How to Lay a Patio with Paving Slabs on Sand
I show you everything you need to know about how to lay paving slabs on dry mix to make a patio or walkway. I have given step-by-step instructions with my own photos so even as beginners you can follow this guide.
Why I Decided to Lay a New Patio
I decided to remove the decking in my back garden. It was costing too much time and money to maintain it every year. So I tore it apart and made my own patio with some nice concrete paving stones.
- Concrete paving slabs
- Builders sand
- Paver sand
- Weed suppressor
- Broken stones
- Garden scissors
- Lump hammer
- Sweeping brush
- Spirit level
How to Prepare the Ground
The ground where you intend to lay your concrete slabs for a patio or walkway must be prepared properly. It is very important to take the time to get this done correctly, otherwise you will have major problems further down the line.
Preparing the Ground
- Mark out the area where you wish to lay the paving stones.
- Dig up the area and remove any grass or rubbish.
- Dig down to at least 100 mm thick.
- Level out the area and dampen down firmly.
- Cut the weed suppressor to size and lay on the dirt.
- Add around half of the crushed stone and level out.
- Compact it as tightly as you can.
- Add the remainder of the crushed stones on top and compact again.
How to Plan and Prepare Your Garden
- Mark out the area where you want the patio to go.
- Use sticks and lay them down on the ground to get a better visual aid.
- Measure the area to determine how many slabs you will need.
How to Mark Out the Height of the Slabs
- First decide how high you want the patio slabs to be once they have been put down.
- Place wooden stakes around the edges of the patio area you have marked.
- Make sure one end of the stakes allows for a slope so that the rain water will run off the slabs away from the house.
- Tie string around the stakes to help you know which height the slabs are to be laid.
- Make the sand damp before you use it.
- Spread a layer of sand across the area evenly. This should be two inches thick.
- Cut the weed suppressor to size and lay on the sand.
How to Make the Correct Mix
It is best to make enough mix to lay just six slabs at a time. That way you avoid it getting hard and unusable.
- Place one part cement with six parts of sand into a mixing bucket.
- Mix together until perfectly blended.
- Add water gradually until it is completely blended and damp to the touch.
- Lay the slabs onto the ground.
- Place the first paving slab into place on top of the sand.
- Press down firmly to around 15 mm into the sand.
- Lay the second slab next to it at the same depth.
- Keep 15 mm between each slab.
- Continue like this until you have put down your last slab.
How to Fill Up the Joints
The sand needed for this task should be fine grained to work best. It must also be a dry day for this part of the job to work.
- Add a little of the sand to the slabs.
- Use a sweeping brush to slowly bring it over the slabs.
- Go back and forth so that the sand drops into the cracks of the paving stones.
- Continue like this until all the slabs have been filled in.
How to Bury a Time Capsule Under the Patio
My two grandsons were fascinated watching me working on the patio. Their mother had the great idea of making a time capsule so they could bury it under the slabs.
A tin was found and they set about filling it with items. They both made a picture with the date and their names on the back of them. They put in a piece of paper with a few news stories from that week which was printed from the internet. Three toys were also added. One for each of the boys and one from their dog. A few coins and a photo of the family completed the box.
It was wrapped with a plastic bag a few times to keep it water proof. I made the hole and let the boys place it there and then add the soil to cover it. They watched even more excited as it got to the slab which would cover the time capsule.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.