How to choose the ideal slab for your new patio

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How to choose the ideal slab for your new patio

You’ve already got a lot to consider when designing and considering the materials you need for your garden makeover. When it comes to deciding upon the best type of material for your patio slabs? We’re here to guide you.

First off. What questions do you need to consider?

  • How easy are the patio slabs be to maintain?
  • Will the patio slabs crack or stain easily?
  • How expensive are the best patio slabs for your patio?

Let’s cover off some of the key questions for you one by one. Firstly, just who will be using your new garden patio? As you’ll be outside more during the hot summer months, keep in mind your children’s feet. The last thing you want is a beautiful new garden patio that you can’t all enjoy.

Which patio slabs will stay cool during the warm summer months?

Porcelain patio slabs can get hot in the sun, however so do other stone paving surfaces too. If this is a concern try and you’re laying your patio where it will be direct sunlight during the peak hours of the day, go for a lighter coloured paving slab that will reflect the heat as opposed to a dark coloured slab that will absorb the heat. Caledonian stone have a wide variety of lighter coloured porcelain patio slabs available.

Which patio slabs will resist the colder winter months?

Porcelain tiles are a premium product, very hard and a hard wearing paving slab. Porcelain paving is fired at high temperatures to ensure that it’s not susceptible to frost damage therefore only 0.05 porous. Freeze/thaw contraction and expansion cracking can only occur if moisture can enter the tile which in the case of porcelain paving slabs is a lot less likely than most cheaper stone paving slabs.

Porcelain patio slabs have a very low porosity compared with standard stone tiles, therefore moss and algae can’t key/stick to the surface, so as a general rule no it does not require sealing.

In the autumn and wetter months, porcelain patio slabs are prone to rust staining and wood and leaf tannin staining. It’s always best to sweep the leaves regularly during the autumn and winter. However, any stains can always be removed with a specialist cleaner and some elbow grease.

All this said you can buy porcelain sealants that will fill the micro pores on the surface of the porcelain and that will help prevent rust, leaf and wood tannin stains.

With ice, frost and rain on winter’s agenda, you also need to consider how slippy will patio slabs may become. Porcelain is strictly anti slip tested before it can be sold on the UK market and must have a minimum of an R11 anti slip rating. So, whilst porcelain paving slabs may carry a higher price tag, their value in both hot and cold conditions can help you easily justify that additional expense. Which brings us on to our next question…

For patio slabs, is porcelain more expensive than sandstone?

Budget sandstone is slightly cheaper than the lower end of the porcelain market but the premium sandstone can be almost double the price of the premium porcelain. Porcelain has become more popular than sandstone due to its durability, lower maintenance costs and vast range of designs and colours .

What about laying ceramic tiles outdoors?

Ceramic tiles are not suitable for exterior paving. 20mm porcelain paving with an R11 anti slip rating is the best product.

Which patio slabs have most designs and styles?

Porcelain patio slabs are a great idea for many reasons. Porcelain is a contemporary product yet there also porcelain slabs that have a reclaimed old worn look too, porcelain ranges in price to suit everyone’s budget, porcelain is low maintenance and can look the same after 10 plus years.

Which patio slabs will last longest?

We don’t need to be looking too far into the future. However, it’s key that 2-3 years after you’ve laid your new patio slabs that they’re still looking like new year after year. Providing the porcelain patio slabs have been laid correctly they should last 20 years as they a hard and durable material.

Do you have any specific questions relating to your choice of patio slabs? We’re here to help. Just drop your question in the form below and one of our specialists will be in touch to answer any questions that you may have.

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