Hardscaping is a popular landscaping solution for a wide range of applications, from residential pool decks to commercial rooftop decks and plazas. However, hardscaping includes a vast range of materials, including varieties of natural stone and porcelain outdoor tiles. With virtually endless options, how do you know which solution is right for you? Here are five key differences between natural stone and porcelain pavers that can help you decide which material is right for your paver deck.

1. Aesthetics

The overall style of your outdoor space will, in part, help dictate which materials are best for your raised decking. If you’re envisioning a more traditional outdoor patio, then bluestone pavers may be the right choice for you. If you’re aiming for a bright, Mediterranean feel, travertine pavers are the way to go. If you want something rustic, wood-look porcelain pavers are perfect. For something more modern, Tile Tech’s Slate Series porcelain outdoor tiles are a great fit. Each stone, whether natural or porcelain, will bring with it its own unique set of visual characteristics that make it best suited to different projects. Figuring out your patio’s design scheme overall will help guide you toward an outdoor tile that suits your style for years to come and blends seamlessly with your other renovations.

2. Ease of Installation

One aspect of your paver deck that may dictate which material you choose is the amount of time, effort, and money that you have to dedicate to the project. If these factors are limitless, then natural stone is a great way to go and will offer a luxury feel, although it will also likely have a luxury price tag. However, if you want to save as much time and money as possible without sacrificing quality, porcelain outdoor tiles are a fantastic choice because of their easy installation. Tile Tech’s porcelain pavers can be paired with our adjustable deck supports for an installation process that can be done in as little as a few hours. Requiring fewer man-hours will save you significant money that you can allocate elsewhere in your renovation — or you can even DIY the patio installation!

3. Cost

One of the biggest factors for many property owners when building a new paver deck is the cost. If you’re on a budget, then porcelain outdoor tiles offer you all the benefits of natural stone at far less cost. While some have the misconception that this means the quality will also be less, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Porcelain pavers are more durable and require less maintenance than natural stone, so they’re a much smarter investment for many property owners. Plus, as we mentioned above, the reduced installation time translates to additional savings.

4. Durability

If you’re creating a pool deck or other high-traffic areas that will be exposed to the elements, then you want the most durable materials possible. Porcelain outdoor tiles are one of the most popular choices for pool deck pavers because they’re non-porous and slip-resistant, making them safer and better for poolside applications than natural stone. They also stay cooler underfoot, ensuring that your kids or guests are safe and comfortable while enjoying their time outside.

5. Maintenance Requirements

In addition to your initial project budget, you’ll also need to consider long-term costs and maintenance requirements when choosing which paving tiles are best for your paver deck. Natural stone can be tricky and high maintenance because they can stain, crack, and require sealing to stay pristine. Porcelain outdoor tiles, on the other hand, have minimal upkeep, making your life much easier and saving you money. Plus, Tile Tech’s installation system makes it easy to remove and repair or replace individual tiles if they become damaged. 

Natural stone and porcelain pavers each have their own benefits, but porcelain outdoor tiles have gained rapid popularity in recent years thanks to their stunning appearance, superior durability, installation time, cost, and maintenance levels. Not to mention, there are hundreds of different styles and colors to choose from — some of which replicate the appearance of natural stone. If you’d like to learn more about Tile Tech’s full range of products and services, including porcelain outdoor tiles, give us a call at (888) 380-5575 or fill out our online contact form. We’re always happy to provide you with a free product sample, catalog, or quote for your next project.