The front porch is an important element of the entire building that not only complements the overall exterior, but also protects the entrance door from the negative effects of the environment. Therefore, the design, construction and decoration of the porch must be as important as the construction of the other elements of the house and must fully comply with all requirements and standards.
WHAT SHOULD CLADDING BE LIKE
Choosing the material for porch cladding is a very demanding task that must take into account several peculiarities. Firstly, a porch is an outdoor element, most often semi-enclosed structure that is exposed to continuous adverse effects of the environment. Secondly, the surface of the porch and its steps are a exposed to prolonged mechanical stress coming from small particles from materials such as stone, sand and soil brought there on the soles of shoes.
Once taking the basic tasks into consideration, it is clear that the porch must be made of abrasion-resistant material that is not too much affected by either snow or heat, and the material itself must not be slippery or brittle. High wear and impact resistance of the material is also important.
Requirements on the material for a future porch are very high, but the aesthetic part as well as the possibility to integrate it into the overall design of the building are an important factor with the selection, too.
MATERIAL FOR THE FINISH
Cladding the porch with natural stone is undoubtedly the ideal choice. The choice between clinker or paving tiles is also acceptable because of their resemblance to stone.
Modern technologies of manufacturing and processing of natural stone and tiles allow for production of materials with different textures. For this reason, many manufacturers can offer the following popular natural stone and tile finishes:
– Polished texture. Most often chosen for classic houses and has a glossy or faded glossy surface;
– Brushed surface. More often used for finishing up facades because of its surface resembling velvet or shagreen;
– Sawn texture. This is an imitation of an untreated surface, which looks somewhat unaesthetic, but very natural. Rarely and cautiously chosen as a finish due to the difficulty of maintaining the surface;
– Heat-treated surface. An aesthetic and very high-quality material with a nearly perfect surface finish, but without the polish that gives the material extra slippery feature.
Be careful! When selecting the material for your outdoor porch cladding, care must be taken to reduce the possibility of accidents by selecting the least slippery material.
Applying anti-slip strips on the surface of the porch steps will reduce the possibility of a fall by several times. It is also possible to order special engravings that one almost cannot tell from the natural pattern of stone.
All professionals say that every third person building a porch forgets to read through information on marking the material and on its properties when choosing material for cladding. The marking should indicate the characteristic features of the stone and its resistance to wear and tear. The scope of application of the material, its properties and sensitivity to low or high temperatures will also be indicated on the packaging.
The method of firing is also an important feature when selecting tiles. A single-fired tile is best as it is more robust in its structure, withstands chemical and biological influences well and protects the surface reliably against negative influences of the environment.