Your Complete Guide to Natural Stone Paving

Here at Primethorpe Paving, we don’t think that anything beats the appearance and texture of natural stone paving. We think that is why natural stone tiles are still the most popular choice of material for outdoor patios, pathways, driveways and utility areas. Natural sandstone paving looks attractive, but also offers something more than that. Natural stone paving slabs form a durable and hardwearing surface that will last for years to come.

Our natural sandstone paving is the perfect choice for a classic garden patio. It offers a durable, colourful and timeless look and feel to any outdoor area. When you choose natural stone flooring, you’ll enjoy spending summer months outdoors for years, and years to come.

Due to the wide variety of colours, materials, shades, shapes and sizes of natural paving slabs, you can create your ideal patio, unique to your home, garden, tastes and budget.

What Are Natural Stone Tiles Made From?

Natural stone is made naturally during the rock cycle. The minerals in natural stone patio slabs come from the same liquid and gas particles that formed the Earth. Since then, over millions of years, a combination of heat and intense pressure that was generated from the core of the Earth created blocks of natural stone. These natural stone blocks include sandstone, granite, marble, slate and onyx.

There are three main categories that natural stones fall into. These are igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. Each category represents a different stage of the rock cycle. Natural stone pavers can utilise stones from any of these three categories. However, natural paving slabs are often taken from the stronger ones.

The three stronger natural stone paving slabs are granite, limestone and sandstone. If you want to take a more detailed look, read our different types of paving slabs guide. If not, here's a brief description:

Granite Paving

Granite is great for outdoor natural stone flooring. This is because it is hardwearing. 

It also offers high integral strength and density which makes granite natural paving slabs a natural stone paving option that is easy to maintain.

Grey granite porcelain paving. Porcelain paving patio.
Grey Granite porcelain paving

Limestone Paving

Limestone is a popular choice for natural stone patio slabs. This is because it comes in a wide array of beautiful and unique colour variations. Our customers will either choose one colour for a more uniformed affect, or they will mix limestone paving colours for a more unique and contrasting look.

Black limestone paving. Limestone paving with deck chairs.
Black limestone paving

Sandstone Paving

Natural sandstone paving is one of the most commonly used natural paving slabs for pavements in shopping centres and high streets. Natural sandstone paving is commonly used in patios and back gardens too. It’s a natural choice when it comes to outdoor flooring. Sandstone paving is also very durable and ideal for high-traffic areas.

Green sandstone paving. Sandstone paving patio with plants.
Raj green sandstone paving

Common Uses For Natural Stone Paving

General wear and tear will eventually damage all materials, over time. However, natural stone paving is as close as you get to an exception. Natural stone patio slabs are sturdy by nature. This means that they can bear heavy loads without damage.

Due to the sturdy, low maintenance and durable qualities of natural stone tiles they are well-suited for walking on or running on, along with sports activities. The durability of natural paving slabs also makes them suitable for driveways, as well as patios and paths in the garden.

However, there are some other uses of natural stone flooring that are less known. For example, you want an anti-slip paving option when you step out of a hot tub, swimming pool or paddling pool. Natural stone patio slabs are perfect for pool or hot tub surrounds. They offer your feet grip with their anti-slip surface.

Natural stone paving slabs are also a great choice when you are creating a fishpond in your garden. This natural stone can be used for both elevated and sunken fishponds.

Indian blue slate paving. slate paving patio with plants and backdoor.
Riven blue slate paving

Why Choose Natural Stone Flooring?

Here at Primethorpe Paving, we believe that natural stone patio slabs are the pinnacle of outdoor finishes. Natural paving slabs are not only fantastic to look at, they are also easy to maintain and naturally frost resistant. Primethorpe's natural stone tiles are also ethically sourced.

One of the great things about natural stone, IS that it is natural. This means, unlike manmade paving, every single natural paving slab is slightly different, while remaining uniformed. You will get different shades of the same colour within natural stone paving, or you can mix and match colours from the same natural stone patio slabs.

Camel dust sandstone paving. Sandstone paving next to yard.

What Is The Best Natural Stone For Patios?

If you’ve had a look through our website you will see there are a wide range of natural stone slabs to choose from. When it comes to natural stone pavers, we would recommend that you think about the theme of your patio area first. It is then easier to choose the right natural stone paving slabs for your patio area. Some natural paving slabs lend themselves better to some designs than others.

For example, a natural limestone paving slab evokes a subtle beauty. However, this can make it ideal for both contemporary and modern or traditional patio areas. One of the best natural stone pavers for patios and practicality is sandstone. Natural sandstone paving is stunning. It’s well known for being long-lasting and reliable. It is also a natural stone flooring that is easy to clean and maintain.

Meanwhile, slate paving slabs are a good option for natural stone flooring. They are durable and have low water absorption. This makes them the ideal natural stone patio slabs for garden flooring because they won’t become damaged after frosty nights or a fierce thunderstorm.


Grey slate paving. Slate paving patio next to yard.
Brazilian grey slate paving

Is Natural Stone Ideal for Driveways?

