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How to lay porcelain paving

Published on 12 August 2022

Posted in How To

Why porcelain paving?

Porcelain paving is the ‘on-trend’ must for exterior spaces, not just because it makes a real style statement, but because of its durability, versatility and its scratch and slip resistance qualities.  However, there’s a misconception that porcelain paving is difficult to lay, and whilst there are slightly different steps compared to laying natural stone, it’s still a simple process.

We’ve teamed up with Mario, owner of Sterling-based B Gardens Limited, who specialise in porcelain paving, to create this easy to follow step-by-step guide.  You can also view our YouTube video here: LINK


Step 1: Prepare your base

Once the groundworks have been prepared, use 150mm to 200mm of Type 1 base and then compact down with a compactor plate.


Step 2: Layouts

Layout your paving slabs for the job, looking at your patterns and also looking for any obstacles or challenges that you will need to overcome, like drains and brickwork.  This will allow you to do your measurements for any cut outs you need to make to ensure a perfect finish.  To make sure they are right.


Step 3: Mortar Mix

As mentioned, porcelain paving requires more cement than other pavers to ensure it bonds to the mortar base properly.  We’d suggest one full shovel of sand to a full bag of cement, with 15ml of plasticizer added.  Once that mixed, you’re ready to go!


Step 4: Priming and laying

Use a porcelain primer, available from MKM’s extensive branch network across the UK.  A slurry primer ensures the slabs create a strong bond with the bed.  Apply the primer with a brush or roller to the back of the slab and once primed, ensure your slabs are laid on a full bed of mortar, tamp and level.


A suction pad tool will make this process even easier (and help preserve your back)!


Step 5: Levelling

When levelling, take your time to do it properly, allowing for a run off of Xmm away from the property.  Use an Azpects tile levelling system, which allows you to create a 5mm gap, whilst also pulling the patio together.


Step 6: Cutting your slabs

It’s really important to use a porcelain blade on your cutting machine and tools and make sure you cut each end first to prevent a slab from chipping.


Step 7: Finishing

Fill the 5mm gaps using a premium jointing compound to finish, brushing off any excess compound.   Compounds come in a range of different colours to suit the patio slabs you are installing, so chose a complimentary colour.  Never ever use mortar for jointing porcelain paving, this is for the cowboys, not professionals!


Tools for the job - all available to your nearest MKM:

  • Porcelain pavers
  • Freshly mixed mortar
  • Mallet
  • Measuring tape
  • Spirit level
  • Jointing compound
  • Brush
  • Cutting machine with porcelain blade
  • Suction pads (optional)


MKM supplies four key ranges of porcelain paving, which are excellent value for money - Serenity, Larsen, an exclusive range to MKM, Verness, and Sherwood, a natural stone effect and timber effect paver respectively.

Other more premium ranges are available, including a number of large format tiles. Large format porcelain usually refers to a tile that is larger than 600 x 600mm, the beauty of this trend is the illusion of space it creates in an outdoor area.

View our porcelain paving range online today.