4 Ways Adjustable Pedestals Reduce Your Installation Time

If you are a contractor, builder, or professional landscaper, then you’re familiar with the saying ‘time is money.’ The effort that goes into prepping an area for installing outdoor porcelain tiles for residential or commercial landscaping can often take longer than actually laying the tile. This leaves contractors like yourself looking for solutions to speed up the installation process. With adjustable pedestals, you’ll be able to cut down on installation time and make all your hardscaping projects run much more efficiently!

Here are four ways adjustable pedestals reduce your installation time:

  1. Pedestals Eliminate the Need to Level Existing Groundwork

Installing deck pavers onto uneven terrain, a sloping rooftop, or even a hilly area can be incredibly challenging and may eat up the budget for a project. To avoid needing to level out the existing groundwork and its related expenses, contractors can take advantage of adjustable pedestals that will support the pavers regardless of any pre-existing slopes or elevations. Adjustable pedestals can adjust in height and for slope corrections as well. This makes it possible to accommodate any natural inclines without worrying about needing expensive equipment for levelling beforehand.

  1. Pedestals Eliminate the Need to Build Subframes

Instead of wasting valuable time building a wood sub-frame, why not use adjustable pedestals? Pedestal systems make it effortless to evenly space out the pavers, making installation quick. Pedestals can be easily adjusted to even out any uneven ground, forming an efficient sub-base with their included spacer tabs and joist holders. Topped with porcelain pavers that fit together without needing grouting or additional time for installation, contractors have the ability to get projects done in just a few hours. It’s the perfect combination of easy installation and strong performance!

  1. Pedestals Can Easily Accommodate Difficult Areas

Installations can often present contractors with difficulties when working in less-than-ideal areas, especially those which are irregularly shaped. Thankfully, Adjustable pedestal systems simplify the process by offering custom components to give you the ultimate level of installation versatility. Adjustable pedestals are equipped with spacer tabs that allow you to easily remove or adjust them as necessary to accommodate curved edges and other challenging sections – so your work is guaranteed a professional finish.

  1. Pedestals Are Ideal in Tight Spots

Hired to do a project in a backyard, rooftop, or another tight spot? Instead of hauling concrete, aggregate or excavation waste by wheelbarrow, consider pedestals. Lightweight pedestals can not only be carried into the job site under your arm but can often significantly reduce the amount of excavation – saving you time, labour, and, yes, money. Stonedeck Innovations is the industry leader when it comes to adjustable pedestals and porcelain pavers, with a range of easy-to-use systems available, all tailored to meet the needs of contractors like you. Our products make it easy for any contractor to assemble and install quality decks in no time. If you’d like more information or want to obtain a quote for your upcoming project, reach out to Stonedeck Innovations – Canada’s deck life experts.

How Winter Affects Your Patio

Winter isn’t just miserable for people; it really does a number on your hardscapes. When spring finally arrives, you’ll often discover drainage issues and damage done to landscaping, driveways and patios. 

Some of this damage results from poor maintenance, lousy installation, or rock salt applied to concrete surfaces. Other damage could have been prevented using better installation techniques or materials. Even concrete is not immune; its porous nature holds bits of water that freeze, expand and cause your concrete to crack. 

Here are some of the ways winter affects your patio:

Corrosion – Ice melt and rock salt used for ice management to create safer surfaces cause corrosion. If your patio is made of concrete, you’ll discover permanent pockmarks on the surface. These substances also cause staining and discolouration and weaken the integrity of the concrete. If your patio is made of interlock, salt gets caught in the cracks & crevices and interferes with the aggregate base underneath. 

Water Issues – Water runoff and drainage can create stone instability, making it easy for them to shift. As the snow melts, it drains below your concrete pavers, eroding the underlying soil and aggregate. As water is trapped beneath the stones, they get pushed up. If the weather turns cold again, that water freezes and expands, further dislodging the stones beneath your surface. Whether your patio shifts & buckles or cracks and needs to be replaced, neither is ideal. 

Moss – As mentioned above, concrete and interlock are porous. During the winter months, green moss can form on your stone. 

Wobbling Stone – As winter causes the aggregate below your patio to erode or shift, the bricks or stone above can become uneven and wobble. Another cause is the constant freeze & thaw cycles cause the stone to expand and contract, loosening them and causing them to wobble. 

