Limestone vs Porcelain

May 2024
Anton White

When it comes to choosing materials for your outdoor decking or patio, the limestone vs porcelain debate is crucial for homeowners aiming for both style and functionality.

At Ovaeda, our extensive hands-on experience with these materials reveals distinct benefits and considerations that could influence your decision. Limestone offers a classic, natural look with each piece having a unique texture, but requires regular maintenance to preserve its beauty.

Porcelain, on the other hand, boasts durability and ease of maintenance with consistent colouring and robustness that withstands the elements. Throughout this article, we'll delve into the properties, costs, installation challenges, and upkeep of both options to help you determine which material best suits your outdoor living space.

What this article covers:

What Is Limestone?

Limestone is a sedimentary rock primarily composed of calcium carbonate. It's harvested from quarries and often used in architecture and building. Its natural origin gives each piece a unique texture and pattern, which many find appealing for outdoor spaces.

What Is The Hardness Of Limestone?

After putting it to the test, we've found that limestone is relatively soft compared to other stones, typically scoring between 3 and 4 on the Mohs scale. This makes it easier to cut and shape but more susceptible to wear and tear from heavy use.

limestone or porcelain patio

What Are The Properties Of Limestone?


Similarly to Indian stone vs porcelain and travertine flooring vs. porcelain tile, limestone is porous, absorbing water and moisture, which can lead to staining and weathering over time. Regular sealing is necessary to maintain its condition.

Colour Variations

From creamy whites to deep greys, limestone offers a wide range of natural hues that can complement any outdoor decor.

Thermal Properties

Limestone retains heat, making it a comfortable walking surface in cooler conditions.

What Is Porcelain?

Porcelain is a manufactured product, made from refined clay and fired at high temperatures to achieve its hard and durable finish. It's a popular choice for outdoor settings due to its robustness and ease of maintenance.

What Is The Hardness Of Porcelain?

Porcelain tiles are known for their hardness and durability, rating around 7 on the Mohs scale. This makes them highly resistant to scratches and wear.

What Are The Properties Of Porcelain?


Unlike limestone, porcelain tiles are non-porous, which prevents staining and makes them easier to clean.

Colour Consistency

Porcelain offers uniform colours and patterns, which are maintained over time without fading.

Load Bearing

Porcelain can handle heavy loads, making it suitable for high-traffic areas.

Limestone vs Porcelain


Maintaining limestone can be quite a commitment. It requires sealing every two to three years to protect it from stains and weather damage, a process that involves cleaning the surface thoroughly before applying a sealant.

Moreover, limestone is susceptible to acidic substances, so spills need to be cleaned up promptly to avoid permanent marks.

porcelain vs limestone

Porcelain, in contrast, offers a hassle-free solution. Its non-porous nature means stains sit on the surface and can be wiped away easily without special cleaners.

This minimal upkeep makes porcelain a favourite for those who prefer spending more time enjoying their outdoor space rather than maintaining it.


When evaluating the costs of limestone vs porcelain, it's important to consider not just the initial outlay but also the long-term implications. Limestone, while often cheaper initially, can lead to higher maintenance costs over the years.

Porcelain, despite a potentially higher upfront cost, usually ends up being more economical due to its durability and minimal maintenance needs. In our experience, this makes porcelain a wise choice for budget-conscious homeowners looking for a long-term solution for their outdoor spaces.


The colour choices between limestone and porcelain cater to different aesthetic preferences. Limestone's charm lies in its natural colour variations, which can range from soft beiges to striking greys, offering a unique character that varies from slab to slab.

Porcelain tiles, on the other hand, provide a vast spectrum of colours and patterns, all with remarkable consistency.

For example, when comparing porcelain tiles vs marble tiles, porcelain can actually mimic the appearance of marble but is more consistent. This ensures that the final installation has a uniform appearance, making it easier to match with existing or planned decor. 

Whether you prefer the authenticity of natural tones or the bespoke hues of manufactured tiles, each material brings its distinctive style to your outdoor area.


Installation is another critical factor to consider in the limestone vs porcelain debate. Porcelain tiles are uniform in size and thickness, which simplifies the installation process, allowing for a more predictable and swift setup.

Limestone's irregularities, while beautiful, can pose challenges during installation. Each piece may vary slightly in size and thickness, requiring a skilled installer to achieve a level surface.

This often makes limestone installation more time-consuming and potentially more expensive, depending on the complexity of the project.


In terms of durability, porcelain takes the lead. Its hard surface is resistant to scratching, chipping, and wear from heavy foot traffic. Rated at 7 on the Mohs scale, porcelain stands up well against the elements and everyday use.

Limestone, with a Mohs hardness rating of around 3 to 4, is softer and more prone to scratches and wear. This makes porcelain a practical choice for busy outdoor areas where durability is a priority.

Type Of Material

Ultimately, the choice between any natural stone or porcelain paving often boils down to personal preference and specific project requirements. Limestone, a natural stone, offers a unique and organic look that can enhance the traditional charm of any property.

Its natural imperfections and colour variations can add depth and character to an outdoor space. Porcelain, a manufactured product, offers predictability and uniformity.

It's an ideal choice for those seeking a modern look with specific performance criteria, such as frost resistance and low porosity, which are engineered during its production.

Limestone or Porcelain: Which Should You Choose?

Your choice between limestone and porcelain should be guided by how you use your outdoor space.

limestone or porcelain patio

If you prefer natural beauty and are willing to commit to the maintenance, our limestone could be the right choice. However, for longevity and ease of care, our porcelain paving is a practical option.


Choosing between limestone and porcelain for your outdoor spaces involves considering several factors including maintenance, cost, colour, installation, hardness, and the type of material that best suits your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences.

Both materials have their unique benefits and choosing the right one depends on your specific needs and design preferences. If you're looking for quality materials that combine style with functionality, explore our range at Ovaeda. We're here to help you make the perfect choice to enhance your outdoor living areas.

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