What You Need to Know Before Beginning a New Hardscape

Attractive landscaping and hardscapes are sure to draw the eye and spark envy among your neighbours. Whether you’re upgrading your existing property or designing your dream home, your outdoor living space is the icing on the cake of a beautiful home.

We’ve all heard how important curb appeal is. Any realtor will remind you that an attractive front yard gives a great first impression to a potential buyer. However, beautifying your entire property will pay off handsomely. It will give you more to enjoy about your home and increase your family’s living space
while adding to your home’s value.

Before jumping into designing new hardscapes, there are a few things you need to know before getting started. Let’s look at the key things to consider.

What Does Hardscaping Mean?
Most people have heard the word landscaping, which refers to softscapes like gardens, trees, lawns and other natural elements around your property. Closely related to landscaping, hardscaping refers to the “harder” aspects of your outdoor living space, the structural elements that are constructed. These
typically include projects like decks, patios, fencing, retaining walls, pool decks, rooftop environments, walkways, balconies and more.

The most attractive outdoor living spaces are those that strike an equilibrium between landscaping and hardscapes. This balance keeps things from feeling too artificial, paved over, or soft like a golf course.

How to Budget for your Hardscape Project
Budget will be your primary consideration when planning a new hardscaping project. You’ll need to assess what you can comfortably afford and how much you’re willing to spend. Hardscaping projects come in a variety of price points, ranging from simple patios or walkways to outdoor kitchens and rooftop decks. In short, regardless of budget, there are plenty of ways to upgrade your outdoor living space.

If you’re hiring a contractor to manage your project, we recommend budgeting an extra 10 to 15 percent of the provided estimate to protect against cost overruns and unforeseen expenses. Get quotes from at least three local contractors to get a good idea of average cost and reasonable expense. You’ll
also need to decide whether you prefer maintenance-free hardscapes, which come at a higher up-front cost, or hardscapes that cost a little less initially but will require regular maintenance and repairs.

Which Hardscaping Materials to Use
Now that you’ve decided on a project, its design and your budget, the next step is determining which materials you want to use in your hardscape. The final determiner of most of your material decisions comes down to functionality. For example: when constructing a rooftop deck, drainage, noise and roofing membrane protection are all crucial factors in deciding which materials to use. In this example, concrete and wood can probably be ruled out, while a pedestal system may be the ideal way to accomplish all your goals.

Here’s another example: When building a patio, you can go the traditional route – digging down 18-24 inches, excavating, replacing with aggregate, level and then pouring concrete or installing interlock; keeping your fingers crossed that the patio does not shift in the spring. Alternatively, using a soil grid system could save you a lot of work and money. 

Long-lasting surface materials like porcelain tiles offer functionality and aesthetics and require virtually no maintenance. They are also exceptionally durable and do not need to be sanded & stained every couple of years. 

Aesthetics, maintenance, durability, functionality and cost are all key things to consider when planning a new hardscape project. Decide the look you want, how long you want it to last, how much time you’re willing to put into maintaining it, how you want it to work and how much you want to spend – now and over time.

Choosing materials that save you time, labour and money is always a win. Are you looking for high-quality, durable, innovative products for your hardscaping projects? Stone Deck Innovations offers Canada’s best hardscaping materials for your outdoor projects. Need help, materials or ideas?
Visit Stone Deck Innovations – Canada’s deck life experts

Things to Know Before Building an Artificial Turf Roof Deck

When you have nowhere to create outdoor living space, look up! Rooftops are a great place to add space and value to your home or amenities to multi-family buildings like condos or apartments. Since green space is growing more scarce, converting your rooftop into a usable and enjoyable living space is both a joy and a worthwhile investment. 

Rooftop environments are often inconvenient to maintain, and so many are turning to artificial turf. And why not? They stay green all year round and require no cutting. The turf also acts as a noise dampener, something those living below are sure to appreciate. 

Creating a turf deck on your rooftop is easier than you might think, but there are a few things to consider before getting started to ensure the best possible results. 

