Porcelain paving patio slab edging setts cobbles Miles Stone

It’s currently very fashionable to lay paving slabs/tiles amongst decorative stone chippings and we love the designs we’ve been seeing so much we thought we’d write a piece on it. We’ve seen this trend building over the last few years and it’s happened as garden design has started to lean a little away from the formal and more to eclectic schemes that use a greater variety of materials. Using paving interspersed in this way does also allow you to incorporate planting inside the paving space, putting bursts of colour and softness into otherwise large expanses of hard landscaping areas. You can also put colour combinations to greater use by introducing colour contrasts in paving sections between your choice of decorative stone and paving.

Path design porcelain

There is also a construction cost advantage to be had with this method of creating paths and terraces. As the areas with tiles are more spaced out when compared with a fully paved terrace there is less pointing and less expense on the paving itself with more of your area being constructed with the cheaper decorative stone chippings. Not only does this save money on the cost of materials this also saves installation costs. The construction team will spend less time laying the slabs or tiles and of course less time pointing the paving gaps!

For the keen gardener this style of paving gives a wonderful array of options to put more planting into your design scheme, just like Joe Savage Garden Design (above) and Helen Elks-Smith (below) have done with these lovely schemes;

Garden design natural stone paving

This technique has been used to great effect by some of the garden designers that created gardens within our new displays. We loved the idea because it meant that we could not only show off our paving options but the decorative stone chippings we do too!

Porcelain chipping edging cobbles granite

Trentino beige porcelain path with chippings

Acton Blue paving with chippings

The Construction Side

Take a look at the lower section of the photo above where we have not quite finished with the decorative Slate Chippings. Even though you are producing an area that will be covered partly in loose stone you should still be preparing the sub-base for foot traffic. This means at least 100mm of compressed Type 1 or similar sub-base material. Where the cost and labour saving comes in is the areas that don’t have slabs can just be topped up with a surface dressing of decorative stone. The slabs or tiles will of course still require a full mortar or adhesive bed underneath them and appropriate pointing material in the joins. As an additional recommendation we’ve found this style works best when the level of the stone chippings is slightly below the surface level of the paving surface – this limits the frequency of the stones flicking up onto the paving or out of position when people are using the area.

Maybe we’ll see more of this style of paved area in the future? We hope so.