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I'm planning on redoing all of my walkways as well as a small patio in the back yard. I'm trying to decide between concrete with exposed aggregate or rubber pavers. The whole market for rubber pavers seems a bit nebulous to me. I haven't been able to find much advice for which brands hold up the best or reports from anybody about wear & tear after much time after the installation. I would like to know what to expect for durability from a non-biased and experienced installer or owner. I'm especially interested in hearing about how they endure winter conditions, including the possibility of saturation with ice as well as being shoveled and salted.

Update: The reason I'm interested in rubber is to minimize injuries from children wiping out because this walkway will be curving across the middle of a somewhat smaller (urban) back yard to reach the house back door to the garage back door.

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Kids live in a world of concrete. I don't know if I'd worry too much about one walkway. FYI, I used concrete pavers in MN and they survived many winters (that said, you don't want to salt concrete if you can avoid it.) –  DA01 Apr 18 '13 at 20:26
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Also, if safety is the main concern, I'd perhaps consider a more temporary solution for a few years...such as a pea gravel or wood bark path instead. –  DA01 Apr 18 '13 at 20:26
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3 Answers 3

Why install rubber? Unless you have a really modern house or a funky design they will look ugly. Also I had these for a walk up to my apartment door a while back. Cuts and scratches in them really stick out. Landlord was upset after I shoveled them one winter and there were a lot of blade marks on them...

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The OP isn't asking your opinion on if they are ugly or not and it doesn't really sound like you've answered his question about how they hold up to winter. –  Steven Apr 18 '13 at 13:25
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While the first part of this answer certainly contains a lot of opinon I think the comment about scratches and shovel marks in particular do apply to the OP's question. –  auujay Apr 18 '13 at 15:06
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I am a DIYer that appreciates the help I have gotten on the board. I give opinion to helpfully save other people time and money and make their house function/look better. Do I have scientific research for most of my answers? Maybe some. Are my answers logical and using experience? Almost all. This question is a question about concrete or rubber pavers. The whole question is about the looks and functionality. Both will work. You can walk on either. I hope when I ask a question that people give their opinions not a google copy/paste job. –  DMoore Apr 18 '13 at 16:17
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You should be more worried about height than material if it cuts across your yard. I have a 2 year old and would install concrete. Whether is is rock or rubber it is still hard. I doubt to a 2 year old there is any difference in falling on these materials. You need to make sure they are not tripping over this segment and they won't fall. –  DMoore Apr 18 '13 at 18:28
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Rubber is susceptible to cuts and scuffs, degrading the appearance, but will still perform their intended purpose. In general, rubber should hold up well to winter conditions, and will not crack like traditional materials. What will ultimately do rubber in is UV degradation from continuous sun exposure. For this one reason, I would stick with traditional materials in most situations. –  bcworkz Apr 18 '13 at 20:33
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We have had rubber pavers for 3 years now, we live in Canada so they have been through the very cold winter temperatures. They are on the north side of our house so they don't see a lot of sun; that being said they are still in the same condition they were when we bought them 3 yrs ago! We don't use salt but we sweep off the snow and when it gets too deep to sweep it off we use a plastic snow shovel on them and we haven't had any issues with using a shovel on them or with ice build up on them either. We have cement pavers leading up to the patio and our 3 kids ride bikes, scooters and roller blade down the cement walkway onto the rubber pavers. They seem to be able to withstand the cold and kids very well! I also move the barbecue around on them and it hasn't damaged them any! The only problem we had was someone mowed the lawn for us while we were away and ran over one, of course tearing it up.

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I live in Minneapolis and leave them out all winter and they are great. They do not fade. Not sure about shoveling snow from them. I use the tiles under swing set where the grass gets worn out and they are perfect. Mulch and stones get kicked around and this stays in place. Rubber has a natural cushion vs cement

Love the product

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It's great to hear your experience. Thanks! That actually seems like a perfect application for them. Would you consider using them for a walkway? –  andyortlieb Jul 10 '13 at 17:35
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