What To Consider When Choosing Porcelain Paving
Porcelain tiles are a durable, versatile and aesthetically appealing option for various paving projects. Whether used for new builds or in remediation works, porcelain ensures a fantastic, high-performance finish that will stand the test of time.
This guide walks you through key questions that help you make an informed decision and establish whether porcelain is the right material for your project.
Understanding porcelain paving
Porcelain paving is manufactured by combining high-quality porcelain clay with additives that often include feldspar and silica. This mix is crushed, purified and fired in a kiln at high temperatures.
The process results in a material that is resistant to water absorption, stains, scratches and fading. It can be produced in a range of colours, textures and patterns and designed to mimic other material finishes, such as natural stone, wood and concrete. It is particularly popular for its long-lasting performance and low maintenance requirements.
Consider your project requirements
Before selecting any paving material, evaluate your specific project requirements. The location, climate, expected foot traffic and function should all determine your choice of material. For instance, paving that is likely to be exposed to significant rainfall will benefit from a slip-resistant and relatively waterproof material.
What affects the quality of porcelain paving?
Like most materials, the quality of porcelain available varies dramatically. The combination and quality of raw materials, the nature of the manufacturing process and the inclusion of performance-enhancing additives all affect the quality of a porcelain tile.
We recommend opting for a reputable supplier that specialises in porcelain paving. Check if the paving is tested for durability, strength and resistance to harsh weather conditions. A reliable supplier will provide product information, technical specifications and performance characteristics for their entire range.
Is porcelain paving slippery?
Porcelain paving tends to boast excellent slip resistance. However, if you are using porcelain paving for areas that will be wet, such as pool decks, outdoor showers and even patio areas, look for porcelain tiles that incorporate a textured or anti-slip surface. Slip resistance is typically measured using the coefficient of friction (COF). A higher COF indicates better slip resistance.
What size and thickness should my tiles be?
The size and thickness of the porcelain tiles is a very important consideration. Various sizes of tile can be used depending on the desired aesthetic – smaller tiles give a more traditional appearance, while larger tiles result in a more seamless, spacious and minimal look. Thicker tiles are more robust and are ideally suited to areas that will experience a lot of foot traffic. Always check the true thickness of tiles, against what is typically referred to as ‘nominal’ thickness by some suppliers and ascertain their suitability on raised systems for your project and its intended use – this will mitigate any associated safety concerns. We strongly advise against anything less than 20mm: tiles with a nominal thickness of 20mm could actually be 16-18mm thick and have large indentations on the back which weakens them. Our paving range starts at 20mm and goes up to 30mm in our Quadro range to give specifiers complete peace of mind.
What porcelain paving finishes are available?
Porcelain paving is available in various styles, ensuring you can incorporate it into distinct projects. The tile colour, texture and pattern can all be altered and high-quality suppliers will stock tiles that allow you to replicate other material finishes. This means you can use porcelain to achieve both a traditional look that mimics a timber finish and a more modern aesthetic.
How much maintenance does porcelain paving require?
Porcelain paving is renowned for its low maintenance requirements. That said, it still requires regular cleaning and upkeep to maintain a pristine appearance. Manufacturers and suppliers typically provide cleaning instructions and advice, so check this information before making your choice. If you opt for porcelain because it is low maintenance, you do not want to select tiles that require costly, specialist cleaning materials.
How much does porcelain paving cost?
Porcelain paving varies in price depending on tile quality, design and size. Higher-quality tiles and intricate designs will cost more than standard options. Similarly, indoor tiles are often less expensive than outdoor tiles.
Typically, porcelain tiles for outdoor applications sit in the £30-£70 per square metre price bracket, but in some cases can cost less for very basic finishes. Though it may be tempting to opt for the budget option, consider and calculate the long-term costs first. What you save in the short term, you might pay twice over in the long term. Particularly if you choose tiles that are more prone to cracking or damage. If you are not sure, we can help you make the right choice for your project.
What other considerations are there?
Though they may be the most visible aspect, tiles are not the only component of paving solutions. In most modern projects, particularly those connected to high-rise residential and commercial buildings, a whole host of components are required to support the tiles and create the paving substructure. This means stackable supports and pedestals are often necessary. Considering what other components you require is an essential step in planning a paving project and choosing the right material.
RYNO porcelain paving solutions
At RYNO, we supply high-quality porcelain tiles and other paving materials to construction professionals looking for a superior product. Offering a diverse range of porcelain tiles, all of which can be incorporated into our innovative TerraSmart® and BalcaSmart® systems, our paving products are ideal for new builds and remediation projects.
Our IGNO certification also guarantees non-combustibility and compliance with all the latest building fire regulations, ensuring they are an excellent choice for those looking to safeguard the value of real estate assets at a time of considerable regulatory flux.