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Gregs tips on how to lay a patio
Greg's expert tips on how to lay paving
Greg is our resident expert on hard landscaping matters, so we asked him to put this step by step guide together and give away a few trade secrets about the easiest way to lay paving. The guide is meant for anyone to use - amateur or professional. If you have any comments or questions then use the contacts link below to send us a message. Enjoy laying your paving from StoneToHome.
Preparing your area for paving
All paving should be laid to a level that is at least 150mm below the damp proof course of any adjacent buildings.
Mark out the area to be paved, allowing 100-300mm working room at the edges. Dig down to remove any vegetation, topsoil or loose material. Where ground is poor, it is better to dig down further and then build-up the levels using crushed stone
When working against a wall, the brickwork may act as a level guide, but for open spaces, a taut string line should be used. Use a spirit level to set a line as near to level as is possible.
Next move one end of the string down by 15mm per metre of paving. So if your paving is to be 4 metres wide, then move the string line down by (4 x 15mm) 60mm. This will give adequate fall to drain the paving once it is completed.
How to lay your paving slabs
Paving stones should always be laid on a full bed of sand-and-cement that supports the whole paving slab. Use 6-8 parts of PATIO BASE to one part cement. We sell a complete Patio Base Kit and this contains everything you need to lay your patio and is recommended for use with our StoneToHome patio kits. Each Patio Base Kit consists of 18 bags of PATIO BASE, 3 bags of cement and a pair of gloves
Mix together and use just enough water to make sure the mixture binds. A good guide to this is that there should be sufficient water to allow the mix to be moulded into a ball without falling apart, but not so much that water would run out of it when squeezed in the hand.
Spread a layer of bedding mix that is roughly 50mm thick. Place the first paving stone onto this bed and use a rubber mallet to carefully tap it down until it is at the correct level. Place the next paving stone adjacent to the one you have just laid, leaving a joint width of 10-15mm and again, tap down to level. Repeat this process for the whole area.
The joints of the paving stones look best when pointed with a mortar. Make a pointing mortar by mixing 4 parts building sand with 1 part cement. Again add as little water as possible to bind the mortar without over-wetting it.
Feed pointing mortar into empty joints from the edge of a trowel and use a pointing bar press it down firmly. We now offer a Special Mortar Pointing Tool which simplifies and greatly speeds up this process.
Try to keep off the paving stones for the first 24hrs. After 5-7 days the patio paving should be fine for full use.
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