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Porcelain stoneware: Overcoming the challenges of traditional paving solutions

Too slippery, not durable, susceptible to staining, impractical, damaged by pool chemicals, attacked by mould, hard to lay perfectly, difficult to clean. The list goes on.

Selecting the right paving solution for an indoor or outdoor setting isn’t easy. In fact, it can be downright challenging. While some products looks amazing, they simply don’t deliver strong technical performance. And while others almost hit the mark on performance, they’re a little disappointing on the eye. So selecting a paving solution becomes an absolute compromise. And that’s simply because there isn’t one solution that delivers technical performance and pure style.

Well, now there’s an innovative solution that completely eradicates any indoor or outdoor paving challenge that you’ve ever encountered. It’s porcelain stoneware.

What is porcelain stoneware?

porcelain stoneware

It’s an innovative solution for indoor flooring and outdoor paving that overcomes the issues and challenges presented by much loved traditional stone, terracotta and concrete paving products. It offers you a safe and practical design solution and, most importantly, high technical and visual performance in one package.

Fusing a combination of raw materials (sand, quartz, feldspars, kaolin, clay and natural colourants) into a single material and firing it at temperatures above 1230 degrees Celsius, produces a paver with exceptional hardness, practically no absorption capabilities, and unmatched mechanical characteristics.

What are 7 benefits of porcelain stoneware?

1. Resistant to traditional paving’s biggest challenges:

  • Chemicals – porcelain stoneware is resistant to acids, chemical agents, salt and verdigris

  • Stains – traditional irritants like oil, mould, moss and dark smudges can’t saturate the porcelain so it retains its look and colour

  • Loads – it’s so strong that every slab can withstand loads of over 1000kg

  • Thermal Shock – it’s frost-free and its properties remain unaltered between -50 degrees C and +60 degrees C

2. Easy to clean and maintain

Unlike natural stone, concrete and terracotta paving solutions, porcelain stoneware paving requires no special or seasonal treatment to protect it from staining. It’s simply and easily cleaned using a pressure washer.

3. Simple and versatile to lay

porcelain stoneware installation

While most traditional pavers must be laid on sand or with adhesives by a professional tiler, porcelain stoneware can be easily put in place by a variety of tradespeople. What’s more it can be laid on grass, sand, gravel, with an adhesive, and by using a pedestal system or the innovative e-base system.

Excitingly, the e-base system is a raised flooring system that’s fast to fit and is equipped with a loadbearing structure in polypropylene that, when laid with porcelain stoneware, meets maximum safety standards, even in the event of breakage. And there's no need for any reinforcement system on the back of the porcelain slabs. It has height adjustable supports to overcome differences in the level of the screed, guaranteeing a completely flat and stable walking surface.

4. Easy to remove

With traditional paving solutions, once they’re laid, that’s where they stay. Porcelain stoneware offers a flexible design solution because it’s completely removable, serviceable and reusable (unless of course your clients choose to lay it using adhesives). It weighs just 17kg per 600mm x 600mm slab.

5. Available in a variety of finishes and trims

porcelain stoneware special trims

The best thing about porcelain stoneware paving is you can achieve a traditional stone, wood, metal or concrete look while overcoming the challenges these materials present. Plus, porcelain stoneware’s special trims deliver uncompromising style and comfort. For instance, the UNICO double sided special trim is processed on both sides; one side with rounded edge, and the other with a square edge. So it can be used as a step and for pool coping.

6. Completely versatile end uses

using porcelain stoneware on decking

When you’re selecting a paving solution there’s no need to weigh up the pros and cons of each solution to ensure the safety, practicality and longevity of its intended use. The sky’s the limit when it comes to end uses for porcelain stoneware, because it’s durable, resistant to traditional paving irritants and safe for end users. You can select it for indoor or outdoor use, for residential and commercial projects: On terraces, paths, stairways, gardens, driveways, benches, patios, swimming pools, stepping stones, indoor living room or bathroom flooring and street furnishing, to name a few.

7. Significantly safer

Using porcelain stoneware in wet areas

Traditional paving solutions’ tendency to create slippery surfaces has meant that many sought after solutions like glazed tiles or polished stone are not suitable for use around pools and other wet areas. The structured surface of porcelain stoneware makes it slip resistant, so much safer and suitable for both wet and dry areas.

When you’re designing your next residential or commercial project and you’re contemplating indoor flooring or outdoor paving, there are clever alternatives to traditional paving solutions. Think porcelain stoneware. You will be exceptionally glad you did.

For more information on porcelain stoneware, please call Robertson’s Building Products on

+613 8199 9599 or email

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