Heat Retention Showdown: Cement Pavers vs. Travertine and Natural Stone

Pedestrian,path,with,paver,bricks.,sidewalk,pavementWhen it comes to choosing the right material for your outdoor flooring, there are several factors to consider. One of these factors is heat retention, especially if you live in a region with scorching summers. In this article, we will explore the heat retention properties of two popular options: cement pavers and travertine/natural stone.

Understanding Heat Retention

Before we delve into the comparison, it is important to understand what heat retention means. Heat retention refers to a material’s ability to absorb and store heat energy from the sun. Some materials tend to absorb and retain more heat than others, leading to higher surface temperatures. This can make walking or lounging on the surface uncomfortable, especially during hot summer days.

Cement Pavers: The Classic Choice

Cement pavers have been a popular choice for outdoor flooring for decades. They are known for their durability, versatility, and affordability. However, when it comes to heat retention, cement pavers tend to absorb and retain a significant amount of heat.

Due to their composition, cement pavers have a high thermal mass, meaning they are capable of storing and releasing heat slowly. This can be an advantage during colder months, as the pavers can retain heat and provide warmth. However, it becomes a disadvantage during summers when the pavers can become uncomfortably hot.

The dark color options commonly available for cement pavers also contribute to higher heat absorption. Dark-colored surfaces absorb more heat from the sun compared to lighter-colored surfaces, making the pavers even hotter under direct sunlight.

Travertine and Natural Stone: The Cool Alternative

Travertine and natural stone, such as limestone and granite, are gaining popularity as alternatives to traditional cement pavers. These materials offer a more aesthetically pleasing look and often come in lighter color options. But how do they fare in terms of heat retention?

Travertine and natural stone have lower thermal mass compared to cement pavers. This means that they do not retain heat as much, resulting in cooler surface temperatures. The pores found in these materials help to dissipate heat, making them more comfortable to walk on, even on the hottest days.

Another advantage of travertine and natural stone is their natural ability to reflect sunlight. Light-colored surfaces tend to reflect a significant amount of solar radiation, reducing heat absorption. This makes them a better choice for regions with intense heat, as they stay cooler under direct sunlight.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Option

When selecting the flooring material for your outdoor space, there are a few factors to consider in addition to heat retention. These include:

1. Aesthetics: Cement pavers come in a wide range of colors and patterns, allowing for flexibility in design. On the other hand, travertine and natural stone provide a more elegant and sophisticated look, which may be preferred by some homeowners.

2. Maintenance: Cement pavers are relatively low-maintenance, requiring occasional cleaning and sealing. Travertine and natural stone, however, may require more regular maintenance to protect their natural beauty and prevent staining.

3. Budget: Cement pavers are generally more affordable compared to travertine and natural stone. Although the latter options may incur higher upfront costs, they may offer long-term benefits such as increased property value and durability.


Ultimately, the choice between cement pavers and travertine/natural stone for your outdoor flooring depends on your specific needs and preferences. If heat retention is a concern, then travertine and natural stone are the better options due to their lower thermal mass and ability to reflect sunlight. However, factors such as design, maintenance, and budget also play significant roles in the decision-making process. Whichever option you choose, ensuring proper installation and maintenance will help maximize the longevity and performance of your outdoor flooring.

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Landscape 20/20 is a family run business. We are a team of some of the best designers, masons, landscapers, and service people around. We take pride in the quality of our work and offer very competitive pricing. We offer services such as pavers, travertine, barbecues, fire pits, turf, pergolas, and everything else that has to deal with landscaping. With over 30 years of experience and a strong desire to make sure our customers fall in love with their yards, we strive for the best service and final product. Contact us today and let us do our best to help make your landscape experience the best possible.