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Topic: What porcelain paving do you like, if any, I've only got pictures and samples< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Helena Hunt
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Posted: 29 June 2019,15:37 QUOTE

I have decided, after thinking about it for years, to revamp my depressing garden.

As Pavestone so rightly say on their advice page “Buying from photos, catalogues, websites or seeing one or two sample paving flags is not advised unless you have previous experience of the products being purchased.”

Unfortunately, except for the teensiest little display at one of the Jewson’s, I can’t find any displays near me, and some of the samples I’ve received bear no resemblance to the catalogue pictures. I think they must polish or at least wet the stones before they take the picture.

I am considering vitrified paving because of it’s alleged low maintenance. I could be wrong but it seems a bit soulless. I’m wondering if, en masse (I need 60-70 square meters), it will make the garden look like a mausoleum.

I know the flag design/colour is a matter of personal taste but there is probably a consensus if enough people are asked about what is pleasing and what isn’t and will be something to go on.

If you are a contractor, was there any of this type of paving which made you wish you had it in your own garden?

If you are a home owner and have this type of paving:

Were you glad you chose this type?
Which one did you choose?
Did you see it laid before you chose it and where?
What would you do differently?
Was it worth the money?

Any help would be gratefully received.


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Helena Hunt
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coupsta
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Posted: 08 July 2019,15:22 QUOTE

Hi Helena,
We've just had porcelain patio laid and we are very pleased with the outcome.

like anything it depends on the design and colour and there is simply no substitute for seeing the colours in the flesh.

there are numerous suppliers now, i sourced ours from paving stones direct.

maintenance is easier in the long term, needs laying properly by the professionals.


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Dave
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Tony McC
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Posted: 09 July 2019,11:09 QUOTE

When you are spending the sort of money necessary to achieve a great looking porcelain patio, it pays to do the research, and while the opinion of others can be useful, you still need to see the candidate porcelains in the open, in a naturalistic setting, and for that, you will most likely need to travel.

Use brochures and online resources to create a shortlist, by all means, but then contact the manufacturers/distributors and ask where they have display areas. In 12 months time, if faced with a disappointing muddy-looking porcelain patio, you will be so bloody annoyed that you couldn't be arsed driving 50 miles to see the other porcelain you fancied, but instead went with the one that looked OK in the brochure. If you buy a car, you have no hesitation in test driving it, so why be any different with a patio or driveway?

All the good suppliers will have display areas. Visit them. More than once. See them in the wet and the dry, when it's sunny and when it's overcast. How hot does the porcelain get on a really warm day? How slippery does it feel when wet? Does it look better with a light-coloured or a darker jointing medium?

You have to live with this for many years - don't rush the decision.

Some parts of the country are lucky enough to have dedicated hard-landscape and paving suppliers with superb display areas showcasing products from various manufacturers. These places are a genuine godsend, but they tend NOT to be national names, multi-branch chains of Builders Merchants or DIY sheds, they tend to be one- or two-branch independents. If you have one within 100 miles, it would be well worth the journey!


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Helena Hunt
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Posted: 14 July 2019,15:20 QUOTE

Thank you Coupsta and Tony McC. After a while I didn't expect a reply and only checked today on the off chance, so apologies for the delay in responding.

I completely agree about it being worthwhile making the effort to see a display because of having to live with it for years after. This is what I'm worried about, though as a friend pointed out, I'm lucky that  at my age at least it won't be decades.

In May I made a 200 mile journey round trip to a garden centre to see a display, advertised on the flagstone manufacturer's website, but only saw a few slabs on a vertical board. I telephoned the manufacturers next day and was told that they did have a large display there and that I had missed it. I drove all the way back only to discover the display was filthy, covered in moss, weeds and vegetation detritus and was no longer supported by the garden centre which was why I wasn't directed to it before. These weren't just any old 200 miles either but on what must be five of the worst motorways in the country. So you see I am trying. (Before I made the second trip the manufacturers were very helpful in trying to find me a public installation locally but there wasn't one.)

A week ago I made the journey to a London Stone display, a 140+ mile round trip, and I'm glad I did. The display was beautiful and the staff very helpful. The flags I had considered I didn't like at all when I saw them laid and I saw things that I liked I would never have considered based on pictures and samples.

Thanks to pavingexpert.com I had a better understanding of what to look out for. I am seriously considering antique yellow sandstone. Can you think of a reason why that would not be a good choice? I've got grey concrete at the moment so I wanted a colour change that was pleasing to me but also something practical and from the specs that would seem to be the case. If you tell me it would be a bad choice I would be very glad to know that at this stage of course but I may turn to drink (or worse/better) at the thought of starting all over again.

I did decide in the end that natural stone was more pleasing to me and more suitable for my garden.

Many thanks for your help.


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Helena Hunt
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Tony McC
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Posted: 16 July 2019,10:05 QUOTE

You raise an important point about paving displays - they are not always all they are cracked-up to be!

It's a discussion I've had with several manufacturers - they spend thousands, and I mean several thousands quid - creating these showpiece display areas in such-and-such a yard, and for a couple of week's it's the Bee's Knees. Then, the stocklist gets a big order of timber come in, and needs somehwre to park it while a more suitable space is found, so it gets dumped on that paving display.....and it's still there a fortnight later. Or maybe they need a mini-skip for the dust and detritus and litter from the yard....where could they park that?

If it doesn't get buried beneath "other ctrap", it doesn't get swept, cleaned or maintained in any way, so it gradualkly gets covered in crud, weeds start to grow, the paving gets dirty and discoloured....and within 12 months it's more of an advert for what NOT to buy!

The manufacturers often claimn the yard owners are responsible for loking after the dispaly, whereas the yard owners tell me they expect the manufacturer's rep to maintain it when they make their regular visit to enquire how sales could be boosted. Betwen them, it never gets done, and it's the public that loses out.

So when you find a genuinely good display area, such as the London Stone example you mention, it deserves wider promotion. I always recall the now-abandoned and much-missed display area that Tobermore had at a garden centre near Leyland in Lancashire. For the 3-4 years it was there, you could have eaten your dinner off that paving. It was permanently immaculate and painstakingly maintained at a level of near-perfection because guess what? The display actually sells the paving!

I feature two such displays on the main website - Cowley Stone near Worksop - a work of art in natural stone - and Landscape World near Widnes in Cheshire - an amazingly comprehensive overview of all that is best in paving and hard-landscaping. These are classy examples of how paving *should* be sold to both the trade and the general public.

Anyway, on to your Antique Yellow Sandstone which is actually a limestone. It's a reasonable choice, a reliable stone with no real probvlems when properly laid. I have some in my own garden and I clean it once a year with a well-known biocide and that's all it asks of me. It keeps its colour and texture, it's bloody good value for money, and it's wickedly underused in this country. Go for it!


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Helena Hunt
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Posted: 16 July 2019,19:47 QUOTE

Thank you very much for taking the trouble to reply. I am much relieved by your endorsement of my choice. I knew it was limestone so don't know why I typed sandstone. I'm glad you knew what I meant anyway.

Very best wishes


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Helena Hunt
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