How to achieve a professional finish with porcelain paving

How to achieve a professional finish with porcelain paving

We often get asked by landscapers and garden designers about the finer points of finishing a porcelain project. Because of its superb durability, porcelain paving is low maintenance and doesn’t need any additional treatments such as sealants during installation. However, there are a few differences between laying porcelain and natural stone. If you’re thinking about laying porcelain paving, we recommend reading our porcelain product guide thoroughly to understand the basics. These include laying on a full bed of mortar over a compacted sub-base, using a slurry primer and ensuring a minimum joint width of 5mm. In this blog, we thought we’d expand on this and share some of our top tips for achieving that top-quality finish in your porcelain paving jobs. How do I cut porcelain paving? Porcelain is exceptionally hard wearing, but it can chip when being cut. You don’t want your attention drawn to unsightly dinks around the edges of your tiles. Our advice is to use a dedicated porcelain diamond blade. Score when dry, add water and cut completely through both ends. then work slowly through the rest of the cut. This way you should achieve a beautiful clean finish. Can I get a curved edge on porcelain paving? Curved edges are an all-important element of many great garden designs. But some people think that these can’t be achieved with porcelain. However, cutting on a curve is straightforward if you have a handheld grinder with the correct blade and are confident using it. Always let the weight of the tool do the work and never force it or it will crack. Alternatively, bespoke cutting services are...
Visit us at the Landscape Show

Visit us at the Landscape Show

We’ll be showcasing some of our favourite products at this industry-leading event on 17 and 18 September at Battersea Park. Why not keep abreast of the latest landscaping knowledge and join us for a preview of our collection of natural stone and porcelain paving and accessories the show’s extensive programme of free seminars up to date ideas on landscaping design and techniques your chance to meet with industry-leading designers and contractors   Register now for a free ticket and visit us on Stand...
Planning a new driveway

Planning a new driveway

Planning your perfect driveway The value of kerb appeal is not to be under-estimated. The front of your house creates an important first impression, adds value to your property and makes a huge difference to the welcome you get when you return home. Whilst you may need to include a parking space and room for dustbins, you’ll also want to think about creating the right look for your home, as well as that all-important budget. Design Start off by looking at your essential routes out of the house; how will you get from your front door to the road and any side gate or garage? Consider what design will best complement your home. Straight lines can look formal and contemporary, while softer curving edges suit a more traditional or informal property. Parking Where do you want to park your car and will you need space to turn? Positioning your car away from your front door and window will give you a better view from inside your house and leave your front doorway clear. Planting A really easy way to inject character and style to the front of your property is using plants, yet nearly 5 million front gardens in Britain have none in them. Plants offer helpful privacy and shade, not to mention benefits for wildlife. If you are tight for space, consider pots or plant some ground cover amongst decorative aggregates (below). Native hedging like beech that holds its leaves in winter can be great for privacy while silver birch can create a dappled shade and perfect screening for bedroom windows. And if time is an issue, go...
Reflections on a Hampton Court show garden

Reflections on a Hampton Court show garden

This summer has seen Kebur scoop a coveted Silver Award at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, our first year being involved in a show garden. The garden, A Place to Meet, was designed by Cherry Carmen for the landscape industry body, the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL). As well as supplying the hard landscaping materials for the project, our professional team of installers also led the build, with 18 APL member companies involved. We talked to Craig Deeley, our Contracts Manager, who led the build, to reflect on the experience… What materials did you use? We worked with Cherry Carmen on a design that would demonstrate excellence in landscaping skills and highlight some different ways of using natural stone including a raised patio, plunge pool and wildlife pond. As we were keen to use some of our new contemporary natural stone, Cherry’s idea was to show how our Black Granite and Pearl White Leather Sandstone could be softened with naturalistic planting.   Naturalistic planting Pearl White Sandstone raised patio Contemporary black granite steps The inviting plunge pool How was the experience? Manic! I found it really positive from a personal point of view. It’s great to see how designers use planting schemes to complement hard landscaping. You have to put your life on hold the whole time you’re there. It was realistically an 8-week project so we worked 12-14 hour days for 17 days to get it done. There was very little time at home!  I loved doing it though and would love to do it again. What were the highlights? Coming together with other talented members of...
Five ways to keep your patio clean and clear

