How much should Porcelain Paving cost? – Part 2

How much should Porcelain Paving cost? – Part 2

The most common question we get asked here at Caledonian Stone is – how much will my porcelain patio renovation cost? Unfortunately, the answer will differ drastically from project to project as a result of many factors that should initially be considered when planning any outdoor landscaping renovation. This blog continues on from part 1 and will go over each of these cost variations in detail and ultimately help you to understand what can make the cost of your project go up or down.


Firstly, when thinking about a porcelain patio upgrade, which of our extensive range will you choose? We provide a wide range of porcelain paving and boast many different designs, colours, sizes and finishes within both our premium range and our stock range, to suit every project need! The final cost of your project will be dependant upon which of our paving options you choose as well as other factors we will discuss in this article.

Great, you’ve chosen your new porcelain paving! Ready to be fitted and enjoyed.. will you undertake the project yourself or hire a professional landscaper or designer? There are many benefits to having an expert involved in your project from the outset. We highly recommend using a professional to lay your porcelain paving as it will save a lot of time, effort, maintenance and ultimately stress.

The split of labour & materials when hiring a tradesperson will be around 70%/30%, meaning that a large part of the cost in hiring someone, is the labour involved to complete the project. Although hiring an expert will increase the cost of the final project, having a professional who has the experience and knows how to safely and appropriately lay your porcelain paving, will mean less unforeseen problems & costly issues arising during the project or in the future.

How to Lay Porcelain Slabs - man laying slabs


How much does a Garden Designer cost?

A garden designer is the more expensive option when it comes to your new patio and they will usually oversee the whole garden transformation process from start to finish. This process involves a lot of detailed communication, consultations and estimates prior to construction to ensure your vision can accurately come to life and their design plans mimic your wants & needs for your new patio. Often, garden design companies have their own construction teams so the process is streamlined and it is one company that handles every aspect of the project.

Going with a garden designer will typically be the most expensive option. With their very detailed and tailored service, there is no room for error and each step in the garden design process is carefully considered. The process will be broken down like so –

  • A garden survey and measurements are taken
  • Initial design meeting & deposits paid
  • Moodboards/design inspiration images are created
  • Detailed design presentation with illustrations and final image ideas
  • Amendments to the design are made
  • Estimates are given with upgrade options
  • The transformation begins – the project is usually overseen by the project manager and authority shifts from the designers to the trusted in house construction workers

Despite the process being streamlined and stress free, it can take anywhere from 4 weeks to several months to complete the project depending on the company and their teams availability (if you go with a popular, more sought after company, often you will wait months for an initial consultation), time of year, size of the project and availability of materials.

The total cost of hiring a professional garden designer is definitely the more expensive option but will also vary from project to project. Garden designers usually include a 20% +vat fee of your total budget in the final project costs. This means that if you have a budget of £8000 for your project – the design fee will be £1600 +vat.

garden design proposal by north hill gardens glasgowGarden design proposal completed by North Hill Gardens Glasgow

How much does a Landscaper cost?

A landscaper is someone who will usually be involved with the construction and building elements of your project. Whilst being cheaper than a garden designer, a landscaper will still undertake most of the aspects of the project such as providing a rough design idea, sourcing your choice of porcelain directly from us, fitting the patio including any excavations required and waste removal. The process as a whole can range in price depending on which area of the country you are in, the size of your garden, materials and pre-existing conditions. A landscaper will typically calculate their costs per m2 and the total cost can range drastically from £100-£280 per m2.

If a landscaper seems like the most logical professional to hire for your porcelain paving project, here at Caledonian Stone, we work with many independent, trusted professionals that are very familiar with our products and work with them on a daily basis. We are always happy to recommend a suitable tradesperson for your project, get in touch for more information.

Additional Cost Factors

Site Access

Ensuring there is access to the site is an important factor to consider before thinking about a new patio and the final cost. If any excavations are required, the correct digging equipment will need to suitably gain access to the garden in order to carry this out. If, for example, you live in a terraced home with no side or rear garden access, additional costs may be incurred as more labour time is needed to do these excavations by hand or in some cases removing and replacing fence panels to allow equipment access, is required. Further increasing the total cost of your project.

