13 May 2014
Choosing the right patio paving stone
Choosing the right patio paving stone for your garden is clearly a matter of taste and budget. You need to consider what you feel the garden space is to be used for. Is it socialising with friends and family, or is it a space to be enjoyed by children. Are you a keen gardener where plants and borders play an important role or do you prefer an easy to look after garden? With regard to style it is helpful to consider if it is a contemporary modern look you are seeking or a more traditional rustic feel. The answer to these questions will help you choose the right patio paving stone for your garden, and in many cases your garden design will involve a mixture of all uses and styles.
A key point to appreciate is that the overall garden design will change over time, as you and your family grow older or younger, but it us unusual to keep changing the main paved (hard standing area), so it is important to choose apatio paving that will last and fit your changing lifestyle.
A question many people are now asking is why choose handmade or natural stone, what are the key differences?
In order to help you choose which type of patio paving stone is right for you, it is first of all necessary to explain the characteristics of handmade and natural stone and to point out their differences.
Handmade stone (reconstituted stone)
Each handmade stone product is manufactured by hand in casting moulds using selected raw materials largely consisting of cement and aggregates (often referred to as concrete or reconstituted stone). The casting moulds have been created from original stone masters and have been selected for their stone and textured appearance. It is possible to create a range of colours that are not available in natural stone, and to produce patio paving that has a consistent thickness and texture. It is our opinion that over time the weathering process enhances the character of handmade stone, but in the short term the weathering process is responsible for possible colour fade and staining. Another feature of reconstituted stone is the appearance of concrete fines, which may or may not be evident, but are more likely to be visible on patio paving that has been cleaned using a pressure washer. None of this should detract from the fact that reconstituted stone paving has for many years and continues to be a very popular choice.
Natural stone has been used as a patio paving for millennia. When thinking of natural stone patio paving we usually conjure up thoughts of traditional York flagstones, which has always been expensive and usually difficult to source. Over the last few years, the choice and availability of natural stone paving has expanded enormously, and consequently is now more affordable. You have the choice of a variety of stone types, sandstone, limestone, slate, granite and travertine, each with its own characteristics.
Sandstone is characterised by a granular surface and its range and depth of colours. A hard yet very porous stone. The majority of sandstone products display a blend of colours and shades.