What Are The Most Popular Types Of Paving Slabs And What Are Their Pros & Cons

What Are The Most Popular Types Of Paving Slabs And What Are Their Pros & Cons

There are a huge number of different materials that are commonly used for paving slabs. Each of them has its very own pros that make them phenomenal paving materials, but they do also have their fair share of cons. 

Pavings are an investment in your home. They can undoubtedly transform the aesthetic of your outdoor area, which can in turn drive up the value of your home. Ensuring that you choose the correct paving stones is super important to ensure that your paving can last the test of time and still look as phenomenal as the day it was installed. 

In this article, we will look at the most popular paving stone materials as well as their pros and cons. 


Indian Sandstone Paving



Indian sandstone is undoubtedly one of the most popular paving materials in the UK. These stunning stones imported from the Bundi district of India feature beautifully veiny patterns that help to give each stone character. There are also a huge variety of colours of Indian sandstone which gives the individual a huge range of options to ensure they find the perfect stone for their paving or driveway.


Pros Of Indian Sandstone Paving


Low Maintenance - Indian sandstone is an incredibly low-maintenance paving stone material option. This is an incredibly important property for a good paving stone because deep cleaning a patio on a regular basis is not at all a small job. Therefore, an Indian sandstone patio needs less maintenance to stay looking as good as the day it was installed. To keep on top of your Indian sandstone paving you can simply jet wash your patio every few months. The jet wash will not damage the colour or finish of your natural stone.


Smooth/Riven Surface Texture - The stone can have either an incredibly smooth or driven surface. A riven surface helps a stone have much better underfoot grip and frost resistance and therefore making the patio safer over the winter months. On the other hand, smooth Indian sandstone has a beautiful aesthetic while also being both slip and frost resistant. You do not have to worry about the stone once wet, therefore it is perfect for all weather conditions. 


Huge Variety Of Stunning Natural Colours - There are a huge variety of different Indian sandstone colours, all with their very own intricacies and character that make them stunningly unique. The most popular colour would be Raj Green Indian Sandstone but you can also find colours such as Kandla Grey Indian sandstone, autumn brown Indian sandstone, Kota black Indian sandstone, sawn yellow Indian sandstone and so much more.


Looks Great When Wet - In the UK, it is unfortunately not too uncommon for us to experience long periods of rain. This means that the stone paving slabs are more than likely to be wet a lot of the time. Some paver materials can look dirty, or less appealing when wet. However, Indian sandstone's stunning tones are actually accentuated when wet, giving the natural stone flagstones even more character and beauty when wet.  


Weather Resistant - Indian sandstone popularity in the UK is not just down to its stunning look. The incredible natural stone is also fully weather resistant. Whether we are experiencing frosty spells, rainy spells or warm spells you can be sure your paving will hold up. Their natural riven surface helps to not be susceptible to frosts and their porous nature allows water to drain through the stone. 


Indian Sandstone Paving Slabs Problems & Cons


Natural Imperfections - Because Indian sandstone is a fully natural stone, it is not at all uncommon for the stones to have imperfections such as marks and blotches. Finding the perfect pavers can be almost impossible as the stones take on their own patterns and look and the appearance of the stone can not be altered in any way. However, most imperfections are what give each individual their own character. 


Colour Can Fade If Not Sealed - While the natural stone is weather resistant, over time poor weather conditions can result in the stone's colour fading. However, sealing your paving stones once installed should be more than enough to avoid this potential damage. We would always recommend sealing your patio paving after installation to maximise its protection. 

Cost Of The Stone -
Due to the fact that the material is incredibly high quality, Indian sandstone prices are slightly higher. The sealant can also be quite expensive, however, both the material and sealant will ensure that you have a final product that you adore.


Indian Limestone Paving



Similarly to Indian sandstone, this hugely popular stone is imported from the regions of India. However, the different fantastic colours of this natural stone are found in different regions throughout the country. Indian stone is renowned in the industry for its stunning naturally veiny patterns that create a beautiful aesthetic and charm. 


