Stone vs Porcelain Pavers
When designing your outdoor landscape, there are two options for solid, beautiful and functional paving. These are Natural Stone Pavers and Structural Porcelain Pavers.
In this article, we are going to look at the advantages and limitations of both.
Before we dive into the article, there are a few factors you would want to consider when choosing your outdoor flooring. These depend on your personal circumstances and will help you make the best choice from the information in this article. The questions to think about are:
● What kind of lifestyle do you lead? Are you always busy or on the go?
● What are your pool surrounds? (Do you have trees, pets, children, BBQ’s, parties?)
● Will the pool area be undercover or open?
● Will the pavers be used around the pool?
Firstly, let’s start with Structural Porcelain Pavers
Most people have some knowledge about Natural Stone Pavers. However, Structural Porcelain Pavers are a newer addition to the market and so knowledge on these may be limited.
I’ll take a guess that you’ve probably heard about ordinary porcelain tiles? If so, you’re probably using that knowledge to form an opinion about the performance of Porcelain Pavers.
So that you have all the information necessary, let’s first look at …
What are Porcelain Pavers made of?
Porcelain Pavers are made of structurally compressed clay. It is so well compressed that it doesn’t have any weak fracture points. As such, it is a very strong paver with a high break load.
Our Armstone®’ Porcelain has a Natural Stone embossed print that doesn’t wear off. The pavers are available in a wide assortment of colours, textures and patterns to ensure your outdoor setting looks as close to natural stone as humanly possible.
Stone Pavers VS Porcelain Pavers
THERE IS A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN structural porcelain pavers and outdoor porcelain tiles. Structural porcelain pavers are a strong, efficient and practical outdoor paving solution specifically designed to stand against all types of natural problems or human errors!
As with any man-made product, there are various makes and models for structural porcelain. As such, if you choose to invest in this option, we strongly recommend doing your research to find a quality product.. If you have technical questions about porcelain tiles for your swimming please, speak to us for more information.
Now that we’ve looked at Structural Porcelain Pavers, let’s check out Natural Stone Pavers.
Though natural stone is always a beautiful and timeless choice, as with all-natural products, there are conditions that go hand in hand with such natural beauty.
Do I need to Maintain my Natural Stone Pavers?
Maintenance is probably every human’s nightmare! (Unless you are like Monica from the show Friends or one of the lucky few retired or semi-retired individuals living life in your beautiful garden).
Depending on your pool surroundings, even the densest and most durable stones (like Granite), can be challenging to keep stain free. This makes natural stone very time consuming to maintain. Especially so if you have trees or pets or overactive kids.
To start with, let’s look at trees. Now tree’s tend to drop leaves almost all year round. These leaves have “tannin” in them and when they progressively start to decompose, they release “tannin”. What is ‘tannin’ and why do you need to know about it? Basically it’s a derivative of gallic acid and is found in galls, barks and plant tissues. It can also stain natural stones making maintaining your pool pavers a cumbersome experience.
Will the stone Sealer make it Stain Proof?
You might think that sealing your stone pavers with sealant will fully protect them from stains. Unfortunately this is not the case because acid substances like “tannin” will go through the sealant and will seep into the pores of the stone. Of course, the less porous the stone, the less likely this will happen and, to a degree, the sealant will protect it. A sealant also reduces the amount of water absorption in the stone paver. This allows you more time to clean and remove these contaminants before they leave stains.
The Stone sealer provides a stain resistance barrier, that allows time to wipe up any spills. This is explained extensively in our literature as reaction time.
At the end of the day, if you’ve used an A grade product and sealed your stone with good quality expensive sealant, those things will help. But, and it’s a bit but, an important thing to remember is that acid doesn’t discriminate, it will go through the sealant and create a stain where it can.
This means you have to be on top of the maintenance, all the time. Depending on the type of stone paver you’ve chosen to invest in and install, as well as how long the acidic culprit has been sitting on the stone, the situation can progress from challenging, to clean, to impossible, all the way to clean again. It really depends on your diligence with maintenance, the sealant quality and also, the type of stone paver.
Unfortunately, leaves are not the only things that can cause stains for your stone pavers. Anything acidic including pet pee, bat poop and wine, will cause this issue!
I’m guessing that as you read on, you are realising that assessing the questions at the beginning of this article are critical in making the right long term decision for your home or project.
Another aspect you want to consider when selecting your stone pavers is that some products are too slippery for open areas and not suitable for open entertaining or pool paving. This really depends on the finish of the product. Your main question then needs to be: “Will this stone pavers type and finish, be the most suitable choice based on my circumstance and for my pool area?.
If you need assistance with making a decision, at Armstone® we will give you the most ethical and factual advice on which materials will suit your lifestyle and pool area. Talk to us today for a professional product consultation!
The stunning character and depth in products from the earth are second to none. And with the right area and correct application, it can be heavenly to see true art unfold in front of your eyes. Natural stone products are simply impossible to recreate. From the beauty of limestone pavers to bluestone pavers, only mother nature can create this kind of art. Like anything in life, the amount of care and time you invest in your natural stone product determines how it ages. So if you take the time to care for the product, it will love you back equally. Many quality natural stones will stand the test of time, given that you care for them correctly.
What does correct care entail?
● Installing your pavers with quality installation products,
● Ensuring the substrate is ideal for the applications you have chosen, and
● Checking that the stone has been correctly sealed/pre-sealed.
Depending on what stone you opt for, a professional stone supplier should know what is required..
Some of the luxury stone pavers that you can add to your garden are simply jaw-dropping! They also show-off your unique taste and expertise to the rest of your friends and family.
By now, you may now see why natural stone pavers are not always the best options for outdoor entertainment areas and pool surroundings. Though they may not easily fit your busy lifestyle, minimal time for maintenance and high desire to enjoy your outdoors in a fast-paced life, there is still hope! Let’s check it out …
A Fully Functional Solution –Structural Porcelain Pavers Are The Way To Go
So it’s summer and you’ve just planned a lovely vacation for your family.
Except you’ll be away and have no one to look after the pool!
And your beautiful, big gumtree is shedding its vibrant green leaves!
What will you do?
Go on a holiday, of course!
Because you know full well that when you return, your structural porcelain pavers can be easily cleaned with high pressure or a chemical solution with no adverse effects!
Porcelain Pavers never permanently stain!
Porcelain Pavers Never Permanently Stain!
First let me say this.
A porcelain paver is in no way shape of form, an inferior sibling of stone pavers. You aren’t making a concession here, you are simply picking the right paver for you.
A porcelain paver is the right paver for you because:
● They’re made of commercial-grade slip resistance making them ideal for use in wet areas!
● Can be laid on any substrate (sand, grass, pedestals)
● The whole family can safely enjoy the outdoors you don’t need to worry about accidental stains from pet, kids spilling OJ or adults knocking over a glass of wine.
So if you are opting for a fully functional (and quality) pool paver that requires low maintenance, a quality porcelain paver is the best option.
Now that you have a good foundation of what products may work best for your circumstances, we would love to invite you to browse through our range of porcelain pavers and stone pavers and see which of these options will suit you.
If you want to know any more information, reach out to the natural stone experts at Armstone online or 1300 560 560. We would love to help guide you in the right direction, answer any questions about your renovation or connect you with RBG Landscapes as a potential installer for your home project.
And if you’d like to hear directly from Arman and Rhys, watch this video.