Where can you use porcelain pavers for landscaping? Essentially the same as with any other outdoor pavers such as concrete or brick landscape pavers. But with colors from bright white through creams, from brown and greys to charcoal black, styles that simulate wood, cement, travertine, slate, marble, terracotta, terrazzo and more, you have so many more options. And sizes? Again your options far exceed other paving products. From cobblestone blocks as small as 4” x 4”, paving stones from 8″ x 8″, wood look planks up to 96″ long and 12″ wide, and slabs as large as 48″ x 96″.
Plus porcelain pavers are resistant to frost, staining, fading, mold and mildew and exceptionally low maintenance. And with our new 3cm thick T30 pavers, you now have more options for vehicular applications with pavers that are lighter in weight and dimensionally precise.
Over compacted sand or gravel
Porcelain pavers can be laid directly over well compacted gravel with a top layer of leveling sand. T20 porcelain pavers can be used for most residential applications and for commercial applications moderate pedestrian traffic application. For more heavy duty applications including areas subject to light vehicular traffic, the thicker T30 porcelain pavers are generally a better option due to their breaking strength of up to three times that of T20 porcelain pavers.
Use tile spacers to ensure consistent spacing and alignment when laying, preferably spacers with a flat base. The flat base prevents the spacers from becoming loose and helps to keep adjacent tiles at a consistent level.
Install a containment barrier (wood, plastic or metal edging secured with stakes) around the entire area to prevent the pavers from moving. Fill gaps between pavers with polymeric sand.
For further installation guidelines on installing porcelain outdoor pavers over prepared sand or gravel beds, see here.
Over existing concrete
Instead of setting pavers in mortar, existing concrete surfaces such as patios, balconies, terraces etc. can be quickly and easily resurfaced by simply placing ¼” or 3/8” thick rubber support pads under each corner of the pavers.
Rubber support pads prevent rocking, eliminate raised edges which could cause a tripping hazard and allow water to flow away freely underneath. 1/16” rubber shims can be used to provide fine adjustment where necessary.
On sloping substrates where a perfectly horizontal deck is required, pads can be stacked to provide increasing height compensation across the deck area, up to a max. of approx. 1 1/2″. Beyond this height, adjustable height pedestals are typically used.
For further installation guidelines on laying porcelain pavers directly over concrete, see here.
Square or rectangular porcelain pavers make excellent paving stones or stepping stones placed within grassed areas. Longer plank style pavers can also be used very successfully in larger grassed areas to create striking landscape designs. Typically, narrow grass strips are left between parallel planks, which lightens the look of a paved area by breaking up a solid expanse of paving, yet still provides a solid walking surface for high traffic pathways.
While pavers can be laid after removing the surface grass and roots only, for better results, remove a few inches of soil and partially fill with sand. Compact the sand, level the surface and lay pavers sufficiently deep to avoid any possible damage to blades when mowing.
For further installation guidelines on how to install pavers over grass, see here.
Set in mortar bed
For commercial areas requiring landscape pavers that will be subject to high pedestrian traffic or moderate vehicular use, mortar set installation over a prepared concrete bed, reinforced as per local codes or specific load requirements, is generally the preferred installation method for 3/4″ thick T20 porcelain pavers. The thicker T30 porcelain pavers may however not require mortar set installation for such applications; requirements should be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Pavers are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from small 4″ square cobblestones as mentioned below, up to large walkway pavers 96″ x 24″ and even hexagonal shaped pavers.
Pavers should be laid using appropriate size spacers, ensuring pavers are not laid across expansion gaps. Fill gaps between the pavers with cement based grout.
Some pavers colors are available in a range of sizes, enabling a more random laying pattern to be designed, as illustrated opposite.
For further installation guidelines on mortar set pavers, see here.
For more dramatic landscape paving, full of character, cobblestones never fail to make an impression. Archatrak offers three basic types of porcelain cobblestone paving.
Cobblestone tiles – Rustic look, 8″ x 8″ or 12″ x 8″ tiles 3/4″ thick with textured surface and hammered edges, reminiscent of hand hewn stone blocks.
Cobblestone pavers – 24″ x 24″ pavers, 3/4″ thick with a surface design replicating the look of small cobblestone blocks. Pavers with either conventional square pattern or fan pattern (as shown opposite) are available.
Cobblestone blocks – Small 4″ x 4″ blocks 2 1/2″ thick. These blocks resemble a traditional stone cobblestone except they are precise in all dimensions to permit much faster installation than stone blocks. Cobblestone blocks can be either dry laid on a bed of sand or gravel over a prepared concrete base and joints filled with polymeric sand, or for maximum stability, laid in a cement/sand mix over a prepared concrete base and joints filled with either polymeric sand or cement grout.
For further guidelines on installing porcelain cobblestone tiles, see here.