Sub-base, Excavation & Existing Levels

Installing any type of patio, will most likely involve some form of excavation or the installing of a sub-base. Excavation costs will increase if the existing levels – whether this be from a previous patio, turf, steps or generally just an uneven structure, are not suitable for the patio to be laid. Any patio material has to be laid on an even ground surface to ensure it is safe and will ultimately be durable and secure enough to last as long as it is supposed to. If you have an even and levelled garden with a hard surface rather than soft soil to begin with, your project will generally be cheaper than one that requires a lot of excavation and levelling. Where less labour and materials are required, costs will stay down when it comes to the final price.

                                                               excavation of a site ready to lay porcelain paving

If any excavations are carried out during the project, the correct disposal of waste is necessary. Often, this is included in the fee charger by landscapers for the project as a whole. However, if for any reason, more excavation is required than planned for, waste costs should be considered and will ultimately make your project more expensive. Average skip hire prices in the UK can be anywhere from around £100-£260 for a 4-5 yard mini skip suitable for most garden and home waste projects.


Every porcelain patio should be constructed in a way to allow for what we call a ‘slight fall’ to allow for drainage. Simply meaning, there is a very small and almost unnoticeable gradient created under the porcelain when laying the sub-base to allow any water to naturally run off your patio, usually into a turfed area, leaving your patio puddle free.

However, sometimes this method of drainage management is unavailable and a separate drainage system is required, ultimately increasing the final costs of your project.

carlo porcelain paving drain
Carlo Porcelain Paving

Steps or Walls

Having a garden on a hill that boasts steps or walled areas doesn’t mean you have to miss out on an elegant porcelain patio! We provide bullnose steps & cladding available in each of our porcelain ranges to match the finished look. If steps or a retaining wall is required, this will increase the costs of your project as more materials are required and ultimately more labour time. A multi-levelled area would be sectioned off by a retaining wall which can require additional reinforcements to ensure its safety – further impacting costs.

In any project, there are of course potential problems or accidents that can arise. It is important to remember this during your garden renovation and know that these type of issues will have a negative impact on the total cost.

smoke grey porcelain bullnose steps
Smoke Grey Porcelain Bullnose Steps

Step-By-Step Guide

We spoke to some of our trusted landscapers & porcelain paving experts and asked what they believe to be the most important steps in porcelain patio laying and how to reduce costs in some areas. Here is a rough guide of the steps involved in the laying process –

  1. Mapping out the area. This is an important step overall but can be very beneficial when influencing costs. If the area is mapped out, measured and calculated correctly, this allows for the correct amount of material to be ordered for the project ultimately reducing waste & preventing overspending.
  2. Calculating the sub-base that is to be excavated, if any, and beginning to dig this out after ensuring there are no important pipes or cables that could be obstructed. Ensuring safety is paramount but also ensuring pipes or cables are well out of sight, will mean no unforeseen expenses during the project.
  3. The sub-base aggregate can now be applied at a depth of around 100mm to make mortar and paving application smooth and level.
  4. The mortar is then prepped and applied, ready for the first porcelain paver. An important tip here is ensuring the mixture is applied to the back of the paver before laying it. This creates a bond between the porcelain and the ground surface ultimately preventing any movement and ensures your patios longevity meaning there is less repairs or maintenance needed later which would cost extra.
  5. Spacers should be used here to ensure a gap of around 6mm between each paver to ensure symmetry and enough space for the jointing compound to be applied after laying.
  6. Your patio should be left for 24 hours before being finally rinsed off and enjoyed! Keeping the area free from feet & paws during this time is paramount to ensuring its longevity and durability, further saving you money down the line.

A huge benefit of our porcelain paving and a cost saving plus is that it does not need to be finished with any extra products upon completion. Porcelain, unlike natural stone, which needs regular care and maintenance with various different expensive products, can be left alone and minimally maintained with a pressure washer or garden hose when dirt appears.

We hope to have answered some of your questions when it comes to how much porcelain paving should cost. We really can’t tell you an exact answer to this question, but hopefully we have provided the reasons why your project would go up or down in price. If you are thinking about a new porcelain paving patio in time for summer – get in touch with our expects for more information! 

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