4 Key Differences Between Natural Stone and Porcelain Pavers

Property owners across the globe love the look of natural stone for exterior flooring applications because of its subtle and elegant aesthetic appeal. One of the most timeless and classic choices, it’s a popular option across all climates, design styles and application types.

However, achieving the look of natural stone doesn’t necessarily mean using natural stone pavers. In fact, natural stone is often expensive, impractical, and high maintenance in outdoor applications compared to stone-look porcelain deck pavers. If you’re wondering which option is best for your next project, consider these four key differences between natural stone and porcelain pavers.

1. Installation Time & Cost

Two of the biggest factors when choosing a material for any home project are its cost and ease of installation. Few people have endless time, effort, and money to dedicate to the project, so you’re likely seeking a deck paver that looks beautiful while remaining cost-effective and easy to achieve.

Natural stone, while beautiful, is often quite expensive due to its manufacturing process. It also takes much longer to install, which further drives up the final price for the homeowner. Porcelain paving tiles, on the other hand, are much more cost-effective since they don’t need to be quarried. Their fabricated nature also ensures that they’re consistent and easy to work with, so installation can be completed in as little as a few hours. Despite being the economical option, however, they still achieve the same stunning appearance as natural stone deck pavers, so you’re not losing out on any quality by opting for the path of less resistance.

2. Porosity

Another key difference between natural stone and porcelain pavers is their level of porosity. Natural stone is naturally porous, allowing water and other liquids to seep into the stone when it’s wet. As a result, your natural stone can easily incur marks and stains. They’re also more susceptible to water damage and freeze-thaw cracking that reduce their lifespan.

Since porcelain pavers are specially manufactured to be more functional than natural stone while providing the same beautiful appearance, these pavers are nonporous and have a significantly lower water absorption rate. This makes them ideal for pool decks, patios, driveways and anywhere else that will see heavy use. 

Unlike natural stone, porcelain deck pavers also never need to be sealed to remain nonabsorbent, so you can have peace of mind that your pavers will remain durable and stain-resistant for their entire lifespan.

3. Maintenance Levels

If one of your biggest priorities is saving time on maintenance, porcelain deck pavers are the way to go. Natural stone, as mentioned briefly above, needs to be sealed regularly. This prevents staining and discoloration that can otherwise occur due to their high porosity. They also need to be cleaned regularly and can fade with prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Porcelain deck pavers, however, are UV resistant and won’t fade over time. They also never require sealing, and they’re incredibly quick and easy to clean. If you have kids, pets or lots of entertaining and don’t want to worry about how delicate or difficult to clean your outdoor pavers are, porcelain deck tiles are the premier solution.

4. Appearance

Ultimately, visual appeal is one of the most important factors when making your decision about which deck pavers are right for you. Saving time and money may be ideal, but many property owners will compromise on functionality if it sacrifices their aesthetic vision.

Luckily, porcelain pavers offer all the enhanced functionality you could hope for while providing all of the same beauty and elegance of natural stone. At Tile Tech, we have several different series — including our Stone Series, Slate Series and Travertine Series — that perfectly replicate their natural stone counterparts with a range of customizable colors, textures, and finishes.

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, quick installation time, reasonable cost and low 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 deck pavers, 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.