Intricate cuts in Porcelain? Don't be frightened. David Domoney asks Mark Brown, Pavestone Landscaping Expert to demonstrate.

How to make intricate cuts in porcelain patio paving


When it comes to laying paving, it is never as straightforward as just paving a perfect square or rectangular area. Inevitably you will encounter not square, irregular borders, you will need to make your way round drains and drain pipes, garden features, make steps or just want to incorporate some dynamic curved edges in your design.  
This guide has been created for anyone interested in knowing how to cut paving, particularly in this case porcelain paving, which can be more difficult than cutting stone paving if you don't employ the correct methodology. Once mastered, like all skills, it becomes easy. Using a few different methods, we’ll show you how to successfully cut intricate shapes, as well as cutting thin slices off the edges of porcelain paving.


Video of Pavestone porcelain patio paving featuring an outdoor kitchen area


Popular porcelain

If you are not aware of it an evolution has taken place in garden design. An evolution that has seen designers, landscapers and home owners move away from the traditional, natural stone, paving in gardens and patio paved areas and instead using porcelain paving tiles. Primarily porcelain can have all the aesthetics of stone but has many more advantages over stone. It does not fade in colour and it's easier to clean as algae cannot get in to the pores and less susceptible to staining. These advancements have increased the popularity of porcelain paving and made porcelain the primary choice for many homeowners.


Video of a Pavestone porcelain garden patio featuring a great dining area


Robust and durable

One of the key selling points of porcelain paving is the robust and durable finish, and also that it doesn’t fade with time. Instead, the paving shown here like Discovery and Tegel look like they are freshly laid year after year. With a multitude of different styles available, they all draw inspiration from Italian styling.


Video featuring Pavestone porcelain patio paving contrast in two colours


Anything but square

As with interior designs, each garden has its own style and personality, with opportunity to design it your way, from plants to patio. When planning your garden, chances are the space you want to pave won’t be perfectly square or rectangular with no features to work around. From manhole covers, drains, steps, water features, or even attractive shapes as edging, there are many reasons you may need to make intricate cuts or narrow strips in porcelain. 


Grinding tool with wheel cutter for porcelain paving


Practical paving

With patience and a 9-inch electric grinder that's fitted with a porcelain blade, you’re one step closer to having the perfect paving for your space.


Cutting wheels forr porcelain paving


For larger projects, a table saw can give a real professional finish. However, for a small project with a few cuts, an electric grinder will do the job.


Angle grinder fitted with a porcelain cutting wheel for cutting porcelain patio paving.


Lightly score

As with all porcelain cutting, scoring the line is an important first step, followed by tension relief cuts so there isn’t too much pressure on the paving tile. Ideally, these cuts should be 50-75mm long and go right through the thickness of the paver.


When cutting porcelain patio tiles always measure it twice to be sure yourr cutting the right size. The tiles are too expensive to waste!


Measure twice, cut once

When carrying out any cutting, measure twice to be sure of the size to reduce any waste. When cutting thin slices, pass the saw through the slab twice to the halfway point, then your body can move across the slab to pass the saw twice through the second half without excessive need for stretching. During the cutting of the porcelain paving, when the blade and slab get warm, ensure they are given time to cool down.


Never rush cutting porcelain patio tiles. Always use the right cutting blade.


Never rush the cut

As with all porcelain cutting, never rush the process. Taking your time will reduce the likelihood of the tile cracking or breaking and rushing can also put unnecessary stress on the tools and the blade.


A wonderful video of a Pavestone porcelain garden patio featuring a pizza oven


Spaces for stones

As seen in the Dolomite Slate video, you can cut porcelain paving to suit the desired shape even if it’s intricate rounded cuts to form a curved pathway.


Video of a Pavestone porcelain patio featuring a fire pit


Curvaceous & herbaceous

One of the instances where intricate cuts or narrow strips may need to be cut from porcelain is around water features that are either a central feature of the patio, or at the side. Round, square or other shaped water features are easy to work around with the right tools, as are drain covers, pipes and posts.


Video of a Pavestone porcelain patio featuing porcelain stack wall cladding


Anti slip surface

What’s great about Pavestone’s porcelain paving is that it has anti-slip finish meaning any splashes from the water feature won’t cause a hazard as the finish roughens the surface to give grip when needed.


Porcelain garden wall cladding by Pavestone, ideal for building garden water features


Wonderful water walls

With the advance in porcelain technology, finishes now extend to garden wall claddings like this wonderful Rock Stack effect porcelain wall cladding. These are ideal for incorporating water features.

Another great thing about adding water features, like water walls in the garden, is the opportunity to plant a new selection of plants that thrive in shaded or damp conditions. For example, Lysimachia nummularia (creeping Jenny) is a versatile perennial that has a spreading habit, so the golden green leaves and cheery yellow flowers form a lovely carpet effect. Growing best in moist but well-drained soil, this evergreen can be planted at any time of the year. Keep it looking its best by trimming back as necessary to keep the foliage fresh.


Creeping Jenny is a versatile perennial that has a spreading habit, so the golden green leaves and cheery yellow flowers form a lovely carpet effect.

Pair the creeping Jenny with ferns like Asplenium trichomanes (maidenhair spleenwort), a small evergreen that thrives in partial or full shade with moist but well-drained soil. Likewise, snipping off any dead, diseased, dried, or damaged foliage to keep the fern fresh. Ferns do a great job at softening hard landscaping.


This month I have selected a video, made with my good friend Mark Brown, the Pavestone Landscaping Expert, which demonstrates the cutting of intricate shapes and most other typical porcelain tile paving cuts. Cuts that are essential in creating 'exceptional' landscaping projects.

"It's about using the right tools, a bit of gained experience, and calmly taking your time.
Then anything is possible!" says Mark Brown

See for yourself.



Mark Brown has created a series of "How To..." videos which deal with all the typical cuts needed to complete a porcelain paved patio or pathway. Straight cuts, curved cuts, intricate shape cut outs, all are covered in depth.

If you would like to see them all, then click here.


There are many more stunning videos of beautifully landscaped gardens using Pavestone landscaping and building materials featured here for you to explore. Let me walk you through them.


David Domoney, TV gardener, horticultural expert and Pavestone brand ambassador blogs monthly on the Pavestone website on all things landscaping related. We look forward to seeing you back again next month.


Pavestone Brand Ambassador David Domoney