Rooftop Damage – The rooftop should be thoroughly inspected for any existing damage or rot. Building on top of damage is never a good idea and will usually make matters worse. Eventually, rot and damage lead to leaks, which will be much more difficult to address once you’ve constructed a deck over the top. Ensure your roof is in excellent condition before beginning your artificial turf rooftop deck. 

Drainage – A roof receives a lot of rain, and drainage needs to be factored into your plans. Once you are confident that your roof is in excellent condition, you’ll want to verify that drainage is built in. This may involve a drain or a slope leading to a drainage system. Most rooftops are designed with water in mind and will have enough drainage for your project. 

Method of Installation – Typically, rooftop installations are constructed with costly wood framing, a method that can damage expensive roofing systems. However, there are alternatives. Consider using a pedestal system, which not only makes your project easier and faster to build, but these systems also do not damage roofing membranes. Pedestal systems offer a variety of other benefits, too – including easy drainage and design flexibility. They can provide access to what lies below when you need to perform inspections or repairs.  

Sound – While many surfaces like artificial turf provide a thin layer of noise-dampening protection, you may want to bring in a geotextile that is specifically designed for this purpose. A product like StoneBase can provide the soundproofing you want while allowing water to drain through.  

Furniture and Other Items – When using an artificial turf surface on your rooftop deck, you’ll deal with a handful of issues that are unique to this material. Artificial grass can flatten over time, so you’ll want to plan your furniture placement and other heavy items carefully. Artificial turf is easy to clean with a hose, so you may want to ensure one is installed on your rooftop. You’ll also want to avoid things like barbeques or a firepit, as sparks will quickly melt artificial turf. 

An easy solution to these problems is a mixed-media surface. Enjoy the low-maintenance green synthetic turf, but install a more durable surface like porcelain tiles in high-traffic areas, near the bbq or under furniture. 

As cities grow more dense, yards smaller and more people move into high-rises, the idea of creating a peaceful rooftop environment is becoming more popular. Building an artificial green roof will deliver the benefits you seek without additional maintenance. If you’re looking for more great decking ideas that will save you time, labour and money, visit Canada’s decking experts, Stone Deck Innovations

6 Tips for Designing a Great Deck

An integral part of the great Canadian experience, a deck is also an extension of your home and a way to express your personality. Design is entirely subjective and a balance of form & function. Upgrading your outdoor living space and designing a great deck should involve plenty of thought and planning, but all these decisions can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider when designing a great deck.

Location –  While most of us want our deck to access our house, you’ll want to determine where it should face. A raised deck offers a birds-eye view of all your neighbours, but keep in mind that they will be able to watch you too. Do you want to overlook your neighbour’s junk pile and compost bin, or would that side of your deck benefit from a side wall or sunshade?

Access – Most of us want deck access from our home; however, this can create obstacles. If your deck is accessed from your bedroom, do you want your guests travelling through your bedroom? You’ll also need to ensure that the deck has a slight slope away from the home access to prevent rainwater from entering the home. 

Height – Usually, access to/from the home will determine your deck’s height. However, this can be adjusted with stairs or perhaps a 2-level deck. Don’t forget that decks over a certain height will require guardrails, and so will stairs. You may want to disguise the area below a deck with lattice or other covering and keep in mind that these covered shelters are attractive to small animals, snakes and insects. 

Materials – Sure, you could go with the tried and true pressure-treated wood deck. Before you commit, you might want to consider a few things: the price of lumber, the amount of maintenance required and whether or not you’re up to replacing your deck every 15 years. Spend a few minutes investigating alternative decking materials. For example, metal decking like Paverdeck Plank or porcelain tiles as a decking surface can eliminate nearly all the maintenance of a wood deck, while offering a long list of other benefits.  

Features– If your new deck is going to become the focal point of your outdoor living space, you might want to include things like an outdoor kitchen or even a built-in garden. These are features that work better when part of the initial planning process. Enlisting building materials like a pedestal system can make it much easier to integrate these features – pedestals can help build inherent drainage into your desk design or disguise the water and gas lines to the outdoor kitchen. 

