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What’s the Difference Between Porcelain Paving and Natural Stone?

Now that winter is out of the way and the summertime is approaching, it’s the perfect time to start making those much-needed home improvements your property has been crying out for!

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And what better place to start than your garden and outdoor areas? With a redesigned garden, you’ll be able to make the most out of the warmer, brighter weather and have the ideal place to meet up and hang with family and friends (once restrictions allow it of course). 

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A new patio is always a great place to start for any outdoor renovations, however, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is what type of paving are you going to use? Do you want to go down the traditional route and opt for natural stone or add a more contemporary touch and go for porcelain? What makes natural stone and porcelain so different?

This is a widely discussed topic when it comes to garden redesigns, so to make life a little easier, we’re going to take a look at the biggest differences between porcelain paving and natural stone.

Porcelain vs Natural Stone 

Maybe the biggest reason for homeowners choosing natural stone products for their home improvements is down to the authentic aesthetics that they offer. No one can deny the natural beauty that you get from stone products, however, over the years porcelain paving has made huge strides in both performance and appearance, allowing homeowners to create spaces that look just as good as those with natural stone but with a few added benefits.

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The Benefits of Porcelain 

Less maintenance 

The first and most stand out benefit that you will get from choosing porcelain paving over natural stone is far fewer maintenance requirements. Natural stone products vary in porosity, referring to the amount of moisture that it holds. So, the chances of coming across a stone flooring product that is completely non-porous are low. 

Porcelain paving, on the other hand, contains very low levels of porosity (around 0.05%), meaning it absorbs far less water than its stone counterparts. This is important because any moisture that your porcelain floor is exposed to will not be absorbed and instead remains on the surface where it will quickly evaporate or be wiped away. With natural stone products absorbing the moisture, it becomes far more difficult to remove which can cause cleaning to become difficult or a more slippery surface. 

More robust 

Until recently, porcelain paving was only made in a profile of around 9-12mm, however, thanks to advances in manufacturing processes and technologies, porcelain products can now be made in a thicker profile of 20mm. This is a huge advantage over natural stone products as it offers far more strength and robustness, allowing you to lay paving in a variety of outdoor settings such as driveways and paths. 

20mm thick pavers can also be ‘dry installed without the need for cement or mortar, another bonus if you’d prefer a mess-free installation!

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An eco-friendly option

Another reason why porcelain paving can be a better choice over natural stone is that it is a more environmentally-friendly option. Created using raw materials with minimal waste that is recycled straight back into the manufacturing process, porcelain paving contains zero waterproofing agents, resins or varnishes. 

Natural stone products, on the other hand, requires polishing using lead which gives off gases when exposed to flame. So, if you’re a person who cares for the environment and strives to make a more sustainable choice wherever possible, porcelain is by far the better choice! 

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And there you have it! Some of the biggest differences between natural stone and porcelain paving products. Hopefully, this article has helped to clear up some of the questions that you may have had around stone and porcelain paving and will make your garden redesign a little bit easier.

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