For those of you who would like a contemporary garden design, the time to steer away from Indian sandstone has arrived. The latest trend is porcelain paving, it has quickly become a popular choice amongst homeowners who prefer its modern aesthetic over the dated appearance of traditional stone. If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of porcelain paving, then put the kettle on and delve into this article, our Manchester landscape gardeners will give you the full breakdown of everything you need to know.

Familiar installation process

The installation of porcelain is a breeze as the process used is very similar to laying stone paving. Whether you choose porcelain or stone, our landscapers in Manchester always adopt best practices to guarantee that your paving will withstand the test of time. It doesn’t take us any longer to install a porcelain patio, sometimes it can be even faster because porcelain tiles are often lighter than most other types of paving.

Our landscape gardeners install porcelain tiles on a 100-150mm deep compacted MOT type one sub-base, followed by a 30-40mm deep wet four to one ratio sand and cement layer which is reduced to 25mm after tamping, each tile is then slurry primed prior to its installation.

Reduced maintenance

We regularly meet people who request a ‘maintenance-free’ garden design. While it is not possible to completely eliminate maintenance, we can significantly reduce the burden. When choosing a design, it is important to ensure that it  is suitable for your unique requirements. Porcelain is significantly easier to maintain than other types of paving such as Indian stone. It can be very difficult and time consuming to look after a natural stone patio, with regular jet washing needed to keep it looking pristine. Let’s face it, you don’t have enough time on your hands for that! Instead, you want to be able to enjoy your garden without the hassle. That is where porcelain steals the spotlight; simply grab a mop and bucket and wash it over as you would your kitchen floor, it’ll be looking great again in no time.

Enhanced durability

If you decide to have your garden redesigned, it is likely going to involve a considerable investment. Thus, it’s important to ensure that your chosen design will last for the long-term. It may be possible to reduce the cost, but if that is at the expense of the landscape's longevity, then is it really worth it? Our Manchester landscape gardeners highly recommend porcelain because unlike natural stone, it is manmade and has been engineered with durability in mind. So, although porcelain is a little more expensive in the short-term, you will be thanking yourself for the additional investment in fifteen years time.

Frost and slip resistant

Porcelain is suitable for both indoor and outdoor installation. It can be used in the kitchen and bathroom as well as in your garden. It is an extremely versatile product. When choosing which paving to go with, the climate in Manchester should factor into your considerations. It is safe to say that the weather in Manchester is rather unpredictable. The advantage of porcelain is that it can withstand our challenging weather conditions, particularly at the height of winter when it is frosty outside! If you go with Indian stone, when it is frosty your garden will almost certainly become an ice rink. It will save you a trip to Planet Ice in Altrincham, but it is definitely not the safest option. Porcelain is frost resistant, so even on the coldest of days, you can keep both of your feet firmly on the ground.

The reason why porcelain performs fantastically in adverse weather conditions is because it absorbs very little water.  This means that unlike natural stone, porcelain is highly resistant to freeze thaw weathering; it is highly unlikely to crack in the cold weather. Due to the low water absorption, porcelain is not slippery even when wet. Feel at ease knowing that your children are safe from slipping with a gorgeous porcelain patio!

Stain resistant

If you want to keep your garden looking pristine for a long time into the future, then the fact that porcelain is a very thick and dense material is certain to help. It is extremely difficult to create permanent scratches on a porcelain tile due to the durability of the material. So, whether you are moving garden furniture or your children are playing around, it will withstand whatever you throw at it! Any marks that do appear can usually be rubbed away fairly easily.

No discolouration

Have you ever noticed that pictures fade with time? Sometimes the colours fade or there may be a yellow tint. This is usually caused by exposure to light. The same principle applies to natural stone paving, it will discolour as time passes. It can even cause your paving to look discoloured in certain areas if parts of your garden are shaded.

If you would like a patio that will not fade, then porcelain is the right choice for you. It does not discolour and is resistant to chemical spills too. The tiles are cooked at 1,400 degrees which ensures that they do not return to their original composition. When it is baked, the pigment of the tile is locked in and the raw materials can not be separated again. This makes porcelain unaffected by the UV rays of the sun.

Profile thickness

We have established that porcelain can be used both inside and outside of the home, this is true. But, the tiles that we use outdoors are thicker than those which tend to be used inside. Instead of being 9-12mm, outdoor tiles tend to be around 2cm in thickness, adding strength to the tiles. So, for those of you who are considering a new driveway, we are pleased to inform you that porcelain is carrigable if installed correctly. However, it is more commonly used for patios and for commercial areas where there is a lot of footfall.

Gorgeous appearance

For the longest time, the traditional choices of Indian stone and concrete paving were relatively unchallenged. Porcelain has been a welcome addition to the landscaping industry and has truly changed the game. If the benefits outlined above have not swayed you away from the likes of Indian sandstone, then perhaps the gorgeous appearance of porcelain will be the deciding factor. It’s time to make your neighbours envy your contemporary garden design with a bespoke garden design featuring a porcelain patio.

That being said, porcelain is not a suitable option for everybody. It is more expensive than the traditional stone options and may not look right if you have an older property and would like a design in keeping with the aesthetic of your house. If you are unconvinced by the benefits of porcelain, our Manchester landscapers will run through the array of options available to you, just schedule a consultation to get started.

Would you like to transform your garden? Whether you are looking for a complete overhaul or to give a new lease of life to what you already have, our landscape gardeners in Manchester are equipped to help with your landscaping requirements.