Traffic and Flow – Think about how people will move about your deck and its traffic flow. Consider things like easy access to the stairs and the house access, seating and enough space around features like a fireplace, fire pit or outdoor kitchen, and where you can safely position your bbq. Building a new deck is an exciting time filled with many decisions. By taking these tips into consideration during the planning stages, you’ll be happier with your new deck, and it will quickly become the crown jewel of your outdoor living space. Need more advice on how to create the low-maintenance deck of your dreams? Reach out to Stone Deck Innovations – the Canadian deck life experts!

Outdoor Porcelain vs. Natural Stone – What is the Difference?

No longer content to surface their decks and patios with concrete, interlock or pressure-treated lumber, people are seeking better options. In the last few years, outdoor porcelain tiles and natural stone pavers have become the go-to option in hardscape construction, reducing workloads and increasing home values at the same time. 

Both outdoor porcelain tiles and natural stone offer plenty of advantages, but many people don’t know their differences. Of course, every homeowner has their preferences, wants, and needs, and your choice may come down to the application at hand. Still, you’ll need to understand why one option is better suited to your project & lifestyle. 

What are Porcelain Tiles?

A relatively recent addition to the hardscape market, porcelain tiles are often confused with ceramic, but they could not be more different. Porcelain tiles are made of fine clay that is seared to temperatures higher than 2,000 degrees. Anything that can withstand that kind of heat is sure to be durable. Tiles are manufactured to be slip-resistant and replicate the look of natural stone, concrete or wood.

What are Natural Stone Pavers?

Sometimes confused with concrete pavers, natural stone pavers are usually made of shaped pieces of flagstone, limestone, granite, or other natural stone. Because each piece comes from actual rock, each paver will possess a distinct appearance, with unique colouring, texture, and weathering. Natural stone is well known for its timeless beauty and durability

Outdoor porcelain tiles and natural stone pavers have many similarities, but they tend to differ in four key areas. Here’s a rundown on their differences:

Installation and Cost

Outdoor Porcelain TileVS.Natural Stone Pavers
Porcelain tiles are lighter and easier to transport. They’re easier to manage and can be installed using a pedestal system, which could not be more convenient.
Using a pedestal system to install your porcelain tile can be a relatively easy job that one or two people can handle without the need for heavy equipment.
Because porcelain tiles are manufactured, their consistent shape and size make them easy to work with. 
Natural stone is often more expensive, primarily because it is quarried. Pricing includes the cost of materials, the fabrication process, and transportation of weighty materials.
Installation of natural stone pavers is labour-intensive, requiring extensive excavation, fill, disposal, and higher transportation and labour costs.
Because natural stone pavers are thick, heavy, and irregularly shaped, installation can be labour intensive.


Outdoor Porcelain TileVS.Natural Stone Pavers
Outdoor porcelain tiles require almost no maintenance. Simply give them a good power washing once a year to return them to their freshly-installed good looks.Porcelain is also UV-resistant, so it will not fade over time.Natural stone may require sealing and even regular scrubbing to prevent discolouration and mildew, salt, or moss build-up.Because stone is porous, stains may be permanent.


Outdoor Porcelain TileVS.Natural Stone Pavers
There is something to be said for uniformity. Some love it, while others do not. Thanks to a controlled manufacturing process, porcelain tiles are consistent and durable while offering virtually any look and feel you want to achieve, even that of natural stone.Quarried natural stone is utterly beautiful and timeless. No two stones are the same, creating a unique look for your projects.

Water Absorption

Outdoor Porcelain TileVS.Natural Stone Pavers
Porcelain tiles absorb almost zero moisture, less than 0.1%. This is important when considering materials that will undergo freeze/thaw cycles during Canadian winters.
Because they are moisture-resistant and non-porous, porcelain does not stain and maintains its slip-resistant properties. This makes porcelain perfect in settings where safety is an issue, like around the pool.
Natural stone pavers have tiny holes that make them prone to staining and absorbing moisture. While you can apply a sealant, this will add to your annual maintenance chores and expense.
Natural stone has a higher water absorption rate than porcelain. This can make them prone to mildew, lichen and mould, resulting in slippery surfaces

Still not sure which choice is right for your project? Reach out to us at Stonedeck.ca for expert advice and the latest innovative products to improve your outdoor living space. 

