Paving in your garden can make or break the space. There are endless possibilities and a wide variety of factors to consider when paving your property.

For gardens in Britain, a patio is an integral part of a garden design, forming a transition between the rear of the house and the garden beyond. The current trend is for larger paved areas than previously, as entertaining and relaxing outdoors has become so popular in the summer months. Therefore, at London Stone, as specialist stone paving stockists, we’ve created a buyer’s guide.

In this guide, we’ll break down some of the key aspects of paving to consider, from styles and materials to colours and shapes - as well as considering the source of your stone.

Light Buff sawn sandstone patio with white modern sofas facing each other across fire pit. Lawn beyond.
The crisp lines and smooth character of sawn paving lends itself to modern design. S&C Ayres Construction used Light Buff sandstone for this airy patio.

Choose A Style

While not solely down to the paving that you choose, the overall style that you want to achieve should be the first thing you consider. 

Are you trying to match your outdoor patio area to your country cottage terrace, or simply trying to achieve the traditional look alongside a modern home? A contemporary, modern look is also popular with many homeowners, keeping tight control with clean lines and symmetrical shapes.

Even when trying to recreate a specific style, such as a Japanese garden, there are different routes you can take. From the clean, minimalist aesthetic to the more textured and rustic feel of ancient Japanese gardens, aligning with a specific style will help in the selection of paving to suit.

Choose A Material

There are so many materials we stock at London Stone that it’s hard to cover them all. Hopefully, with the details of just some of our products, you’ll begin to get a feel for which material will best suit your design requirements.

Indian Sandstone

The wonderful, natural riven surface and a wide variety of autumn brown colours have made Indian sandstone paving one of the most popular choices for both small and large paved areas in either an urban or rural setting. Some ‌colours lend themselves more readily to particular locations, such as Autumn Brown for traditional settings, Kandla Grey to match green foliage, Raj Green for a countryside terrace or Mint and Fossil Mint for greater contrasts.

Our Raj Green Indian Sandstone is a popular material used for both small and large paved areas
Raj Green Indian Sandstone Paving Design By Aye Gardening

Yorkstone Paving

Yorkstone has been used as a paving material in the UK for centuries. It’s a tried and trusted natural stone with a character that improves with age. Yorkstone is generally supplied in three different formats: Sawn Yorkstone Paving, Reclaimed Yorkstone Paving and New Riven Yorkstone. The one drawback with Yorkstone, and with the majority of native stones, is the cost. With such a wide choice of cheaper imported natural stones available, native stones are getting increasingly pushed down the pecking order.

Our Britannia Buff Sawn Yorkstone Paving is hard-wearing and low-maintenance perfect for most gardens
Britannia Buff Sawn Yorkstone Paving Designed By Tom Massey & Built By Landform Consultants

Reclaimed Yorkstone

Reclaimed Yorkstone is ideal for areas that will see heavy foot traffic, which is why it is used in pavement construction across London. Constant foot traffic weathers and smooths the surface of the Yorkstone and gives it a beautiful antique look, offering better durability over a longer period of time. It is also very popular when people are trying to match paving to existing materials. Most importantly, Yorkstone has a proven track record of suitability for the climate in Great Britain.

Reclaimed Yorkstone has a beautiful antique look and is hard wearing; ideal for areas that will see heavy foot traffic
Reclaimed Yorkstone Paving In This Contemporary Design By Jo Thompson Landscape Garden Design & Built By Shoots & Leaves

Granite Paving

One of the toughest paving materials available, it provides a modern look to any garden or commercial space with a tight grain, even texture and consistent colouring for that flawless finish you’re after. It is, however, harder to cut than other natural stones - something to be aware of if you’re installing it yourself.

Granite Paving is one of the most toughest paving materials available perfect for both garden and commercial spaces
Silver Grey Granite Paving Installed By Bestique

Limestone Paving

Low maintenance and the ability to stand up to the test of British weather makes this a popular choice for some designers. Plus, there are a range of colours and textures in limestone paving - including Midnight Black, Antique Yellow and Graphite Grey - and something to suit nearly every budget.

Limestone paving is low maintenance and durable making it a popular choice for garden designers
Kota Blue Limestone Paving In This Impressive Design By Harrington Porter

Slate Paving

Suited to contemporary designs or for contrasting with period buildings, slate is famed for its ability to create a flat surface. With natural texture, density and low porosity, it not only looks great but it’s stain-resistant too. A low maintenance option with a high-end, luxury feel, our Brazilian slate range is best suited for areas that will catch the sunlight in your garden.

Slate paving is a low maintenance option with a high-end, luxury feel suitable for most gardens
Brazilian Grey Slate Paving Design By Robert Hughes Garden Design & Installed By Outside Edge Landscapes

Porcelain Paving

In a category all of its own, porcelain provides a touch of luxury to any garden but is better suited to modern designs where clean, minimalist lines are required. With consistent colouring and texture, you can achieve a high-end finish that looks effortless. We mainly source our porcelain range from Italy, with luxury and premium ranges.

Porcelain paving provides a touch of luxury to gardens where clean and minimalist lines are required
Comblanchien Porcelain Paving Design By PWP Landscape

Choose A Size And Shape

On first impressions, it may seem that natural stone is a hard and inflexible material, but this is certainly not the case. With the right tools and skills, natural stone can be crafted and then utilised in a wide variety of applications.

The size and shape of the stones you opt for will likely influence how they are laid, too. Many prefer to randomise this aspect of the design to create unique patterns and shapes. However, if you want to incorporate a focal piece, such as a circle-cut stone, or if you want to lead the eye through a space, then careful consideration should be given to how you’ll lay the paving. This, in turn, will mean choosing a size and shape to suit.

Contemporary designs, as mentioned previously, also require more careful planning to ensure a sense of symmetry and control, an aesthetic you can direct with your paving.

Choose A Colour

The all-important colour comes from the type of sandstone, limestone, slate or granite and ranges from the palest cream of travertine through to black basalt, with shades of grey, beige and brown in between.

The selection of stones on offer means there are colours to suit every situation. Our tumbled paving, which when tumbled takes on an aged look, is perfect for an informal patio in a country or traditional setting, as is the range of setts that resemble cobblestones.

Consider the following in relation to paving colours:

  • Do you want a consistent colour or mixed shades?
  • Do you want to match or contrast with the rest of your property?
  • Do you need to match it with existing garden furniture?
  • Will the paving be exposed to consistent sunlight?
  • How will the colour look when wet and when dry?
  • Will the colour complement any walls or steps?

Choose An Ethical Source

London Stone is a market leader supplying quality and ethically sourced paving
London Stone Middlesex Showroom

The first time we heard about ethically sourced sandstone paving was back in 2006. We had just started out in the natural stone business and were more focused on surviving our first year in business than what was happening in our foreign supply chains. 

As the business stabilised, and after hearing stories of poor working conditions in India, we resolved, as a business, that we would make it our business to understand what was happening in our supply chains and to ‌work with our suppliers to improve conditions for the people that were part of our success. 

Nothing happens quickly when working with overseas suppliers to implement positive changes. After our first 18 months, ethical trading began to have a real impact on the way we ran our business, particularly in how we procured our sandstone and limestone paving from India. You can find out more about London Stone’s ethical trading policy via our dedicated page.

Here at London Stone, we stock a wide range of stone and porcelain paving with free delivery (T&Cs apply). Browse our selection online today or visit your nearest showroom in the UK. Alternatively, you can call our different teams using our contact page.