In particular, winter really wreaks havoc on stonework. Canadian freeze and thaw cycles are famous for causing things like interlock to shift, creating stability dangers and safety hazards that look terrible. Other stonework, if improperly installed, can face similar issues. 

One smart alternative to interlock is to resurface your patio with porcelain pavers. Not only are they stylish and upscale, but porcelain is also ideal for Canadian winters. Outdoor porcelain tiles are non-porous, so they will not absorb water & crack. They also do not accumulate moss or get damaged by salt. Using a pedestal system to mount them also offers a variety of valuable benefits. You’ll require less digging to install, and you’ll deal with less heaving & shifting due to freeze & thaw cycles. Pedestals can even be used on top of an existing concrete patio to support porcelain pavers for a new look that requires less work. If you’re tired of repairing your interlock or patio stones and hate the look of damaged concrete, you’ll find some great options at Stonedeck.ca. From innovative materials that resist Canada’s freeze & thaw cycles to new installation techniques that will save you time, labour and money, Stonedeck has everything you need for beautiful hardscapes that are also functional and safe.

Key Backyard Trends for 2023

It’s that time of year again when many of us have just put our garden to bed and are eagerly making a list of ideas for next year. Whether you’re just rearranging things or planning a full-scale backyard landscape overhaul, you want to keep current trends in mind to maximize your ROI. These key backyard trends for 2023 will help you enjoy your outdoor living space all season long while adding to your home’s resale value.

As we spend more time at home for both work and leisure, it is more important than ever to enjoy our home, including outdoor spaces. As with our indoor living areas, 2023 promises to lean into making our yards a sanctuary where we can connect with nature, and sustainable gardening is a recurring, important theme. Colour trends are all about earthy neutrals to create a warm and relaxed atmosphere. To give you a little style inspiration for outdoor living, here’s what’s trending for 2023.

Cutting Gardens – Forget about store-bought cut flowers; 2023 will encourage you to exercise your green thumb with a cutting garden. You can grow your own flowers in even the smallest of outdoor spaces, even on a balcony, and growing flowers from seed is inexpensive. Try your hand at growing cosmos, a beautiful daisy-like annual pollinators love. Cosmos are easy to grow, even in poor soil conditions and make a great cut flower for indoor vases. 

Patterned Tiles – Personalize your deck or patio with patterned tiles. Porcelain tiles are a big trend in 2023 and are embraced by designers everywhere. Whether you’re resurfacing your deck, a small balcony or upgrading a firepit, distinctively patterned porcelain tiles add a strong design element. 

Sustainability – Sustainable living has never been so important. From hardy plants requiring minimal water to environmentally conscious building materials, 2023 is about putting the planet first. Consider building materials manufactured with recycled content and materials that won’t need to be replaced in 10 years. For example, outdoor porcelain pavers installed with a pedestal system will not need to be replaced and are constructed from eco-conscious materials. Unlike pressure-treated lumber, these innovative decking materials are not treated with chemicals that leach into the earth and require no adhesives, sanding or staining.

Terracotta Tones – The Garden Media Group’s 2023 Garden Trends Report has declared terracotta to be the colour of the year. Outdoor porcelain tiles are the easiest way to achieve this look, and you can easily design a surface that combines both the terracotta trend and patterned tiles together.

Drought-Friendly Gardens – As we all strive to use less water, drought-friendly gardens are a great solution for hotter summers. Consider plants like sage and rosemary with grey-green leaves which reflect the sun’s rays and are drought tolerant. Rounding out this trend is a rainwater collection system, which can be used to water plants, reduce the load on your city’s water systems and save you money.

Sanctuary – Your outdoor living space is not just a place to entertain but somewhere to enjoy moments of stillness to boost mindfulness and mental well-being. For 2023, transform your backyard into a place of calm and serenity to escape hectic days. Introduce a water element, use soothing colours and create an area where you can reconnect with nature. Think of it as a well-being garden. 

2023 is all about connection to the natural world, sustainability and well-being. If you’d like to learn more about deck and patio building materials that offer on-trend appeal while reducing environmental impact, reach out to Canada’s deck life experts, Stonedeck.ca.

Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Outdoor Porcelain Tiles

Thanks to their durability, endless design options and a host of other advantages, outdoor porcelain tiles are becoming one of the most popular hardscaping materials around. Especially ideal for the harsh Canadian climate, hardscapers from coast to coast are recommending outdoor porcelain tiles to their clients regularly for decks, patios, rooftop environments and even driveways. 

