped on his shoes to avoid treading on the wet glop. | Source
The two men are applying paint using long roller brushes.
The two men are applying paint using long roller brushes.
Here's the resulting texture and color.
Here's the resulting texture and color.

Our Thanks to MD Construction for Their Careful Work

Questions & Answers

  • Is that a drain for the water in the last picture in the article on replacing pavers with concrete, or an expansion joint?

    Right where the shadow falls on the pavers in the picture is a drain. Those are put near the house to keep water from backing up towards the house in a heavy rain. There are ones also around the perimeter of the paving (about a foot or so in from the edge) to allow drainage.

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    • profile image

      Brenie's House Sitting & More 

      15 months ago

      Wow Virginia, I cant wait to see once you have returned all your beautiful plants and accessories!

    • profile image

      Becca 

      15 months ago

      We are fortunate that our Captiva model home came with concrete and not pavers on the lanai. We do plan on staining the concrete in the future. I had never heard of 'coolant' on the lanai. Enjoy your new lanai!

    • profile image

      Kathy Glascott 

      15 months ago

      I hope you enjoy your new patio.

    • Virginia Allain profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Allain 

      15 months ago from Central Florida

      Pat, we'll just have the screen room over the paved area. The part closest to the house has a roof though. We've liked how the pavers looked but it's such a nuisance to pull up the tiny weeds sneaking up between the pavers or to spray them with poisons. If you are gone for a 2-week vacation, you come back to knee-high weeds on the patio.

    • profile image

      Pat Jedrick 

      15 months ago

      interesting...In my neighborhood every one is switching from concert to pavers.... all of it still has to be power washed eventually. .... Will you have an awning or porch cover?

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