Constructing a More Environmentally Friendly Deck

With climate change reaching the irreversible stage,  many people are trying their best to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. A simple change like using more sustainable materials when constructing their outdoor living spaces can play an essential role in reducing one’s s carbon footprint.  

Environmentally conscious homeowners know this and are ready to adapt. They look for sustainable decking and construction materials that have less impact on the environment. Choosing more sustainable decking materials has become a new normal in the hardscaping industry.

Planning a new environmentally friendly deck requires strategic planning. From intended purpose to maintenance and disposal, each plays an important role in gauging the sustainability of decking materials.

The Impact Of Wood Decking On The Environment

No doubt, wood is a natural product, yet it is not an eco-friendly option for decking. Using any wood to build hardscapes leads to deforestation, directly impacting the environment. Wood structures also degrade over time, requiring them to be replaced every 10-15 years. This leads to waste and additional energy used to create the replacement parts. Things don’t stop here either. Wood decks are usually stained and or sealed every couple of years, typically with products containing toxic chemicals. Pressure-treated lumber can release insecticides into the surrounding soil; old wood structures made of pressure-treated wood cannot even be reused as firewood because the chemicals they contain will be released into the air if burned. 

How to Create a More Environmentally Friendly Deck

With the growing demand for sustainability, a variety of environmentally conscious building materials are available for purchase, whether by homeowners or contractors. 

But to construct an environment-friendly deck, you need to choose your materials carefully. Here are four sustainable decking ideas to help improve your outdoor living space while reducing its impact on the environment. 

Metal Decking

Metal decking systems are a great way to create a sustainable deck for your home. 100% recyclable, metal is long-lasting and durable, reducing your carbon footprint. Metal decking is chemical and insecticide-free and requires no resin adhesives, releasing nothing into the soil as some decking materials do.

Pro Tip: Bailey Truedeck is constructed of steel certified to Environment Canada’s Environmental Choice Program, offering an environmentally friendly alternative.

Pedestal Systems

Pedestal systems allow you to create hardscapes with minimal waste. Pedestals are 100% recyclable and often constructed with post-recycled materials.

Pro Tip: Eterno Ivica Pedestals: Eterno Ivica’s products are designed to comply with LEED and other major building standards. The company believes in a sustainable production cycle and strives to provide customers with a solution that has the minimum possible impact on non-renewable resources and the environment.

Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles are a long-term investment that requires no eventual replacement. Often porcelain tiles are produced with recycled materials too. They require no adhesives and their dry installation also significantly reduces the creation of dust and pollutants in the environment.

Pro Tip: Kronos Porcelain Pavers & Tiles consist of 60% to 70% recycled material. Kronos’s philosophy is to minimize the environmental impact in remodeling and new construction projects by reducing or entirely eliminating the use of adhesives and setting materials, reducing or fully eliminating the use of water, and reducing or fully eliminating any waste resulting from the production cycle.

Soil Grids

Soil grids can eliminate most of the excavation process when building a patio or deck. This results in not only less labour and expense but also excavation and hauling and their associated environmental impact. Typically made of recycled materials, soil grids do not degrade in the soil, meaning replacements are unnecessary. 

Pro Tip: Manufactured using recycled polymers, Silca Soil Grids are a great eco-friendly building material to use when constructing a sustainable deck or patio. 

Today’s decks are an extension of our living space, and implementing greener materials into their design will help align with your sustainability goals. If you’d like to learn more about eco-friendly building materials for your hardscapes, reach out to us at Stonedeck.ca for expert advice and the latest innovative products. 

The Hottest Deck & Patio Design Trends for 2022

If we have learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that our homes are not large enough to accommodate home offices, virtual classrooms, and the entire family being at home all day, every day. 

