What’s The Difference: Outdoor Porcelain vs. Natural Stone

Outdoor porcelain tiles and natural stone pavers are two of the most popular choices today for a wide range of landscape projects. Natural stones, such as granite and limestone, have been used for centuries. These stones are known for their durability and timeless beauty. On the other hand, outdoor porcelain pavers are a relatively newer option on the market. Also, they are manufactured to replicate the characteristics and look of natural stones, concrete, and even wood. 

For instance, Porcea Seashell is a replication of a Turkish natural stone. This porcelain tile boasts a beautiful combination of fossilized shells and stones embedded throughout the surface. Meanwhile, Porcea Travertino replicates the traditional and elegant natural stone, travertine. Porcea Nero is a perfect match to the discontinued black granite options called Jet Black, Midnight Black and Ebony granite.

The 4 major differences between natural stone and outdoor porcelain tiles are as follows:

  1. Aesthetics
  2. Installation & Cost
  3. Water Absorption and Moisture Resistance
  4. Zero-Maintenance

Although these materials look similar, there are some notable differences between them. Also, Porcea Stone porcelain pavers solve the common problems that come with natural stones, including water retention. Knowing these differences can help you pick the most suitable material for your next project. 

Aesthetics

Porcea Ash Timber outdoor porcelain paver
Porcea Ash Timber

Natural stones are quarried. This provides the material with a unique finish, as well as a wide range of variations, from granite, slate, and travertine to sandstone, limestone, and basalt. Every stone tile is different and no two stones are the same. Because of this variation in colour and textures, your project will have a timeless, luxurious, and unique look to it.

On the other hand, outdoor porcelain tiles by Porcea Stone are manufactured with adherence to the highest quality standards on the market today. These materials are made from very fine clay fired at extremely high temperatures. This is a similar process that has been used for centuries of brick-making.

Because of the controlled manufacturing process, outdoor porcelain tends to be consistent and very durable. These paving stones are designed to resemble the look and feel of natural stone. Nevertheless, the most important difference here is the uniformity of the tiles. 

What’s more, you can achieve a range of design styles from outdoor porcelain, from classic and traditional to modern and contemporary. You can even achieve the look of a zero-maintenance wooden deck easily with Porcea Ash Timber, which is a lovely soft ash wood plank porcelain. This outdoor porcelain tile comes in a unique plank-size of 16×48” or 40×120 CM.

Installation and Cost

Porcea Ice Grey

Natural stone is often more expensive than outdoor porcelain. The factors that play an important role in the price of the stone are the cost of raw materials, fabrication and transportation. Some types of natural stones are limited in stock as well, which also adds to their price tags.

In terms of installation, natural stone is not cheap. That’s because the stone has a texture and natural irregularities that require more durable and thicker adhesive. And that adds up to cost of the additional labour that may be needed upon installation.

On the other hand, Porcea Stone’s outdoor porcelain tiles are far more consistent and easy to work with. Each piece is molded to a perfect square with even calibration and a high level of precision. Further, with our large-format outdoor porcelain tiles, each piece that is laid down allows for greater square footage coverage. This means you can install more rapidly and finish your projects on schedule.

You can be assured that Porcea Stone’s outdoor porcelain tiles are stocked locally with suitable options available year-round.

Water Absorption and Moisture Resistance

Porcea Seashell  outdoor porcelain
Porcea Seashell

As mentioned, Porcea Stone outdoor porcelain is designed to solve the most common shortcomings of natural stones. Our products are far more moisture-resistant and have a lower water absorption rate than natural stones. Hence, they are perfect to install on your pool deck, patio, walkway, or even your driveway.

While porcelain pavers lack pores and are impermeable, natural stones are more porous. Their surfaces have tiny holes and other imperfections that make them more susceptible to staining and moisture infiltration. You can protect your floors with a premium sealer. That is if you don’t mind the extra steps and cost.

Outdoor Porcelain are Zero-Maintenance

Porcea Silver outdoor porcelain
Porcea Silver

One of the advantages of porcelain tiles is that they are made to make your life easy with minimal upkeep. Meanwhile, natural stone maintenance will often depend on what type you have. For instance, sandstones and limestones often need to be sealed and cleaned every few years. Meanwhile, granites are more durable and do not need as much maintenance. One unique characteristic of Porcea Stone’s outdoor porcelain tiles in comparison to natural stone is that it is UV resistant and does not fade over time.

Advantages Of Choosing Porcea Stone Outdoor Porcelain Pavers Over Natural Stone

Porcea Greige outdoor porcelain
  • Our collection of outdoor porcelain has less than a 0.1% water absorption rate. Therefore, they have extremely low porosity while the porosity of natural stone pavers varies. This means that the chance of you coming across an entirely non-porous natural stone floor is very unlikely.
  • Since porcelain is highly moisture-resistant and water-resistant, it will not stain from salt, moss, leaves or other most other materials naturally found.
  • Cleaning the tiles of spills, organic matter, and debris is as easy as a quick wipe using a mixture of soap and water. Also, the surface of porcelain is quite dense and durable which means it will not get damaged from pressure washing.
  • Our outdoor porcelain products are also environmentally friendly in production processes. Thanks to the use of recycled materials and efficient technology.

Without a doubt, natural stone pavers are durable and possess an elegant and timeless appeal. However, porcelain is a more long-lasting and appealing choice. Porcea Stone outdoor porcelain tiles possess characteristics like low water absorption, minimal upkeep, eco-friendly, and anti-frost, to name a few. This makes outdoor porcelain tiles the best alternative to natural stone pavers.