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Understanding Porcelain Paving

Introduction

It is very important when purchasing outdoor porcelain paving that you know what you are looking for, there are many untrustworthy retailers in the industry who will market a basic Indian porcelain paving and label it up as if it were a high-end Italian porcelain product. Italian porcelain fetches a higher price and the quality is reflected in this. As a company, over the past twenty years pride ourselves in the fact that we offer great value and are always honest to our customers. 

A very important thing to look out for when selecting porcelain is to check the country of origin, all porcelain paving slabs must have the country of origin imprinted on the underside of the slabs, so if you receive a product being marketed as Italian and is says 'Made in India' on the back, you know something is wrong.

If you are paying Italian prices you should expect an Italian product !!

Here at Natural Stone and Timber we are completely honest in our approach to sourcing and selling porcelain paving products. There are lots of different porcelains on the market from the more basic Indian porcelains that we sell as part of our contract range up to the high-end Italian porcelain paving slabs that we source from the world's largest and leading porcelain manufacturer. Everything we sell offers value, low maintenance, longevity of use and great visual appeal, you just need to select the product that best matches your project and budget. 

We also supply full Technical Data sheets on all our Porcelain Paving products, so specifiers and architects can be assured of the suitability of each of the product ranges for their desired project. These Data Sheets will cover size tolerance, product strength, Slip Ratings and much more, download directly from any porcelain product page on our website.

In the below section, we will try to give you a clearer understanding of what to expect from porcelain product manufacturers in different parts of the world. 

Indian Porcelain - Contract Rang

Indian Porcelain products are manufactured to extremely high standards, but you should not expect the design excellence and leading technology that you get from Italian Porcelain Products. India Porcelain Paving products offer a more limited range of design prints within each product, so a little more care is needed when laying to ensure you do not get repeating patterns.

The manufacturing process of Indian Porcelain Paving is very similar to that of European Porcelain, but the technology and machines tend to be older and not so advanced. They produce a good product that offers tight size tolerances and excellent split resistance but without the precision and innovation you would get from European and Italian produced products.

The price range for Indian porcelain paving should be in the region of £26 - £30 + VAT per sqm (price correct as of 2022), if retailers are charging upwards of this, they are misleading their customers and trying to give a false sense of quality by inflating the price.

Indian Porcelain Paving shows the great size tolerances and excellent manufacture but also limited design variations between each slabs

European Porcelain - generally Polish, Spanish and Bulgarian

There are many European countries that manufacturer Porcelain Paving, we currently source ours from Poland and Bulgaria. These products offer an excellent product at an affordable price, they use very similar technology to Italian manufacturers but are not quite as cutting edge in terms of product design and technology.

Our European porcelain is manufactured to high quality standard and have a realistic surface, with multi graphic twin-colour design helping reduce repeat patterns. They perfectly mimic the surface of natural stone at the same time offering reduced maintenance and increased split resistance compared to natural stone equivalents at a very affordable price.

All our European porcelain paving products are gradually fired over a longer period using the world's longest Kilns, between temperatures of 1000 to 1300 degrees C, building the temperature up gradually and then a longer cooling down process resulting in less stress on the product, meaning no bowing and a less brittle product than our competitors.

The price range for European (not including Italian) porcelain paving should be in the region of £30 - £36 + VAT per sqm (price correct as of 2022), if retailers upwards of this, they are misleading their customers and trying to give a false sense of quality by inflating the price.

European manufactured Carbon Porcelain Paving shows a great range of designs and excellent print quality.

Italian Porcelain Paving

When you are purchasing Italian Porcelain Paving from Natural Stone and Timber you are purchasing world-leading technology and innovation, products that are leading the way in garden design trends across Europe and a product that can not be surpassed in quality. 

Italian porcelain is manufactured to the highest quality standard and has a more realistic surface, mimicking natural stone perfectly. Whilst offering reduced maintenance and increased split resistance its superior manufacture makes it easier to cut than all other porcelain products on the market.

The finest raw materials are used from specific quarries from around the world to give the best final result in quality of finish, for better durability meaning greater longevity of use, and greater consistency from batch to batch as well as the latest high-definition tri-colour inkjet printers for more defined realistic graphic design.

The production processes we use are above the industry norm, this helps us ensure our products have greater density than the average product in the market, meaning greater strength and less subject to wear under heavy foot traffic environments.

The price range for Italian porcelain paving should be in the region of £38 - £45 + VAT per sqm (price correct as of 2022), you many find occasionally that some Italian products are higher than this range as you are paying for a more expensive production process and the research and development required to manufacture these products.

Cutting edge Italian Porcelain Paving shows what can be achieved with good imagination and a superior quality product.

In conclusion, you get what you pay for with porcelain, well at least with us, the better products are more expensive generally and if your budget allows we would always recommend going for European or Italian Porcelain products, as you would be getting a much better finish to your project and when you consider that the cost of the paving is only a small part of the overall project, it's not worth skimping on the part of the project that will be visible for many years to come.

It is also important to be careful that you are getting what you pay for, cheaper Indian products dressed up to look like Italian ones, are only going to lead to disappointment.

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