Staycations can also be dull in a boring backyard for those not working from home. Many homeowners are upgrading their outdoor living spaces to rectify the situation, making them more functional, relaxing, and desirable places to escape to. 

Decks and patios are becoming extensions of the home in ways we’ve never quite seen before. There is a lot to get excited about, from outdoor offices to rooftop patios when it comes to patio and deck design. We’ve outlined some of the hottest trends in deck and patio design for 2022, trends that are guaranteed to inspire your next project. 

Outdoor Offices – Want to make your workspace a more pleasant place to be? People who have moved to a Work From Home (WFH) situation are discovering the joys of outdoor office space. That coveted corner office with a window has been surpassed by a great view of the entire backyard by making an investment in their outdoor living space and upgrading their decks and patios. If you go this route, you’ll need to be prepared for jealous co-workers as they enviously eye your new office during Zoom calls. 

Outdoor Kitchens – This deck & patio design trend from 2021 continues to build momentum! Much more than simply your everyday BBQ, outdoor kitchens come in a variety of flavours. From outdoor pizza or bread ovens to fully independent outdoor kitchens, we’re taking the indoors outside in 2022 for some much-needed breathing room. Pro Tip: Outdoor kitchens look best on a natural stone, ceramic, or porcelain deck surface. 

Four-Season Retreats – While Canadian summers may be short, this does not mean you cannot enjoy your outdoor living space all year long. Stone decks and patios offer exceptional slip resistance and are the perfect hardscaping around an outdoor fireplace or hot tub. They can even be constructed with snow-melting capabilities! Finish your project off with a roof, and your patio or deck life can extend through all four seasons, even in Canada. 

Gardens – Canadians are turning to gardening in droves! Fortunately, you can garden nearly anywhere – in your yard, on your patio, containers, or even on your rooftop. For 2022, people are constructing planters & permanent raised beds, many built right into their deck or patio. Pro Tip: This works best when your patio is created with durable, rot-proof materials such as porcelain tiles with metal decking underneath it all. 

Longer-Lasting Materials – In this age of sustainability, using longer-lasting, more durable materials when constructing your hardscapes is on-trend. Consider using environmentally sustainable products like metal and natural stone, and other materials that do not require replacement every 10 or 15 years. The latest innovations in the deck and patio construction materials mean that your projects can now be built with minimal environmental imprint. 

Rooftop Patios – When your outdoor space is limited, look up! Thanks to the magic of adjustable pedestals, constructing a rooftop deck or patio has never been so easy. Making your rooftop patio the envy of the neighbourhood, pedestals can even help you build on a sloped roof. Combine two of the hottest deck and patio design trends of 2022 by using pedestals to create a rooftop garden. 

High-Quality Materials – One significant patio and decking design trend in 2022 is using high-quality traditional landscaping materials like granite and natural stone and pairing them with tough, engineered materials like steel. The result is a timeless, natural aesthetic constructed on a foundation that will outlast and outperform materials like wood.

Are you seeking more great deck and patio design inspiration? You’ll find smart solutions at StoneDeck.ca and ideas that will help you to upgrade your outdoor living space while saving time, labour, and money.

Taking Your Office Outdoors

Now that working from home is the new normal for many, some are beginning to realize that their home is not necessarily the ideal place to get work done. From noisy kids in the background to cramped living areas and setting up shop on the kitchen table, working from home can have its challenges and take some getting used to. 

Until the pandemic hit, many did not have an office set up in their home. They discovered pretty quickly that a quiet place that they enjoyed was key to getting work done, and making the work-from-home lifestyle work for them. 

Finding enough space, and a quiet zone to concentrate has become a priority. Remodeling, or adding on a room isn’t an option for most, so people have turned their attention to their outdoor living space. After all, working from your deck or patio trumps an office with a window on any day, and Zoom-call colleagues are sure to take notice. 

A 2018 study showed that time spent in green spaces improved attention, mood, and promoted physical activity. Other benefits of working from your deck or patio include peace & quiet a sense of well-being and a nice breeze. 

