Porcelain paving slabs have emerged as an excellent choice for outdoor paving, serving as a cost-effective alternative to natural stone paving. The use of ceramic pavers in courtyards or hardscape designs adds a touch of sophistication to any outdoor area, making it the latest trend in outdoor paving design.
This article explores the advantages and considerations of porcelain paving, providing insights to help you make informed decisions and create a stunning outdoor space.
Why Porcelain Tiles Are a Great Choice?
Porcelain paving is a low-maintenance, long-lasting material that brings a high-quality and upscale feel to any landscaping project. Despite being a relatively new material for outdoor spaces, porcelain is rapidly becoming one of the most popular choices for durable patios and outdoor areas.
Porcelain tiles come in a variety of colors and designs, allowing them to complement your existing outdoor design. For instance, gray porcelain blends well with modern designs, providing a contemporary feel, while porcelain with an antiqued effect offers a more traditional touch.
Is Porcelain Paving Slippery?
Contrary to the perception that porcelain tiles are slippery due to their matte finish, outdoor porcelain tiles are slip-resistant, making them an excellent choice for any outdoor area, including around swimming pools. The surface texture is matte and non-slip. In fact, porcelain is much more slip-resistant than ceramic or natural stone outdoor tiles.
This slip resistance is achieved through a unique manufacturing process that combines dense clay with the minimal amount of non-porous material melted at high temperatures. As a result, any surface water evaporates, leaving a slip-resistant exterior. This makes porcelain paving ideal for the UK climate, where rain and condensation are common factors.
The smoothness of porcelain tiles can be checked using a sliding scale, with an “R” value assigned to rate the tiles. Typically, outdoor porcelain tiles are rated as R11, making them a safe and durable choice for outdoor spaces that look great throughout the year.
Porcelain Paving Slabs Pros and Cons
Advantages of Porcelain Tiles
- Durability: Porcelain paving is wear-resistant and durable, ensuring longevity over many years. Its low water absorption rate contributes to a longer lifespan.
- Easy Maintenance: With low water absorption, porcelain does not require sealing. It is also easy to clean, as it is non-porous and does not absorb dirt or spills, making it suitable for high-traffic areas or around barbecue grills.
- Fade Resistance: Porcelain withstands exposure to sunlight, heavy rain, and winter conditions without fading. Over the years, it maintains a fresh appearance, eliminating the need for replacement.
- Lightweight: Unlike heavier materials like stone, porcelain is lighter, facilitating easier transportation and installation.
- Strength: Porcelain is a robust material suitable for driveways and public areas within gardens.
- Frost Resistance: Unlike some materials like concrete, porcelain exhibits resistance to freezing, making it suitable for cold climates.
- Versatility: Porcelain tiles come in various thicknesses, allowing for installation over existing outdoor paving such as wood or slate. This can save time and money in outdoor landscaping projects.
- Fire Resistance: As fire pits become increasingly popular in landscaping, porcelain tiles offer a better alternative to wood paving due to their fire-resistant properties.
Another advantage of porcelain paving is its exceptional aesthetic quality. Concrete or wood paving may age quickly, appearing tired, especially if mold develops in shaded areas (which can be inevitable). Porcelain maintains a fresh look and is easy to clean.
Being man-made, porcelain provides a range of design options, from striking patterns to a traditional “aged” stone feel. It also comes in various colour options, allowing it to blend with or contrast against the background while showcasing individuality.
Porcelain paving is an ideal choice for outdoor areas and is becoming an increasingly popular option of paving slabs for landscaping projects. Contrary to common misconceptions, it is not as expensive as imagined and offers a suitable, long-term solution for outdoor living spaces. Whether you prioritize durability, easy maintenance, or aesthetic appeal, porcelain paving slabs are a versatile and practical choice for creating a remarkable outdoor environment.