Outdoor Porcelain vs. Natural Stone vs. Concrete Pavers

When it comes to your landscape project, one of the most vital decisions you need to make is choosing the right hardscape material. Removing them once installed is not as simple like with your outdoor furniture and planters.

And like many homeowners, contractors and architects, you’re probably wondering what’s the best hardscaping material for your outdoor space. Well, you have a few options, and your choice will depend on your concept, style, and budget.

The most common landscaping materials today are porcelain, natural stone, and concrete pavers. However, porcelain are gaining more and more popularity as a great alternative to conventional hardscape materials.

Porcelain landscaping tiles combine extreme durability with incredible beauty. But the biggest question is if these landscaping stones are better than natural stones and concrete pavers. Also, will they be as easy to install?

This article will compare natural stone vs. concrete pavers vs. outdoor porcelain to help you decide which is the right hardscaping material for your project.

Porcelain

Porcelain tiles for landscapes are unique, environmentally-friendly, and can handle extreme weather conditions. While porcelain has commonly been known for interior use, Porcea Stone’s exclusive line porcelain pavers is designed for outdoor, landscape use. Porcelain is a mixture of clay and other mineral deposits, baked at extremely high temperatures to create a product that is virtually indestructible. They also have a high level of density, making the material water-resistant. Additionally, glazed porcelain tiles are even more water-resistant and require little maintenance. This quality also makes it resistant to discoloration and staining.

The patterns and textures of porcelain come in a wide range. It can resemble just about anything, from wood to brick. If you want to build a comfortable and brightly-lit outdoor retreat, the best kind of tiles are large porcelain pavers with a touch of earthy tones. 

Another outstanding characteristic of porcelain is its blend of engineering and beauty. These stones went through processes to obtain unmatched performance, excellent density, and uniformity throughout each slab. 

Installing porcelain pavers can be a bit costly as it is an extremely difficult material to cut, however this same difficulty in cutting results in a longer-lasting product that is time-tested. Porcelain can withstand physical impact and fire, and the aesthetic benefits combined with technical properties will increase the value of your project.

Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers are highly popular as an option for outdoor flooring. These man-made pavers are manufactured by pouring concrete in various molds. The process also includes adding dye, to improve the visual beauty, incorporate different finishes and textures, as well as imitate natural stones. Likewise, these landscape materials come in distinct colors, sizes, and shapes. Plus, they’ll arrive on your doorstep ready for installation. 

The most common installation of concrete pavers is over a base of sand or soil that has been compacted. You don’t need to use any grout between the joints, and can easily fill with polymeric sand. Hence, it will provide you with a porous surface, allowing water to pass through. This may also lead to weeds growing between the paving stones or shifting over time, which is a big disadvantage in projects that use concrete pavers.

One notable thing about the hardscape material is it offers many design possibilities, however they will always remain limited to beige/gray tones as the main input raw material is concrete. Concrete pavers also tend to be more limited in size options, and are most commonly used in smaller cobble-sized formats. 

With that said, concrete pavers are fairly strong either collectively or on their own. They can withstand time and all sorts of natural elements as well. With ongoing touch-ups, your outdoor landscape can last for a decade, albeit some weeds are bound to pop out from the countless joints.

Natural Stone

Natural stone is a premier hardscaping material. It’s a mixture of unique features, elegance, and stability. Also, it comes in a wide variety of materials, including granite, limestone, flagstone, travertine, sandstone, and more. 

These landscaping stones offer plenty of positive qualities. Aside from being eco-friendly, durable, and sustainable, its beautiful aesthetics will also add value to your property. And since they are formed from the earth, they are more genuine and extremely strong in comparison to concrete pavers.

Each natural stone is unique and available in a broad range of texture, pattern, and color. They’re visually interesting and difficult to replicate. Its color has slight variations as well. This means that your outdoor area can achieve an organic charm while providing it with a personal touch.

Additionally, they also have enough timeless qualities to work with the contemporary design you have in mind. On the other hand, its deep, earthy hues will resemble its surrounding landscape, giving you that rustic appeal. So if you’re aiming for a more natural look, this is the material for you.