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Despite having to spend more time in our homes due to the recent announcements regarding COVID-19, it doesn't mean that we have to be cooped up inside all winter, we can still make good use of our gardens and outdoor spaces. Especially if you have a patio area to take advantage of. 

Now, we know what you're thinking. Who in their right mind wants to spend time outside during the winter when they can be warm and cost inside? Well, there are a whole host of advantages to being outside, especially with being stuck inside for so much of this year and you don't have to be cold! 

Here we provide some tips on how to stay warm on your patio this winter and extend the time that you spend outdoors. Read on to find out more.

 

Warming Up Your Patio 

 

Fire Pits 

When it comes to warming up your patio, fire pits have become one of the most popular outdoor fire features due to their low cost, simplicity and portability. Fire pits are traditionally designed to be kept fairly low to the ground, however, they can be built or purchased in many shapes and sizes with a range of materials. 

You can purchase different types of fire pit also. Wood-burning types are popular, but for a more environmentally-friendly option, you can choose pits fuelled by gas or propane. 

 

Purpose-Built Fireplace

If you have a little more time and budget on your hands, a custom-built fireplace in your garden is a perfect way to warm up your patio. An outdoor fireplace works just like an indoor one and really does create a living room outside. Add seating and a lowered table for a real homely feel. Materials range from metal, stone, brick and concrete and can be fuelled by other wood or gas. Be mindful of where exactly you place the fireplace, avoiding low-hanging trees, shrubs, hedges and nearby structures. Also, think about any potential smoke and the direction it may blow.

 

Portable Fireplace

For those of you who would love an outdoor fireplace but do not want to commit to getting one built, a portable fireplace may be just the thing for you. These are a particularly smart choice for smaller outdoor spaces or if you plan on moving your fireplace often. These can also be fuelled by wood, gas or propane.

 

Chimineas

A chiminea is an inexpensive fire feature that is often made out of clay or metal that is guaranteed to warm up your patio area, an ideal alternative to a fireplace. Their traditional design and appearance bode well for outdoor spaces that boast a similar look. Ensure the chiminea is sturdy and has a spark screen. Chimney extensions also help to vent the smoke whilst it burns on your patio.

 

Patio Lamps & Heaters

Patio heaters are another popular choice for many homeowners who want to bring some warmth to their garden. They are tall, do not take up much space and are fuelled by propane. An average patio heater can warm up an area of 15-25 square feet, so there'll be no worries about your outdoor space getting warm.

 

Heated Flooring 

You can spend more time outdoors thanks to radiant heating. Often associated with indoor floors, heated flooring is gaining popularity with outdoor surfaces also. These systems can be installed to warm up a number of surfaces including decking and patio and offer gardens a new aesthetic dimension not often seen.

These are just some of the ways that you can stay warm on your patio this winter! For more home and garden tips, be sure to keep an eye out on PrimaPorcelain's blog as well as our socials where we post regular updates. 

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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

There’s no doubt that nearly every home in the UK has some sort of tiles installed either on the inside or outside of the property. Whether it’s in the kitchen, bathroom, or garden, the majority of homes use tiles as an effective, fashionable way to style a floor.

Whilst it’s understandable that homeowners choose tiles based solely around aesthetic reasons, it’s important to realise that most floor tiles are assigned a slip rating, known as an ‘R’ value, in accordance to the environment in which they should be installed. Tiles which aren’t assigned slip ratings are graded to a specific minimum standard regardless. R values span a scale from R9 (minimum standard) through to R13 (greatest slip resistance), which can be understood further in our handy graphic below.

Tile Slip Ratings Explained

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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.

The Christmas period is a magical time of year for many, as the summer warmth makes way for a wintry chill and festive spirit takes over the nation.

However, while there’s no doubt that Christmastime often lives up to its name as “the most wonderful time of the year”, the dip in temperature can bring with it some challenges of its own.

Luckily, with its robust composition and durable qualities, porcelain paving is more than up for the challenge, making for the perfect winterproof surface for your outside space.

 

winterproof paving

 

Slip-Hazards

While the crisp layer of frost that dusts the British landscape on winter mornings can be a beautiful sight to behold, it can also present a number of hazards that are far less appealing.

Natural stone is highly-susceptible to frost, posing a myriad of dangers as a result. This can be particularly problematic for families with elderly relatives or young children with potentially serious consequences.

 

Frost-Proof

Ideal for a variety of purpose-built surfaces – from patios and driveways to swimming pools and hard landscaping – porcelain paving tiles are highly resistant to sub-zero temperatures.

Outdoor paving tiles from PrimaPorcelain have been fundamentally designed to offer numerous frost-proof qualities to ensure your safety when using your outside space during the wintertime.

With a porosity of less than 0.05%, they retain very little moisture, reducing the risk of ice for a more reliable performance throughout the winter period.

What’s more, all our tiles are also pre-sealed, meaning there are no cracks for the water to settle in, eliminating the worry of water expansion and cracking as a result of freezing.

 

Grip Factor

Porcelain paving tiles from PrimaPorcelain have been deliberately textured for maximum grip. As a result, each porcelain paver retains its non-slip properties even in the face of harsh conditions.

All porcelain paving tiles from PrimaPorcelain come with a Grip Factor rating, illustrating their traction and overall firmness underfoot.

The scale is measuring from Grip Factor 1 to Grip Factor 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the best. Most of our outdoor tiles offer a reassuring 4 or 5 on the scale, giving you peace of mind as well as solid footing.

 

For more information on winterproof paving tiles from PrimaPorcelain, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 01753 575102 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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