January 11, 2019
To Keep Your Driveway Clean (or Not): Excavating vs paver overlay

To Keep Your Driveway Clean (or Not): Excavating vs Paver Overlay

There are two installation methods to consider before starting your paver project – either by excavating the area or placing a paver overlay on the selected space. At Unique Pavers, we offer both varieties of paver installation and want to ensure you make the optimal choice.

What is excavation?

Existing driveway concrete is removed and hauled off the property, and 60mm thick pavers are ordered to accommodate the vehicular weight. In essence, removing the previous concrete allows us to construct a new driveway space from scratch; digging below ground level to install a base of crushed lime rock and sand. The pavers are then compacted into this base with a concrete edge to provide added restraint. 

Why choose excavation?

Some clients express concern that their pavers might sink if they choose this option, but Unique Pavers offers a two-year warranty to help safeguard you against any such concerns. The durability of the material and expert installation typically prevent uneven settling of the pavers – and while there’s no cement underneath them, our professional-grade pavers are unbelievably durable. They’re not only able to withstand car weight, but sustain thousands of pounds of pressure from large RVs and maintenance trucks. Thanks to the flexibility of pavers, they can be removed and replaced quickly and easily if necessary. 


• New construction
• Superior durability
• The ability to alter your driveway dimensions with ease
• More options for paver styles than in comparative 30mm style
• When your driveway’s existing concrete is in poor condition

What is overlay?

Choosing a paver overlay differs from excavation in that the pavers are installed over existing concrete. There is no digging below or restructuring the space. The overlay method requires 30mm pavers to ensure a smooth transition to the edges of the house. Unique Pavers also ads a 45-degree concrete transition to the street so that difference in elevation is accounted for.

Why choose overlay?

This option is not for everyone – there are many reasons why excavation is the preferred choice. However, the overlay is an affordable option for homeowners, assuming they meet the stringent conditions for allowing this thinner paver to be installed.

To install a paver without excavating first, the underlying cement needs to be in excellent condition. This means there must be almost no craving or sinking present at the time of commencement, and any minor issues will need to be repaired prior to installation. Concrete with minor cracks can be sealed, but raised cracks should never be overlaid with pavers.

The cost-effectiveness of this method appeals to many with the thin pavers, as they’re placed on a bed of sand above the concrete layer. This is a perfect choice for those seeking to flip a house, decorate the exterior of their first home, or add value to rental properties. The overlay is still a comparatively less popular option for driveways than excavation, with 85% of installations using the excavation method.


• If your concrete is in good condition and free from raised cracks
• If you are more budget-conscious
• If you seek faster lead times
• If you have a rental property
• If you have a small driveway
• When you’re considering other paver projects, like when you are remodeling a pool deck and must account for a seamless transition into house doorways

Published: January 11, 2019
Author: Unique Pavers
Categories : Pavers