We would recommend that you speak to our natural stone paver experts when considered natural stone paving for your driveway. While we do supply a lot of natural stone slabs for driveways, it is important to ensure you choose the right natural stone for your unique needs. Some natural stones are harder than others to work with, while some are easier to maintain. You may also want to consider darker shades of natural stones as this can disguise any oil droplets or tyre marks.

While we do have a wide range of natural stone paving slabs, please speak to our team to ensure you get the best paving for your driveway.

Black Limestone paving. Limestone paving next to plants.
Black limestone paving

Do Natural Stone Paving Slabs Retain Their Colour?

Over a period of time, as your natural stone paving slabs are exposed to the elements, the stone will weather. In some cases, this can involve some level of colour change. However, many see this as a positive characteristic and actually makes the natural stone look better with age and wear. 

Some natural stone paving is more prone to colour change than others. For example, natural limestone paving slabs are known to lighten up when exposed to the sunshine. This is especially the case with Black Limestone which can lighten up quicker than other colours of limestone paving.

The majority of our customers prefer the natural weather look, but this is not preferable for everyone. If you are looking to retain the original colour of your natural stone paving slabs, we would recommend you use a sealer to lock in the colour of your natural stone slabs.

One thing is for sure, they certainly weather better than your standard concrete paving slabs. These slabs contain dyes which only have a certain shelf-life before they start to fade drastically.

White porcelain paving. Porcelain paving outside back garden.
Portland Ice porcelain paving

Is Natural Stone Flooring Slippery?

Here at Primethorpe Paving, we have taken the time to carefully select paving products with slip resistance in mind. For example, you may notice that some of our products have different finishes, such as sandblasted or flamed. These finishes provide extra grip to natural stone paving slabs that could be slippery underfoot without this finish. These finishes also enhance the appearance of the natural stone flooring.

Some natural stone paving slabs have a naturally grainy texture. This texture offers a slip-resistant benefit to the paving slab, without the need of a slip-resistant finish. We would recommend that you keep on top of maintenance for your natural stone flooring. While some natural stone paving slabs may offer natural grip, if left and not maintained, algae can grow which can make the natural stone flooring slippery underfoot.

Blue slate paving. wet slate paving next to grass.
Indian Blue slate paving

Are Natural Stone Pavers Hard Wearing?

As long as the natural stone slabs are installed correctly and well-maintained, natural stone pavers should last a lifetime. We would recommend that you use the services of a professional to install your natural stone patio slabs. This way you have the peace of mind that your natural stone paving has been installed and sealed correctly with suitable products.

Does Natural Stone Flooring Need Lots of Maintenance?

In short – no! Once installed and sealed correctly your natural stone flowing will require hardly any maintenance at all. We would recommend that you follow advice on the cleaning and maintenance of your specific natural stone flooring as this will keep it looking its best. That’s one of the beauties of natural stone paving, it needs little in the form of looking after.

There is no hard and fast rule about how often you should clean your natural stone flooring. In fact, you can sweep it as much as you want without worrying about the risk of scratching it. If you have a hose you can use this to clean your natural stone flooring without causing any damage.

We would recommend that you keep an eye out for spillages or stains. If you have spotted one, we would suggest that you try and clean it as quickly as possible, before the stain sets in and could cause permanent damage.

You may also choose to use a pressure washer on your natural stone flooring. This can be used to help get rid of moss, mould and mildew from your natural stone patio slabs. Again, this can be done without causing damage to your natural stone flooring.

What Are The Benefits Of Natural Stone Paving?

Many of our customers opt for natural stone paving because it looks beautiful and offers a stylish finish. In fact, natural stone paving enables you to achieve a truly timeless, classic look that will last for years to come. But there are so many more benefits of natural stone paving. We have listed just some of these benefits below;

  • Natural stone patio slabs are available in such a wide range of materials, colours, styles, shades, shapes and sizes. This means you really can create any design or match any style with natural stone.
  • Natural stone paving offers a more durable paving solution than concrete. This is because it is the product of minerals that were formed hundreds and thousands of years ago, if not more.
  • While natural stone paving slabs can last the test of time, some argue that natural stone actually looks better with age.
  • If you’re looking to be more green, natural stone can help you there too. Natural stone pavers are made from a natural product. This means that they are recyclable in a way that concrete isn’t. Natural stone is also proven to be kinder to the environment than concrete.
  • Smooth natural stone paving is super low maintenance. If you’re worried about the growth of moss or mildew you just need to hose your natural stone paving down.
  • Using natural stone tiles for your flooring will ensure that you have a natural stone flooring that will last the test of time. It will maintain its unique and elegant finish too. Unlike concrete flooring which tends to fade over time.
  • It is proven that the use of natural stone paving slabs will actually add to the value of your property. This is because potential buyers know that the outdoor flooring will last the test of time, with minimal maintenance – and it looks stunning.

Natural Stone Overview

For a garden feature unlike any other, we recommend natural stone paving. The inherent characteristics of stone paving provide individuality to any outdoor space. When it comes to providing paving choice and individuality, we strongly believe that nothing quite matches up to natural stone.

There are so many different ranges and styles of natural stone available that would it would take up a whole other page to go through them all. You can download a full pricelist here to get a full overview of everything here.

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