Mention the word porcelain and many people visualise a fragile product like a delicate teacup. However, when used in paving slabs this material is known for its strength and resistance to damage.
Porcelain is becoming the hot new trend in DIY paving, and is well worth considering if you’re laying a new patio this year. Locally, porcelain has yet to take off, but this will change as more people discover its versatility and strength.
If refreshing your outdoor space is on your ‘to do’ list, remember, choosing paving is the most important decision you’ll face. Get it wrong and you could be left with a patio that’s unsafe and unsightly.
Your slabs need to be able to withstand everything the UK climate can throw at them. The good news is porcelain is resistant to UV light, scratches, stains, extreme temperatures, salt, water and mould so it will stay looking like new for longer.
Here at D.W. Nye, we stock a huge range of outdoor porcelain paving in a wide choice of colours and designs which means it’s easier to find something suitable to match your style.
Here’s our five top tips to the perfect porcelain patio:
1. Check and mix tiles
Products can vary in shade from batch to batch which means it’s important to check the slabs before you begin to lay them. Mix up tiles from different packs to ensure they blend together.
2. Porcelain needs primer
As you lay the tiles, paint on a slurry primer which is a mixture of cement, water, and a suitable SBR bonding agent. This will help to stick the tile to the mortar bed underneath. The primer needs to be wet when you lay the slabs to aid bonding (so this can’t be done in advance).
3. Use quality blades
It is likely that you’ll have to cut some of the tiles to size, and the best way to ensure you don’t spoil your stock is to choose a power saw fitted with a continuous diamond blade. A water-fed tile bridge saw is recommended to avoid chips.
4. Lay on a full bed
The best base for your porcelain tiles includes an aggregate subbase of 100mm, compressed down, followed by a full wet mortar bed of 30mm to 50mm sand/ cement mix. The consistency should be wet but not runny. Mortar spots are unsuitable for porcelain.
5. Make a tool list
Source the right tools before you start so you have the correct equipment to hand. Important items often overlooked include protective goggles for when you’re cutting, a rubber mallet to gently tap the tile into place without causing cracks, plastic spacers for a consistent joint between each tile and a soft broom to clean any grouting residue from the surface once complete.
Looking for more landscaping advice? Pop into our depot in Kingsfold to speak to our staff: they’ll be able to recommend high quality paving to suit any budget including all the supplies you’ll need for a first-class job.