One of the easiest products to install, outdoor porcelain tile hardscapes are not just limited to contractors but are suitable for DIY’ers too. Still, as with any new hardscaping project or outdoor renovation, proper installation techniques must be followed to ensure the best results. We’ve put together the three most common mistakes people make when installing outdoor porcelain tiles. If you can avoid making these mistakes, you can be sure of high-quality, long-lasting results, getting you the most from your efforts. 

Mistake #1. Poor Surface Preparation

Proper preparation is key, whether you’re hardscaping, baking or undergoing any new project. You’ll benefit from having everything in its place when and where you need it, ensuring easy, straightforward progress and the best result. 

When preparing your outdoor porcelain tile hardscape project, clean the surface where your tiles will be laid. Clear away any debris, sweep and even mop if applicable. Make sure the surface below your new project is not uneven or sloping. While this can be the biggest hassle of your project, there are easy ways to overcome uneven surfaces and slopes. Consider using an adjustable pedestal system for mounting your outdoor porcelain tiles. Pedestals can help you create a level surface for your tiles hassle-free. They also offer a variety of other benefits to help you build your raised floor in a matter of hours. 

Mistake #2. Not Laying Out Your Tiles Beforehand

Outdoor porcelain tiles offer nearly unlimited design options, including the opportunity to rotate or arrange them to create unique patterns. If your tiles will be placed in a pattern or even have subtle details, they should be laid out prior to installation. This allows you to experiment with different arrangements and ensure things are oriented in the right direction ahead of time. Other issues you may circumvent by laying out your tiles beforehand include discovering colour graduations that work better than others or even some edges that line up better. You’ll reduce errors and avoid having to reinstall tiles once mistakes are discovered.

Laying out your tiles beforehand is a smart idea, regardless of how you install them. However, if you are using a pedestal system for your installation, you’ll have a much easier time rearranging or substituting tiles should you discover a mistake. Simply lift the tile and remove/replace it. Pedestal systems make things much easier than older, more traditional methods.

Mistake #3. Forgetting to Check for Loose Tiles

Once your installation has been completed, you must ensure everything is in its place. If your project involves replacing existing paver trays with new porcelain tiles, you will need to make sure none of the existing tiles are loose. Loose tiles may compromise the structural integrity of your new outdoor porcelain tiles. To test, gently hit them with any handy tool. If they give off a hollow sound, it indicates that your tiles have not adhered properly to the surface below. Unfortunately, this will require removing and re-levelling things. However, if you’re using a pedestal system, this is a quick and easy fix. Instead of hitting the tile, just walk across the entire surface of your completed project. Should a tile seem to wobble, simply lift the affected tile, and adjust the pedestal below. Whether you’re a DIY’er or a professional contractor, pedestal systems make installing outdoor porcelain tiles easier than you’d imagine. Regardless, preparing your surface, laying out your tiles beforehand and checking for loose tiles are critical things that must be addressed to ensure high-quality and long-lasting results. To learn more about the advantages of using a pedestal system with your outdoor porcelain tiles, visit StoneDeck.ca for expert advice for installers of all skill levels. 

14 Ways to Improve Your Deck on a Budget

Barbequing and entertaining on a deck is a big part of the Canadian experience. However, a deck is more than just some expensive lumber screwed together. We’ve got a few ideas to improve your deck without breaking the bank.

