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Now that spring has started and summer is well on its way, more and more homeowners can begin thinking about the much-needed garden improvements that they've been putting off during the cold winter months.

And with restrictions slowly being lifted, the garden is one of the first places where we will be allowed to meet up with friends and family, so ensuring it is ready is going to be one of the main things on the to-do list heading into this part of the year. 

Over the years more homeowners have been opting for porcelain as part of their garden and patio redesigns thanks to the countless benefits that it offers over natural stone products but one question that is often asked is 'does porcelain paving get hot in the sun?' If you plan or using porcelain in your garden redesign for the summer and are wondering the same thing, PrimaPorcelain are here to give you the answers you're looking for! 

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ysgol glantaf

We recently donated 40 m² of our popular 20mm Limestone Ivory paving to Ysgol Glantaf in Cardiff! They wanted to transform their outdoor area to make it more appealing and accessible for their students.

View Product: Limestone Ivory

As a company with roots in Cardiff, we were keen to help this fantastic Welsh school and give back to the community. We know that the children and staff at Ysgol Glantaf will get years of enjoyment out of their new garden space and we're so pleased with how it turned out.

What Ysgol Glantaf Said:

“We would like to say a big thank you – the garden is lovely and we have already spent a lot of time working and playing there. Having the garden has made a huge difference to us all. It is a safe place for us to have some fresh air and move about.”

The project was featured on an episode of Prosiect Pum Mil on the Welsh TV channel S4C that aired on Sunday 29th November. The programme's presenter, Trystan Ellis-Morris visited our showroom in Cardiff to discuss the project. To cover the necessary area, we gifted them roughly £1,200 worth of Limestone Ivory paving. We're so pleased we did because the finished space looks amazing

If you missed the episode of Prosiect Pum Mil that we featured on, you can catch up on BBC iPlayer. Click the button below to watch it now!

Watch the episode on BBC iPlayer

If you'd like to learn more about our Limestone Ivory paving, or if you'd like to collaborate on a similar project, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can also order up to 3 free paving samples here!

For many people, the initial lockdown was a real struggle that presented many issues. For others, however, it provided an opportunity to make some much-needed improvements. Whether this was to themselves, their lifestyle or to their home! 

Well, for one homeowner, it's safe to say the latter certainly applies to them. A recent customer of ours was one of the many people up and down the country that used the extra time they found themselves having to make some incredible enhancements to their home, in particular, their outdoor living space. 

Hoping to renovate and transform their garden area, the in question customer placed a sample order for our stunning Cotswold Ivory porcelain pavers, a flooring product that brightens up any outdoor space with beautiful warm hues. 

Having received their samples, the customer decided that this product was just the thing they were looking for to complete their garden transformation and proceeded to discuss with our helpful sales team their exact needs and requirements. With clear and thorough communication, we were able to provide the customer with the right amount of paving slabs that they needed to bring their new outdoor design to life. 

Here are the results:

  

Thanks to our stunning porcelain paving, this homeowner was able to create a breathtaking outdoor space that they are now able to enjoy all-year-round. Using the light-coloured tiles to contrast the popping colours of the garden furniture and the abundance of plants, they were able to create a truly quirky garden design that is sure to stand out from the rest. 

An added bonus of installing our porcelain products is the low-maintenance properties that they offer. With extremely low porosity levels and high resistance to all forms of scratching, abrasions and fades, this customer's garden is set to look incredible for years to come with very little effort - fantastic! 

Are you interested in transforming your garden?

If you are considering a complete garden makeover with a new patio, be sure to check out our range of porcelain products today! Click below to browse our outdoor tiles.

Our Porcelain Products >

 

For more information, be sure to get in touch with a member of the PrimaPorcelain team today, we'd be more than happy to discuss your requirements.

preparing your house for sale

If you're looking for a change of scenery and you think it's time to move house, then preparing your home properly can help you secure a quick sale. We've been working with homeowners to improve their indoor and outdoor spaces for years, so we know the positive impact that new flooring (or a new patio) can have. 

Competition is fierce on the housing market, so if you want your home to stand out you need to make sure it's clean and well presented. Here are a few things that we'd recommend you do before putting your house up for sale.

1. Clean and Tidy

People say that first impressions are everything and the first thing that people will notice when they come for a viewing is whether or not your house has been cleaned and looked after. General untidiness, dirt and grime can put someone off in a matter of seconds. To combat this, we'd recommend giving your house a thorough clean prior to any visits. This means:

  • Packing away children's toys
  • Putting shoes away in the cupboard
  • Hoovering the floors and carpets
  • Removing grubby fingerprints on windows

2. Fix and Replace

If you've been living in your home for more than a few years, there's bound to be a few things that need fixing and replacing. Whether it's something small like a faulty light switch or something more serious like a hole in the kitchen lino, investing in your home now will pay dividends when you come to sell it. 

Why not replace the old wooden deck in your garden with a chic, low maintenance patio? Or better yet, use our indoor/outdoor tiles to create a seamless transition between your home and garden. Using our modern porcelain paving to connect your home and garden will give the illusion of a bigger and more open living space which is sure to appeal to potential buyers. Plus, you (and the new owners) will benefit from a very low-maintenance space that will last for years to come - a worthwile investment indeed.

3. Kerb Appeal

So far, we've given you a few recommendations to improve your home and garden before you put your home up for sale, but we haven't discussed one of the most important factors - kerb appeal.

Kerb appeal is the way that your home looks from the street and is the very first thing that potential buyers will see whether they're driving past your home, or looking at the listing online. Spending a bit of time to improve the way the front of your home looks can help you attract more buyers. To improve your home's kerb appeal, we'd suggest:

  • Painting fences and gates
  • Neatening up the lawn and any outdoor plants/bushes
  • Installing a new path/walkway (or cleaning up the existing one)
  • Giving your front door a clean/new lick of paint

Can I move house during the coronavirus pandemic?

For most people, it is still perfectly possible to move home despite the current challenges of COVID-19. The main changes we've seen so far effect the way that house viewings and moving days work. 

Wherever possible, house viewings should take place via video, this limits the exposure that potential buyers and homeowners have with one another. If an 'in-person' house viewing does take place, the government are advising that the house is thoroughly cleaned before and after the viewing and that homeowners vacate during the viewing if possible.

On moving day, you are advised to disinfect your belongings (especially if a third party removal company are going to be helping you). When removal workers are in your home, you should stick to social distance guidelines wherever possible and wash your hands regularly. 

If either you or anyone involved in the transaction come down with COVID-19 symptoms, it's vital that you self isolate. This can, of course, slow down the house moving process but it's important for all parties that the move happens safely. 

You can read the in-depth government guidelines here

If you're thinking about selling your home and you want to install PrimaPorcelain paving as part of your preparations - don't hesistate to get in touch

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!

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