Ask the Expert: Is Porcelain Right for Your Next Landscaping Project? [2023 Update]Darwyn Rabey
At Caledonian Stone, we genuinely care about the work we do and the products we sell. Far more than just a supplier, we’re specialists committed to ensuring that you get the best service, the finest quality products and the highest level of expertise.
But, rather than just take our word for it, why not ask one of our experts?
As part of our ‘Ask the Expert’ series, we sat down with Darwyn Rabey, the General Manager at Caledonian Stone to find out why he believes porcelain is the perfect choice for landscapers about to embark on a new hard landscape design.
Porcelain paving is relatively new to the landscaping market, why are you such a fan?
Darwyn: That’s right, compared to some of the more traditional materials out there, porcelain is a comparatively recent innovation. My father founded the company back in 1995 and back then we worked exclusively with natural stone. But, when we discovered porcelain, we knew we’d found something special. I truly believe porcelain to be the number 1 choice for landscapers and builders alike.
Okay, tell us what you think makes porcelain paving so special?
Darwyn: Porcelain is long lasting, easy to maintain and fade resistant. It’s non-porous (unlike stone and concrete) so spills can be mopped up really easily. You don’t have to seal it every year (as is often recommended with stone paving) and the fact that it won’t fade means your customers will be delighted with their paving for years to come.
What areas or gardens is porcelain best suited to?
Darwyn: It has a non-slip surface so can be used just about anywhere. Previous projects have used porcelain for patios, balconies, steps and even around swimming pools. The best thing is, it’s so tough that you can use it for driveways, too.
Why do you believe a landscaper would benefit using porcelain over, say, concrete?
Darwyn: For a start, you can choose the size of the slabs. With materials that occur naturally, you’re at the whim of what’s available but as porcelain is man-made, you can opt for larger slabs for larger areas, meaning landscapers can lay tiles in a fraction of the time.
As we’ve mentioned already, porcelain is new to the market – does that mean it’s particularly difficult to lay?
Darwyn: Absolutely not! Our aim is to make our customers’ lives easier, not more difficult! Porcelain is incredibly strong and hard wearing which means you don’t have the same concerns that you might have laying ceramic paving. We put together a really simple guide to laying porcelain paving which you can read here.
Is there much variety available with porcelain?
Darwyn: Yes, loads. We have a huge range of products to suit the tastes of all of our clients and their customers. We even have porcelain that looks like wood, so you can have all the charm of wooden flooring but with the durability and strength of porcelain.
But, big question, can porcelain paving handle the British weather?
Darwyn: Absolutely. In fact, porcelain paving can stand the weather far better than most of us Brits! It’s frost resistant (which comes in very handy in winter, especially for our customers based in the Highlands) but it also doesn’t attract moss or mould so there’s less of a slip risk on rainy days – and we see a lot of those in the UK!
Do you have a favourite Caledonian Stone product?
Darwyn: There are too many to choose from. I love the wood-effect porcelain tiles for their style and durability and I’m a big fan of the Caldo porcelain tiles – they’re really distinctive and have a definite Mediterranean feel. I think my current favourite product though, would have to be the bullnose slabs for steps, they give a really high-end finish for landscape customers who want something a little bit special.
Anything else to add?
Just that we have a great customer service team and we’re always happy to answer questions or have a chat with customers. We offer 3 free porcelain paving sample tiles too so landscapers can see for themselves the quality of the tiles without the commitment.
Great stuff, thanks Darwyn. It’s been a pleasure talking to you!
Is porcelain right for your next landscaping project?
So, what do you think?
Has Darwyn, our porcelain paving expert, piqued your interest?
Get in touch with the Caledonian Stone team today to discuss your requirements for your next landscaping project or request three free samples.