When choosing materials for your patio or driveway, two of the most popular options are sandstone and porcelain paving. But what are the key differences between these two types of stone? This article provides a detailed comparison of sandstone and porcelain paving across factors like durability, maintenance, cost and longevity. Learn whether sandstone or porcelain is better suited for your next paving project.
Overall, Porcelain paving is the more durable and lower maintenance option but more expensive, while sandstone provides greater design flexibility at less costPorcelain’s extreme hardness and density make it very long-lasting and able to withstand heavy use. But Indian Sandstone paving can also have a long service life with proper sealing and care.If you prioritise longevity and minimal upkeep, porcelain is likely the better choice despite its higher initial investment. However, if you prefer natural stone’s rustic beauty and varied textures, don’t mind yearly sealing, and want maximum value sandstone can be an excellent option.
Porcelain Vs Sandstone Paving: Pros and Cons
Durability: Resists heavy impact, good for busy areas.
Low Maintenance: Fights stains, stays vibrant for years.
Moisture resistance: Less porous, slip-resistant when wet.
Fireproof: Won’t catch fire, limits fire spread.
Long-lasting: Durable, lasts decades with proper care.
Eco-friendly: Recyclable, green, chemical-free.
Unique finish: Every piece is distinct.
Easy to maintain: Pressure wash friendly, retains colour.
Installation: Hard to cut, needs experts.
Weight: Heavy, needs a strong base.
Water absorption: Porous, can get damaged.
Scratches: Softer than other rocks, gets dents and scratches.
Strength and Durability
Porcelain is engineered to be highly durable and hardwearing. It is resistant to cracking and chipping. Porcelain can withstand heavy impacts and is suitable for high-traffic areas.Sandstone is also inherently tough. But it is more prone to chipping, cracking and abrasion over time compared to porcelain. Proper sealing and maintenance is required for natural stone to maximize durability.
Longevity and Maintenance
Porcelain is extremely low maintenance. It does not require sealing or resealing. Porcelain resists water and stains. It can be easily wiped clean as needed.Natural stone needs to be sealed periodically, especially for light-coloured stones. Sealing prevents staining and water damage. Resealing is required every 1-2 years. Natural stone also needs regular cleaning with specialist products to remove stains.
Colours and Finishes
Porcelain provides consistent and uniform colouring in options like cream, grey and black. It can mimic natural stone textures.Sandstone paving colours come in varied organic finishes and earthy tones. Each stone slab has unique natural patterns and variations. A range of textures like riven, honed and flamed are possible.
How much does porcelain paving cost?
Porcelain paving generally costs more upfront compared to sandstone. The cost of porcelain ranges from £30-50 per square meter, with basic options starting around £30-40 per m2 and premium Italian porcelain costing £40-50 per m2. Exact pricing depends on factors like thickness, quality, brand name, and size of slabs. The average cost for standard 20mm thick domestic porcelain is approximately £35-45 per m2, while heavier duty commercial grade porcelain is at the higher end of the range.
How much does sandstone paving cost?
In comparison, sandstone paving is often cheaper to purchase upfront. Basic Indian sandstone can cost as low as £25-35 per square meter, while premium smooth finish sandstone runs £40-45 per m2. Like porcelain, the exact sandstone pricing depends on finish, thickness, quality, brand and sizing. Most standard 20-22mm thick sandstone intended for residential use falls between £25-35 per m2.
Is porcelain more expensive than sandstone?
Porcelain paving is generally more expensive than sandstone paving. Porcelain costs £30-50 per m2 on average, while sandstone ranges from £20-45 per m2. Porcelain’s higher cost is due to its dense non-porous construction requiring specialized manufacturing. This makes porcelain more durable and lower maintenance than natural sandstone. But sandstone’s plentiful supply and easier processing keeps costs lower. For long-term value, porcelain may justify its higher initial price. But sandstone remains a budget-friendly option.
Does porcelain last longer than sandstone?
On average, porcelain paving lasts longer than sandstone, typically 50+ years vs 30-50 years for sandstone. Porcelain lasts longer due to its dense non-porous construction that resists staining, cracking, and water damage even with heavy use.Sandstone is prone to chipping and absorbing stains over time unless sealed regularly. Porcelain requires minimal maintenance while sandstone needs periodic sealing and cleaning. Porcelain’s extreme durability comes at a higher upfront cost but pays off long-term with virtually no upkeep needed.
Is porcelain easier to clean than sandstone?
Yes, porcelain is significantly easier to clean than natural sandstone. Porcelain’s non-porous surface resists absorbing stains or liquids. Simple wiping or damp mopping is often sufficient. Sandstone requires periodic deep cleaning with specialised products to avoid staining.
Is porcelain easier to install than sandstone?
No, sandstone is generally easier for DIY installation than porcelain. Sandstone can be cut and shaped on-site and lacks porcelain’s density. But porcelain’s difficulty pays off long-term with extreme durability. Consider hiring a pro for porcelain installation.
Which looks better, porcelain or sandstone?
This depends on personal taste. Porcelain offers modern consistency. Sandstone provides natural variation. Porcelain suits contemporary designs well. Sandstone excels for traditional, rustic aesthetics. Evaluate your landscape style when choosing between the two quality paving materials.
Whats the difference between porcelain and ceramic paving?
Yes, there are noticeable differences between porcelain and ceramic paving. The main differences are that porcelain is non-porous, more durable, stain resistant, and fired at higher temperatures, while ceramic is more porous, prone to staining, and fired at lower temperatures.