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So, you've got your new design plans sorted and bought all of the materials that you need for your new floor, all that's left is to lay your slabs. Of course, the easiest option to choose is to hire an installer to lay them for you, but if you're running on a tighter budget and want to install them yourself, there may be some questions you're asking yourself. How long does it take? What do you lay patio slabs on? Well, here's what you're going to need to do! 

How to Lay Slabs

First things first, you're going to want to make sure that you have all the tools and materials sorted. Here's a list to double-check you have everything in place.

Tools

  • Trowel 
  • Rake
  • Wheelbarrow 
  • Rubber mallet
  • Shovel 
  • Tape measure 
  • String line and pegs (optional)
  • Cement mixer (optional) 

Materials 

  • Paving slabs 
  • Sand (sharp) 
  • Cement 
  • Sub-base aggregate 

 

Step-by-Step Guide to Laying Slabs 

Prepping the area

Before you can even think about laying your new paving slabs, you will first need to prepare your patio area. Here, you will need to dig a depth of around 150mm across the whole area where your patio will be, ensuring the soil is evenly compacted. Once this has been done, you can begin to tip the sub-base in, raking it into a consistent depth of 100mm. You need to make sure that it is smooth, flat and firm. 

Getting the concrete ready 

Next, you'll need to create a concrete mix of three parts sand and one part cement, adding water to create a dough-like consistency. To do this, you can either use a cement mixer or a target bucket. Once done, to check that the mix is thick enough, pick some up and mould into a ball. When you let go, it should keep its shape without water oozing out of it or falling apart. Ensure you have mixed enough concrete to make an even 40mm layer in the patio bed. 

Laying the patio slabs

Before you can begin to lay your slabs, it's important to dampen them so they don't dry out your concrete too quickly. Once this is done, you can lay your first slab. Slowly lower your slab in position into the concrete mix and gently tap it with a rubber mallet in order to fix it into place. In ideal terms, you'll want your slabs to sit around 15mm into the mortar. Repeat this process with the remaining slabs, leaving a 10-15mm gap between each one until your patio bed is covered. After all of your slabs are laid, spray the entire areas with water until it's completely saturated and leave it to set for a minimum of 24 hours. 

Finishing touches 

The last part of laying your slabs involves applying the finishing touches. Here, use a trowel to fill the gaps between your slabs with a suitable grout, ensuring that no residue is left on the patio's surface. Clean away any other mess that may be laying on top of your slabs and leave to set.

 

Dry-Installing Your Paving Slabs 

The above method is what is traditionally used by the majority of patio installers. However, thanks to PrimaPorcelain's revolutionary pedestal support system, you are able to make the installation process even easier, with no mess whatsoever! Eliminate the need for traditional adhesives and mortar such as cement and lay your slabs onto our state-of-the-art pedestals.

Here, your slabs can be laid immediately, with absolutely no drying-out time needed! You can even run any necessary cables and wires underneath if you have any special features in your garden - perfect! One of the great things about our pedestal supports is that if you ever feel like moving your slabs, all you need to do is simply lift them up and relocate without having to dig them up. You can find out more about our pedestal support system below. 

Pedestal Support System >

 

For more information on how to lay slabs or what you should lay your patio slabs on, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the PrimaPorcelain team today by calling 02920 803756 or emailing us at info@primaporcelain.co.uk

Here at PrimaPorcelain, we know that real wood is a highly desirable and stylish flooring option. It's traditional, it creates a cosy atmosphere and it's been a firm favourite of interior designers for years. But, there's a catch. It can be a real nightmare to take care of! 

No matter how hard you try to avoid those accidental spills, muddy shoe stains (that could have been avoided if someone remembered to take their shoes off at the door), and scratches from heavy furniture, these things happen. But if you choose a tile floor, they won't leave a lasting impression on your newly renovated living space. 

Still not convinced that a tile floor that looks like wood is the way to go? Let's talk through some of the benefits of choosing tiles over trees...

forest walnut

1. Stain-resistant

With real wood flooring, it's absolutely vital that spills are cleaned up as soon as they occur, otherwise (you guessed it) you'll find yourself with an unsightly stain on your hands.  Be careful though, taking a wet mop (or anything too wet) to your wood floor can cause it to swell and bow. Now you've got two problems to contend with! Only a damp or a dry cloth should be used to tackle stains on wood floors.

On the other hand, our wood effect porcelain tiles can be wiped clean with no fuss. Spilt liquids will sit on the surface of our porcelain tiles where they can be lifted away with minimal effort leaving nothing but the beautiful wood effect behind. Don't worry, our non-porous tiles won't absorb moisture so you can grab your mop and get the job done without clambering around on your hands and knees. 

2. Scratch-resistant

Alongside your real-wood flooring order, you should probably invest in some furniture pads to prevent the inevitable scratching. Whether it's the TV cabinet, the sofa or the chairs around your dining table, your wood floors will let you know if things have been moved around too forcefully. Without furniture pads, you can expect to see deep grooves, scuffs and scrapes that are incredibly difficult to remove. 

