Porcelain may appear to be the last material you’d consider for a porch, balcony, patio, or driveway outside. However, when used as pavers, Porcelain has several characteristics that make it perfect for outdoor use. It is easy to maintain, hard-wearing, slip-resistant, weather-resistant, and aesthetically pleasing as well.
Porcelain pavers are made from clay that has been baked in a kiln, as well as a few other components. They can be accurately cut to exact specifications which makes installations in odd shapes, or around obstacles, a breeze.
While porcelain is an excellent choice for outdoor applications, you still need to make sure you’re using the proper thickness to ensure longevity. External usage of the standard 8-10mm thick porcelain tiles is not advised due to their general inability to sustain heavy furnishings or extreme conditions. You’ll need to make sure the product is at least 20mm thick.
Now, let’s discuss the advantages of using porcelain for the outdoors.
Porcelain is unrivaled in terms of durability. It is fired at temperatures above 1200 degrees Celsius in kilns, which makes it both extremely tough and quite resilient to scratches. With a lower chance to be scratched, it’s much less likely that dirt particles will become embedded in the surface, ultimately keeping your pavers resistant to mildew and moss. At Grand River Natural Stone, we provide the best quality porcelain pavers for maximized usage.
Porcelain pavers are available in various finishes, including matte, semi-gloss, gloss, and textured. Picking a matte finish, or a tile with a high slip resistance rating, while selecting porcelain for outside use is usually the best plan, Rain, snow, run-off, or spilled liquids can all make a glossy surface very slippery and a potential hazard.
When it comes to outdoor use, porcelain is one of the most low-maintenance options available. It has a non-porous surface, unlike natural stone and wood, which means that dirt, grime, and other particles cannot collect and damage the surface through small gaps. This lack of porosity also makes the pavers very resistant to stains.
In terms of general cleaning and maintenance, all that is required to keep porcelain looking its best is an occasional sweep or a washing with a gentle household cleaner. For the more environmentally conscious customer, most porcelain can also be cleaned with just warm water, and a gentle (if any) soap.
Porcelain pavers are a surprisingly viable option in a location where there are changes of temperature falling below zero. Unlike ceramic, porcelain is water resistant; so, it won’t crack during the freeze-thaw cycles throughout the winter and early spring. Porcelain is also ideal for climates with a lot of direct sunlight since it is highly resistant to fading. In general, the structural characteristics of porcelain make it an ideal product to use where you experience both warm and freezing temperatures.
Porcelain has a beauty that is difficult to equal outside with another material. A traditional look can be achieved with a variety of whites or black/grey colouring, as well as travertine and quartz finishes. The modular size allows for various patterns, resulting in an appealing but subtle effect in every environment. With its wide variety of colours, finishes, and sizes porcelain is an incredibly versatile product that can enhance outdoor decorative schemes ranging from the natural and classic, all the way to the clean and modern.
Still not sure which paver will be the most suitable for you? Contact the experts at Grand River Natural Stone and we would be happy to help bring the outdoor space of your dreams to reality.