New trend: ceramic tiles as patio flooring

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Natural stone or concrete? So far, this has been the question when it came to beautifying the floor of your own terrace in the garden or on the roof with flagstones. Recently, however, special ceramic plates for outdoor use are also on the market and convince by some advantages.

Ceramic plates, natural stone and concrete slabs in comparison

When it comes to finding the right floor covering for the terrace, apart from personal preferences and the price, the different characteristics of the materials play a major role in the planning. Regardless of taste issues and personal preferences, the following picture emerges.

Ceramic plates:

  • insensitive to contaminants (e.g., red wine stains)
  • thin plates for less weight and easier installation
  • various decors possible (eg wood and stone look)
  • Price higher than natural stone and concrete

Concrete slabs:

  • untreated very sensitive to contamination
  • Surface sealing protects against contamination, but must be refreshed regularly
  • almost every shape and every decor possible
  • lowest price compared with ceramics and natural stone
  • high weight

Natural stone slabs:

  • depending on the type of stone sensitive to impurities (especially sandstone)
  • Surface sealing protects against contamination (regular refreshing necessary)
  • Natural product, varies in color and shape
  • Prices vary depending on the type of stone. Soft material like sandstone is cheaper than granite for example, but overall it is very expensive
  • Laying requires practice, especially for irregular break plates
  • depending on material thickness high to very high weight

Natural stone slabs

Natural stone has its own charm, but is only partially dirt-resistant

Accurate pricing is not easy, as material costs vary widely depending on the size of the panels, the material, the desired decor and the surface finish. The following prices are intended to give you an approximate orientation:

  • Concrete slabs: from € 30 per square meter
  • Natural stone (sandstone): from 40 €
  • Natural stone (granite): from 55 €
  • Ceramic plates: from 60 €

Concrete slabs as design elements

Even though concrete is often sterile, it can be used in the garden for a great counterweight and design element

New laying variant: pedestal bearing for flagstones

A floating installation on a grit bed or a rigid mortar bed have so far been the variants most commonly used for tile coverings. Recently, however, increasingly so-called pedestal storage in the focus of the builders. Thus, a second level is created by means of height-adjustable platforms, which can be aligned evenly on uneven surfaces, for example on old plate coverings, exactly horizontal and can be readjusted at any time if necessary. In addition, this method has no problems with weather damage, such as frost heaves in winter.

Ceramic plates on pedestal bearings

With a pedestal storage system you compensate for height differences and avoid weather damage

In a pedestal storage is the substructure to individual height-adjustable plastic stand with wide support surface, which are usually positioned depending on the manufacturer below the cross joints of the plate covering and often in addition in the middle of each plate. The thinner and larger the plates, the more support points are needed. In some systems, the pedestal bearings are connected by special plug-in elements, which ensures greater stability. The height adjustment is carried out either with an Allen wrench from above or from the side via a knurled screw.

Video Board: Ceramics of Italy Tile trends from Cersaie 2013: Outdoor Pavers.

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