The Yard, College Road
Whitchurch,Cardiff,CF14 2NZ

029 2062 5422

Natural Stone Paving

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Advantages of Natural Stone Paving for Your Patio

Having a good looking patio really can make a difference to how you enjoy your summer days in your home.  It also can make a big difference to the resale value to your house.   When it comes to planning a new patio, the patio slabs are arguably the most critical component. With so much choice in the market now, you first need to decide whether to buy concrete paving slabs or natural stone. 

The general rule is that concrete paving slabs are at the more affordable end of the market and aim to replicate the premium, more expensive natural stone slabs. With modern manufacturing methods being as high tech and advanced as they are nowadays, concrete paving slabs are a great choice for your garden, however you may wonder what makes the natural stone paving slabs cost more? Here are 5 reasons which highlight some of the main advantages of natural stone.


1) Natural Stone Paving is easier to install.

Most natural stone paving slabs are calibrated, which means when each slab is fed though a strip mill to ensure that they are all of a regular and even depth. This means they can be all laid on one screwed base compared to if you had uncalibrated slabs


2) Improved Looks

Whilst concrete slabs look great if laid correctly, they can’t quite match the overall beauty that comes with a natural stone patio. Each individual natural stone slab is completely unique in its pattern, giving a natural stone patio a unique look not found with concrete slabs, where in general are manufactured to be identical. natural stone also ages much better than concrete, can look better as time goes on.


3) Durability

As natural stone has taken thousands of years to form and create, they have withstood the time and elements of nature.  This durability will continue once laid.


4) Low maintenance.

Once installed, natural stone will last for an incredibly long time whilst still maintaining its elegant and unique finish, unlike concrete which tends to fade over time. Natural stone is also easy to clean and can be pressure washed without the worry of it losing its finish or colour.


5) More environmentally friendly when compared with concrete.

Natural Stone is one of the most sustainable building products available, as resources of stone are plentiful. Although it’s regeneration is not as fast as other natural materials, it is nonetheless a continuous process as natural stone has an enduring life-cycle.

We stock a wide range of concrete paving slabs which have many advantages themselves, in which we have many satisfied customers.  Natural stone offers some different advantages however.

We recommend you visiting our location and looking at all the different options we have both in natural stone and concrete paving.  We will give you expert advice and whatever choice you make, you will end up with a patio you will be proud of. 

Contact us on 02920 625422 or call in to our Whitchurch, Cardiff location.


Choosing the Right Sand

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Choosing the right sand for your building project

Aggregates are the granular materials that are added to a compound to provide support, so that it can be used in different types of building projects. There are many different forms of aggregates, all with a wide range of uses… so it is therefore important to be aware of where each type of material is best utilized.

This blog will focus on sand as an aggregate, and how to know which sand is the most suitable to use in your building project.


Building Sand

Building sand is fine ungraded sand, with an admixture of silt and clay. It has a high water demand as an aggregate, and therefore is most useful when mixed with water and cement to make mortar for laying bricks/blocks.


Plastering Sand

Plastering sand is very fine, and can be mixed with cement and water to produce a render which can be used as an undercoat for plaster, or as an exterior coating. Plastering sand without silt should be used for rendering, as the silt will otherwise fill the voids in place of the binder, resulting in weak plasters


Sharp Sand

Sharp sand is a clean, washed river sand that is very coarse with large particles. It is used in mixing concrete and can also be used to mix a tough, extremely hard mortar which is useful for laying paving stones and patio slabs, and for laying foundations.


Kiln-dried silver sand

Kiln-dried sand is used in grouting the joints between exterior paving or patio slabs. This is because it has minimal clay content and therefore good stability, and it contains silicon dioxide so enables a close and tight bond. It’s dryness as an aggregate also means that the compound will be less sticky when it is added; so it is easier to fill small spaces.



Brick Works: fine modulus of fine sand should be used (1.2 to 1.5).

Plastering Works: fine modulus of fine sand should be used (not more than 1.5).

Concreting Works: coarse sand should be used (with finest modulus 2.5 to 3.5).

Silt content should never be more than 4% in any sand aggregate as the building project will otherwise be made unstable.

To access affordable sand aggregate for your building project, or to find out more information on the types of sands that are most suitable for your needs… visit Witchurch builders in store, or view our website online at