Porcelain is quickly becoming one of the most popular material choices for patios and terraces; whether this is due to its hardwearing and long-lasting properties or the range of stylish colours and styles available we’re not sure – most likely a combination of both. When using a porcelain tile on floors indoors edging is not usually an issue – the walls provide an edge and grouting means that the sides of the tiles are hidden from view. When tiling outside there will often be an ‘unfinished’ edge if the patio is raised, or if the tiles are used on steps or swimming pool surrounds.
When using natural stone or concrete paving the unfinished edge does not look out of place, however the smooth surface and rectified edges of porcelain paving gives them a sharp look. There are several options for making these sides look more attractive so we have put together some tips on choosing the right one for your patio.
If you have a small gap around the edges of your patio and need a quick and inexpensive solution stones or chippings are a great option. Available in both natural and bright colours (including glow in the dark!), decorative stones are perfect for creating a simple border that won’t break the bank. Be careful though as the stones can easily be kicked or knocked onto your paving and may need to be swept back into place every now and then.
Pros: Cost effective, natural look.
Cons: Do not stay in place, can look messy.
Profiling is our favourite finish but it can be expensive. Tiles are sent off to a specialist to be cut or ground to acheive the finish you want – for example a bull nose or half bull nose edge. The tiles are taken from the same batch as the rest of your order so that there is no difference in colour or calibration within the finished patio – this can take up to 6 weeks so be prepared to wait. You can also have anti-slip grooves for steps or cuts for lighting or railings – get in touch for a quote.
Pros: Sleek & modern finish, uniform look.
Cons: Expensive, long lead times.
Stainless steel tile trim gives an attractive finish and is available immediately. It can be used on step edges and swimming pool surrounds to give a modern look without the need for profiling. Some maintenance is required to keep the trims looking their best but they do provide a strong and safe edge. View our range of stainless steel outdoor tile edging here.
Pros: Cost effective, modern finish.
Cons: Requires some maintenance.
Creating a planted border gives a natural look and allows you to be creative. The plants will need regular maintenance but are affordable and don’t need any special installation. Choose plants that don’t have spikes if they are situated near paths or seating areas, and avoid flowers or fruit that will drop onto your patio and potentially stain it.
Pros: Cost effective, attractive & natural look.
Cons: Requires regular maintenance.
Take a look at our full range of external porcelain paving tiles.8
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