Outdoor Porcelain vs. Natural Stone: What’s the Difference?
For any outdoor landscape project, two of the most sought-after materials today are natural stone pavers and outdoor porcelain tiles. Granite and limestone, two classic choices, have long been cherished for their sturdiness and classic aesthetic. In contrast, outdoor porcelain tiles are a more recent option, with manufacturers taking pains to give them the same look as concrete, wood, and natural stone.
Four distinct differences exist between natural stone and outdoor porcelain tiles. These include:
- Installation & Cost
- Water Absorption and Moisture Resistance
With similar appearances, it’s easy to overlook the distinctions between these materials. But understanding these distinctions can be instrumental in selecting the right material for your project.
Natural stone is quarried, giving the material a unique finish, in addition to providing a broad spectrum of options from granite and slate to basalt, limestone, and sandstone. Every stone is exclusive, with no two being identical, producing a timeless, high-end, and personalized appearance for your project.
In contrast, outdoor porcelain tiles are manufactured in accordance with the most demanding standards available in the market. These items are constructed from high-grade clay that has been fired in extreme heat. This technique of brickmaking has been used for centuries.
Outdoor porcelain tends to be consistent and incredibly tough because of its structured production process. Its purpose is to replicate the look and texture of natural stone, but its most remarkable aspect is its evenness.
Moreover, you can create a selection of design motifs with outdoor porcelain, from traditional to modern and everything in between. Additionally, porcelain tiles can easily replicate the appearance of wood, resulting in a no-hassle wood-look porcelain deck.
Installation and Cost
While natural stone can be more costly than outdoor porcelain, it results from various contributing factors. Raw material, fabrication and transportation are some of the significant factors when it comes to its pricing. In addition, certain types of natural stone may be limited in stock, thus, increasing the cost. Moreover, when it comes to installation, its price may also spike due to its texture, weight and irregularities, which require more robust adhesives and the labour that comes with it.
In contrast, outdoor porcelain tiles provide superior consistency and effortless workability. Each tile is crafted to perfection, precisely measured, and precisely calibrated. Additionally, porcelain tiles are available in large formats to cover more square footage with every installation, meaning that your projects can be completed more quickly and efficiently.
Water Absorption and Moisture Resistance
Outdoor porcelain tiles provide a more water-resistant solution than natural stone, making them ideal for pool decks, patios, walkways, and even driveways. Porcelain pavers are impermeable due to the lack of pores on their surface, unlike natural stone, which contains tiny holes and flaws, increasing the risk of stains and water infiltration. However, if you choose to use natural stones, a premium sealer may offer extra protection but at an added cost and extra effort.
Maintenance – Or Lack of it!
Porcelain tiles provide ease of maintenance with minimal upkeep requirements, in contrast to natural stone. For example, sandstone and limestone must be sealed and cleaned every few years, while granites are more durable and require less attention. Outdoor porcelain tiles stand out due to their UV resistance, ensuring they remain vibrant over time.
Porcelain is undeniably the superior option for a hardwearing and stylish aesthetic, particularly with Stonedeck’s outdoor porcelain tiles. They boast incredible characteristics such as low water absorption, simple upkeep, eco-friendliness, and frost resistance, making them an outstanding replacement for natural stone pavers.