How to lay Indian sandstone paving
Sandstone paving is a great choice for any outdoor space. With its soft, warm finish and
varied colour blends, sandstone paving – particularly our Indian Sandstone slabs – are
versatile enough to enhance many types of garden projects.
Sandstone is also a hardwearing material that will carry on looking great over time – making
it a great investment. It’s also quite simple to install yourself. Here we’ll outline the steps you
need to follow for laying sandstone paving, but for more detail, check out our comprehensive
Quick guide: Laying Indian sandstone paving
1. Mark your area
2. Dry-lay elsewhere in the garden
3. Dig a bed that’s 125mm deep
4. Add a 50mm sub-base layer
5. Add a 50mm layer of mortar mix – one part cement to four parts sand
6. Lay the paving slabs, leaving 8 to 10mm spaces between them
7. Fill the joints with the mortar mix
What tools do I need?
- Spirit Level
- Rubber Mallet
- Tape Measure
- Garden roller or tamper
- Soft brush
- String line
- Plate compactor
- Screeding bar
- Builder’s square
- Pointing Tool
What materials do I need?
- Sharp sand
- Sandstone patio slabs
- Slurry primer
- Marshalls’ Weatherpoint 365 Joining Compound
- Small pieces of timber
In detail: Laying Indian Sandstone paving guide
It’s important not to start laying sandstone paving in wet weather. If it starts to rain,
cover the area until it stops – otherwise you may be compromising the performance
of your sandstone paving slabs. We also wouldn’t advise laying sandstone paving
when the temperate drops below three degrees celsius.
Off the mark
Would you like your patio to be in the sun or the shade? How large would you like it
to be? Have you taken into account possible obstructions, such as manhole covers
and gas pipes?
Once you’ve answered basic questions like these – mark off the area where you’ll be
laying your sandstone paving with suspended wooden markers and string lines.
Hammer these into the ground with a rubber mallet and use a builder’s square to
make sure the lines are straight.
Do a test run
Before laying sandstone paving for real, do a practice run. Dry-lay somewhere else in
the garden so you can work out where each slab will be laid before you start mixing
the cement. This is especially important if you’re creating an unusual paving pattern.
Once you’re happy with where you’ve laid your paving slabs, take a photo so you can
remember how you’ve assembled them. A numbering system might also be a useful
way to remember where each patio slab goes.
Time for bedding
Next you need to prepare your site. Working slightly outside of the area you’ve
defined with the string lines and wooden pegs, dig a 150mm bed and use a spirit
level to make sure it’s as flat as it can be.
Then add a 50mm sub-base layer, compacting it using either a vibrating plate
compactor or a broad plank of wood with a sledgehammer. Repeat this process by
adding another 50mm sub-base layer, totalling a 100mm overall depth.
Mixing it up
To make sure your sandstone slabs stay firmly in place, coat the ground side with
slurry primer. Then create a mortar mix using one part cement to four parts sand, and
enough water to make it a paste-like consistency that your sandstone paving slabs
will stick to. Then, dollop by dollop, create a 30mm layer before you start laying your
Let it lay
Lay your slabs one by one into the wet mortar mix, leaving an 8-10mm space
between them. Don’t worry about filling the space in the joints yet – just lay the
paving slabs side by side. Use a spirit level as you’re working your way through the
patio to make sure every slab is level with those beside it.
Fill it in
Finish the job by filling in the joints between the slabs using your mortar mix, adding
extra sand to the mix so it’s not moist enough to stain the sandstone paving slabs.
Use a tool to pack it into the joints as you work your way across the patio, taking time
to achieve a good finish on your new sandstone patio.
You should leave your new patio to set for at least 24 hours before walking on it – or
even longer in wet weather.
Would you prefer your sandstone paving to be laid by an expert? Find your nearest
Tuesday, 2nd January 2018