Of course, if you do not already have a pleasant outdoor living area, you’ll need to create one. After all, working from a lawn chair in the yard will probably lose its lustre once you begin to develop back and neck pain. Building a proper workspace on your deck or patio is crucial to working outside effectively and for the long term. 

For most, transforming your existing space into an attractive and useful outdoor office is a worthwhile, easily-achievable goal. When your office has closed for the day, your deck or patio is available for other activities. From entertaining spaces to places for your family to gather, you’re sure to enjoy this additional living space. 

Constructing an outdoor office on your patio or deck is a great way to enjoy working from home. With some shielding from the weather, including a roof and a way to block the wind, as well as a propane heater, it is not unreasonable to think you could use this extra office space three seasons a year. Make your deck your new spring, summer & fall headquarters, end enjoy every moment. 

Don’t already have a backyard patio or deck? Thanks to the latest innovations in construction materials, you can now build a deck or patio relatively easily. For patios, enlisting the help of products like GatorBase, you can build a level patio that resists freeze & thaw cycles in a weekend. GatorBase eliminates the need for deep digs, reducing your workload and saving you money in the process. 

If you’re looking to build a deck, well we have a few ideas. PaverDeck Plank can help you to build a maintenance-free deck quickly or overhaul your existing deck. Porcelain pavers like the Frontier20 Porcelain Pavers from Landmark Ceramics offer a stylish, slip-free, and low-maintenance surface option. For those with uneven surfaces, or considering making use of rooftop space, adjustable pedestals like the Uptec Pedestals System by Profilitec, can make what was previously unthinkable, remarkably easy. 

 The opportunity to work from home allows plenty of flexibility, including the ability to create an outdoor home office.  That 5-second commute is sure to grow on you when your office is on your deck. If working from home is going to become a long-term fixture in your life, investing in your surroundings and creating the perfect outdoor workspace is sure to pay dividends, increase your home’s value and your enjoyment of it too. 

Eco-Friendly Deck Building Materials

As building towards a more sustainable lifestyle has become a greater priority for some people, many are viewing other aspects of our lives through a new lens. Environmental impact is now a factor in the decisions we make about everything from the clothing we purchase to the materials used in home improvements. Outdoor living spaces can now be built using supplies and materials that are not only superior to more traditional alternatives but are also eco-friendly and sustainable. 

Here are a few things to consider when constructing a more environmentally conscious outdoor space:

Durability – When you need to replace your deck every 10 or 15 years, you create more landfill waste, use more trees, cause yourself more work and spend more money. Longer-lasting decking materials will reduce your environmental impact while saving you time & trouble while generating less waste. Look into the new offerings available featuring recent innovations in the deck-construction industry. Manufacturers are creating some great new decking products, some of which will last a lifetime. By using rot-, insect- and fire-resistant steel joists and footings, and natural stone surface coverings, you’ll lessen your environmental impact and increase the time you have to enjoy your deck. 

Chemicals – Pressure-treated lumber is usually treated with insecticides and other chemicals that can leach into the surrounding soil. Since 2004, pressure-treated wood in Canada has been coated with alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), copper azole (CA-B) or micronized copper azole (MCA). Because burning these products will release these chemicals into the air, a traditional deck built with pressure-treated lumber creates a great deal of waste once it reaches the end of its lifespan. As well, even though composite wood decks are constructed from recycled materials, composite can emit formaldehyde. 

Recyclability – It can be difficult to recycle traditional decking materials that have been treated with chemicals or contain plastic. Steel decking products are completely recyclable, and many are made with recycled steel. As well, decking surfaces constructed of natural stone are often made with recycled materials and can be further recycled or crushed into aggregate once you’re finished with them.

Reducing your environmental footprint while building a deck should also include the use of sustainable materials, materials that require less energy to produce, and materials that do not negatively impact the environment in their sourcing. Consider building your deck from natural, completely recyclable products that will not affect your soil or create disposal issues. Prioritize products that offer a long lifespan with minimal or no maintenance, require less energy to produce, and do not release toxic chemicals or off-gassing of toxic fumes. 