Our porcelain tiles, however, have been put through a rigorous deep abrasion resistance test to ensure that no visible scratching occurs. Even if you do spot a little scuff, we're confident that it can be brushed away. 

Whether you're renovating a home before you move in, or you're sprucing up a room in your existing home, your furniture will need to be moved in after the floor's been laid. Avoid scuffing it from day one by choosing tiles that look like wood.

3. Low maintenance

When it comes to maintaining real wood flooring, you'll be popping out to buy floor cleaner and varnish at least once a year. Without it, your wood floor will start to look dull, worn and lack-lustre. Not ideal if you've just forked out thousands of pounds to have it installed, right? 

PrimaPorcelain wood effect tiles are notorious for requiring minimal maintenance. With a porosity level of less than 0.05%, you'll never need to seal or varnish them. Instead, you'll need to take a warm soapy cloth or mop and give them a quick rinse every now and again, that's all!

 4. Environmentally-friendly

Although the look and feel of nature in your home is appealing, the impact this can have on the environment is less so. In order for you to bring nature indoors, it has to be cut down outdoors. For the environmentally-friendly homeowners amongst you, this idea might not appeal. Luckily for you, our tiles that look like wood might be a great, eco-friendly alternative. 

We source all of our materials in an environmentally way, limiting transportation wherever we can. Once our tiles go into production, we make sure we recoup our waste materials and include information about using them in an environmentally friendly manner in our packaging. Perfect if you're looking to renovate your home without damaging our precious earth.

forest lignum

Our Forest Range

If you've made it this far, we're fairly sure you'll be ready to consider some of our wood-effect porcelain tiles for your home. Our Forest tiles come in four shades, so whether you want to go for a pale pine effect or a deeper oak finish, we've got you covered. Each shade offers a fine texture as well as the charming swirls and knots you expect to see in real wood. Select one of our shades below to find out more. 

For more information about our range of tiles that look like wood, don't hesitate to get in touch. We're happy to help!

Here at PrimaPorcelain, we're pretty confident that by now you would all have a fairly strong understanding about porcelain and how we believe it is a superior flooring option to its natural stone counterparts. But do you know how porcelain paving is made to make it a better choice? If not, we are here to tell you! 

How is Porcelain Paving Made

 

The Manufacturing Process

Porcelain is manufactured using a mixture of sands, clays and other important minerals such as feldspar, which are then baked in a high-temperature kiln. Before the unbaked mixture is sent to the kiln, there is a lot of preparation that is required, followed by a fair bit of post-firing work to ensure the product that is sent out to trade is of a high enough quality and standard. Below we will look at each of these important stages to how porcelain paving is made.

The ingredients 

To create the base mixture for porcelain, four ingredients (plus water) are commonly used. These are:

  • Feldspar - A granitic mineral from a variety of sources 
  • High-quality fine clays sourced from Italy, Germany and Turkey 
  • Kaolin - Also known as China Clay in Britain and Ireland, sourced from Ukraine 
  • Quartzitic sand - A very pure and fine sand sourced from Germany 

Preparation 

Very specific quantities of these materials are mixed together with clean, cold water into a slurry, which is then processed in a ball mill to decrease the materials into very fine particles. These particles are so fine the finished product seems like a slippery mud with no discernible grittiness. If you were to rub it between your fingers, it would feel like a fine lubricant, leaving a soft streak across your skin. 

Drying

In this muddy form, the mixture of materials is very easy to move around, however, the majority of the water content has to be removed before the mixture can be taken any further. This is performed via a screen drier which utilises hot air and gentle rotation to decrease the moisture levels to approximately 6%. The water that is recovered can then be re-used to create a new initial mixture to keep wastage levels to an absolute minimum. 

Storing the Mix 

Once the water is removed from the mixture of materials, the dry-ish powder is then kept in a silo until it is required. Different mixes are kept in different silos, with up to 80 silos being held in certain manufacturing plants. Each of these silos holds a slightly different mix, with more or less clay, or a higher proportion of kaolin, for example. 

Blending

The next step of the process sees the mixture stored in silos being blended within specialised 'blending towers'. Each tower takes precise quantities of particular mixes from a variety of silos and creates a blend specific to the product that is being manufactured. For example, darker-coloured porcelain might contain more content from silo 19 and less from silo 26, while lighter-colour porcelain might use more from silo 11 and less from silo 7. The secret to producing high-quality porcelain lies in blending the perfect quantities of various mixes to produce the ideal 'biscuit' ready to be baked.  

Pressing 

The blended powder coming from the towers is then pressed into moulds. Some of these moulds will be smooth with zero surface relief, others will have specific textures or profiled surfaces. Some will be produced in a square-shape, others rectangle. Some will be small, some will be large. The blended powder is subjected to huge amounts of pressure, compacting it into the specific mould, so much so that it turns into a fairly hard material, similar to a biscuit before it is fired in the kiln.

