Outdoor paving – what are your stone options?Editor
From Bert’s sketching on London streets in Mary Poppins to Mia dancing down the road in La La Land, pavements have provided the backdrop for many a famous movie scene. But we decided it was high time that paving itself took the spotlight.
Porcelain. Sandstone. Concrete. Granite. There’s a plethora of options when it comes to exterior paving. And, while budget is a necessary consideration when selecting your paving material, a number of other factors also come into play.
So, if you’re torn between splashing out on porcelain or playing it safe with sandstone, we’re here to help you make the right choice.
What are the material options for outdoor stone paving?
Your choice of paving material will be impacted by the nature of your project. Commercial or domestic. Public or private. On solid ground or way up high.
Here’s a brief outline of the materials you might like to shortlist.
- Plain concrete slabs – Not the prettiest option but certainly the cheapest, these basic slabs are practical if budget tops your list of priorities and you’re only able to cater for the short term.
- Patterned concrete slabs – Surprisingly pleasing on the eye when new, they’re also at the cheaper end of the scale, but beware of false economy… the concrete deteriorates quickly and doesn’t weather well.
- Sandstone paving – Authenticity and aesthetics combine in this traditional, riven option… though over time it can react to the weather, and the thickness necessary for commercial projects makes these tiles hard to install.
- Porcelain – Strong, durable and beautiful, porcelain weighs in at the higher end of the price scale, yet its longevity, slip resistance and natural ability to withstand damage make it a sound choice for the long term.
How do I choose the right paving option?
Of course, the paving you choose has to be appropriate for the application. So, we’ve summarised our favourites for a range of projects to help guide you in your choice.
- Patios – Depending on your budget restrictions and aesthetic requirements, either porcelain or sandstone make strong choices.
- Pavements – An endlessly popular option, sawn sandstones make fantastic decorative pavements, but if aesthetics isn’t a priority then concrete paving is an obvious choice.
- Roof terraces – Strong yet lightweight, porcelain is fast becoming a popular choice, adding effortless style to roof terrace projects. (Discover why porcelain works best for roof terraces here.)
- Public spaces – While this is traditionally an area where sawn sandstones have been used, the recent launch of the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter has paved the way for porcelain in public areas.
- Playgrounds – Sawn sandstone is popular, but it’s also worth considering our golden gravel for pathways, which is both safe and aesthetically pleasing.
If you’re still struggling to reach a decision, we’d love to be of assistance – we can’t guarantee that your project will end up in the movies, but we’d love to feature it in our gallery!