With such a huge variety of garden paving available these days, choosing the best type of patio paving can be difficult.
In recent times, we have seen a steep rise in the number of our clients opting for porcelain paving for their Essex patio or pathway. But why is this? What is so great about this type of paving? Well, today, we look at 11 reasons why you should choose porcelain for your next patio or pathway, along with some of the drawbacks.
One of the biggest advantages for many of our clients is the fact that porcelain is incredibly low maintenance. We all lead increasingly busy lifestyles and it can be difficult to find the time to do many household chores. And who really needs a patio that needs regularly jet washing and sealing? Well, that’s where porcelain is so good – unlike many other types of paving, porcelain never needs sealing to ensure that it retains its fresh look.
The best porcelain is very dense and capable of withstanding lots of foot traffic with ease. This means that it generally lasts far longer than most other types of patio and pathway paving.
Again, unlike most other types of paving, porcelain is very easy to clean and does not require any specialist cleaning products. More often than not, porcelain paving is easily cleaned with just a hose and brush, without the need for a jet wash.
One of the problems with natural stone and concrete paving is that, over time, the colour tends to fade. However, porcelain is unaffected by the sun so the tiles will not fade or lose their natural colour, meaning your patio or pathway will look just as good as the day it was laid, even years down the line.
Porcelain is not only excellent at holding its colour, it’s also extremely good at preventing staining. That is down to its non-porous nature, meaning that liquids remain on the surface of the paving rather than being absorbed.
Isn’t porcelain slippery, though? This is an extremely common question we get asked by clients during site visits and, fortunately, porcelain is anti-slip. Many people wrongly believe that porcelain will be slippery, but that may be down to most people associating porcelain paving with kitchen or bathroom tiles, which tend to have a polished surface. However, external porcelain is designed for external use and therefore has a rough surface texture, which is usually only felt and not necessarily seen. Of course, some porcelain tiles have a higher anti-slip rating than others, so check the anti-slip rating on your chosen paving and obtain samples to feel the surface texture before purchasing.
There is such a huge array of styles and colours of porcelain available these days that, admittedly, it can be difficult to decide on the best one for your garden. It was at one time predominately used for modern and contemporary gardens; however, in recent times, more and more porcelain is being manufactured to replicate more traditional styles of paving.
Right now, grey is extremely popular among our clients, but there are also many other shades of buff, beige, black, white and brown to suit the surroundings of just about any garden.
Another major advantage of choosing porcelain paving for your Essex patio is that it is far less likely to be scratched than most other types of paving. This is especially appealing for those wishing to place tables and chairs on their paving, along with those installing paving for family use.
Porcelain tiles can easily be profiled to give them a ‘bull-nosed’ edge, whereby the edge of the tile is rounded off. This is perfect for creating steps and coping stones, where a rounded edge will not only look more aesthetically pleasing, but also reduce the chances of injury should slips and trips occur.
For many years Indian sandstone has been an extremely popular choice of paving amongst our clients, and to an extent it still is to this day. And for good reason, too, as the natural look of sandstone can create stunning patios and pathways. However, one of the biggest problems with sandstone is that it tends to draw in moss, mould and lichen, particularly in north-facing gardens. Porcelain, on the other hand, is resistant to moss and mould growth, keeping it looking fresh in even the most sheltered of gardens.
A newish way of surfacing your driveway is to use porcelain. One of the main players in the UK paving industry, Marshalls, recently released their brand new range, SYMPHONY® Plus Drive, which is porcelain paving specifically designed for use on driveways.
Using porcelain is a great way to achieve a long-lasting, low-maintenance, fade-resistant and stylish driveway.
Well, yes, unfortunately nothing in life is perfect and neither is porcelain.
One of the drawbacks of porcelain is that, generally, it tends to be more expensive than concrete slabs and a little more expensive than natural paving. However, with the ever-increasing demand and competition between suppliers, costs have reduced in recent times. Of course, you do need to be careful about choosing a good quality porcelain, ideally one that has been vitrified, to avoid problems.
Another downside to porcelain is that it requires specialist tools and materials to install. Firstly, each individual slab will need a coating of primer applied to the back of the slab to ensure it properly adheres to the mortar bed. Porcelain is also more difficult to cut than most other types of paving and requires specialist cutting blades and, ideally, a table saw for accurate cutting.
With a long list of benefits, it’s little wonder that so many of our Essex customers are opting to install porcelain for their patios and pathways.
If you would like a free no-obligation quote then please contact us here or, alternatively, call us on 01245 697 688 to arrange your free site visit.