Paving slab buying guide

Choosing the right type of paving for your patio can make an incredible difference to the look and feel of your outdoor area. Get it right and it can not only create an additional external space in your home but it can add significant value to your property too.

But, with so many different options on today’s market, from the classic to the contemporary, the natural to the colourful, the simple to elaborate, where to begin?

As one of the UK’s leading paving brands, Bradstone boasts a vast product portfolio and the unrivalled know-how to match to help make your paving inspirations a reality – plus all products are British made and responsibly sourced too.

Here, we take a look at the various paving ranges available on the market, along with their features and benefits, to help ensure you choose the right option to suit your individual needs and budget.

 

Porcelain Paving

When it comes to creating a stunning patio look that requires minimal maintenance, little comes in the way of competing with porcelain paving.

Made from stunning natural materials, porcelain paving offers an impressive aesthetic appeal along with a range of hard-wearing characteristics. It is exceptionally dense meaning it is scratch-resistant and lower maintenance than other paving materials, making it the ideal choice for high footfall paths and for eye-catching areas which may feature a garden table and chairs. What’s more, smoother surfaced, 10mm thick versions are also available in selected ranges to allow homeowners to use the paving indoors, creating a harmonious flow from the house to the garden.

Importantly, while porcelain paving can be slightly more expensive than other options, its associated low maintenance and exceptional durability make for a very cost-effective long-term solution.

 

Concrete Paving

Being constructed from one of the most durable materials in the world, concrete paving slabs offer superior strength and longevity, making for a very attractive proposition for those seeking a cost-effective and hard-wearing paving solution.

Plus, today’s options offer a myriad of design possibilities. From different colours, textures and styles, through to designs that have been carefully constructed to offer an incredibly realistic imitation of high-end natural slabs, the concrete category offers unparalleled design flexibility - plus, it comes in a range of prices to suit all budgets.

In terms of upkeep, while concrete requires very little in the day-to-day, annual maintenance, especially sealing to protect against stains and algae, is required to ensure longevity.

 

Natural Stone Paving

For those seeking a paving solution which offers true individuality and character, nothing quite beats natural stone.

Constructed entirely from organic stone, such as sandstone and riven, natural stone slabs offer an unparalleled distinctive beauty and rustic charm. With no two pieces ever the same, this paving lends itself to design possibilities whereby homeowners can choose between many variations of colour and texture to create a truly unique look.

Practicality is accounted for too: natural stone is strong and hard-wearing and can last for decades if properly cared for. However, it is important to note that natural stone products have a high porosity making it easy for moisture to seep in – meaning periodical sealing, particularly in areas of high traffic, is vital to ensure stones do not become weathered and worn.

 

Block Paving

There are numerous benefits to choosing block paving for your outdoor area. Not only is it incredibly versatile but it is available in countless designs and colours, meaning homeowners are afforded a world of design freedom. Plus, as well as being hard-wearing and easy to install, because of its porous nature blocked paving will absorb rainwater and stop it gathering on your patio or driveway, meaning it can help with overall drainage.

Perhaps the biggest pro though is that blocked paving is incredibly cost-effective and low maintenance; it requires little in the way of upkeep and the great thing is that in the case for some reason, individual blocks become damaged, homeowners can simply replace them as needed.

With so many benefits, it’s easy to understand why block paving is so popular, offering a sleek, modern aesthetic – however it may not necessarily be the product of choice for those seeking something a bit more unique.

 

Installation Advice

When it comes to laying the paving slabs, the good news is that there is an abundance of advice and support out there should you choose to do-it-yourself. A great example is our handy step-by-step guide which details the various tools and safety gear you need, along with the according best practice steps, to ensure you install your paving correctly and safely.

In the case, however, that you would rather call in a professional, the Bradstone Assured Installer Scheme is home to some of the most talented garden landscapers in the UK who will be able to make your paving dreams a reality – all with the backing of the Bradstone brand.