Frequently asked questions
What kind of paving stone should I go for?
Natural stone has long been a very reliable paving option; just think how long some of the natural stone paving has been down in London and Rome for example. With the increased range of imported natural stone it is now a very affordable option. Natural stone paving also used to be supplied in varying thicknesses but these days most of it is calibrated, making it easier to lay.
Natural stone has natural variations in colour which adds interest to your paving and that colour will run all the way through your slabs and so they are less likely to fade than concrete alternatives.
Concrete paving tends to have less colour variation which for some of people is a preference and there is often a greater range of colour options available. Virtually all of the concrete paving we supply is manufactured within the UK.
Porcelain paving is increasingly popular because of its durability and the extensive range of designs available for inside and out including natural stone and wood effects. The stones are harder, denser and less porous than natural stone so require little maintenance, and manufacturing processes ensure the quality and consistency of the product.
How do prices compare?
All products are available at a range of prices, with comparable stone and concrete products often being around the same price. The very cheapest end of paving tend to be concrete and the highest end luxury natural stone and porcelain.
What is different about laying porcelain stone?
Because of its superb durability, porcelain is low maintenance and requires no additional treatments such as sealants during installation. We recommend laying porcelain with a traditional method on a full bed of mortar over a compacted sub-base. Use a slurry primer on the underside of each slab to create an adhesive seal between the slab and mortar bed and ensure a minimum joint width of 5mm. If making cuts, you will also need a diamond blade for porcelain.
For full details on laying method and additional products you may need, see our product guide.
How much shingle/gravel do I need?
A tonne or bulk bag will cover approx 10-14 square metres at 50mm deep.
A 20-25kg or polybag will cover 0.4 square metres at 50mm deep.
Will my paving slabs weather or change appearance?
Remember all slabs will weather to some extent once laid due to algae, dirt, grime in the atmosphere, leaves, overhanging trees etc. This can be kept to a minimum by regularly brushing your slabs with a stiff broom. Take care if using a pressure washer as it can be detrimental to paving surfaces and pointing. To maintain the colour you can seal your slabs with a stone seal. Note that some sealants can change the colour/appearance of the slabs so try a small test area first in case you don’t like the effect!
I want to extend an existing patio, how do I know which slabs to use?
We suggest you bring in or a sample of your existing paving and we will endeavor to match it. With our many years experience even previously laid, weathered slabs can often be identified and if it is a discontinued item or one not within our range we will try and suggest a closest match. Be aware however that even matching with the same paving will show up, as the slabs will stand out new against old. This will lessen as the new paving weathers.
If you are unable to bring in a sample, we will try our best to identify the slabs from a photo, although this is sometimes quite difficult especially with more weathered slabs. Alternatively you can buy samples of our paving, take them home and match them up to your existing paving. Any slabs not used can be returned for a refund.
How do I clean my patio?
Brush your patio on a regular basis to stop any loose dirt ingraining itself within the stone.
To clean your patio try using soapy water and a stiff broom, or a specially designed patio cleaning fluid.
If your patio has a green tinge or moss starting to develop then try using a product such as Patio Wizard or an eco-friendly algae remover.
Try to keep pressure washing to a minimum as it can damage the surface of paving and mortar joints, sometimes making it more susceptible to becoming more dirty/weathered.
Can I seal my patio/driveway?
Yes, but always try on a small test area first to see if you like the results as some types can affect the colour and appearance of the paving.
Sealing a patio can protect your paving from spills and stains and also make it easier to keep clean. We recommend sealing certain natural stone products which are more prone to problems and offer a pre-seal service so your stone is treated and ready to install when delivered.
It is often recommended you wait for a few weeks after your paving has been laid before sealing it in case any efflorescence appears on the surface of the paving, which will be trapped if is sealed.
You may have to re-apply sealants after a few years, depending on the product you choose to use.
It is recommended you seek the advice of the paving manufacturer with regards to sealing the paving. Sometimes they may not suggest to seal so they can’t be responsible if problems occur. In the end it often comes down to personal choice.
Will my slabs have colour variation?
Some variation in colour shade should be expected with any paving product, natural stone, porcelain or concrete. These can be made worse by site conditions, natural curing and weathering.
When using natural stone products, no two stones will ever be the same, with different shades and individual characteristics. However some colours have greater colour variation than others.
What is the white/milky deposit on our recently laid paving?
Due to the high cement content in concrete products efflorescence (salt deposits) can appear as a milky bloom or apparent fading in patches. It can also appear quite often on a Natural Sandstone patio, where the stone is fairly porous and the cement in the base it is laid on is drawn up through the paving. It generally disappears with time but we do supply salt away which can help remove it.