Spring is here, and with summer just around the corner, the time for garden get-togethers is nearly upon us. Whether you’re planning on seeing family or friends, we know that you’ll want to impress with your beautiful new patio this BBQ season. Now, there are a lot of great materials out there, but which should you choose? Well, two of the most popular choices that are currently on the market include porcelain and Indian sandstone, so we’ve put these two patio powerhouses up against each other in a battle of the benefits to help you decide which one best suits your space.
For over 30 years here at Bridge Street Stone, we’ve been one of the country’s leading independent importers of natural stone paving and other stone products. That means we know what it takes to achieve that perfect patio look that you desire - so let’s get into it!
The key benefits of porcelain
Porcelain paving has become an extremely popular choice for both internal and external use. Because of its unique qualities, porcelain is now one of our best selling products. Here are some of its key features.
Durability - porcelain paving is quickly becoming an extremely popular choice for both internal and external use. It’s made from a mix of clay, sand and minerals, all baked at a high temperature to create an astounding, non-porous, hard-wearing paving slab.
Most (but not all) porcelain slabs are able to withstand the weight of vehicles and everyday domestic use, which can make them a perfect choice for use as both a patio or driveway (just be sure to check their specifications in advance!). Plus, they’re fantastically well-suited to the ever unpredictable British climate, as they won’t become too hot underfoot in extreme heat, and can’t be damaged by excessive rain and wind.
Longevity - the non-porous properties of the porcelain mean that excess moisture won’t be able to seep into the material, or build up between the slab, making them immune from excessive growth of moss or algae. Plus, they’re also really low maintenance and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth should they become stained. Thanks to its “set it and forget it” style of installation, you can save plenty of money in the long run on specialist cleaning and maintenance products.
Colour - the man-made nature of porcelain paving means that choosing one means you can enjoy a consistent, printed surface that beautifully emulates the appearance of natural stone. For example, our Hammerstone light grey simulates a light pattern of different shades of grey, whereas our Ripon Buff beautifully displays brown veins over a pattern of honey coloured arcing bands.
There are a few trade-offs to the incredible density and easy maintenance of porcelain tiles though. Mainly, they’re a little bit more difficult to install than Indian sandstone paving slabs, and you generally need a set of specialised tools to cut them. That’s not to say you can’t do the job yourself! But we always advise that you only attempt it if you’ve got the skills and experience to get the job done. Otherwise, we’d generally recommend leaving the job to a professional!
We’ve been supplying high quality Indian sandstone for over 20 years here at Bridge Street Stone. In that time they’ve become one of our most popular and affordable choices for garden paving. We import all our Indian paving direct from tried and tested sources, in a variety finishes, colours and sizes to suit any style.
Durability - Indian sandstone is a really popular and affordable choice for garden paving in the UK. It takes thousands of years for the material to form before it’s even taken out of the ground, which is what makes it so tough and hard-wearing.
Since Indian sandstone can quite literally stand the test of time, it’s no wonder that this robust material easily shrugs off anything that the weather throws at it, retaining its underfoot grip in heavy rain and remaining unaffected by extreme heat. Indian sandstone provides enough strength and durability underfoot for any regular domestic use, including parking vehicles on it, making it a useful option for driveways as well as patios.
Longevity - generally, we’d advise sealing Indian sandstone to help prevent any staining. This also helps to prevent the growth of any moss or algae. We’d emphasise this point if you choose a stone that’s light in colour, as any stains will be more visible. This is one of the only features that doesn’t quite live up to the ease of maintenance that you get with porcelain slabs. On the plus side though, sealing your natural stone patio will also help to protect against general wear like fading.
Before considering sealing options, we always advise speaking to a local tradesperson who will be able to assess the many variables within your environment, and ensure you get the right advice as to the sealing option that would best benefit you.
Colours - since Indian sandstone is an entirely organic product that’s quarried from the Earth, it delivers authentically natural tones and colours that just aren’t the same when produced artificially.
For example, you could consider our Golden Leaf Sawn Indian Sandstone, which gives off a natural, warm appearance that’s presented in a hard-wearing sandblasted finish with tones of buff/golden-purple veining. Or, you could opt for our Kota Black Indian Limestone slabs, which feature exquisite hand chiselled edges and a natural cleft that’s perfect for contrasting colours in an area from light to dark.
If you need any more advice, or you’ve got any questions, our team is only too happy to help. We offer a variety of Indian sandstone and porcelain slabs to choose from here at Bridge Street Stone, so you’ve got no shortage of choice in terms of achieving your vision. We’re able to offer free delivery to most areas, so feel free to place an order online, or by giving us a call today on 01282 860571.