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The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of our summer plans on hold, but there is a silver lining! Being stuck at home has given homeowners the opportunity to renovate their gardens and create a little slice of heaven that they can enjoy all year round.

We asked 400 people to complete a survey about the renovations they'd done in their home since the coronavirus pandemic started. Here you can see the responses to the question: Have you made any additions to your garden because of the COVID-19 lockdown measures? 

We gave 16 options for respondents to choose from and allowed them to tick any number of answers (including none at all). Here are the results...

results from pandemic garden survey

You can see that decks, flower beds and patios are among the most popular, but let's break it down...

  1. Deck
    25% of respondents ticked this answer

  2. Flower beds
    19.5% of respondents ticked this answer

  3. Patio
    18.75% of respondents ticked this answer

  4. Outdoor lighting
    17.5% of respondents ticked this answer

  5. Lawn
    11.25% of respondents ticked this answer

We knew that decks and patios were already popular features of British gardens, but these results show the immense impact that the pandemic has had on people's desire to improve their gardens. Adding a PrimaPorcelain patio is a great way to make better use of your garden whether you're working from home or hosting guests. Our tiles can transform a lack-lustre garden into a stunning, modern low-maintenance space that will last you a lifetime. 

patio in garden

Here you can see a garden room that one of our clients built using our unique Forest Oak Paving. This delightful space will be perfect for a bit of peace and quiet, and can even be set up as a garden office when our client needs to work from home. When you see projects like this, you can understand why patios have become a popular feature of British gardens throughout the pandemic.

Jason Cole, Managing Director of DeckPlus and its parent company Greensquares, said:

"We saw a significant increase in paving orders over the past year, so it comes as no surprise that people have been adding decks to their properties in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"There are a number of possible reasons that paving has become so popular: obviously, we've all been spending more time at home due to the ongoing lockdowns, and adding a deck or patio to your property is a good way to make more use of your existing space. It's also a good place to spend time with friends and family now that we're allowed to meet up with them again.

"Many people were forced to cancel their holidays after the COVID-19 outbreak, so it's possible that some of those people chose to spend the money that they would've spent on a holiday on some home and garden improvements instead."

More about our survey

The survey was sent to Greensquares customers in the UK and received 400 responses:

  • 335 from England
  • 38 from Wales
  • 25 from Scotland
  • 2 from Northern Ireland

75% of people said that they use their garden every day during spring/summer and a17% said they use their garden space every day in autumn/winter. Of course, with the right garden features, you can make better use of your garden during all the seasons!

We've been supplying porcelain paving to homes across the UK throughout the pandemic, and we're so happy we were able to bring a bit of joy into people's lives during this difficult time. If you're interested in adding a patio to your garden, take a look at our paving ranges and don't forget to order your FREE samples

Browse Our Paving >

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

Porcelain Paving
 
At PrimaPorcelain, we are committed to helping you with every step of your garden patio project, from selecting and ordering your choice of paving, right through to the final installation.  While we provide useful installation resources for those who choose to undertake the project themselves, we understand many people will require a helping hand in achieving the high-quality finish they desire, which is why we offer a professional patio installation service to all of our customers.
 
We have two teams of experienced installers here at PrimaPorcelain, who are able to travel to most parts of the UK in order to complete a huge variety of projects. From patios to pool surrounds, our installers are able to achieve a fantastic end result no matter what your requirements may be, leaving you with a paving design that makes the most of your investment in a superior product. As well as working on residential properties, our staff also have experience in completing larger, commercial projects, which means that they are just as well versed in completing large-scale installations as they are in working on small patio areas.
 
If you would like to find out more about our installation service, please feel free to get in touch to discuss your requirements.
For images of our current and previous projects, follow us on Twitter!
It's always great to be sent images and kind words from happy customers who have used our products, which is why we like to share them with you on the PrimaPorcelain blog. Not only does it give you a better idea of how our porcelain tiles and paving work in practice, it also provides you assurance an peace of mind regarding the quality of our products. 
 
These customers recently used our 2cm tiles to transform their garden patio, following the installation of a brand new kitchen extension. Naturally, they wanted to create an attractive space to look out onto from their new patio doors, which would also compliment the rest of the new structure.
 

Prima Project 1

 
As you can see from these renovation images, our customers have been able to create a sleek, fresh-looking patio and step design, which blends in beautifully with the rest of the property.
 
 
Prima Project 2
 
Here's what the customers had to say:
 
"We visited the showroom to see the products and get more details. The 2cm porcelain tiles we looked at were excellent and we were spoilt for choice. [...]The tiles are every bit as we expected, very strong, even our builder was impressed. [....] We would definitely recommend the product and company"
 
If you would like to create your own outdoor flooring design, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly team will be able to help you every step of the way, either by phone, or in person at one of our showrooms in Cardiff and Slough.
 
If you would like to experience the quality of our tiles for yourself, you can order a free sample today!
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