I am trying to decide what material to use for paving patio in the UK house back garden. I went into shop and tried to get information. I realized that porcelain is artificial. The patterns on it that make it look like marble or some other thing, are printed on it. This made me wonder, how deep are these patterns? Won't some foot traffic and scrubbing with mops cause the patterns on the porcelain paving to fade away in few years?
You're potentially describing two different products. True porcelain is a single material all the way through, like colored glass and not unlike commercial vinyl tile--wear simply reveals more of the same material.
Then there's glazed porcelain. That has a decorative and/or protective layer on top which, if damaged or worn, shows other color or texture below.
Know which you're considering and you'll know how it'll wear. You may be able to tell just by looking at the edges.
If done properly, no. The patterns should be embedded in/under the surface glaze, or be made in that glaze directly.
Go look at the tilework in the London underground for some hard-used 100+ year old (in some stations) tiles.
Not to say that there can't be poorly made porcelain tiles (a paver being a rather large tile, if it's porcelain), but well made ones will be around to get dug up by archeologists.