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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!

Textured non-slip porcelain paver

It rains a lot in this country. If you live in the UK and you have a garden, that garden of yours is frequently going to get wet.

This is nothing new, but it is something to bear in mind when you're shopping for outdoor tiles. Your patio will need to be capable of withstanding Britain's infamously wet weather, but perhaps even more importantly, you need to know that your paving won't get too slippery after a shower.

After all, you don't want to slip and hurt yourself when you're trying to relax and enjoy your garden!

More...

Porcelain paving in a garden

Porcelain paving is an increasingly popular choice for outdoor living spaces. Vitrified porcelain has a number of attractive advantages when compared to more traditional materials like turf or natural stone paving - but are there any downsides?

More...

As time moves on, so does style, trends and preferences with homeowners up and down the country trying to keep up. But you don’t have to make it hard for yourself, as here at PrimaPorcelain, we make ‘keeping up’ easy with our constant push to providing our customers with the best possible products that bring the latest styles and looks at competitive prices. Last year we introduced three brand new ranges as well as our cost-effective PavingPlus collection and we do not plan and slowing down anytime soon!

As we start the new year and new decade, we are proud to announce further additions to our already extensive porcelain tile and paving collection – offering homeowners even more choice when it comes to installing the highest quality flooring solution on the market. More colours, styles and designs allow you to create the perfect indoor or outdoor low-maintenance living space.  Find out more about our new product ranges below.

Brecon Range

                      

Our collection of Brecon paving delivers a contemporary flooring product like no other. Available in a strong and robust composition of 20mm, these budget-friendly outdoor tiles are perfect for those looking to bring their exterior space up-to-date without breaking the bank. Available in a light or dark colour option, our Brecon paving slabs can be added to an array of outdoor designs.

Browse our Brecon Range >

 

Trento Range

  

Our Trento paving range offers a unique, natural-looking flooring option that is guaranteed to catch the eye of any guest visiting your home. These porcelain slabs have been inspired by the mountainous environment of Val di Cembra in Trentino Alto Adige. Manufactured through a combination of quartz crystals with organic bumps and grooves, offering the natural stone feel popular with homeowners all over the world. Our Trento paving slabs come in three stunning colours options of Grey, Natural and Viola and are made with a sturdy 20mm thickness to ensure outstanding longevity.

Browse our Trento Range >

 

Tumbled Edge Range

                

Inspired through the tradition of a dry construction technique that uses blocks of solid stone to shape buildings that are perfectly integrated into their surroundings, our new Tumbled Edge collection of porcelain paving allows homeowners to create a low-maintenance outdoor space that styles around either a traditional or contemporary design. You can purchase our Tumbled Edge porcelain pavers from a choice of two natural colours; Grey and Ash.

Browse our Tumbled Edge Range >

 

Honed Sandstone Range

                    

Available in two stunning colour options of Grey or Ivory, our Honed Sandstone porcelain paving is a perfect flooring choice for any homeowner aspiring to create a warm, Mediterranean-styled space or a minimalistic, modern space. The choice is completely yours. Created using the very best porcelain materials, these paving slabs will ensure your floor looks beautiful for years to come without the need of time-consuming upkeep.

Browse our Honed Sandstone Range >

 

Slate Range Expansion

Our collection of Slate porcelain tiles has been one of our most popular over recent years and as a result, we have decided to expand it with brand new colour options. Already boasting White, Silver and Grey options, we are excited to be adding the new Anthracite option. This darker coloured tile option allows homeowners to bring a striking, bold and classy look to either an indoor or outdoor space. 

Browse our Slate Range >             

 

Want more information about our brand-new porcelain tiles and paving? Call us on 02920 803 756 or email us at info@primaporcelain.co.uk, where a member of our customer service team will be more than happy to help!

Garden paths are one of the many features that can make your garden stand out but are often one of the most overlooked. While their main and most obvious purpose is to allow you to journey from point A to point B, they also possess the ability to make your outdoor living space shine. When planning your next garden redesign, be sure to take some time to consider some of the garden path ideas available to you.

Not sure what’s on offer? We’ve got you covered! Whether you’re looking to provide a clear and uninterrupted walkway from one end of your garden to the other, or maze through your flower beds, our list garden path ideas is sure to get your green fingers itching.  

Natural paving

If you’re thinking of creating a natural-looking garden, natural stone paving is definitely the choice for you – the possibilities are literally endless! Natural stone paving has the ability to look right at home in a variety of garden designs, whether you’re looking to create something that’s more towards the traditional side of things or a garden that’s more upbeat and modern. Natural stone never looks out of place because of the extensive variations in shape, texture and colour.

Natural garden path ideas

 

Concrete paving

The versatility of concrete paving can help to create a stripped-back, understated design or an eye-catching walkway. Traditional designs utilising concrete paving see them embedded in the grass or paving the way through the popping colours of your garden. A traditional material such as concrete paving can brilliantly enhance a contemporary space, so for those looking to bring their garden up-to-date, concrete pavers can be used above grass, sand or pebbles as part of a beautifully elevated walkway.

Concrete garden path ideas

 

Curved paths

Often, the materials used for your garden path will determine how long it remains intact, however, the shape of it also has the ability to inject some much-needed character. If you find yourself edging more towards the creative side of things rather than straight, clean lines you can build a garden path that encompasses a more organic shape with a large, sweeping curve.

Not only will this make your garden look way more interesting, but it’ll also give a sense of a greater amount of space. Make the most out of this space by planting a variety of plants and flowers along the edges, it’ll entice your visitors to take a walk around and journey across your new outdoor space!

Curved garden path ideas

Photo: Pinterest

 

Straight lines and angles

For those of you who take kindlier to the simple things in life, a garden path idea based on straight lines and angles may seem more attractive than the previous one. With clever use of geometry, you are able to transform a lacklustre and uninspiring outdoor space into one full of wonder and beauty. A garden path idea based around straight lines can add more noise and elegance as well as functionality.

From basic, two-dimensional designs to complex symmetry, the use of linear designs can help to create interest and inclination. Contemporary, three-dimensional designs use raised beds, positioning of boulders and interchanging heights to create a clean, fuss-free appearance.

Straight garden path ideas

 

When it comes to choosing the right garden path idea for your outdoor area, there is a lot of things to consider. From the materials, the shape and style of path you’re looking to create. With the above garden path ideas, however, you should be well on your way to creating the garden of dreams with the right garden path installed.

For a garden path that is guaranteed to look good and perform for years to come be sure to choose porcelain pavers! Here at PrimaPorcelain, we have an extensive collection of porcelain pavers that offer the gorgeous aesthetics of natural stone, concrete, limestone and many other materials, while providing incredible low-maintenance properties. Click below to browse our entire range of porcelain products.

Browse Our Porcelain Paving >

 

For more information on our range of porcelain products or to speak to a member of our team regarding your garden path ideas, be sure to contact us today by calling 02920 803 756 or email info@primaporcelain.co.uk.

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