Pros Of Indian Limestone


Cost Effective - Limestone has long been the go-to paving stone material to get a stunning look, even as one of the cheapest materials on the market. This natural stone's incredible look accompanied by a countless number of phenomenal benefits makes limestone paving and therefore Indian limestone paving incredible value for money. 


Huge Range Of Natural Colours - Similar to Indian sandstone, Indian limestone comes in a very impressive range of phenomenal colours. Each of these colours features different patterns and shades that help to them their own stunningly unique character. The most popular colour would be Kota black Indian limestone. However, the stone also comes in Kota blue limestone paving, and tandur yellow limestone paving, the different colours originate from different regions across India. 


Durable & Robust - As a natural stone, limestone is incredibly durable and hard-wearing. In particular, Indian Limestone is incredibly hard-wearing, making it the perfect material for your home's outdoor patio. The stone's structure is extremely compact and dense naturally and is therefore far more brittle and durable than other natural stones. This property will ensure that your paving has the structure and therefore ability to last the test of time. 


Low Maintenance - Indian limestone paving as a natural material is incredibly durable and resistant to weather and other general problems that can typically stem from general foot traffic. The stone is incredibly easy to maintain and cleaning is extremely simple which is perfect over the warmer seasons as your paving stones see more use and the colder seasons as the weather is more challenging. To clean the stone you can simply use a soapy water solution and a jet wash for a perfect finish.  


Lightly Riven Surface - Indian limestone paving has a stunning lightly riven surface. This is created naturally when the stone is split along its layers and creates a beautifully aesthetic and natural finish. This impressive riven surface helps to create more grip underfoot as well as giving the stone more character. The increased grip ensures the stone is safe and perfect even throughout the wet and frosty periods. 


Natural Limestone Paving Slabs Cons


Acid Damage - Due to the fact that Indian limestone has a very high calcium composition, acid damage can be extremely common. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to stop as common things like berries, fruit, leaves, and bird droppings that you cannot control fall on your paving. These can all cause a level of acid damage that can be a nuisance to eradicate if left for an extended period of time. To limit this potential damage, you should simply perform a small clean on a consistent basis to get rid of them before they have the chance to cause damage. 


Susceptible To Colour Fading - While this natural Indian stone has a vast variety of stunning colours, compared to sandstone the colours can be susceptible to fading over time. Over time the stone can become vulnerable to fading as a result of constant exposure to UV rays. Natural stones that feature an organic component in their colouring will potentially be at risk of fading as time goes on. However, it is important to note that this is only if the stone is not correctly maintained. If you show paving care then the likelihood of the stone's colour fading is drastically lower.  


Brazilian Slate Paving



Over the last few years, this gorgeous slate extracted from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais has exponentially increased in popularity. In addition to its impressively striking aesthetic, the stone's popularity comes from its huge number of phenomenal benefits. 


Pros Of Brazilian Slate Paving


Highly Durable - Brazilian slate paving is a hugely durable stone, which makes it a phenomenal choice for outdoor space paving. Despite the fact that the surface of the stone is naturally extremely smooth, its structure is incredibly densely layered and therefore impressively robust. This durability will ensure that your natural slate paving will have the ability to last the test of time and not be vulnerable to damage such as chippings, cracking and delayering. 


Stain Resistant - Another phenomenal pro of this brilliant stone is that it is fully resistant to staining. During normal wear and tear of your paving, the stones can be very susceptible to spillages, dirt, leaves, algae and more. These could for other stones result in staining, but the natural elements that make up the structure of Brazilian slate tiles are bonded in such a way that it makes it almost impossible for stains to penetrate the stone's surface. This phenomenal property helps to ensure that the aesthetic of the paving stays perfectly intact. 


Low Maintenance - Brazilian slate paving stones are incredibly low maintenance. The stone is incredibly durable, extremely weather resistant and more which means that the paving stones are very much self-sufficient. Once the paving has been installed there is very little that you need to do in order to keep on top of your and keep it looking as good as the day it was installed. You simply need to perform an easy clean every few months. You can use a soapy water solution or a jet wash for a very effective finish. 

