Porcelain or Natural Stone – which is best for landscapers?Darwyn Rabey
With the rise in popularity of porcelain paving slabs, there’s even more choice for landscapers and contractors to choose for their clients’ external design projects.
How to choose?
We list the pros and cons of both to help you (and your clients) decide.
Porcelain or Natural Stone?
Whether you are working on a domestic or commercial landscape project, until recently natural stone was the only option – sandstone, slate and granite were the choices on offer.
Now, with the rise in popularity and affordability of porcelain slabs for both internal and external projects, that choice has widened immensely.
But how do you choose what is right for a project?
Stone: The strongest of the natural stone we supply is granite. However, when you are laying granite in a high traffic area – or a driveway, where it will have to withstand the weight of vehicles – Caledonian Stone recommends using thicker setts measuring a minimum of 50mm and up to 100mm. This is also the preferred option in commercial designs where there will be a lot of footfall over an extended period of time. Sandstone, meanwhile, can be prone to scratches and dents, so is not the best choice for heavy traffic areas.
Porcelain slabs: Thanks to the production process that porcelain slabs undergo, which sees the mixture of sand, clay and minerals baked at extremely high temperatures, porcelain paving is incredibly strong and hard-wearing. Our 20mm porcelain slabs will be suitable for all high traffic areas and even driveways – so there’s no need to extend the budget to pay for thicker slabs.
Stone: We generally advise that natural stone paving slabs are sealed. This helps to prevent growth of moss or algae and protects the paving from stains – so it is especially important for lighter-coloured products. The stone can be permanently stained by liquid spills, bacteria and mould. Depending on the sealing product used, it can also protect the stone from wear and tear and fading. You can choose to seal before or after laying, but the process will need to be repeated every few years.
Porcelain: Porcelain paving slabs are designed to be moss and stain proof. They can be easily wiped or washed to avoid staining, and because they are non-porous are not susceptible to algae and moss growth. Because you don’t have to spend extra time sealing these external paving slabs, you can pass on that saving to your customers. They are also fade proof, so should look as good in 10 years as they do when you lay them – a continuous great advert for your landscaping business!
Stone: Because stone is porous, it absorbs water, which can encourage the growth of moss and algae. You can lessen the effect of this by applying a sealant. The stone’s porous nature can also leave it prone to frost damage.
Porcelain: The non-porous nature of Caledonian Stone’s porcelain pavers means that they are resistant to frost damage, algae and moss growth, which makes them a great choice for the UK weather!
Choice of colours and design
Stone: Mother Nature is very creative, and natural stone paving slabs come in a variety of colours, from creamy tones, through beiges, browns, greys and blacks. Each paving slab will have its own natural pattern or design, so no two slabs will ever be the same.
Porcelain: Because the colours and patterns are fired on to the porcelain paving slabs, they will last forever. You can choose designs that emulate natural stone – so you get all the benefits of porcelain but the natural look you want – or you can even opt for a paver that looks like wood. Imagine offering clients all the warmth and texture of wooden decking, but with none of the maintenance hassle. No sealing, painting, sanding or fading.
Whether You Decide On Porcelain Or Natural Stone Slabs, Choose Caledonian Stone For Your Next Landscaping Project
If you’d like to discuss your landscape project in more detail, get in touch with the experts at Caledonian Stone.
Fill out the contact form below to discuss your requirements and request samples and we will respond swiftly. Next-day delivery is available.