Types of Paving Stones and Their Properties
Paving stones can make for a wonderful addition to the exterior of your home. However, they are not only aesthetically pleasing, but can also help boost your property’s value. Naturally, this will depend on the types of paving slabs you choose to use. Like most things nowadays, there are many types of paving you can choose from. This will depend on your preferences, the type of material you select as well as on your budget.
Natural Stone Paving
Natural stone slabs are some of the most popular types available on the market and for good reason, too. Since they’re natural and come from the earth, they are sturdy companions to your outdoor space that can be relied upon for wear and tear due to the natural elements, and they come in a variety of colours, too. Some of the most popular natural paving slabs are:
A limestone slab is mainly formed with the combination of silicone and lime, which are bound by the natural elements over time due to pressure. It is considered a sedimentary stone that is formed by tiny grains compressed together under the earth. Limestone grains are generally more consistent in grains and therefore provide a more consistent look in terms of the colour or hue you choose to use for your home. They come in a softer colour palette. In addition, its generally smooth surface can contribute to more uniformity in a given area.
The advantages of limestone include:
- It works well under pressure from the natural elements
- It has a softer texture that contributes to a smoother finish
- It consists of even colours for a more uniform appearance
- It is relatively easy to cut and work with
The disadvantages of limestone are:
- Can fade easily over time
- A smaller colour palette is available
- Acid damage can be a common problem
Indian limestone paving slabs are undoubtedly one of the most popular types of paving available on the market. They are considered timeless and very beautiful, too. Made from a cementitious material and small grains, it can be generally weather-resistant. Since Indian slate also contains silicone, it can be a hardy material to use in your property. Overall, Indian paving slabs come in a variety of colours and as such it can also be durable and long-lasting.
The advantages of Indian slate paving include:
- Strong colour patterns and designs
- Wide-ranging availability
- Easy to work with
- Easy to clean
- Adds value to a property
- Can last a lifetime
Some of the disadvantages of Indian sandstone paving slabs include:
- It can fade over time as a result of the weather and should be looked after properly
- Since the surface is natural, it can feel rough to the touch
- It may contain blotches or other imperfections
A beautiful natural material, slate pavers come in darker and deeper hues and they sometimes contain layers of copper and iron colours, giving them a more rustic appearance. Slate is known to be a metamorphic stone, which is formed in layers. Due to these layers, it’s important to always purchase calibrated slate. There are three main types of slate: Chinese, Indian and Brazilian, with the last one being the sturdiest and most reliable of the other two due to their flatness, absence of large clefts and the ability to split them up by hand to almost any thickness.
Some of the advantages of slate paving slabs include:
- Its colour doesn’t fade quickly over time
- A durable material for exterior flooring
- Low water absorption rate
Some of the disadvantages of slate paving slabs include:
- Difficulties in installation
- Its layers can flake off, which can lead to pools of water
- If untreated, it might be susceptible to water damage
Granite patio slabs are igneous and are some of the most durable materials for patios available on the market. They come in a wide variety of finishes and colours, ranging from white to black. Since it is a tough material, it can be cut with quite a lot of precision. They are also highly resistant to water as well as chemical erosion.
Some of the advantages of granite paving slabs include:
- They are not water porous
- It’s very easy to clean
- Choose from a wide range of colours
- Extremely weather resistant
- Long lasting material
Some of the disadvantages of these types of slabs include:
- They are heavy and the work can be very labour intensive
- They are very hard and may be difficult to cut
Your outdoor paving project could also be easily enhanced by concrete paving, which is a much more affordable solution than opting for natural stone pavers. What’s more is that they do not require a curing period and they offer more traction when the surface is wet.
Some of the advantages of concrete pavers include:
- They make for an excellent DIY project because the parts are small and easy to handle
- They are long lasting and can last up to 50 years
- Maintenance is relatively easy
- Repairing one paver can be done easily without damaging the rest
Some of the disadvantages of concrete pavers include:
- They are not usually shipped from afar so you have to find a local supplier
- If you’re doing this as a DIY project, expect it to be labour intensive
Porcelain paving is another option to consider for your paving project. Although porcelain is usually used in kitchens and bathrooms, its range has been extended to the outdoors, too, to create an even stronger effect in your exterior. They are typically tough and are made of sturdy materials and come in a wide variety of colours and ranges so you can get a woody, stone or cement look.
The porcelain paving pros and cons include the following:
- They are generally low maintenance
- They are fade and slip resistant
- They are tough and long lasting
- They help create a more contemporary look
- Because it is a tough material, these tiles may be harder to cut
- Installation costs can be high
- It can also be more expensive than natural stone or cement pavers
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