Stunning Aesthetic -
This breathtaking Brazilian slate comes in two very premium and luxurious colours. Both Brazilian black slate paving slabs and Brazilian grey slate paving slabs feature stunningly mysterious dark tones and lightly riven surfaces which helps to give them a modern and high-end aesthetic. The stone even looks more impressive when wet as the dark tones are accentuated giving the slate a certain charm and character.


Cons Of Brazilian Slate Paving


Layers Can Flake If Mistreated - If slate paving is commonly mistreated and neglected then there is a potential for layers of the slate to begin flaking off. This is bad for a number of reasons, it can ruin your paving aesthetic, and it can also create pits in your paving that can allow water to pool up. This can result in even more damage. However, if you treat your patio correctly and with care then you should not have to worry about such damage, the stone is incredibly durable and strong. 


Can Be Susceptible To Natural Damage - Following on from the last con, if the delayering and large

Porcelain paving is undoubtedly one of the most popular choices for paving stones in the UK. Porcelain is the only man-made material on this list as it is created by baking a mixture of clay, sand and other minerals together in a high-temperature kiln. Porcelain solves a large majority of the cons of natural stone and is therefore an amazing option for your paving despite not being a natural stone. 

pits go untreated then the damage will continue to increase and therefore cause even bigger problems. Once the pits become pools of water, the paving will then fall victim to damage caused by the moisture trapped within the pits. The best way to counteract this and avoid this happening would be to dig up the damaged slabs and relay new stone pavers (how to relay paving stones). 


Porcelain Paving Stones



Porcelain paving is undoubtedly one of the most popular choices for paving stones in the UK. Porcelain is the only man-made material on this list as it is created by baking a mixture of clay, sand and other minerals together in a high-temperature kiln. Porcelain solves a large majority of the cons of natural stone and is therefore an amazing option for your paving despite not being a natural stone. 


Porcelain Paving Stone Pros


Highly Durable - Similarly to all of the natural stones on this list, porcelain paving is incredibly durable. Porcelain is created by superheating clay and minerals into a material very similar to glass. This material then becomes extremely dense and durable once cooled. This means that you can be fully comfortable and sure that your paving can handle a huge amount of weather conditions, foot traffic and anything else that could test the strength of your patio. 


Low Maintenance - As a paving material, porcelain is incredibly low maintenance. This is mainly down to the fact that it has very low porosity meaning that it does not absorb water. Because of this, it is unnecessary to add a sealant to your paving. It also means that the material is incredibly easy to clean, you can simply use a mop and water. Jet washes are also extremely effective when cleaning porcelain paving. You can also be sure that the paving slabs will come up as good as new after cleaning. 


Non-Pourous - Another phenomenal benefit of man-made porcelain pavers is that it's entirely non-porous. This means that water, stains, and dirt will not be absorbed. This means the stone will not be vulnerable to moisture damage or staining ruining its aesthetic. Even if you were to leave a porcelain patio for years without maintenance, its close to 0% porosity will make it so that after one wash the paving comes up like brand new. 


Fade Resistant - Like other natural stones, porcelain comes in a huge range of distinctive colours that can look amazing in your paved areas. However, unlike some natural stone paving materials, porcelain does not fade at all, even when in constant exposure to high UV. The strength of the glazes and colours used in porcelain tiles permanently stabilises the colouring pigment. All of this means porcelain is perfect for outdoor paving use. 


Porcelain Paving Cons


Difficult To Install - When compared with other paving materials, porcelain is more difficult to install. They can be far more difficult to cut than other natural stones and need a specialist blade which can make it extremely tricky. In addition to this, for installation, its non-porous nature can make it difficult to stick down on a mortar bed. Because of this, the stones need a primer added to the bottom of the tiles to make sure that they stone adhered to the bed securely. 


Expensive - All of the porcelain's phenomenal benefits come at a cost. As the stone is manufactured to the highest possible specification the final product is understandably expensive. In addition to this, the more complicated installation will also add extra costs that the easier installations would not. You can be sure that the costs are worth the monthly. You can be sure that you will have the very best quality and standard paving that you can be proud of for years. 


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