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Porcelain Paving Pros and Cons

Pros & Cons of Porcelain Paving

At The London Tile Co. we know that there are many benefits to using tiles in your kitchen or bathroom, but what about outside? We stock a wide range of external tiles, which are often referred to as porcelain paving slabs, so we thought we would run through the pros and cons of this new-ish paving material. If you have got any questions at all about our outdoor tiles please get in touch with our customers service team.

Pros of Porcelain Paving

  • Long lasting. Porcelain is strong and hard-wearing, meaning that it will last for years and often still looks the same as when it was installed.
  • Range. Thanks to advances in porcelain inkjet printing technology you can now get porcelain paving that looks a lot like the material that inspired it – great news if you want a stone, cement or wood look outdoors.
  • Frost proof. Because porcelain has extremely low porosity the tiles are unaffected by changes in temperature which can sometime cause damage to natural products.
  • Engineered. Most porcelain paving is both calibrated and rectified, meaning that the sizing is consistent throughout the batch and the edges will be extremely sharp and square, perfect for creating contemporary narrow grout joints.
  • Low maintenance. Stone and decking will require regular sealing and sometimes specialist cleaning products. Porcelain paving does not need sealing and can be cleaned with a brush & mop or a pressure washer.
  • Fade resistant. Porcelain is unaffected by the sun so the colour will not fade or change over time, the slabs are also resistant to staining.
  • Slip resistant. Because porcelain paving is man-made, a textured surface can be added to create an anti-slip finish. All of our outdoor tiles have a minimum R11 slip resistance rating. The non-porous nature of porcelain also makes it resistant to moss & mould growth, another factor that can cause outdoor flooring to become slippery.
  • Contemporary. Porcelain provides a much more contemporary and clean look to traditional concrete or stone slabs.

Cons of Porcelain Paving

  • Cost. Porcelain paving is generally more expensive than the cheapest stones and concrete slabs but is competitive against the top end stone and concrete slabs. The low maintenance and long lasting nature of porcelain paving makes porcelain lifetime cost very cost effective.
  • Installation. Finding the right installer can be tough. While porcelain paving is often sold alongside other paving materials, it is still more like a tile than a paving slab and therefore needs to be installed in a different way, making it a little harder to find someone who will install the tiles correctly. Installing them incorrectly could lead to damage and expensive repairs.
  • Natural Look. While there are many ultra-realistic porcelain paving options out there, they will never have the truly natural look of something like limestone, slate or sandstone.
  • Cutting. Because porcelain is a very hard material it can be harder to cut than natural stone, sometimes requiring specialist blades or machinery.
  • Fixing costs. Installation costs for porcelain paving are generally a little higher than for cheaper concrete and stone slabs. To reduce installation costs try to design the paved area to minimise cuts where possible.

While we have tried our very best to be unbiased and provide plenty of both pros and cons, we have to admit that it was a struggle to balance the two as there are many more positive points to note than negative. Order a sample of our porcelain paving, including the PorcelPave and Valverdi Indoor-Out ranges, online today and see for yourself.

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