  1. Skirting – The underside of your deck is unsightly. From weeds and animal nests to the less pleasant aesthetics of a deck, it should be kept hidden from sight. Some low-cost lattice is an excellent way to close that area and improve your yard’s aesthetics while creating additional storage space. 
  2. Greenery – Add vibrancy to your deck or patio with some plants. Consider built-in planters, green plants and even some colourful flowers to upgrade your deck’s look and feel. 
  3. Electronics – Get better use of your outdoor living space by bringing electronics outdoors. Have an outdoor outlet, hook-up speakers, and a video screen for big events or cozy movies under the stars. 
  4. Fire Table – A gas or propane fire table will quickly become your deck’s focal point when entertaining, a feature all will enjoy.
  5. Insect Control – Don’t let the bugs ruin evenings on your deck. Recent innovations in bug control technology offer a variety of products that get rid of mosquitoes electronically. 
  6. Privacy – If you live a little too close to your neighbours, you might be craving a little privacy when out on your deck. Privacy walls can be purchased or easily built – think screens or vertical awnings. 
  7. Furniture – If you really want to enjoy your outdoor living space, you will need some furniture. Find some chairs with comfy outdoor cushions, tables and maybe even an outdoor sofa and kick back & relax.
  8. Lighting – With some good lighting, you’ll enjoy your outdoor time after dark. You’ll transform your outdoor space while making it more usable at night. Lighting will also increase safety while improving the ambience. 
  9. Resurfacing – Tired of the traditional wood deck? Resurfacing your deck and transforming it into a gorgeous stone deck is easier than you’d imagine. Just imagine the possibilities and the instant uplift of your home’s value. 
  10. Heating – A propane patio heater will help you extend the season. 
  11. Deck Maintenance – Giving your deck a good scrub and stain and addressing any maintenance issues will breathe fresh life into it. Of course, if you have a stone deck, maintenance may be as simple as a quick powerwash to restore it to its freshly installed good looks. 
  12. Pergola – A pergola makes your space multi-functional yet cozy. Relatively low-cost, it is like creating a second living area on your deck. 
  13. Shade – Whether it’s an umbrella, awning or sun shade, a little protection from the heat and glare of the sun is sure to be appreciated by your guests. 
  14. Barbeque or Smoker – Bring the kitchen outdoors and serve your guests right from your deck. After all, a smoker is an excellent place for people to gather and discuss techniques. 

 Sure, you can invest heavily into your deck by adding significant upgrades like an outdoor kitchen, but these inexpensive touches will go a long way without making a big dent in your wallet. Visit Stone Deck Innovations – Canada’s deck life experts, for more great decking ideas. 

8 Great Reasons to Choose Steel Framing For Your Deck

You’ve planned out your deck, decided between pressure-treated lumber, composite and porcelain tile as a surface and even priced out your railings. You’re almost ready to get started, but you’ve just realized one very important thing about your upcoming build. What to use for your deck’s framing?

Well, we have a few reasons why you should choose steel framing for your deck. 

  1. Resistance to Rot, Fire & Insects

There are lots of things that can cause your deck to deteriorate. While insects in certain climates can quickly destroy a wood structure, the biggest culprit in Canada is rot. Wood decks do rot and often need to be replaced every 10-15 years as a result. A steel-framed deck is not attractive to insects, is non-combustible & resistant to fire and will not rot.

  1. Uniform, Straight Pieces

Forget about twisted, knotted lumber and warped boards. Steel framing arrives in straight, uniform pieces, free of twists, kinks, and imperfections. You’ll enjoy a perfectly flat surface that will not crown, warp or crack. Light-gauge steel builds flat and will remain flat for decades. 

  1. Lumber Prices 

It’s no secret that lumber prices are ridiculous. Sure, steel can be pricy too, but it’s a one-time, front-loaded expense. When you choose steel framing for your deck, you’ll benefit over the long term, not only in lumber costs but also in the labour to replace rotted wood. Consider factors like maintenance, repair and replacement costs, none of which are a factor when choosing steel framing. 

  1. Versatility

Sure, wood is easy. However, it won’t allow you the same design freedom that steel does. When you try to get fancy with wood, it will splinter and crack on you. Steel framing can be shaped any way you’d like and is compatible with a variety of surfacing materials. You can achieve a lot more with steel, things that are simply not possible with wood framing. Think of things like additional space between joists or even a rounded deck – just try that one with wood!

  1. A Smarter Choice

Aside from the fact that steel will not rot or warp or sustain damage from insects, there are other advantages of steel deck framing that make it the smarter choice. Steel deck framing can be installed with up to 16-foot spans, creating incredible, unobstructed views. Steel framing means fewer other materials to purchase and less time to install, meaning greater savings – savings you’ll enjoy over a lifetime. 

  1. The Greener Option –  A sustainable option, steel decking is often made of recycled steel and can be recycled once again should you take down your deck. In fact, steel is the most recycled material in the world, more than all other materials combined. Steel deck framing has a zero carbon footprint during its use. 

Are you looking for deck framing that is low-maintenance, durable and easy to install? Perhaps Paverdeck is right for you. Code approved, maintenance-free and backed by a 30-year structural warranty, it’s the framing that will last a lifetime.

What You Need to Know Before Beginning a New Hardscape
Project

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.

Maintenance

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.

Aesthetics

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.