How to lay sandstone paving
Indian sandstone paving, with its soft, warm finish and varied colour blends is a gorgeous choice for any outdoor space. Another positive with this quality material is that, although it may seem daunting, installing sandstone paving is a relatively easy process – so long as you follow the right steps and carefully prepare for the task, you’ll be able to properly lay your own patio or pathway. Here, we’re setting out the broad steps of how to lay sandstone paving. For a more comprehensive overview of the process, read our detailed guide.
- Marking off the area
Having considered whether you’d like your patio to be in the sun or shade and how you will ultimately use the space, begin the process by marking off the area to be paved. At this stage it’s helpful to draw a scaled diagram or plan of the garden, taking into account possible obstructions like manhole covers, gas pipes and rainwater drainage. Once you’re happy with the plan, mark off the area using string suspended between wooden markers. Use a builder’s square to ensure lines are straight and true to your diagram.
- Dry-lay elsewhere in the garden
If you have the space to do it, it’s a wise idea to lay out your patio elsewhere in the garden. A dry run like this is especially important if you’re following an irregular paving pattern. Working out where each slab will be laid is much easier before you mix the cement. Take a photo of the pre-laid patio plans and use a numbering system to help you remember where each slab goes.
- Prepare your site
Next it’s time to prepare the site by digging out the earth. Working slightly outside of the perimeters set by your strings, remove the turf. Dig down deep enough to create space for a sub-base, a mortar bed and the sandstone slabs themselves. The sub-base and mortar bed should each be around 5cm. Your tiles are likely to be around 2.5cm thick. Therefore, you need a hole 12.5cm deep. Once that is dug, it’s time to lay the sub-base and make sure it’s well compacted, using either a vibrating plate compactor or just a broad plank of wood and a sledgehammer.
- Lay the slabs
When it comes to laying the slabs themselves, remember to include a ‘fall’. This is the slight angle at which the patio is pitched in order to direct rainfall away from your property. Use five dollops of a cement/sharp sand mix to bed in each sandstone slab – one for each corner and one in the centre. Use a spirit level as you work your way through the patio, to ensure every slab is level with those beside it.
- Fill the joints
To finish your new sandstone patio, fill in the joints between the slabs using the same cement/sharp sand mix as before. However, this time the mix should be much drier in order to avoid staining your sandstone. Use a tool to pack the mix into the joints before brushing the excess towards the next gap to be filled. Work your way across the entire scope of the patio, taking your time to achieve a good finish.
A sandstone patio and matching paving lifts any garden to the next level aesthetically. If you’re hoping to give your outdoor space a lift, now’s the time to give it some real consideration.
Wednesday, 12nd April 2017
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