Design Ideas for a Porcelain Patio

At Miles Stone, you don’t just find awesome paving! You can be assured of our pride in providing inspiration for our customers through our show gardens and real-to-life product visage.

This page is to provide inspiration for your porcelain paving project.

While you’ll almost certainly have heard of porcelain, could you define exactly what it is? Essentially, this material is made by heating raw materials, typically including kaolinite, in a super-hot kiln. Its main component is fine-grained kaolin clay; in contrast ceramics are usually made from earthenware, which has a coarser make-up.

The final appearance is a printed finish from the vast range of designs which is always increasing with trend.  From traditional to contemporary to antique….you name it, there is a style that suits your vision.  Within each design, there is often a certain number of different recurring prints; rule of thumb is the more expensive the product, the greater the number of prints.  A typical range is from 4 to 21, average is 11.  Further variation can be simply achieved by rotating tiles through 180°.

You may not have considered porcelain as a material for your patio. But this stuff offers numerous benefits including its ease of upkeep and cleaning (a quick mop-over is all you need to keep slabs looking as pristine as the day they were laid), not to mention the fact that you won’t need any sealants. Porcelain resists erosion below the surface, as well as fading from the sun, water and staining, and is incredibly long-lasting. It can also actively contribute to the safety of your patio, given that it’s slip-resistant. Additionally, it lends itself to a diverse range of styles.

You could also use porcelain tiles as an edging for flowerbeds or garden beds. Or have a path to your patio made from slabs of it. Or have smart-looking porcelain tiles around a pool area.

So it’s functional as well as attractive, looks fresh and modern, and works well when used outdoors. Plus you can lay porcelain over concrete slabs or wooden sub-floors as you create a gorgeous patio, making a stunning focal point and seriously enhancing the value of your property.

Here, we aim to provide some inspiration for patio design, especially if the space you have is on the smaller side.

  • Get the size of your tiles right

If your tiles are quite big, they can overwhelm a small patio so that the space feels tight or cramped. One good rule of thumb is to go for a 600mm x 600mm size since these work well in a more restricted area.

This size also suits a stack-bond laying arrangement, which has quite a static feel – a running bond can attract the eye to the boundaries of a patio more rapidly. The former also creates a highly contemporary look.

(This pattern is used with single-size paving slabs and has joint alignment on all rows and columns to create a matrix or grid. In contrast, with a running-bond pattern, each brick is laid as a ‘stretcher’ overlapping the bricks in the adjoining courses.)

  • Consider sticking to a single colour

A monochromatic or single-shade colour scheme can create a cohesive appearance that won’t distract the eye. Interestingly, in contrast to what you might think, darker rather than lighter hues can sometimes make a space seem larger.

Grey tiles are a great idea for a modern look, and practical for busy households. Lighter hues make for a sleek appearance and a crisp-looking, clean finish.

  • Consider a corner patio

We tend to think of patios as being attached to the house. But in fact you can install one anywhere in the garden – so a sunny corner could be the ideal location.

  • Create a wood-effect porcelain patio

Porcelain tiles give you extensive choice in terms of surface patterns. While many look like stone, there are also realistic wood-effect models giving you a long-lasting, elegant and low-maintenance alternative to decking.

Take the Acton Timber Iroko Porcelain Paving below. It’s designed to give your paving area the look of a dark, characterful hardwood without the ongoing maintenance of timber decking.

  • Other considerations

As with any other material, and especially with a smaller outside area, there are things to think about for your patio.

Adding greenery, for example, will add texture and colour. You’ll also need to get your furniture choices spot-on so that items are appropriately scaled. (Although porcelain can withstand heavy footfall and furniture perfectly well.) Equally, consider how you could use lighting for ambience.

How we can help

At Miles Stone, our porcelain paving comes in styles and colours to suit all budgets and tastes, whatever look you’re trying to create, from real wood to sparkle.

Browse our range and contact us if you’re after something specific you can’t see here. Or stop by our display garden, open every weekday, and we’ll take it from there.