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You highlight the 'brands' of paving you sell and CE or UKCA marking - why is this important?

What’s Different about Paving Sold through Paving Superstore in Comparison to Other Websites?

In summary, it's all about product quality and your guarantee that it will last. All paving products sold by Paving Superstore are tested and conform to UKCA standards and hold a Declaration of Performance Certificate. This sets us aside from many other websites and guarantees you are buying a quality product designed to last. Let us tell you a bit more:

Leading Brand Paving from Paving Superstore Paving Sold through Many Other Websites
Yes Tested for water absorption No Not tested
Yes Tested for frost resistance No Not tested
Yes Tested for compression limits No Not tested
Yes Tested for slip resistance No Not tested
Yes Tested for bending breakpoint No Not tested

It is a legal requirement

Strict EU regulations were introduced in 2013 to ensure all paving sold in the UK meets the minimum standards set out under European standards EN1341 (flagstones), EN1342 (setts) and EN1343 (kerbs), however MOST companies selling paving online DO NOT adhere to these legal requirements as it is not heavily policed by Trading Standards. ALL paving products sold by Paving Superstore are manufactured by leading brands and DO meet these standards. All products are CE marked / UKCA / UKAS accredited. UKAS is the National Accreditation body for the United Kingdom appointed by the government to ensure products meet the high standards needed to attain certification. All products also hold a valid Declaration of Performance certificate which details the tests and results for each of the necessary criteria which guarantees you that the products we sell are fit for purpose.

Water Absorption (BS EN 13755)

Test Process

The water absorption test measures the amount of water a stone can hold when fully saturated. This is expressed as a percentage of the total weight. So, a result of 1% means that when fully saturated, 1% of a stone’s weight will be water. As a guide, paving such as porcelain is usually less than 0.5% porosity, granite is around 0.5%, sandstone and limestone are in the region of 1-3% and concrete, 6%

Why is this important?

This is an indicator to how quickly stains will soak in and how quickly a stone will look dirty. The lower the number, the better it will deal with staining. Obviously other factors such as colour and texture will also play a part in the likelihood of staining. High levels of water absorption are also associated with increased algae growth which is known to be a problem with poor quality stone as this is often more porous as a result of it being an inferior standard.

Frost Resistance (BS EN 12371)

Test Process

Frost resistance testing is called the Freeze/ Thaw test and is conducted by repeatedly freezing the paving to -40 Fahrenheit and then thawing it, before repeating the cycle again. During this process the paving will lose some of its flexibility and the key to good quality paving is that it does not lose a high level of resilience during the test cycle. Losses in Mpa should not exceed 5 Mpa

Why is this important?

with very low temperatures. Paving which is overly porous will crack in frost and it is essential that paving is tested to the above standard to be sure it can cope in all weathers.

Bending Breakpoint (BS EN 12372)

Test Process

The ‘flexural strength’ test shows how much bending a paving unit can be put under before it breaks. This is an important test measurement for paving, but not really for setts or blocks as they are not large enough to bend. The test data is normally expressed in mega pascals (Mpa) with higher numbers being better. A typical measurement with sandstone is over 13 Mpa, concrete 5 Mpa and porcelain is often over 40 Mpa

Why is this important?

The flexural strength is important as it ensures the paving is not overly brittle which would cause difficulties when handling and laying.

Compression Limits (BS EN 1926)

Test Process

The ‘compressive strength’ test shows how much a stone can be squashed before it breaks. This is most important for setts and blocks as these are often used on driveways. It’s expressed in mega pascals (Mpa) with higher numbers being better.

Why is this important?

The compressive strength rating is important when deciding on stone suitable for a driveway or commercial setting where excessive weight will be applied to the paving. Paving that does not pass the required standard will not support any excessive loading.

Slip Resistance (BS EN 14231)

Test Process

Slip resistance testing is a complex and varied area however the two main tests for domestic paving are either the pendulum test (PTV) or the ramp test (R rating). With the pendulum test, a pendulum is swung over the surface of the stone which will slow it down. The rougher the surface, the more it will slow the pendulum and the higher the value (PTV). It is tested both wet and dry. The lowest permitted value for external use when wet is 36.

The ramp test (R rating) is often used for porcelain paving and this is conducted using a ramp which is gradually raised. Oil is applied to the ramp and a test person walks onto the ramp wearing boots. The measurement is taken from the point at which they slip. R11 is the rating usually applied to porcelain paving and this is equivalent to the value of 34 to 51 in the PTV test data (pendulum test value).

Why is this important?

Ensuring paving has good slip resistant qualities is important for outdoor usage, especially when used by children or elderly people. There is no point installing stone that does not meet the specified criteria for outdoor surfaces as it will be dangerous and not at all suited to purpose.

The following table shows the slip test data ratings for both test types and the recommended usage for paving conforming to each result.

R Rating Suitable for
R9 Only for use indoors in areas where the floor is never wet
R10 Typically for use indoors including areas that occasionally become wet, such as kitchens
R11 Ideal for outdoor use including around swimming pools, internally in bathrooms, wet rooms
R12 Ideal for outdoor use including around swimming pools, internally in bathrooms, wet rooms
PTV Rating Slip potential
0 to 24 High slip potential
25 to 35 Moderate slip potential
Above 36 Low slip potential

Ethical Trading

Further to stringent test procedures, all paving sold through Paving Superstore is ethically sourced with all manufacturers belonging to the Ethical Trading Initiative or alternative schemes. This promises that:

  • employment is freely chosen
  • child labour will not be used
  • discrimination shall not be practised
  • living wages are paid
  • employees are treated respectfully and fairly
  • safe and hygienic working conditions are provided
  • working hours are not excessive

Please ensure you only buy ethically sourced natural stone

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