Ask the contractor: Porcelain pavers gaining in popularity
A few years ago, I read an article about porcelain pavers. As luck would have it, I cannot locate the column. Sandy, please help. — Ed, Camp Verde.
OK, Ed, help is on the way. One of the most exciting developments in outdoor living has been the arrival of three-quarter-inch and one-and-one-quarter-inch thick porcelain outdoor pavers. The concept began to spark interest in 2012, Belgard introduced a porcelain paver line in 2015 and porcelain pavers continue to grow in popularity. Porcelain pavers are a contemporary product, stylish, durable and easy to clean. Porcelain pavers can be installed over multiple surfaces such as sand, grass, gravel, concrete or raised pedestals.
Outdoor porcelain pavers have great benefits, such as being frost-resistant, because porcelain pavers have a water absorption of less than 0.1%, therefore water cannot penetrate, so it avoids issues of freeze-thaw cracking. Porcelain pavers also resist degradation from deicing salts and other chemical agents. Porcelain pavers are skid-resistant, durable and easy to clean and they have an incredibly high breakage load (up to 2,000 pounds) so porcelain pavers create the perfect solution for gardens, terraces and high- traffic outdoor areas. Although considered pavers, porcelain pavers install more like tile because there is no interlock and installation is incredibly easy. If a paver should crack or chip, it can easily be removed with a special tool and replaced.
With a contemporary look that is ideal for both residential and commercial applications, Belgard porcelain pavers are available in more than 40 interpretations of stone, wood, and concrete textures, as well as a variety of modular shapes. According to Belgard, sizes vary by region, but are available up to a 24-by-24-inch square and 12-by-48-inch planks. Additional sizes such as 18-by-36, 24-by-36 and 24-by-48 are regionally available or can be ordered as needed. Additional sizes can also be special ordered, including large slabs for steps and outdoor kitchen countertops.
Depending on color selection and use, a construction project that uses porcelain pavers can earn up to 10 LEED credits. Some colors have a solar reflectance index (SRI) of 60% to 80%, indicated low heat absorption and reduction of urban heat island effect. These lighter colors are recommended for areas with high levels of sun exposure.
Installation Training: It is important to use trained Belgard porcelain paver installers for your project, and Vicente Landscaping in our area is trained and certified. We talked with the owner, Mr. Welborn, and he did mention that porcelain pavers are gaining in popularity in our area because they offer the same beauty and aesthetics of stone without the maintenance and upkeep. He said “they will remain looking as good as the day they were installed.”
Belgard porcelain pavers ward off all stains including red wine, acid and oil. The color will never fade and they never need to be sealed. There is no color variation from unit to unit, like with natural stone, and pavers won’t discolor or allow moss or mold growth.
Cleaning: Belgard porcelain pavers can be cleaned using any type of cleaner and can withstand pressure-washing without deterioration of the finish. It is recommended to pressure wash at 1,600 PSI or less to avoid degradation of any jointing material.
Remember to tune in to YCCA’s “Hammer Time” every Saturday and Sunday morning at 7 on KQNA 1130-AM, 99.9-FM and 95.5-FM or online at kqna.com. Listen to Sandy to Mike talk about the construction industry, meet your local community partners, and so much more. You will be entertained and it is a great way to start your morning.