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Over the past couple of decades slate has become a favourite and valued natural stone for paving and patio projects.
Its sleek aesthetics and radiant tones make it perfect for both contemporary and traditional garden styles alike. As slate has a dense structure it can be worked to numerous different grades and finishes.
Its dense structure and impervious nature has made it perfect for external construction.
With its typical Grey, Black, Blue and green tones slate can pack a visual punch to any garden surface. Finding the best edging for slate however is not always an easy task!
Slates bold tones and smooth surface can make it challenging to pair with the best edging partner.
In this article I identify and summarise 7 of the best edging materials for slate paving and patios.
Patio and walkways are an important part of our properties surroundings. Our external surfaces are an extension of our daily lives and the design of such should be carefully considered.
Historically slate has been a contextual paving material featuring in areas with local slate deposits. This is why many rural homes in mountainous regions use slate as a paving and edging material.
However many of these gardens have a traditional feel paying testament to slates versatility.
During present times however slate is often associated with more contemporary gardens.
This is due to slates neutral colours, clean lines and smooth surfaces. Consequently some of the best edging for slate paving compliment its aesthetics while also providing some contrast.
This is why smooth materials with light colours generally work well with slate paving.
Below I list the 7 best edging materials which visually work well with slate paving.
7 Best edging materials for Slate Paving
1. Kerb edgings
Kerb edgings come in an extensive range of edging products and styles. Precast kerb edgings like slate are well known for their durability and longevity.
As concrete naturally has a light grey tone and smooth texture it can make the perfect accompaniment to slate. One of the biggest advantages of edging slate with concrete kerbs is they can act as a retaining feature.
For example, larger kerbs can be utilised to retain soil back from raised borders keeping surfaces clean. Path edging kerbs such as PC edgings can help retain slate walkways and patios especially upon sloping ground.
As Kerb edgings are designed to take knocks and heavy loads they can protect slate paving from chipping and fractures.
2. Granite sets
Despite being two completely different types of natural stone, granite and slate visually work very well together.
Granite surfaces are speckled with different crystal formations containing blotches of black, white, pink and grey. This gives them a coarse visual texture which works extremely well with slates smooth and riven surface.
Like slate, granite does come in a variety of colours which can be matched to different slate varieties.
Generally the light tones of traditionally grey granite sets work a great contrast against darker tone slate paving.
Like concrete kerbs granite setts are extremely robust and hard wearing. These 100mm cubes of stone can withstand extremely heavy loads and hard impacts.
This makes them a rustic but sophisticated edging for slate paths and patios.
3. White glazed bricks
Many designers believe the best way to appreciate a material fully is to create contrast.
By edging dark coloured slate with white glazed bricks you can create such a dramatic effect. These bricks bring a purity and elegance to any garden design and are also extremely versatile.
White glazed bricks can easily fit in to any themed garden such as cottage, Victorian and modern to name a few.
This makes contrasting white glazed bricks with slate paving a visual recipe for success. The extra benefit of utilising bricks is they can be laid as edging in a wide variety of ways.
Bricks can be laid as retaining edging to hold back soil and other materials. This enables you the ability to run a consistent theme throughout your landscaping.
Due to their impermeable qualities glazed bricks are extremely weather resistant helping them to look pristine for decades.
Light coloured porcelain can make the perfect accompaniment to slate paving in a variety of contexts.
Not only can you create border edging, you can also integrate patterns into slate paving by utilising porcelain.
As well as buying porcelain edgings you can also cut porcelain pavers into setts and strips for versatile edgings.
Like slate, porcelain is incredibly durable and can withstand everything the outside has to throw at it. This means its great colours and manmade features will not fade over time.
Light coloured slate comes in a range of shades, finishes and textures which will compliment any type of slate paving.
Furthermore, porcelain paving is often made to replicate natural paving. Consequently, porcelain can seamlessly blend with any grade of slate including honed, textured or chiselled.
Porcelain can also act as retaining edgings with many kerbs, setts and blocks entering the market.
5. Blue engineering bricks
Blue engineering bricks are well regarded within the construction industry for their unparalleled durability and impervious nature.
Not only are they robust to weather outdoor conditions they also look very attractive. Their dark blue colour works very well with dark natural stones such as slate.
This makes blue engineering bricks a great edging choice for slate paving. Dark slates such as black, blue and purple paving slabs work particularly well.
Their typical edging application for slate paving is a double soldier course bordering lawns and flower borders.
As a versatile construction unit engineering bricks can be used to edge slate steps and other retaining features. Blue engineering bricks are also effective for building raised beds and garden walls to match slate patios and pathways.
These can then be capped with copings made from the exact slate paving.
This makes blue engineering bricks a very comprehensive material for edging slate paving.
6. Rendered block
Rendered concrete blocks can become an effective low edging or retaining edge to slate paving.
The fine but coarse texture of the render provides a satisfying contrast when positioned around slate surfaces. Rendered concrete block looks even more effective when it is painted light tones of cream and white.
As already mentioned concrete has a high compressive strength and durability.
This means it is very suitable for adding protective borders and edgings to natural stone paving.
With a good quality weather resistant render concrete blocks are resilient as much as they are versatile.
The great thing about concrete block is they can be laid to any shape or form. This makes it easy to incorporate them into any design or specification.
Like in the image above they make very effective low wall edging to patios and flower borders.
These can look even more appealing capped with slate copings to match the paving below.
7. Porcelain stack cladding
More of a cladding material than an actual edging stack cladding can be installed to any concrete or stone surface. This means it can provide a new aesthetic to any concrete, block, brick or existing kerb edging.
The stacked arrangement of this cladding means it provides a dramatic visual texture to vertical features.
This can also include retaining edging including low walls and borders.
Porcelain stack cladding works very well with slate! The cladding itself is made up of small sections of fragmented looking porcelain.
It offers a contemporary feel and a bold contrast to black slate in particular.
The best way to utilise stack clacking as edging for sate is by cladding kerb edgings and concrete blocks.
For flush edgings they can be set into strong mortar or fixed to concrete with external adhesive.
Thank you for reading our article on the best edging for slate paving and pathways. Below I have attached some more articles you may find helpful.
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Hyde Heath, Amersham, Buckinghamshire