Outdoor paving can be a stunning addition to any garden. One of the most amazing things about paving slabs is the huge variety of natural stone pavings that you have the privilege to choose from. They all offer a whole different aesthetic and feel that can bring a variety of ambiences and styles to your outdoor space.
It is super important to know exactly what the stones offer before you come up with a decision as to which would suit you best. They do not only have different looks, but they also have so many different benefits and drawbacks that differ from each other.
In this article, we will detail the most popular paving stones and list their positives and negatives so that you can make the most informed decision when choosing the right pavers for you.
Indian sandstone paving is one of the most popular choices for new patios, driveways, walkways and paved areas. This is because it is readily available and offers the stunning look of a natural stone. The stone is truly timeless and comes in a huge range of colours to suit the requirements of your patio.
This special type of natural stone is excavated from Indian quarries and sent straight to the stone cutters before being sent for finishing and imported into the UK.
- Extreme Durability - Natural sandstone's extreme durability and robustness make it a phenomenal choice for outdoor patio slabs.
- Wide Range Of Colours & Styles - This gives the customer a huge range of options from greys to more colourful to ensure the best end product from the natural stone slabs.
- Weather Resistant - This particular stone works phenomenally in wet or frost conditions as it is naturally slip resistant.
- Easy To Clean - This stone is super easy to clean. Simply use soapy water for a beautiful clean.
- Widely Available - A lot of these stunning natural stones are extremely hard to find. Indian Sandstone on the other hand can be found at most paving shops
- Potentially Rough Surface - Due to the stone being 100% natural it is not uncommon to have a relatively rough surface on your patio paving.
- Could Scratch - While the material could scratch if met with a hardpoint, the scratches tend to wear down over time.
Colour Could Fade - There is a potential for the colour to fade due to weathering if not maintained properly.
Much like sandstone, limestone is a stunning natural stone that could help to transform your outdoor area. Its ability to be used either indoors or outdoors along with its beautifully smooth surface texture and phenomenal durability make it a hugely popular paving stone.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock that is mostly composed of Calcium Carbonate, tiny fossils, shell fragments and other fossilised debris.
- Extremely Durable - Limestone’s impressive durability make it the perfect stone for long-lasting garden paving and patios.
- Non-Slip Surface - The stone is both slip resistant and frost resistant making it extremely safe and practical in the colder winter months.
- Different Shades - There are several stunning shades to choose from to fit the style and look of your garden.
- Easy To Work With - Limestone is a phenomenal stone to cut meaning that it is easy to work with and can be cut to your exact specifications
- Eco-Friendly - Limestone is an eco-friendly and renewable stone that has no negative repercussions on the environment.
- Colour Can Fade - If not looked after properly then there is a chance that the colour will fade over time.
- Acid Damage - Acid damage is common with limestone due to its calcium composition.
- Limited Quantities - It is far harder than sandstone to obtain and may only be available in limited quantities.
Brazilian slate is one of the most luxurious stones that can be used for patios. Its deep colours, stunningly natural finish and modern look help to give a premium and sophisticated feel to your patio areas.
The luxurious stone is produced from a geological mudstone. It is a sedimentary stone which was compressed over millions of years but missed the full metamorphic process that most slates have undertaken.
- Sawn Edges - This natural stone has been cut neatly to specific sizes to ensure a neat cut and clean finish.
- Very Flat - This slate paving has a stunningly flat surface making it perfect for either outside or indoor areas.
- High Density - This particular slate is extremely dense and therefore holds its phenomenally unique colour longer than other slates.
- Extreme Durability - Brazilian slate is one of the most durable and robust slates on the market and has high resistance to wear and tear.
- Long Lasting - If maintained and looked after properly it can have a life span of around 75 years.
- Non Slip - These natural slate slabs have brilliant non-slip characteristics as it is, by nature, non-porous.
- Water Damage - If the slate goes untreated then it can be susceptible to water damage over time that could damage the stone.
- Expensive - The beauty of this natural slate comes at a price, it is a very expensive material when compared to other paving stones.
Porcelain stone paving slabs have all the beauty of natural stones with the incredible flexibility of more modern material. This man-made material is both beautiful and practical while solving many cons of natural stone.
Porcelain tiles are created from a process involving a mixture of clay sand and other minerals in a high-temperature kiln.
- Non-Porous - Porcelain paving is non-porous which means that the surface will not absorb any liquids or be susceptible to any water damage.
- Low Maintenance - The material is extremely easy to clean and only needs to be done once or twice a year to keep it looking perfect.
- High Durability - Porcelain paving is extremely durable and robust and will be sure to last the test of time and have a long lifespan.
- Frost Resistant - The paving material is frost resistant making it far safer and less slippery in the colder winter months.
- Expensive - Porcelain is a premium material and therefore has a more premium price tag than natural stone options.
- Difficult To Cut - Porcelain requires a specialist blade to be cut and therefore is extremely difficult to make to exact specifications
For the longest time Granite has been the stone of choice for the wealthy due to both its timeless chic and durability. This natural granite stone is some of the hardest and most durable that you can find. It also comes in a range of colours like silver-grey granite or blue-black granite.
The unique mineral balance in this stunning material causes a variety of tones to show through. It is made from two incredibly hard-wearing minerals, quartz and feldspar.
- Incredibly Durable - Granite is said to be the strongest paving material on the market making it phenomenal for outdoor paving usage.
- Long Lasting - The extreme durability of this material helps it to be incredibly robust and long-lasting.
- Low Maintenance - The stone is incredibly low maintenance, other than the initial application of a sealant there is no maintenance required.
- Weather Resistant - The materials' weather resistant properties allow their stunning look to last the test of time.
- Non-Porous - The material is non-porous and therefore will not be susceptible to water damage or water absorption.
- Expensive - Granite is a hugely expensive stone due to its incredible properties, however, the more common the colour the cheaper it is.
- Difficult - Due to its strength it can be very difficult to work with if you are needing to cut or calibrate the stone to specific sizes.
There are so many tremendous paving materials on the market, all with their advantages and disadvantages. They are all incredibly high-quality materials with exceptional properties, this is why they are so popular. The best is very much subjective, they all have completely different looks and different strengths which help them to appeal to different landscapes and paving projects.
As we have stated previously, it is super important to know what the stones have to offer and their potential drawbacks before deciding as to which you would like to invest your money in. However, the fact of the matter is that whichever material you choose, it will provide you with a stunning patio that will help to bring your outside areas to life and add an extra element of character to your property.