Natural Stone and Porcelain Paving
Location It is especially important to select the correct product for your location, for sunny south facing areas you can use any of our paving range, you will just need to follow some simple maintenance routines to keep your paving looking perfect for many years to come.
In shady/North facing areas or areas with overhanging trees, more care needs to be taken when selecting your paving. We would recommend using denser and darker coloured materials such as Indian Limestone, Granite and Porcelain paving. The darker colours will help hide the dirt and due to the increased density of these products, dirt and algae will find it hard to penetrate in these areas even after selecting the most suitable paving product, increased maintenance will be required, and we would always recommend sealing your paving with an impregnating sealant directly after installation.
CHIPPING, DAMAGE, AND BREAKAGES
There is always a level of slight damage with natural stone and porcelain products, this is part of the production process and is unavoidable. Every level of care is taken in packaging and delivery of these products but some level of damaged will be present this is completely normal and acceptable within the natural stone industry. Any slabs where the damage may be visible should be used for cuts or in area that is not going to be seen. You can expect between 5-10% to be affected within your orders and this should be allowed for when ordering.
Natural stone products will have a greater or lesser degree of colour variation within each product. Colours will change as the material is mined in different areas of the quarries so over time changes will occur. Even with each batch of stone there will be a large level of variation, you must ensure that you are happy with the colour variation before you start laying, as after installation exchange will no longer be possible.
If you require a more consistent coloured slab we would recommend using limestone, slate, granite natural stone paving. Another option is Porcelain paving as these have only very subtle colour and texture variations within each batch. Indian Sandstone Paving has the greats degree of variation in colour and a little additional attention needs to be taken to this before installation.
Porcelain is manufactured using natural materials and coloured pigments, therefore colour and texture may vary from batch to batch. Each batch is kept as consistent as possible, but we would recommend that when you purchase your Porcelain paving you take note of the batch number which is present on the cardboard packaging around of each slab just in case you might need to order additional material. This may also mean that the Porcelain you receive when you ordered may be slightly different from the samples or showroom displays you may have viewed before purchasing.
We do not recommend mixing different sized slabs with any of our porcelain products as batch variation will occur between the varied sizes as they have been manufactured at separate times.
SIZE TOLERANCE WITH PORCELAIN PAVING
Please be aware that the sizes stated on porcelain paving are nominal sizes and will have a tolerance level of + or - 2% (5mm max) on both width and length, this means that in the actual size of the product you receive can be very slightly small than stated. full technical data sheets giving full specification of the porcelain paving products and their relevant tolerances are available to download on each of the product pages.
DIFFERENT PORCELAIN PAVING QUALITIES
There are many countries that currently produce porcelain paving, but it's important to understand the differences in qualities.
Generally porcelain paving made in European countries especially Italy are of a higher quality, with better finish in term of colour, pattern and realism but also in terms of tolerance of the finished dimensions and flatness of the products produced. Products made in Asia especially India generally have a poorer finish in both texture, colour and realism of the surface appearance. These country do not have the same level of production equipment as their European competitors and are not able to offer the same level of quality. The vast scale of European production as well as the rise in shipping costs from India has also meant that European products are available at a very similar or sometime better price point that their poor quality counterparts products. In our opinion there is only one choice and that is why we have completely switch our purchasing away from India and Asia to Europe.
Calibrated paving goes through a process where one of the riven surfaces of the slabs is removed to create a consistent thickness. This process helps reduce laying time as less slabs selection and bed thickness adjustments are need during installation. You will still find small variations in thickness of the slabs so some degree of grading due to dimensional tolerance will be required.
Fading All porcelain and most natural stones are UV stable and therefore will not fade, over larger periods of time some natural stone products will lighten slightly through acidic rainfall, but a good clean with a good quality PH neutral patio cleaner such as Universeal New Clean 60 and then a re-seal will help bring them back to their original colour.
The exception to this is Black Limestone which will fade from a dark black to a charcoal grey with a few months of being exposed to the UV from the sun and acidic rainfall. There are products on the market to help prevent and re-colour black limestone, these products have very mixed results and are not a permanent solution. So, our recommendation would be if you're not happy with the faded charcoal colour of the product, it's going to be best to look for a different product that will not fade such as Nero Porcelain or Black Indian Granite paving.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE BLACK LIMESTONE IS ESPECIALLY PRONE TO DAMAGE FROM ACID BASED CLEANER AND WILL DAMAGE THE SURFACE OF THE STONE AND WILL CAUSE IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE TO YOUR PATIO.
There are a few things that you will need to investigate when selecting your paving to insure you purchase an excellent quality product.
Natural stone paving products are graded on things such as colour variation, flatness of the finish and in the case of travertine paving density is also especially important. Most suppliers will purchase natural stone products at a price that they set, so they can maintain their margin, Natural Stone and Timber Ltd is always prepared to pay a little more to ensure that we have the better graded products as this allows us to continually offer a better product, helping us build a good relationship with our regular trade customers and offer a superior product to everyone. When you have made your selection the most important thing is that you are happy with the finished product before you start to install your paving and that everything is checked in full, because after installation no replacements or exchanges will be possible.
Porcelain paving is a fully vitrified product meaning that the paving is baked at such high temperatures that the individual particles of the mineral ingredients melt and fuse together to form a single mass, making the tiles extremely hard wearing with extremely low porosity. This makes Porcelain a very suitable paving material for almost any paving application and helps reduce the ongoing maintenance of the product.
IF YOU NEED ANY ADVICE PLEASE CONTACT A MEMBER OF STAFF AT YOUR LOCAL DEPOT, ON ONE OF THE NUMBERS BELOW, WHO WILL BE HAPPY TO ADVISE YOU ON ANY OF OUR PRODUCTS.
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