Five ways to keep your patio clean and clear

Aside from the usual day to day maintenance, you may occasionally need to get rid of tricky patio stains or deal with weeds to keep your paving looking beautiful for years to come. Here are some of the most pesky patio problems and what you can do about them. Patio weeds A recently-laid patio shouldn’t have a problem with weeds coming through the cracks. Just to make sure you stop weeds growing in your patio, we recommend using kiln dried sand for block paving and where joints are needed, 3 parts building sand to 1 part cement. Or you can try Sika Setting Sand which hardens and acts as a weed suppressant or a brush in mortar such as EasyJoint. Drink stains Patios are there to be enjoyed and the occasional drink spillage is inevitable. If this does happen, act quickly to remove the stain as soon as possible. Scrub thoroughly with hot soapy water and a stiff brush and rise with clean water. Sealing natural stone can be a great way of protecting it against unexpected spills over time. Kebur offers a pre-seal service as well as sealers you can apply yourself. Oil The chances are, you’ll be wanting to enjoy eating al fresco on your new patio. If you should spill oil and grease, remove them as soon as possible to increase chances of success. Soak up with cloth, paper or an absorbent powder like talcum powder or cornflour. Scrub with strong detergent repeatedly and wash with plenty of water. Stubborn stains can be removed with Easy Grease and Oil Away. Leaf stains One of the most...
Find patio inspiration right on your doorstep

Find patio inspiration right on your doorstep

Are you planning a patio project and don’t know where to start? This early Spring weather may be inspiring you to look for garden and patio ideas. If so, you need look no further than your doorstep. As we’ve been compiling our Kebur Porcelain and Natural Stone Collection brochure for this year, we’ve been bowled over by the quality of photos we’ve received from our very own landscaping customers. We wanted to share some of our favourite images of these landscaping projects with you. We think you’ll agree they show just what beautiful gardens can be created when you use the talents of your local landscaper. Black Limestone The intense darkness of Black Limestone contrasts beautifully with the white render to create a striking and contemporary look. The deep colour of Black Limestone can be achieved and maintained using a colour-enhancer sealant such as Dry-Treat Intensifia. Photo courtesy of RE Landscapes           Andhra Grey Limestone The subtle colour variation of Andhra Grey Limestone adds interest to this low maintenance garden design. And we like the way the 900x600mm paving slabs create a linear look that really work to lengthen the space. Photo courtesy of Winslade Landscapes         Natural Slate Natural Slate such as this Rusty Slate or the similar-looking Copper Slate has varied colour tones. This make for a stunning backdrop for naturalistic planting in this characterful garden. Because it is designed on the diagonal, the paving and path create a feeling of space that invites you to explore. Photo courtesy of Poison Ivy Garden Design           Silver...
The Kebur pre-seal service

The Kebur pre-seal service

Our pre-sealing service was set up in November 2017 and has been going from strength to strength ever since. Our customers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits that having your natural stone pre-sealed with high quality Dry-Treat™ sealant can have in protecting their investment and saving money in the long run. The rapid rise of porcelain paving has threatened the marketplace for higher end natural stone. However, at Kebur we still love natural stone and have extended our range this season. Porcelain isn’t to everyone’s taste and is perhaps not suited to all settings. But by pre-sealing your natural stone, customers can have a product with outstanding natural beauty and character along with reduced maintenance. Antony Vincent is the head technician at our dedicated pre-seal facility and describes the pre-sealing process. “In short, the crates of stone are unwrapped. The slabs are checked for damage and marks, cleaned up if necessary and left in racks to dry”. He continues, “Once dried, the slabs are moved and prepped on the sealing table. A mist coat, followed by two or three heavier coats are then applied at certain periods depending on the type of stone. The slabs are moved back into the drying racks to cure for 24 hours before being packed ready for dispatch”. Antony goes on to describe the main challenges in his role being, managing the working space he has and the length of time it can take some of the slabs to dry before he can seal them, a problem exacerbated by cold and damp weather. The advantages from having your stone pre-sealed by Kebur start at...
New granite options for your garden

