31 January 2022
Choosing the Right Patio Paving Stone
Choosing the right patio paving stone for your garden is a matter of taste and budget. Firstly 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. There are both modern and transitional options in each material with varying finishes and colours. Blacks and greys with clean cuts work well for modern designs, while antique tumbled stone works well for traditional gardens. 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 is unusual to keep changing the main paved (hard-standing area), so it is important to choose a patio that will last and fit your changing lifestyle.
A question many people are now asking is why choose concrete, natural stone or porcelain - 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 stones and to point out their differences.
Concrete Paving (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 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. Limestone has great antislip qualities and is easy to maintain while slate is very durable, will last a long time and is perfect for areas of high footfall.
Porcelain Paving is becoming more popular in garden designs than ever. Porcelain tiles are extremely popular for creating low maintenance and contemporary spaces within your garden or commercial landscape. Gardenstone’s Porcelain range is R11 slip resistant and has very low water absorption, so they are ideal for use around swimming pools, hot tubs and ponds. Porcelain tiles are algae and frost resistant so resistant to the British climate and they only require a small amount of annual maintenance.
Porcelain Tiles are a contemporary alternative to traditional decking and can be used for patios, paths and terraces, perfect for modern garden designs.