Choosing what to do with your garden can be difficult, especially when you have a blank canvas and many incredible ideas and options. There is a lot of pressure to get it right, and the possibilities are endless. But it is also an exciting opportunity to turn your space into the perfect oasis. 

Sandstone, Limestone, Granite, Porcelain, Slate. You will have come across these terms when researching what patio type to get installed. And those aren't all your options either; the list goes on and on. There is such a wide range of paving available that choosing a suitable one for your project can be confusing and overwhelming. Our Wakefield landscape gardeners love working with Indian Sandstone and Porcelain Paving solutions, so we will give you an overview of why either material would be an excellent choice for your garden project.

Indian Sandstone

Indian Sandstone; what you need to know! 

Indian Sandstone is a natural and prevalent stone that became popular in the 1990s. As the name suggests, Indian Sandstone is imported from India as this is where its origins lie. Various colours and tones of Indian Sandstone are available such as Raj Green, Autumn Brown, Kandla Grey and many more. Those varieties are home to different regions in India and come from various quarries across the country. To extract Indian Sandstone from those quarries, they use a hydraulic excavator and strike the stone at weak points. Once the stone blocks are separated, they are transported to another Indian facility, cut into slabs and sent for finishing. There are many finishings for naturally occurring stones; some options are riven, calibrated, tumbled, and sawn finishings.

Nature's work of art; a slab of a kind

Because Sandstone is nature's product, no two paving slabs are the same; patterns and colours in individual pieces are unique, which makes Indian Sandstone an attractive option for many people looking to add something that's not "off the shelf" to their garden. The slabs are arranged randomly and based on each person's preference to form a personalised, one-of-a-kind masterpiece that adds character to any garden.

Whilst it can't compete with granite or slate in terms of longevity, Sandstone is a durable material. As with most paving, the lifespan depends on the quality of the installation and the maintenance after that. With an expert installation and re-pointing every few years, you could expect your Indian Sandstone to last 30 to 50 years; however, if your base is not solid and installed incorrectly, it may only last up to 10 years. Good prep work and installation is critical. Our landscape gardeners in Wakefield can tell you more about this process, and our 3D garden design can even show you precisely what it would look like fully installed, so there are no surprises afterwards!

How to look after your Indian Sandstone 

Indian Sandstone can become discoloured over time, so it is important to know how to look after your paving and what to avoid to prevent discolouration. This may sound daunting, but don't worry! Luckily, taking care of your Indian Sandstone paving isn't rocket science. 

All you need is soapy water to get rid of everyday dirt. Avoid other cleaning products containing acids as they could create rust. Add bleach to your cleaning routine for tougher stains or more stubborn residue such as algae or moss, and keep your slabs looking as good as new. Pour your mixture onto the slabs, leave for around 30 minutes, scrub it with a brush and wash it off with a hose to ensure you have removed all the bleach. You can also occasionally use a pressure washer; however, keep a safe distance from the paving slab to avoid any damage to the surface and integrity, as Indian Sandstone is much softer than other materials. 

Overall Indian Sandstone is an excellent choice for both traditional and contemporary garden designs whilst being easy to install, maintain and affordable. It is a popular choice for anyone wanting to add a touch of nature and uniqueness to their garden space. For high-quality Indian Stone, we recommend our friends at Sanderson Stone

Is Porcelain paving the better choice for you?

Porcelain tiles are a high-quality manufactured solution that absorbs minimal water due to their manufacturing process. In this process, clay and naturally occurring materials such as sand and feldspar are pressurised and exposed to extreme temperatures in a thermally insulated chamber called a kiln. This process is known as the "vitrification process", which makes Porcelain highly moisture resistant. Hence, it is less slippery than alternative paving options, and there is no moss, algae or mould build-up over time.

Our landscape gardeners in Wakefield love working with porcelain paving as it is suitable for in-house flooring also. It can provide a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor space, making that transition from house to garden smooth and aesthetically pleasing. 

Porcelain Tiles

The fit and forget solution - Porcelain Paving Maintenance 

Due to the very low porosity, Porcelain requires no specialist sealant or cleaning supplies. To keep your tiles looking good as new, a quick brush or infrequent wash with water is all you need, completely chemical-free! It also means that Porcelain requires less maintenance, and it is one of the easiest paving solutions to keep clean, perfect for those who want to enjoy their garden and don't want to worry about spending time on garden maintenance. It is a fit-and-forget solution!

Porcelain paving is aesthetically stunning and ticks all the boxes if you want durable paving that will last a long time; however, not all that glitters is gold.

Is Porcelain as great as it seems?

Due to its density for strength and moisture resistance, porcelain paving is dense and hard to cut, so it requires specialist tools such as a diamond blade to cut the tiles; not every landscape gardener has access to these. 

It is also a much thinner material than other tiles, so the ground prep work needs to be precise. The final layers of sand or gravel need to be accurately levelled before the tiles can be installed, as they can crack under pressure if they are not laid correctly. But don't worry, this is only the case if the installation is poor; once the porcelain paving is installed correctly, it is extremely hard wearing and tough, so ideal for areas with a lot of foot traffic.

Porcelain paving isn't just pleasing to the eye; it is also the perfect material for any outdoor area due to its durability, water, stain and scratch resistance making it suitable for any space. Generally, Porcelain will give you everything you need, but the initial material and installation cost is higher than other paving options.

Visualise your space before committing to expensive paving

Choosing the most suitable paving is essential, and we know the choice can be overwhelming. It is not something you want to rush into or a decision you want to get wrong. The good thing is you don't have to decide immediately; our Wakefield garden designers can start your journey with a 3D garden design so you can see what the paving you choose will look like in your space.

And if you are not happy with it? Not a problem! We can adjust the design and see if another paving solution would fit better. That way, you know you won't have any regrets or "I should have" thoughts. Contact us at Wakefield Landscapes for a consultation, and we will find the paving that's suitable for you.

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