Patio Buying Guide
Our paving and aggregates are ideal for home DIY. With a range of finishes, from contemporary to natural, choose the look that suits your outside space. Following the steps below can help you lay your Patio Kit more easily:
STEP 1: PLANNING
We recommend you dry-lay the kit prior to permanently fixing it in place. This will help ensure that it not only fits the space but also may help you avoid the need for cutting around fixed objects.
STEP 2: THE SUB-BASE
Always lay paving on a firm, level base. Ideally, remove soft soil and lay a sub-base of crushed stone, which is then compacted down with a roller or tamper. Aim for a fall of at least 1:100 away from any adjoining building to allow for surface water to drain. If you are laying paving next to the house, the top surface of the paving should lay at least 150mm below the damp proof course.
STEP 3: LAYING COURSE MIX
It is recommended that paving is always laid on a complete flat bed of mortar on top of the sub-base. Mix 1 part cement to 6 parts ‘Patio Base’ (or alternative sharp sand) and a small amount of water (mixing can be done in a small concrete mixer, a wheelbarrow or on a flat mixing board). Enough water should be added to allow the sand and cement to be thoroughly mixed and ‘workable’. Watch out not to add too much water as this will weaken the mix and make it difficult to level the paving.
STEP 4: LAYING THE PAVING
Lay a course thickness of 25 to 40mm, enough mortar should be placed to lay one slab at a time.
- Circles / Feature Kits: Lay slabs from the centre outwards.
- Random Patio Kits: Work from one corner, diagonally across to the opposite corner. Pegging a string line around the edge of the area first will help ensure the edges stay straight.
Tamp each slab down in the middle with a wooden or rubber mallet. The use a spirit level to ensure each slab is level and the joints are evenly spaced. Clean any excess mortar from the face of the paving straight away to prevent staining. Once laid, the paving should not bear any weight for at least 24-hours. If the weather is frosty or wet, cover the newly laid paving until the mortar has set.
If a drain cover, downpipe or any other fixed obstacle means cutting is necessary, this is best carried out after the rest of the area has been laid, using a disc cutter. Mark out your slab before you cut it and follow instructions before you use the cutter.
STEP 5: POINTING YOUR PAVING
Pointing should be done in dry conditions using a damp grout mix of 1 part cement to 4 parts soft building sand. Press and smooth the grout into the gaps using a pointing tool or a rounded piece of wood. Sweep away excess mix and re-use. You can also use a proprietary resin-based grouting mix – in this case, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.