With the arrival of spring, everyone is starting to rethink their gardens, preparing them for the warmer months in a welcoming, comfortable way.
Designing and decorating a small green space can be a time of extreme serenity, to experience closely with all the components that we very often take for granted, but that are fundamental elements of our lives: the fresh air, the sun, and direct contact with nature.
Arranging courtyards, paths, external staircases, balconies, terraces and porches can therefore be a rewarding and pleasant experience, as well as a functional operation that allows us to resolve some commonly recurring problems in outdoor spaces.
As in the case of indoor spaces, flooring also plays a key role outdoors, not only in terms of aesthetics, but most importantly for the practicality of the walkway and to allow for pipes (for example, irrigation systems) to run as naturally as possible.
It is therefore necessary to rely on a choice of materials that will ensure excellent resistance, since they will be in contact with the elements throughout the year, but that are also aesthetically integrated into the green space and, where possible, that also allow for an elegant effect of continuity and depth with the interiors.
As with indoor floors and coverings, one of the most suitable materials for outdoor decking is porcelain, due to a combination of its non-absorbency and the many aesthetic effects which have been created in recent years.
Twenty is a 60x60cm monolithic porcelain slab: it is “a single body made of rectified natural stone” with a thickness of 20mm, hence its name.
Twenty+, on the other hand, is slightly thicker (21mm) and is a slab which is available on request consisting of two coupled 10mm bodies of technical ceramic.
Both solutions, designed specifically for outdoor use, have different laying possibilities depending on the type of base they will be laid on.
The technical features of Iris Ceramica Group’s porcelain and slabs allows for extremely high performance, capable of withstanding adverse weather conditions all year round (including ice, thanks to the material’s impermeability) as well as heavy loads passing over it.
Easy to lay and replace without the need for specialised workers, Twenty is also entirely impervious to mosses and moulds and is unaffected by outdoor treatment substances such as fertilisers or insecticides.
Its surface is easy to clean with normal cleaning methods, or with a pressure washer.
The surface of Twenty is non-slip and “is not altered by prolonged contact with salt”: these features make Twenty particularly suitable for areas near the sea (and therefore in contact with salt, such as beach resorts) or high in the mountains, where salt is usually spread during the winter periods.
Twenty and Twenty+ laying options
There are five laying options for Twenty and Twenty+ slabs: glue on screed, dry on grass, gravel and sand, as well as the raised flooring option, which we will explore separately.
Laying using glue on screed is suitable for cycle paths, pedestrian walkways and pavements, entrances and access ramps for garages, car parks and rest areas.
This is because the slab has an uncommonly high tensile strength, can withstand heavy and frequent footfall, and is unalterable over time.
Depending on the terrain available, FMG’s product is also suitable for dry laying on grass, sand and gravel (this last situation making for improved drainage).
These systems are immediate, and do not require the use of adhesive materials or specialised workers. One of the many advantages is the ease of replacing individual slabs (e.g. for soil alterations, changes in irrigation or lighting systems, or for replacing cables and pipes).
Raised flooring, meanwhile, is a flooring system designed to meet different logistical needs and requirements, especially for all indoor spaces with a high concentration of equipment.
Outside, it is mainly suitable for meeting the needs of housing pipes for irrigation and lighting systems, preserving them and making the best use of them, for example by bringing the irrigation system directly into the flowerbeds or creating attractive water and light effects on the terrace or in other outdoor locations.
Raised flooring allows for easy inspection of the elements underneath the floor, such as slabs and sheaths, pipes with a drainage function for rainwater, wells and grates.
The cavity created by the “floating” system of the raised flooring level is an ideal solution to avoid rising damp, frost-related problems and water infiltration.