New granite options for your garden

This Spring, we’re excited to be adding three new choices to Kebur’s popular Natural Granite range. Black Granite, Arctic Storm and Arctic Mist are all hard-wearing, versatile stones and will bring something unique to any back garden:   Arctic Mist Granite: this stone has a light grey colour with smokey veining. Available in a 600x600mm size format Arctic Storm Granite: a stunning natural stone, this has a dark grey colour with white streaky veining. The 1000x500mm size format really shows off its character Black Granite: is a consistent dark graphite colour throughout. It retains its colour well. You can choose from three standard Contempo sizes (900×600, 600×600 and 600x400mm), a linear plank format (900x200mm) and matching sawn setts (200x00x50mm and 100x100x50mm). Due in stock from early March.     All the new granite paving is 25mm thick with sawn sides and a flamed surface. Mix and match them to give a contemporary look. The black granite setts will define edges or features beautifully. We expect these to be popular when used alongside our porcelain paving as well. Just a reminder that we offer a professional pre-sealing service for all natural stone. Although granite is really durable, we highly recommend sealing it with a breathable sealer to prevent installation problems. We can take away the hassle and worry of doing this yourself and pre-seal your stone with Dry-Treat Stain Proof ready for laying straight...
Indian sandstone with luxurious leather finish

Indian sandstone with luxurious leather finish

We’re so pleased to be introducing a truly individual flamed and sawn quartzitic Indian sandstone to our Kebur Contempo Natural Stone Collection this season. We think you’ll love Pearl White Flamed and Leather Sandstone, a smooth natural sandstone paving, as much as we do. Brexit may be on the horizon (or not) and in these uncertain times, some may be sitting back waiting to see what will happen. Whatever this summer holds, we will still want to enjoy our gardens. So we are determined to continue bringing new natural paving stones to our collection so our customers can enjoy a great choice and really add that wow factor. Hardwearing Indian sandstone paving Quartzitic Indian sandstone like this is hard to come by in the UK yet it offers a fantastic and durable alternative to a honed or riven sandstone. Available in a choice of finishes and size formats, the contemporary Pearl White Sandstone will bring warmth and character to any garden: Pearl White Flamed Sandstone has a predominantly beige colour with subtle veining that adds character and retains its colour well over time. Available in the three Contempo sizes (900×600, 600×600, 600x400mm), these paving slabs have sawn sides with a flamed finish for consistent texture. Pearl White Leather Sandstone is similar in appearance to the Flamed Sandstone but with a smooth, leather finish. It is available in a contemporary 900x600mm size format, perfect for a linear laying pattern. Pearl White Leather Sandstone is also available in matching sawn sandstone setts (200x100x40mm and 100x100x40mm), which will complement natural stone and porcelain schemes equally well. We love its neutral tones, variety...
Introducing new natural stone this season

