The summer months will soon be here and if you are planning on creating a new patio or paving project you may be considering the pros and cons of both concrete and natural stone paving. Here we will outline the differences and benefits of each to help you decide which type is right for your outdoor space.
Concrete paving is manufactured from concrete. The paving stones are made to look like natural stone and are dyed to match a variety of colours and can offer a riven texture to look like natural stone. You can browse our concrete paving options here.
Natural stone paving is produced from naturally occurring materials, the most popular types include sandstone, limestone, slate and granite. Each type offers different characteristics and qualities.
Here at KPT Timber, we stock a variety of Sandstone and Limestone Natural Stone Paving which is available in a choice of different colours ranging from light beige shades to black. The shades can vary and the appearance may change when wet. Lighter sandstone shades tend to be a little more porous than darker hues and therefore may require a little more cleaning. Sandstone usually has a riven surface and hand cut edges which can either be a hand cut thickness or calibrated to a more uniform thickness which makes for easier laying.
Cost is likely to be at the top of your list when choosing your paving. The most affordable option is likely to be manufactured, concrete paving. It is usually dyed to make it look like natural stone paving and often mimics the surface texture. It is worth noting that whilst concrete paving is a good economical option and will give you the desired instant face lift, natural stone paving will provide a longer lasting colour fastness in comparison.
A factor worth considering when choosing your paving is convenience. You will need to consider the installation and maintenance of the type of paving you choose. The installation process for both types of paving will be the same. However, natural stone can lack uniformity so installation could be more time consuming. If you opt for natural stone, choose calibrated pavers where possible.
Concrete paving may require a bit more maintenance. They can become brittle as they age so may not be as durable. Cracks can occur with time and weeds can work their way through. These manufactured stones are also more likely to stain because they are more porous so you may need to give them a little more TLC. However, when it comes to versatility, concrete pavers are a popular choice.
Natural stone paving generally requires a little less effort to keep them looking good. Staining can occur but tends to be less obvious as it blends with the natural shades and colours in the stone. They tend to be long lasting and require much less maintenance overall.
Aesthetics really come down to personal choice and your own style. Natural stone offers different effects and can be matched to both modern and period style homes. Obviously, uniform paving slabs are easiest to install but this could lead to a standard style patio that is not unique or different. New builds in the same street will often have the exact same patio, this is because it is quicker to install. If you are looking for something that is unique to your property then natural stone could be the choice that sets your garden apart from any others.
The dyes in concrete slabs can fade with time and will eventually become the original grey concrete colour they once were so it is worth taking this into account. Stone paving is more hard wearing and whilst it will fade with sun exposure, will not become grey but instead, just a variation of the original colour.
Everyone wants a stylish and usable outdoor space and whether you choose concrete or natural stone, we are sure you’ll be able to find your paving of choice when you shop at KPT Timber.