If you’re looking to construct a more environmentally conscious deck, consider the following products:

Paverdeck Plank – Paverdeck structures are made from 95% recycled steel, which is the most recycled material in the world, more than all other materials combined. With no maintenance required, Paverdeck does not rely on chemicals or cleaners and has a zero-carbon footprint during its use. 

BAILEY TRUEDECK™ – Steel is not required to be treated with chemicals and insecticides that may be harmful to the environment. BAILEY TRUEDECK™ is made of steel certified to Environment Canada’s Environmental Choice Program, offering complete assurance that you will be building an environmentally responsible deck.

Del Conca Porcelain Tiles – Delivering unparalleled durability and the benefits of zero-waste manufacturing, porcelain tile is the healthiest and most ecologically beneficial product on the market. All Del Conca USA products are covered by the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), recognizing that North American-made tile has the lowest environmental impact across all impact categories including the lowest global warming potential and the lowest fossil fuel resource depletion.

As manufacturers of decking materials develop new ways to use existing materials in new and innovative products, we are on our way to a brighter, cleaner future. Consider the benefits of decking products with lower environmental impact and learn more at http://www.StoneDeck.ca

Next Year, Enjoy the Benefits of a Snow-Melting Driveway/Walkway or Outdoor Patio

Sick of shoveling? Seeking safer walkways and outdoor surfaces?

Over the last few years, there are been numerous innovations in the decking, driveway, and hardscape industries. Thanks to cutting-edge design and clever engineering, you can now build in places that were previously next to impossible, reduce labour and save a bundle in the process. Another great way to reduce your workload and even save money in the process is through heated outdoor surfaces.

Unless one lives in a condo or has hired help, few Canadians can escape the chore of shoveling snow. Thanks to climate change and more severe weather events, that task isn’t going to get any easier on its own. You can, however, make it easier yourself, with the help of a few great products. 

While building a new deck, patio, or driveway, it’s easy to imagine it in use during the summer months. With a little foresight, you can now envision their use throughout the winter. With the right plan, you can say goodbye to shoveling snow, and enjoy your patio or deck all winter long. 

By constructing your deck, patio, walkway, or even your driveway with a pedestal & porcelain tile system, you’ll have the ability to integrate a heating system into your hardscapes. Because pedestal systems create functional and accessible space below, you’ll find it easy to run insulated electrical heating cables or hydronic PEX tubing with aluminum heat plates. Install them yourself, with no need for a licensed electrician until your final connection to the electrical panel.  Pedestal systems offer plenty of clearance so that you can customize your heating project to your liking, without compromise. Heat the entire space or simply a section, you’ll have the flexibility to choose.

Unlike systems of old, using a pedestal system offers easy access when you need to access the equipment below. Now, should you need to repair a heating element or other component, simply lift the porcelain tile above. Not only is access easy, but you’ll leave no tell-tale signs of repairs. 

Most of us are happy to leave the chore of shoveling snow behind. These systems are ideal for walkways, decks & patios, and driveways. Because porcelain pavers & tiles drain quickly, there will be no standing water left behind. 

Porcelain tiles are thermally efficient and exceptionally heat-conductive, leading to lower energy costs than concrete alternatives. They also offer an anti-slip surface for additional safety and extreme weather and wear resistance. Porcelain pavers are strong enough to bear enormous weight, making them ideal driveways as well as walkways and patios. Completely non-porous, projects constructed with porcelain tiles will keep looking as good as the day they were installed. 

Choosing a pedestal/porcelain solution offers numerous other benefits which will also save you work and money. Lightweight porcelain tiles can be carried and installed almost anywhere, relieving you of the need for a truck and heavy equipment access. Pedestals make it easy to construct a deck or patio in spots that were once unthinkable, including on your rooftop. This combination of lightweight yet strong porcelain tiles with useful pedestals will make those rooftop patio dreams come to life easier than you’d imagine. 

