Porcelain Pavers: An Evolution from Stone

Porcelain Pavers: An Evolution from Stone

Porcelain pavers can be considered as one of the latest innovations in the construction industry. As an alternative to natural stone, porcelain pavers are a cost-effective solution that will save money in the long term. There’s a chance you might not have considered porcelain pavers as they are comparatively new in the industry. However, porcelain pavers have a lot to offer when used as a decking and landscaping material. As it goes for every product, there are certain pros and cons of using them. We’ve gathered some of the primary advantages and disadvantages of porcelain pavers that will surely make you consider them for your next construction project as a builder or for your own house. 

There are several reasons why people choose porcelain pavers over natural stones:

1. Affordable Alternative

To start with, who doesn't like affordable alternatives? Porcelain pavers' low cost is one of the key highlights of the product. They come in around 30% cheaper than the 40mm natural stone. This is why people are more inclined towards 20mm porcelain pavers. 


2. Requires Low Maintenance

Once installed, porcelain pavers do not need sealing or resealing every few years. This is because they practically have zero water absorption eliminating the need for any type of protective coatings to seal the surface.  This makes them virtually maintenance-free throughout their lifespan. 


3. Excellent Durability

Being in a category of artificial products, porcelain pavers have a breaking strength of over 10,200 N, approximately equal to 1 tonne per paver. Most natural stones are unable to match the level of porcelain pavers. This is because natural stones can’t match the density of a manmade paver. A lot of natural stone pavers might have naturally occurred veining/fractures that are potential stress points leading to breakup once weight is repeatedly placed on them. 


4. Easy To Clean

Porous products like concrete lead to problems while cleaning debris and spills such as oil or grease. On the other hand, such spills can be easily removed from porcelain using ideal cleaning products in order to remove all traces of the spill. The easy-to-clean feature of porcelain pavers makes them ideal to be used in areas around grills or BBQs which can be difficult to clean with other materials including wood decks. 


5. Lightweight 

As they are only ¾” thick (or 1 ⅛” thick in case of the latest 3cm pavers), porcelain pavers are lighter in weight when compared to concrete and most natural stones. This makes them cost-effective, and easier to transport and install, even for rooftop deck applications where porcelain pavers can be easily moved in elevators if required. 


6. Wide Range of Styles

Porcelain pavers offer a variety of styles and colours ideal for any type of home decor setting. This allows designers to use their creativity for broadening the horizons of outdoor design that sync with the surrounding environment ideally. The colours are deep and reach exhibiting variation in light and shade creating special effects like mica flecks, making the best variation of unique modern pavers that stand out from the natural stones and natural wood as well. 


7. Can Cover Existing Concrete

As mentioned above, porcelain pavers are much thinner than concrete pavers and natural stone, making them an ideal choice for covering weather-worn or cracked patios as well as covering existing wood decks. All they need is support by rubbed pads under each corner of the pavers, still leading to a height of as little as 1” higher than the existing surface. Rubber pads are equipped with inbuild spacer tabs, making the pavers installation easy as alignment can be taken care of automatically.


8. Mould, Moss and Mildew Resistance

Porcelain pavers are impermeable that not only prevent penetration by most liquids, grease, oils and chemicals but also make them moss/mould/mildew resistant. Even if moss or mould accumulates due to specific climatic conditions, it can be removed easily. 

Now that you’re aware of why porcelain pavers exceed the quality and features of natural stone, it is important to have a look at their disadvantages for you to make the right choice: 


Brittleness: Porcelain is a hard and dense material fired at very high temperatures making it much more brittle than concrete pavers and natural stones. This creates an additional requirement of extra care while transporting pavers, avoiding dropping them on their corners and avoiding any raised edges that may lead to chipping. 


Difficult to cut or drill: Due to the hard and dense nature of porcelain, the cutting and drilling processes can be challenging. Specialized tools are required to carry out the cutting and drilling of porcelain pavers. While drilling holes, it is important to use drill bits that are specifically designed for hard and dense products. Furthermore, extra care must be taken to avoid cracks in the tiles due to incorrect drilling techniques. 


Higher cost: Although porcelain pavers come with some exceptional advantages over natural stone, they still cost a little more when compared. However, when we consider the cost spent on the maintenance of natural stones over time and their limitations across long-term usage, porcelain pavers can be termed as a cost-effective alternative.


While porcelain pavers are relatively new in the industry, they have a lot more to offer than natural stone. Porcelain pavers are frost-resistant, durable and easy to clean with high strength making them a perfect choice for gardens, terraces and high-traffic outdoor spaces. Additionally, with the wide range of options available, porcelain pavers are a stylish and versatile addition to any space situated around a specific environment.  Therefore, in our opinion, they can be considered an ideal alternative for natural stones that lack durability, strength and design options. 

We hope this article helped you understand all the important points that differentiate porcelain pavers from natural stones and why should you consider them as a better option.