Choosing the right paving material for your patio is a key decision to make and given the wide choice available, this can be a daunting task.  In fact, at times when you are faced with a variety of opinions from suppliers and contractors, it can be overwhelming.  It is my hope this article will help you make the right, informed choice for your patio.

I have previously written articles on, “Choosing the right patio paving stone” and “Assessing your Garden”, this article aims to go deeper into the advantages and disadvantages of the various paving materials.  One point to remember though, is that all the products on our website have been selected by us and are all suitable for creating a beautiful patio in your garden.

There are two broad categories of paving material

Manufactured and Natural Stone

Manufactured Paving

Handmade stone-Concrete Paving

  • All our handmade stone paving is made in the UK, using local materials. Some people argue that this material has a lower carbon footprint than natural stone imported from India
  • Handmade stone is manufactured by skilled craftsman based in the UK
  • Each moulding has been created from original stone masters, and you are guaranteed the best selection of surface patterns and textures
  • Concrete is a very durable and strong material which has been used for paving in the UK for over 70 years
  • Initially the colour will fade, and the weathering process may create slight staining patches on the paving. The classic flagstone paving ranges improve with age and the weathering process makes it indistinguishable from original weathered flagstone paving
  • Concrete paving along with natural stone will always require a good Spring clean

Porcelain Paving

  • Porcelain paving is formed by baking a mixture of clay, sand and other minerals in a high-temperature kiln producing an incredibly durable and non-porous material. Being resistant to water absorption ensures that porcelain paving requires very little maintenance. There’s no need to apply a sealant as the pavers are already stain resistant
  • Can replicate various natural stone finishes
  • The porcelain paving is manufactured to a consistent thickness and size that it can be laid with a narrow joint of less than 10mm, perfect for contemporary style designs
  • Porcelain paving does not weather in the same way as concrete and natural stone


Natural Stone Paving

  • Natural stone paving has been selected and sized to suit a variety of patio styles that have been used in the UK for many years
  • Natural stone paving is quarried stone and the majority is sourced from India. All the paving is ethically sourced.  This means that no child labour is used, a fair local wage is paid and good working practices are applied
  • All our natural stone paving is a premium quality. Not all stone is the same quality, there are inferior grades available and these are typically a lower price than premium grade.  An inferior grade of stone will have a higher water absorption rate and more prone to layering, which is where the surface degrades and layers will flake off.  An inferior grade will be more prone to frost damage and dark staining.  All grades of natural stone paving will weather over time, experiencing colour fade

We supply three main types of natural stone paving, Sandstone, Limestone and Slate and each will be considered separately.

Sandstone Paving

  • Characterised by beautiful variations in shades and colour tones
  • A durable but easy to work with material. Can be cut into shapes that best suit your patio design
  • Available in a variety of finishes and textures. Honed sandstone is a very smooth surface
  • We supply calibrated stone usually to a thickness of 22mm. This means that the natural variations in paving thickness are typically +(-) 2mm.  Non-calibrated stone can have thickness variations of +(-) 15mm, which makes the laying of the paving very difficult

Limestone Paving

  • The limestone paving selected is harder and less porous than the sandstone paving. It has a lower absorption rate than the premium grade of sandstone, and requires less maintenance

Slate Paving

  • Our slate paving is sourced from Brazil and is a premium grade, and is suitable for the UK climate
  • Some Slate paving from China and India can be prone to layering as described above and have not been suitable for the UK climate