Investment property owners are finding heated outdoor surfaces exceptionally useful. Saving a bundle on commercial snow removal services, these systems pay off over time in both labour and money. With a heated patio or deck, and maybe an outdoor fireplace, your outdoor living space will become a place to gather all year long. You’ll add value to your home, and enjoy it more. 

Economical, versatile, and easy to install, say goodbye to shoveling snow and hello to pedestal and porcelain paver systems. Reach out to StoneDeck today to learn more about our products that can help you to eliminate snow and ice removal from your winter routine. 

Best Alternative To Interlock for a Driveway

For decades, interlock has been a popular way to surface your driveway thanks to its durability and versatility. A great alternative to asphalt or concrete when installing your driveway, there are other, better options available. For a variety of reasons, the best alternative to interlock for a driveway is porcelain pavers

Here’s a list of reasons why porcelain pavers are the best alternative to interlock for a driveway:

Porcelain Offers Better Curb Appeal – When it comes to driveway appearance, interlock does beat both concrete and asphalt, however, its dated look can detract from your home’s curb appeal. Porcelain pavers provide a modern, stylish alternative, and a designer’s dream. When it comes to design options, the sky’s the limit when it comes to porcelain pavers. Because they’re available in a wide range of sizes, colours, textures, and shapes, porcelain tiles and pavers allow for total visual continuity, enabling you even to match your outdoor area with indoor design or other hardscapes. 

Porcelain Pavers are More Durable – More resistant to freeze & thaw cycles, a porcelain paver driveway will remain where it needs to be year after year without heaving and shifting. 

Porcelain Pavers are Stronger – Only 2cm thick, porcelain pavers are stronger than you imagine Boasting a load-bearing strength of up to 4X that of poured concrete, you’ll never have to deal with the unsightly cracks that concrete and asphalt eventually succumb to. 

Porcelain Pavers are Safer – Thanks to built-in slip-resistant properties and drainage, porcelain pavers are ideal for surfaces where people walk. In contrast, concrete can be exceptionally slippery whether icy or wet. 

Porcelain Pavers Last Longer – When installed with an appropriate system such as GatorBase or pedestals, a porcelain paver driveway can last a lifetime without cracking and heaving. In contrast, concrete and asphalt are prone to cracks over time, and interlock can sag. 

A Porcelain Paver Driveway is Easy to Repair – In the improbable event when you might need to replace a porcelain paver, the process is quick, easy and invisible. Concrete and asphalt repairs leave visible signs behind, forever.

Porcelain Paver Driveways are Low Maintenance – Have you ever tried to remove an oil stain from a concrete driveway? To prevent porous concrete from absorbing materials that may cause permanent staining and discolouration, it requires regular sealing as the finish begins to show wear. As asphalt begins to fade, it too requires resealing every couple of years. Porcelain pavers are virtually maintenance-free, requiring only an occasional power wash to continue gleaming year after year, with no fading and exceptional stain resistance. 

One great option when selecting porcelain pavers is the high-quality Frontier20 pavers from Landmark Ceramics. Offering a variety of benefits, they are an excellent alternative to interlock for a driveway.

Advantages of Using Frontier20 Porcelain Pavers for a Driveway

Ease of installation – Frontier20 Porcelain Pavers are easy to install, remove & replace.

Easy to Clean – Simply powerwash once in a while.

Low Maintenance – Porcelain pavers require no repairs, sealing, or replacement.

Slip Resistant – Frontier20 Porcelain Pavers are safe whether wet or dry.

Durable – Porcelain pavers resist scratches, stains, fading, moss, and mould along with frost, salt & thermal shocks. They’re the perfect material for the Canadian climate.

Eco-Friendly – Much more environmentally friendly than cement or asphalt.  

Lightweight – Transportation and installation are easier & lighter than other driveway materials.

When you use porcelain pavers for your driveway, you won’t need to choose between durability and aesthetics. Their outstanding strength, versatility, and variety of looks make outdoor porcelain pavers the best alternative to interlock for a driveway. From their stylish good looks to impressive durability and weather resistance, a driveway made with porcelain pavers is sure to be a smart investment in your home and the envy of your neighbourhood.