pavers over concrete patio
We have a 15 X 18 patio (6 years old), no settling or cracks but is starting to flake on top...have had contractors look at it and they all say "it's too small of a job, go buy stuff and fix it yourself"...we would love to have it stamped and stained but the last guy said he was going to lay 4 inches of concrete over top what is existing (busting it out was another $1000)so I started looking to see if we couldn't paver overtop of it since that would only had 1 1/2 inches...it is already graded to drain away from the foundation and the stairs do need a skim coat to even out so he said he could skim the stairs & stain them, add 4 inches over the pad and stain and stamp....just not sure I want to go that route. Apparently when this patio was laid it was rained upon and you can see where water started wearing it away in spots (almost like salt on concrete)...but, NO cracks....he said if there were cracks he would say tear it out. just wanting to get more opinions and make the best economical yet asthetically pleasing choice! Thanks!!ANSWER
I understand your dilemma from a cost perspective. However, I have a few issues with these ideas. The worst thing is to try to fix something and it not live a long life!
I am not a mason, but if the concrete is flaking, that makes me nervous. If you put any type of concrete over it, how do we know that it will adhere correctly due to the flaking? It is flaking for a reason (as you mentioned your thoughts).
I also strongly dislike applying a stain over concrete. The correct way to get a colored concrete look is to mix the color in with the concrete while it is wet and before it is installed. Stains will eventually come off.
I also don't like the idea of laying pavers in sand over concrete. I am just not comfortable with water seeping down on top of the concrete. When pavers are laid in sand without concrete beneath them (the correct way, water that gets into the joints can percolate down to the ground. With concrete it can't. Even if it is pitched correctly, water will still be sitting on top of the concrete.
If you were my client or if it were my own house, I would wait until I could afford to rip out the patio.