How to Lay Porcelain Paving

Why choose porcelain paving?

Vitrified porcelain paving is in fact a type of tile which is made from extra pure kaolin clays and minerals such as quartz and feldspar. It’s fired at very high temperatures of around 1,200 degrees Celsius, which makes it very hard and extremely durable.

It’s this durability and its even colour and texture that make it a very attractive proposition when it comes to paving.

You may think that because this kind of porcelain paving is so hard wearing it would be difficult to work with but that is not actually the case. Porcelain pavers have a lot more going for them than just their good looks. In fact because they are rectified and have crisp cut edges they are quite easy to work with. You’ll need the proper equipment for the job though.

What tools will you require?

  • Porcelain pavers
  • Spirit level
  • Freshly mixed mortar
  • A mallet
  • Measuring tape
  • Jointing compound
  • A brush

How to prepare

When paving an area you need to make sure it’s suitable for the purpose. For example, if you’re building a patio, the surface needs to be level and there should be no problems with drainage.

These are important aspects of the work that will make your porcelain pavers stand the test of time. Another area to consider is one that is in common with every building job. It is the foundations that will ensure the longevity of your project therefore you need to prepare the ground. This is actually the same as for any other kind of paving.

  1. Measure out the area where you’ll be laying your porcelain pavers.
  2. Install a frame. Construct your frame with both wooden planks and string. The reason for this is to keep the area for the paving in place and prevent it from moving.
  3. Clear all vegetation, such as grass and weeds as well as topsoil in this area and dig down to about 200mm
  4. To make sure the area will drain properly you need to set your gradient at a 1 in 80 fall using your spirit-level. This means for every 80 units of distance away from the building your property travels it should drop by 1 unit. If this is not possible suitable drainage slots and groundworks should be installed.
  5. Rake the surface level and tamp down the area with the garden roller making sure it’s all level with your spirit level.
  6. Finally, fill the area with 150mm of MOT Type 1, then compact it down to 100mm.

When mixing mortar for porcelain paving slabs you’ll need more cement so you’ll need to mix your mortar using 4 parts sharp sand and to 1 part cement.

Steps to lay porcelain paving

Porcelain is non porous which is why it is so durable but that also incurs a little extra work.

Because it doesn’t adhere to the mortar as easily as other types of paver it needs to be painted on the reverse with a slurry primer to ensure it bonds and becomes more stable.

Once this is done, it’s time to lay your porcelain pavers.

  1. Lay your porcelain pavers onto a fresh bed of mortar. You can do this one corner at a time so that you can be more accurate with its position, also lay the mortar one slab at a time so that you don’t have to race to get them all laid before the mortar dries out.
  2. Ensure your porcelain paver is secure by gently tamping it down with a mallet. Check with your spirit level that it’s straight and manoeuvre it into position before the mortar underneath dries out.
  3. Lay the next set of slabs which should be approximately 5mm apart from each other
  4. These jointing gaps need to be filled with jointing compound
  5. After all the paving recesses have been filled, brush away any excess.
  6. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours. You may want to cover them with tarpaulin if rain is predicted.

And that’s it!  As porcelain is so good at resisting water you do not need to seal porcelain paving at all. So once you’re jointing has set your new porcelain paving is all set to give you many years of delight!

We want you to love your new paving and are here to match you with the right product. You can also be assured that not only will you buy beautiful porcelain pavers from us they will be ethically sourced and sustainable. Shop Porcelain Paving.


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