Drying

After pressing, the moisture content of the 'biscuit' is reduced even further from the previous 6% to just 1-1.5% by passing it through another drier, again recovering the water to re-use. The material which emerges from this process is very noticeably harder, tougher, crisper and requires a tough more effort to snap into two pieces.

Finishing Touches 

After the material is dried, it is then coloured or printed on and placed in the kiln to be fired. Here this material is carried into the fierce heat of the kiln for around 100 meters, with temperatures reaching as high as 1,200 degrees celsius before going through an equally finely-controlled cooling stage. This cooling stage is just as important as the heating in producing a quality porcelain paver. Once this is over, the tile is then sized to the correct measurements and given additional treatments such as sealants, wax or protective coating before being checked over once more and packed up to be delivered to trade. 

This completes the process of how porcelain paving is made. A very delicate process which requires particular attention and detail at each stage. The finished product is a flooring material that offers extremely low-maintenance properties, high resistance to all fading, scratches and stains and overall premium-quality finishes. A material that is long-lasting and gorgeous to look at! You can browse our full collection of porcelain products by clicking below. Order your FREE sample to get a close-up look and see the quality for yourself. 

Browse Porcelain Paving >

 

For more information on our range of porcelain products, be sure to get in touch with a member of the PrimaPorcelain team today!

From living rooms to sunrooms, corridors and bathrooms, black and white porcelain tiles are a design feature that's been seen in homes for decades. This comes as no surprise, however, as black and white tiles are extremely versatile, offering interior and exterior living spaces tastes of both luxury and minimalism. Which is why PrimaPorcelain is offering this comprehensive guide on how to use black and white porcelain tiles for your home or property so that you can bring a stylish monochrome palette with absolute confidence. 

Black Porcelain Tile White Porcelain Tile

Classic Styling 

When it comes to black and white porcelain tiled floor, you won't find a more classic design than the tried and tested checkered-look. A timeless design that is sure to leave any and all guests wowed as they first set their eyes on it. If you're looking to make a real grand impression, your home's entrance corridor is the perfect place to lay your black and white porcelain tiles, giving your guests an immediate stunning impression of your property. You can complement your floor with luxurious furniture for an interior design that screams lavishness. 

If your home is lucky enough to boast a big bathroom, then large black and white porcelain checkered tiles are an excellent choice to make a bold statement. Couple your checkered floor with classic bathroom fittings to create a traditional look that's sure to never go out of fashion. If, on the other hand, your bathroom is a little on the smaller side, a mini-checkered style floor will give the illusion of a larger space. Pair your floor design with plants and accessories to complete this gorgeous monochrome look!

 

Switch It Up 

For those of you who are feeling a tad more adventurous, a recent trend that has been sweeping homes up and down the country has seen white porcelain tiles paired with darker-styled wood tiles. This high contrast look offers all the same benefits of the classic checkered look but with added texture, perfect for those looking to push the boundaries. This style is particularly effective in a living room or in front of a traditional fireplace, bringing a new dimension to your living space in the most beautiful way possible. 

Another option that you could try is is to combine black and white tile to define sections within an open plan place. Black wooden flooring, for example, can be used in areas of your home that are in desperate need of a little more warmth such as dining and living areas. Couple this with some beautiful white porcelain tiles to clearly indicate where your kitchen space begins for a modern design that doesn't compromise on functionality.

 

Pleasure with Patterns 

If you're looking to add an element of fun with your black and white floor, why not add some eye-catching patterns that mimic an original feature of an older property? Geometric tiles are an artistic way that you can add detail and intricacy to your home while paying homage to a classic aesthetic. If you're looking to create a more contemporary interior design, however, an escher-esque box tile flooring design will add a look that will be impossible to ignore. Couple this with white gloss furnishings and monochrome accessories for a dramatic look that stands together and makes an instant impact. 

 

And there you have it! Our guide to white and black porcelain tile for your home. We hope that you will now be well-equipped with the inspiration needed to add a monochrome vibrancy to any room in your property. Be sure to browse our extensive collection of black and white porcelain below to find the flooring product that suits you. 

Black Porcelain Tiles >                   White Porcelain Tiles >

 

For more information on our collection of black and white porcelain tiles, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the PrimaPorcelain team today by calling 02920 803 756 or emailing info@primaporcelain.co.uk

 

Clearance patio slabs

Want to add a paved area to your property? Or perhaps your existing patio is in dire need of a revamp? Either way, you can get a great deal on your new paving when you buy from PrimaPorcelain.

We have a range of clearance patio slabs available, all of which are available at vastly reduced prices - you could save more than 40% on the cost of your porcelain paving!

Browse Our Clearance Range >>

Stock is extremely limited, so don't wait around - call PrimaPorcelain on 029 2080 3756 to order your low-maintenance patio slabs!

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