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Choosing paving slabs

The existing slabs which form a path around the house and 2 patio areas were probably originally put down in the 80s are are the archetypal concrete square slabs. They need a good clean and repoint but also considering replacing them as part of a garden refresh. From what I can see there are the following types of slab to consider
Natural stone - UK sourced stuff requires a lottery win but I see a lot of Indian sandstone
Impressed concrete slabs - these seem to be a copy of natural stone slabs
Porcelain - expensive and give a more modern look

What would be helpful would be for people to share any real world positives and negatives of any of the above please. Ive estimated it will be about 70m2 in total so need to make the right choice first time
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Posts

  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    Have you thought about reusing your existing slabs along with bricks or pavers or even gravel between.
    Stencils can look good.
    If your house and garden are modern then porcelain look sharp.
  • i have porcelain slabs and they are amazing. They don't stain, non slip, are easy to clean and look modern for my modern garden look. 

    The downside is they are bloody expensive and took the builders ages to install compared to normal slabs (i relaid all my old slabs in my brothers garden in about 5 hours and it took a builder a day and a half to do my porcelain ones)

    if you can afford them, I would recommend porcelain all day every day.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,734
    We have natural stone in our front garden, which was expensive to buy, but looks much better.  There are more colour variations, and patterning, but it's more uneven to walk on and clean.  Dirt gets trapped in the little indentations.

    We have impressed concrete ones in our back garden (probably 40 years old).  They were already with the house when we bought it, and still constitute about 60% of our paving.  They are fine from an aesthetic point of view. If you have acres of them and nothing to soften them then they won't look that great, but with lots of planting and pots they aren't that bad.  

    Natural stone


    Impressed concrete (don't have a better photo)

  • GreenbirdGreenbird Posts: 237




    Still doing mine.

    Ordered 900mm x 600mm Indian sandstone from an online store at reasonable price I thought. I ordered Raj Green based on the website images, to match the wall but they've come mainly a light grey colour. I couldn't be bothered to contest and organise 50sq/m to be sent back.
  • andrewnewtonandrewnewton Posts: 146
    K67 said:
    Have you thought about reusing your existing slabs along with bricks or pavers or even gravel between.
    Stencils can look good.
    If your house and garden are modern then porcelain look sharp.
    Thanks for that. I've realised I should have put some images to my post to help show what I'm dealing with and will do so once the weather improves.
    I'm not aware of stencils for slabs do you have any images please 
  • andrewnewtonandrewnewton Posts: 146
    We have natural stone in our front garden, which was expensive to buy, but looks much better.  There are more colour variations, and patterning, but it's more uneven to walk on and clean.  Dirt gets trapped in the little indentations.

    We have impressed concrete ones in our back garden (probably 40 years old).  They were already with the house when we bought it, and still constitute about 60% of our paving.  They are fine from an aesthetic point of view. If you have acres of them and nothing to soften them then they won't look that great, but with lots of planting and pots they aren't that bad.  

    Natural stone


    Impressed concrete (don't have a better photo)

    Thanks  for sharing. That's a stunning back garden you have. Looking at the picture I've realised that relaying ours with a broken joint pattern might make it look a lot more interesting
  • micearguersmicearguers CambridgePosts: 605
    We have quite old concrete slabs that are now weathered with lichen - subtly, I'm hoping for even more. I quite like them. Do yours really need a clean or could you view them in a different light?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,544
    Do try and avoid Indian stone.  It is quarried in appalling conditions for the labour force which amount, all to often, to modern day slavery and then there are all those carbon miles to ship it.   

    Reconstituted stone uses recycled aggregate and so on and is more ecological.   Should be possible to find it in shades that suit but you could also try cleaning up just one or two of your concrete slabs to see what they look like and whether they can be recycled in a new layout, maybe using spacers such as pavers or loose shingle to break up the texture or laying it at a diagonal across the space.

    I like the look of @KeenOnGreen's concrete slabs.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    If you Google how to stencil paving slabs lots of videos and photos.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,850
    I considered Indian sandstone for my patio, but was advised against it by some people who have it.
    Some of the comments made - After it's been down a while, it gets very slippery after rain. If it's not sealed, frost can damage it. It also stains very easily and stains often can't be removed. 

    I went with porcelain in the end - looks great and easy to keep clean
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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