Introducing new natural stone this season

  As we move into a new year and the new landscaping season approaches us quickly, we are pleased to announce some exciting additions to our natural stone paving collection. First let’s start with our popular Sandstone and Limestone Trade Pack Range.   Indian Sandstone and Limestone Trade Packs When we first launched this product range five years ago, it was always with the view to offer a budget range of sandstone and limestone patio packs to give our trade customers more choice when it came to price. We learnt a lot quickly and realised after visiting our suppliers in India that we could really offer a competitively priced product that did not compromise on quality. We looked at how our suppliers processed the stone and even changed suppliers that we felt did not come up to standard. This meant we had to pay more for the product, but it also have us peace of mind that we were getting value for money and could pass this on to our core customers.   The Kebur Trade Pack range quickly developed a reputation for quality that could be relied on. The range now consists of six different sandstones and five different limestone patio packs with many of the popular colours now available to buy in single slab sizes as well. New to the range this month are: Tumbled Black Sagar Sandstone, which has warm mid and dark grey colour tones with a soft tumbled finish Kota Blue Limestone, which has cool blue/ green colour tones Coming next week is also the Antique Yellow Limestone, which has a warm yellow/ grey appearance...
How to pressure wash properly

How to pressure wash properly

Yes, you might think this is obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people get it wrong. Of course, jet washing can make light work of cleaning your patio, driveway or decking, and let’s face it, that’s not everyone’s favourite job. But done incorrectly or too often, jet-washing can cause costly damage to paving and joints.   So let’s brush up on the basics… A stiff brush and soapy water is usually enough to clean stains, so it is always a good idea to use this method most of the time and jet wash only occasionally.   Before you go near your paving with a pressure washer… Always check it is suitable for jet washing and test a small discrete patch first. Avoid jet washing natural stone as it can damage joint pointing and loosen the natural layers of some stone. Light jet wash concrete paving only occasionally to avoid damaging the surface of the paving.   10 pointers for a perfectly clean patio Make sure your hose is fastened securely to the tap and attach the appropriate fitting Turn on the tap, making sure water is running freely before you turn on the power Always point the hose at a 45o angle to the ground. This is enough to loosen dirt, but not enough to pound the surface Hold the washer 30-40cm from the surface you are washing Always use the fan spray. A small nozzle will increase the power significantly which can dislodge jointing material and cause water to get into and eventually break up some surfaces Avoid joint lines Never use a rotary nozzle on block...
Natural Stone Paving Finishes

Natural Stone Paving Finishes

When it comes to durability and aesthetics, there’s no match for natural stone; every piece is unique, with a huge range of stunning colours and textures determined by millennia of geological processes. And it’s so strong it will outlast us all, making it a sound investment. There are many different types of natural stones commonly used for paving projects such as; sandstone, limestone, granite, basalt and slate from countries such as India, China, Vietnam, Brazil, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Portugal to name just a few. So if you’re choosing natural stone for your garden, how do you decide on the right product? You’ll need to think about its position, appearance, colour and the finish. The processes and finishing applied to a stone can mean that a completely different look and effect can be achieved using exactly the same type of stone. Some finishes are better suited to certain types of stone. How the finish can change the look In the example below, Fossil Mint Indian Sandstone which is an extremely popular option for paving is finished in several different ways. The most common and cost effective is the natural finish, the tumbled antique finish gives a softer, time-worn look whilst the honed and sandblasted finishes create a more modern look and a completely flat surface, with the sandblasting providing greater grip. When stone such as this is honed or sandblasted many of the markings (which some may view as blemishes) in natural stone tend to disappear and a more even colour tone is achieved. 2. This next example illustrates how different Asian Blue (Vietnamese) Limestone can look depending on the finish...
How clean lines and an open layout transformed this Hampshire garden

