When considering which type of paving to invest in for your outdoor space, chances are you’ll come across porcelain and natural stone as a couple of standout choices. Both are incredibly attractive paving stones and are particular favourites amongst homeowners and landscapers. However, deciding between the two can be difficult, as they both have their qualities.
Discover how well both types of paving fare in different areas, from maintenance through to durability, to help you make a decision on whether porcelain or natural stone is the better choice for your own paving project.
When it comes to maintaining your paving stones, porosity plays a vital role in how easily they can be kept. If you choose paving that has higher porosity levels than average, it will be much more susceptible to the likes of staining and wear over time.
Natural stone paving is available in many different types, each of which has its own porosity, so if you want paving that is relatively easy to maintain, you will need to find out which natural stone is the least porous. You can also reduce the chances of staining by regularly sealing the stone, which can prevent dirt and moisture from sinking into it.
Porcelain paving on the other hand, is very non-porous, and doesn’t need to be sealed or resealed to maintain its appearance. It is also considered scratch resistant, which is perfect for paving with heavy furniture placed on top.
Conclusion: Although porcelain comes out on top as the easiest paving of the two to maintain, there are some types of natural stone paving that require less caring to than others.
Porcelain is made using a mixture of sand, clay and other minerals which are mixed and blended together in high temperatures – it’s a fairly simple process which allows plenty of porcelain paving to be made at once.
On the other hand, it takes a fair amount of time and effort to source natural stone from the various locations around the world, to then cut and smooth it down to an appropriate size and style for paving. That’s why it can be more costly to buy compared to manufactured porcelain paving.
What’s more, the installation of porcelain paving is typically cheaper than that of natural stone, simply because it’s a much speedier process and requires less effort to complete.
Conclusion: If your budget plays a major role in deciding between porcelain and natural stone paving, then porcelain is you best choice. Whereas if you’d prefer to pay a little extra for naturally sourced paving, increase your budget to account for natural stone.
As mentioned earlier, porcelain is much easier to maintain than natural stone, due to its porosity and scratch resistant features. It’s much more resilient to changing weather conditions and can easily defend itself against heavy objects. These are just some of the features which typically make porcelain paving much more durable than natural stone.
Together, the materials that go into creating porcelain make this type of paving incredibly hard-wearing. That’s not to say that natural stone isn’t durable – it is, incredibly so – but when it comes to comparing its durability to the likes of porcelain, there is only one clear winner.
Conclusion: If you live in a harsh weather environment, or you’re concerned about the chances of scratches or chips to your paving, we would recommend opting for porcelain. However, if you’re in a fairly mild climate with very little chance of damaging your paving, natural stone could still be considered as an option for your paving.
Although porcelain paving advantages might outweigh those of natural stone when it comes to the likes of maintenance, cost and durability, it’s not so straight forward when it comes to style. Both provide different styles to one another and it all comes down to personal preference when deciding which will be the best fit for your home.
Porcelain paving creates a more modern feel to a garden and can blend seamlessly with some indoor paving. Blending the indoor and outdoors together is a big part of contemporary garden design, so if you’re hoping for a stylish contemporary feel, porcelain might be the way to go.
Natural stone paving, on the other hand, has a more unique look and feel to it, with no two stones being the same. Each slab has its own patterns within the stone, so you’re always going to have a unique style to your paving with this choice. Natural stone paving can suit both modern and traditional homes, depending on the type of stone you opt for. What’s more, its natural appearance will match perfectly with the natural environment of your garden.
Conclusion: For a modern and sleek vibe, porcelain paving is the perfect choice. For a more unique or traditional look, natural stone is the best option.
At the end of the day, style and personal preference will play a major role in deciding which paving stones are right for your space. However, by knowing that porcelain is a much better choice in terms of maintenance, cost and durability, the paving you choose to go with will be invested in having had all the information you need to do so.