We always love getting together with contractors. There’s a real buzz that you only get when people who understand what they do and want to know more get together. Which means that we’re really looking forward to next month’s Training Day on Porcelain.
In case you haven’t noticed, we run training and open days pretty regularly. At the beginning of last month, we had our biggest attendance yet at a day spent exploring the potential of our new DesignClad wall cladding.
Craig Potter, our Garden Design Consultant & Director, says, “We try to make the days as informative as possible. A lot of our clients are knowledge-thirsty and there are lots of questions. It’s good fun, and we always take them for a drink or bite to eat after.”
On 2nd June we’ll be looking at the special requirements of Porcelain. For those you who’ll be elsewhere, and as a taster for everyone else, here’s a look at some of the most fundamental points we’ll be covering.
The very high temperatures that Porcelain is exposed to in its manufacture—the vitrification—make it an exceptionally hard material, so you need to use dedicated blades. It’s worth remembering that if you wet cut, the blades should last longer. Diamond Blades balance longevity and accuracy, but it’s worth buying new blades for each new project, as a thin and accurate cut is integral to a good Porcelain finish.
We recommend using the same base as natural stone—so, sand and cement—with the addition of SBR because, with Porcelain’s very low porosity, the bond helps adherence to the base.
Larsen Streetscape PS Primer is a good and reliable choice when there are large areas to be covered, while SBR Bond Bridge in a resealable carton reduces waste and costs when you’ve only a small area to lay.
Joint-wise, we usually recommend using 5mm joint spacers as that width is slightly more forgiving on the laying, but plenty of landscapers are taking advantage of the very precise rectification of Porcelain to lay with 3mm joints, which really exploits its potential for contemporary style.
At the point the slabs start sticking to the bed, you can start pointing. Ardex-Flex FL is the most popular choice because of its smooth, fine finish, flex and capability with 3mm joints. There’s also loads of colour choice which lets you match your Porcelain choice near perfectly.
The important thing when pointing Porcelain is to keep the sponge clean and use clean water to wipe off as you go along. Just because Porcelain is low-maintenance and easy-to-clean, it doesn’t mean you can neglect the detail. And, just so you know, all the equipment you need for pointing—sponges, floats, brooms and tape—are available from our showrooms, or to order, to simplify your day and help streamline your schedule.
There’ll be plenty more to talk about on the Porcelain Training Day on 2nd June, though, and we’re expecting to field plenty of questions. We’re really looking forward to sharing what we know, and getting to hear your own experiences.
If you’d like to attend, then just send an email to email@example.com or give us a buzz on 01753 212 950.