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A Breath of Fresh Air: How To Plan For A Perfect Patio, Terrace or Landscaped Design

26 March 2021

For many of us, the thought of spending more time outdoors this summer is something that is keeping our spirits high. Whether it’s getting together with family, friends and loved ones for an impromptu weekend barbecue or throwing a large garden party to celebrate our returned sense of freedom along with missed birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions, there is plenty to look forward to. Which is why many designers and architects may well be finding themselves inundated with requests from both domestic and retail or hospitality outlets to transform a tired outside space into something really special for the coming summer season and beyond.

When planning a stone surface for an exterior space, it’s important to consider all the practical elements as well as the aesthetics. Specifying and installing stone and tiling which will be exposed to the elements 24/7 means being prepared on everything from the right choice of material to its installation and any pre- or after-care. Artisans of Devizes’ Project Consultant Kevin Lamming shares his expert advice on things to think about when planning your next exterior project…

Selecting The Perfect Stone

Kimmeridge Limestone Tumbled & Etched Finish

When it comes to picking the perfect material for an outside space, a frequently asked question is whether it is best to choose something in keeping with the property or to go for a contrast. Kevin suggests that the main options of limestone, sandstone and porcelain will depend on the age, character and style of the building. Porcelain for instance is better suited to a modern new-build or post-war design while limestone and sandstone tend to suit period properties. The exception however could be to select an aged-looking porcelain with a stone effect, such as Artisans of Devizes’ Nimes range, which offers an authentic reproduction of ancient stone with slight undulations similar to those found in French antique flagstones. Plus, porcelain is really low maintenance and durable making it a great choice for most projects.

Making The Right Choice

Kimmeridge Limestone Tumbled & Etched Finish

Many clients wonder what the biggest factor is when it comes to making a decision on the style and type of stone for an outside space. Should it be looks, durability or maintenance? Kevin believes that all three are equally important but one thing that is often overlooked is that if you go too light, it can be extremely glaring in the sunlight while going too dark can make the surface much too hot for bare feet in the summer months. His top tip is to think about who will be using the area and what sort of activities will take place, as this will help guide you to the right choice.

Checking For Anti-Slip Properties

Buscot Limestone Etched Finish

Another element to check when you are in the planning stages of an exterior landscaped project is whether you need an anti-slip surface. External materials all have different levels of grip and if you are installing flooring around a pool for instance, then this will play a large part in your choice of stone. If you are specifying for a pool surround, choose a material that is available in bespoke sizing with matching copings, grills, outlines and pool treads. All Artisans of Devizes products have been slip-tested and meet current regulations for both residential and external areas.

Choosing The Correct Installation

Grafton Limestone Seasoned Finish

As well as taking your time to select the best stone for purpose, it is essential to choose the correct method for installation too. Fitting on a raised area may be best on a pedestal raised system. This makes drainage much simpler and keeps the weight right down and it’s a really popular option for sky gardens and balcony areas.

Installation on to an aggregate sub-base is fine but be sure to butter the back of each tile thoroughly with a slurry layer of adhesive. Not only does this act as a barrier for salts travelling upwards but it also doubles the adhesion and stops the tiles from popping up in the frost.


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