When deciding its time to revamp your backyard and create an outdoor living area it is a good idea to become familiar with the different stone and paving materials out there and decide which one is best for you. Natural Stone, Precast Concrete and Porcelain pavers are all good options, but each for different reasons. Creating an outdoor living space is an investment and something you want to get right as it will most likely be there for the rest of the time you live at that house and the same for the person after, hardscaping backyards are somewhat of a permanent landscape that you don’t want to redo in 5-10 years. So let’s dive into what Natural Stone, Precast Concrete and Porcelain are and the pros and cons of each one.
Natural Stone is probably the most thought of product to use for a new backyard from someone who isn’t in the landscaping business. This consists of several different kinds of bluestone, Granite, Quartz, Limestone, Sandstone, Flagstone and really anything that is a naturally formed stone derived from the ground. Because these stones are naturally formed there tends to be some slight variance in color, which some people love for a more unique and natural look, whiles others aren’t so fond of. With Natural stone it is often recommended that it gets sealed with a stone sealer to help keep its color and vibrancy from fading. A few things to keep in mind when choosing to go with Natural stone; when it gets wet it can become quite slippery, it is often a little more expensive than precast concrete and it does not come with a warrantee from the manufacturer.
Precast Concrete is the latest and greatest thing in landscaping today. It is made by pouring concrete into reusable molds or forms and then cured in a controlled environment to create a perfectly engineered stone for landscape use. It is designed to mimic natural stone color, feel, and look, while eliminating the possibility of irregularities such as mineral deposits. This is helpful as well if you need to replace any piece’s years later, you can ensure that you get the same looking stone to replace. Precast concrete is also made to withstand sunlight and weather, so it will not fade over time, and it is also made to be slip resistant when wet, making it a great choice to use for a pool patio. This type of stone is also often made to interlock with itself making it more permanent and durable, especially for use in driveways where vehicles will be driving over it. A few things to keep in mind however with Precast Concrete is that if not sealed, it can stain as any concrete would, and if not laid in the ground correctly it can break or crack, unlike porcelain.
Porcelain pavers are made from crushed up stone and other minerals that are compressed at very high psi levels and therefore create an extremely strong paver. It is very hard to break porcelain pavers, scratch or even stain them. Similarly, how they say diamonds can’t get scratched unless scratched by another diamond, same thing with porcelain pavers, you can scratch a screwdriver across the top a million times and the only thing that will be damaged is the screwdriver. When laying down porcelain they need to be laid with permanent spacers in-between to ensure that they do not touch each other as that is what will make them crack or get scratched. Porcelain is also made to be skid resistant and does not need any stone or tile sealant laid over top. Porcelain can be a little bit more expensive than natural stone and precast concrete, however it is much more durable, won’t stain and will last for hundreds of years.
Precast concrete and porcelain come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, textures, and colors to create almost any backyard oasis you can dream of porcelain even comes in a woodgrain design as well. If you are trying to go for a more natural look it would be a good idea to go with natural stone or some of the precast concrete, while porcelain will provide you with a sleeker and more modern look if that is what you are going for. When you are ready to move forward with your new backyard, regardless of what type of material you choose, give Masseo Landscape a call to start the estimate process.