It can be tough to know exactly what to go for when selecting the perfect outdoor paving slab. There is such a wide variety available that the choice can be quite overwhelming. However, we want to make it a little easier and give you a few tools to start whacking through the thick jungle that is choosing your paving slabWithout a clear idea in your head of the project that you are looking to create, the sheer number of colours, variations and products can be too much to make a snap decision. But with prior planning and a clear vision, you can start to narrow down the options.
There are some key questions that you should attempt to answer before attempting to decide on the perfect outdoor tiles style or, as we call it, paving slab for you:
What Kind of Garden Style Are You Hoping to Create?
This is a key question to ask yourself. There are slabs that cover all styles that are very, very different from one another. Are you hoping to create a modern, contemporary space or are you looking to create something more natural and traditional? This will have a big impact on the kind of slabs that would be suitable, which might help you come to a decision more easily.
Outdoor Tiles for Modern or Contemporary Garden Style
These styles often encompass straight edges, smooth surfaces, monochrome or more consistent colour pallets and lots of straight lines. More often this style is made up of a single size slab rather than a mixture and is laid in a ‘stretcher-course’ pattern which creates long, straight lines.
Outdoor Tiles for Traditional Garden Style
This style does what it says on the tin. They look rustic and natural and are perfect for an older property. The style often consists of mixed patterns, hand finished slabs and natural stone that looks slightly more aged and rustic when installed.
Outdoor Tiles for Balanced Garden Style
All other outdoor tile styles fit into a more balanced approach. They are a good mix between traditional and modern using brighter colours and mixed patterns.
They can be single size slabs but made up of a more traditional stone, or they can be smooth, modern slabs but used in a mixed pattern. This is a good option when your property would be described as neither modern nor traditional and there are a wide variety of options to chose from.
What Is Your Garden Paving Project Budget?
Unsurprisingly it’s not a popular question to ask yourself, but it is one of the most important! Slabs vary in price from £20 per m2 all the way up to £40+ per m2 so you need to be honest with the kind of budget you have to spend on your paving.
It’s important that you go for something you love – as it’s going to be laid for the foreseeable future! - but if you are on a tighter budget then there are always alternatives. There’s no point scrolling through pages of £40 per m2 paving, if it’s going to blow the budget.
Our most popular natural stone paving slabs are all around the £20 per m2 mark, so there will always be a suitable choice no matter your budget.
Discover beautiful limestone garden paving styles here:
What Outdoor Tiles Colour Scheme Appeals To You?
This is where you can start to be a bit more selective with the kind of things you want. Do you want a slab made up of a single colour shade, or would you prefer a bright palette of multiple colours? There are a few different ways to go with these that have proven popular over the years:
Monochrome Outdoor Tiles
‘Monochrome’ means varying shades of a single colour at different intensities – most often black, grey and white. This is an increasingly popular option for a lot of people and never really goes out of fashion.
Monochrome is a stylish choice throughout the year and doesn’t look out of place in the summer sun, or the gloomy winter months either. A very good choice.
Neutral Outdoor Tiles
This is for someone who’s tastes edge more towards the traditional. A neutral colour palette encompasses styles that are likely slightly more natural, with colours that are more traditionally found in natural products and traditional properties.
They avoid bright colours that can confuse the eye but offer a bit more colour than a monochrome choice. A great middle point.
Colourful Outdoor Tiles
Natural stone is a beautiful product that can contain a multitude of different colours when it comes out of the ground. It’s one of the main attractions for natural stone and a reason why it has grown and grown in popularity over the years.
If you want a patio that’s really going to stand out and be completely unique, then a colourful slab is the way to go about it.
Natural stone can contain everything from blends of reds, yellows, greys or even purples. If you wanted a bright, colourful pattern, there are plenty of options.
How Much Time Do You Have to Maintain the Patio Once Installed?
Each of our slabs are fantastic for their own reason, we wouldn’t stock them if they weren’t up to scratch! But some paving slabs are perfect from the moment they are installed and never need to be touched again other than an occasional power-wash (which you can’t help!).
Others need a bit of TLC to bring them to life. The slabs that require a bit of TLC can be very rewarding and cost much less in the first instance.
This is simply a question of how keen a gardener you are. If you spend a lot of time outside making your garden look perfect, then there is no need to worry about slabs that may need a bit of maintenance.
However, if you live busy lives and just like to enjoy your garden in the summer afternoons when the warmer weather rolls around, it’s good to be aware of options that require a bit less work.
Here's a handy outdoor tiles classification in terms of its maintenance:
Ultra-Low – These slabs require the least maintenance. Once installed, they are incredibly resistant to the elements as well as water & moss. Once laid, these will require next to no work to keep looking new. This mainly refers to porcelain slabs.
Find some great looking porcelain paving styles examples here:
Low – These are reserved for slabs that may change over time, but age very well. These are for the rustic sandstones and the look can be easily preserved with a coat of sealant after installation.
Browse a beautiful range of sandstone paving styles here:
Mid – Mid-maintenance slabs need a quick glow-up every now and again. They are often slabs that show up dirt quite easily and as a result you may need to be quite vigilant with a pressure washer. A sealant on these slabs every 18 months – 2 years will make maintenance a doddle.
Needs TLC – there are a few ranges that need extra attention. They are often less expensive and require extra work, but if you have the time and are willing to put the work in, they can look fantastic.
Use our Garden Paving Slabs Flow Charts
We’ve created three handy flowcharts comprising of these questions (see above). Follow it along and it will give you a good idea of the kind of slabs to have a look at that are going to suit your project.
It will certainly give you a good starting point and hopefully make coming to a decision a little bit easer! It’s important to remember: the best way to decide for yourself what you’re going to go with is to come and pay us a visit!
We’ve got a large, professionally installed display area and it will help you make your mind up, or even simply just confirm that your choice is the right one.
All the online research will help, but there’s nothing like coming down to view the slabs in person. Our friendly team will happily answer all your questions and make sure you come to the right decision.