How clean lines and an open layout transformed this Hampshire garden

Mr and Mrs Collins asked us to redesign their Hampshire garden which they found overgrown and enclosed due to the position of a number of large shrubs and the poor layout. The brief was for a low maintenance two-tiered patio with a contemporary look, clean and simple lines to suit the house and a high-quality finish. Our clients chose Kebur’s Contempo Thunderstorm porcelain, in a large format 900×450 for the top tier and a complementary, lighter grey Contempo Waterfall porcelain in the same size tiles for the lower tier. Both are finished with sawn graphite granite setts as an edging around the perimeter of the patio. Contrasting bullnose granite step treads were used with a porcelain insert. Twinning Kebur Contempo porcelain with natural stone accessories created a sleek and striking effect. When we visited Mr and Mrs Collins a year on, they were delighted with the end result and now use their garden more than ever. ‘Because the patio is easy to keep clean and the garden is designed with low maintenance in mind’ Mr Collins said, ‘I am finding I now enjoy gardening more than I did before’. Before: a small eating space Now: Plenty of space to eat and relax Before: enclosed and overgrown Now: Contemporary lines in keeping with the house Before: poor sight lines from house to garden Now: A calm spot to look over the garden During the works After: porcelain steps with granite...
Porcelain Paving Production: An Overview

Porcelain Paving Production: An Overview

Cliff and Ian recently visited Kebur’s porcelain suppliers in Italy and Spain to check out the manufacturing process, the product ranges and to strengthen our partnerships. In Italy most of the many producers are based in or near the Sassuolo area, just south of Modena in the province of Emilia-Romagna. In Spain it’s very similar with a high concentration of factories in the Castellon area just north of Valencia. Whilst there are many tile producers, a relatively small proportion currently produce the 20mm thick tiles suitable for exterior paving. In all the factories we visited, the manufacturing process is very similar. Technicians scan real wood, stone or concrete pieces that they want to recreate as porcelain tiles. The scanned images are then manipulated or “photoshopped” to produce a series of designs for the tiles. The carefully selected raw materials of clay, sand and other minerals are mixed and stored in silos. Different colours are produced to form the appropriate coloured bodies for each specific type of tile. The silos then feed large presses that press the tiles in molds at around 600kg per cm². At this stage the formed tile is solid but can be snapped like a biscuit. The tiles are then dried to remove the moisture, before moving on to a conveyor system where a glaze is applied and then digitally printed, with the ink penetrating through into the top layers of the paving. This relatively new digital printing technology has hugely improved the quality of the final appearance of the tiles in recent years. Robots transport the tiles in giant racks from one stage to the next....
Why my garden is special…

Why my garden is special…

Creating the perfect garden requires careful thought about the look and feel you want, working with your existing space, light and budget, and usually over-coming the odd challenge to make things happen! We asked Christine from our sales team what makes her new garden special… What were your main considerations when designing your garden? We moved to our new home December 2016.  The only room that needed any attention was the outside room, better known as the garden. It was unkempt, unloved with no real appeal. There were many discussions about what we wanted from our garden. As it’s southeast facing it attracts sun most of the day. We discussed our ideas with Dan Grimes, a landscaper who uses Kebur.  We wanted an open feeling, somewhere to sit, sunbathe and most importantly relax in the evenings and weekends. Nothing too fussy and reasonably low maintenance. Each time Dan came around, our planned patio area was getting larger – we’re really glad it did! Why did you choose the products? The slabs we wanted needed to be low maintenance, bright and good looking. We had a budget, discussed and weighed up which would be the best options to suit our requirements. Kebur had just launched their new porcelain range. Although they were at the higher end of our price bracket, we liked the fact that they didn’t need sealing, are very easy to keep clean, hard wearing, anti-slip and keep the same appearance from new. We chose the beautiful Thunderstorm porcelain which has a lovely detail that looks very like veining in natural stone. What was it like having the work...
Kebur Contempo Brazilian Slate Paving

Kebur Contempo Brazilian Slate Paving

Our Kebur Contempo Brazilian Slate Paving is now available in store and online. This gorgeous slate comes in two different colours blue and grey. Both colours come in contemporary sizes 900 x 600, 600 x 600, 600 x 400. This slate has a lightly riven surface with sawn edges. Brazilian slate is strong, with low water absorption and frost resistance ensuring the stone looks good for longer and requires little maintenance. Our Brazilian slate is laid in our outside display area in both colours, we would always recommend customers to come and have a look at the paving laid. For any further questions please email us sales@kebur.co.uk or call on 01252...