Landscape Architect & Specifier News

AUG 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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How do porcelain pavers compare with other paving options such as concrete? Perhaps the major difference is their superb color range. Just like ceramic interior tiles, porcelain pavers are available in an incredible range of colors and styles, including pavers that resemble natural wood, stone, rustic terracotta or even concrete. But that's not all. Due to their extremely low water absorption, porcelain pavers are exceptionally resistant to staining, frost damage, mold & mildew and are virtually maintenance free. And at just 9lbs sq. ft., they are so much lighter than bulky concrete pavers, making them easier to transport and install. Add all of those advantages together and its not hard to see why porcelain pavers are fast becoming the paving option of choice by so many landscape designers. Where are they most commonly used? Until recently, porcelain pavers had mainly been used for elevated rooftop decks and terraces supported by pedestal systems. With our 'Eterno' adjustable height pedestal system, porcelain pavers can be raised above the existing roof surface, avoiding pipes, cables and other obstacles, to create a perfectly level paved surface and a delightful outdoor living space to be enjoyed by everyone. With their light weight, fire resistance, ease of installation plus natural style and elegance, we're finding that more and more landscape architects and specifiers have come to appreciate the unique features of porcelain pavers and are now specifying them in an increasingly diverse range of projects, both commercial and residential. So where else can porcelain pavers be used? Broadly speaking, porcelain pavers can be used in most applications where other paving products like concrete, brick or stone are currently used. You can lay them directly over compacted sand or gravel, as stepping 'stones' in lawns, over existing concrete, on walkways, around pools, and many other general landscaping applications. They can even be used on roadways for light traffic situations if set in mortar. When used with our low profile rubber pads, porcelain pavers are a great option for home owners since they offer a fast, simple and very effective option for covering drab, worn concrete on patios, porches and balconies. Are they suitable for high foot traffic, commercial locations? Most certainly. We've supplied porcelain pavers to numerous commercial projects throughout the country - outdoor bars and restaurants, hotels, hospitals, offices, educational institutions, recreational facilities - to places as diverse as the Oklahoma Zoo and the Google campus in Kirkland WA. And it's not just the enhancement of the overall atmosphere that building owners are attracted to, but superior scuff and stain resistance and exceptionally low maintenance are increasingly swaying owners and occupiers of high traffic commercial spaces towards the use of porcelain pavers. Are porcelain pavers more expensive than other decking options? While the initial cost of porcelain pavers might currently be somewhat more expensive than concrete pavers, that can depend on the project location. Quite often the cost of our pavers is on par with other options, simply because their lighter weight makes transportation and installation costs much lower. And for elevated roof decks, a pedestal supported porcelain deck often costs much less than a traditional wood or steel joist supported system. Even where porcelain pavers might initially seem to be the more expensive option, taking into account long term maintenance and longevity, any cost differential can quickly be cancelled out. Mold, moss, mildew and grease are easily removed from porcelain and the sun and rain don't decay, fade, crack or warp porcelain. So you have a surface that's not only aesthetically superior, but one where long term maintenance is practically nil. Q & A w i t h t h e e x p e r t s a conversation with Featuring Malcolm Kay, CEO ARCHITREX INC 46 Landscape Architect and Specifier News From chic commercial roof top terraces to environmentally conscious green roof paving, to low maintenance on-grade paving, Architrex Inc. discusses the rapidly growing trend towards Italian designed porcelain pavers for creating elegant elevated decks and unique urban landscape environments.

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