Wondering how to lay paving slabs?

We’ve got you covered!

As spring arrives and the British weather begins to warm, many are rediscovering their gardens and unfortunately, the work that needs doing. Amongst the many different jobs that can be undertaken to spruce up a garden, laying paving is one of the best for reclaiming space as well as creating an attractive feature. So without further ado, we present to you our Brick Pavers Guide on How to Lay Paving Slabs.

How to prepare the ground for paving slabs

Once you’ve decided upon a general location of where your paving is going and you’ve cleared the area any obstacles, it’s time to get to work on preparing the ground for your paving slabs.

1) Start planning

First off, draw up a detailed plan on graph paper ensuring that your prospective pathway is to scale while marking up any permanent features within your garden. Beginning any DIY task fully prepared is key to working out any issues before they arise and avoiding any costly surprises during the work.

2) From the graph paper to the garden

You’ll want to lay out the site next, making sure you transfer across your detailed project correctly. Using strings and pegs is perhaps the most accurate way of carrying out your plans while helping to give a fairly accurate representation of the space your paving will cover.

3) Tools and materials

Having the right tools and materials on hand is key to undertaking any work, and for laying paving slabs the following is required:

This is what a lump hammer looks like - just so you know you're buying the right thing!

lump hammer

This is what a disc grinder looks like in case you need one

Disc grinder

 

This is what a hammer drill looks like in case you need to add one to your shopping list

Hammer Drill

This is what a wood block looks like in case you need one

Wood block

 

 

This is what a chisel looks like in case you need one

Chisel

 

This is what a rake looks like in case you need one

Rake

 

 

 

 

This is what a spirit level looks like in case you need one

Spirit level

This is what a tape measure looks like in case you need one

Tape measure

 

This is what protective clothing looks like in case you need some

Protective clothing

 

 

 

 

 

This is what string and pegs look like in case you need some

String and pegs

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) The hard work begins

It’s now that the hard work begins and you will want to start by digging the foundations to a depth of about 150mm and removing any turf. To ensure for firm foundations you will want to put down either a concrete mix or a coarse sharp sand to a depth of roughly 50mm to 80mm. Use a rake to ensure an even surface and you should now have an area perfectly ready to begin laying down paving slabs.

How to lay paving slabs, though?

So you’ve carefully followed the rules on how to prepare the ground for paving slabs, the next stop you’ll want to know is how best to lay the paving slabs themselves.

1) Steady the surface

Firstly, once your concrete mix or sand has been flattened out, you’ll want to add a layer of landscape fabric or bedding mortar to help stabilise the ground. This new layer will allow water to drain while preventing weeds from creeping through the surface.

Photos via Pinterest

2) Placing your paving slabs

Now you can get down to the placing of the paving slabs, starting at the border of your space, carefully place the slabs in a straight line. It’s key here to make sure the slabs are perfectly aligned, as if not, it will cause every following slab to be off centre too. Once placed, gently tap the paving slab to the correct level with the hammer, measuring with the spirit level to ensure accuracy. It’s usually recommended to hammer a block of wood placed over the slab to avoid any unwanted cracking, as the last thing you want is a damaged path or patio before it’s even finished.

3) Wait it out

Once your brand new paving has all been placed, it’s time to leave for 24 hours to set in place. After the 24 hours have passed, it’s time to fill in any gaps between the slabs with a mortar mix and slowly pressing it down and smoothing with a pointing bar. Again, leave to harden for 24 hours when finished.

4) Clean and finish

All that’s left is now is to give the area a good brush down to clear away any leftover dirt or dust and your new paving surface is done.

What is block paving?

This is what block paving looks like - how to lay paving slabsSometimes common paving just doesn’t quite cut it, but block paving offers a simple yet creative way of adding patterns to paths and patios.  This inventive way of paving also offers a variety of advantages and benefits including the ability to easily be repaired, as bricks can easily be replaced, and the ability to comfortably withstand extreme temperatures.

How to lay paving slabs on grass

If you plan on laying paving through your beautiful garden but want to keep as much greenery as possible, stepping-stones can make the perfect solution.

1) Plan your pathway

For laying paving slabs onto grass you will first need to calculate how many slabs are required. Stride across your desired path route, noting each step as these will be where you want to place your slabs. Once each step is marked up and at an equal distance apart, place your slabs on the grass before cutting around each one with a utility knife.

2) Remove the grass and soil

One by one, carefully remove the grass squares before removing the soil below, taking about an inch extra in height compared to that of the slabs. Replace this soil with about ½ inch of sand making sure the ground is now compact and smoothed out.

3) Fill in the holes

Next, add a mortar mix into the hole before placing the slab on top. Make sure your slab is level and stable then repeat until each one has been placed.
Congratulations, your garden now has a lovely set of stepping-stones.

How to lay a patio for beginners

This is what a patio looks like - how to lay paving slabs

Laying a patio yourself can be an incredibly rewarding undertaking, and while a fairly straightforward job to carry out, it does involve its fair share of heavy lifting. Before getting down to the hard work, it’s worth considering where you want your patio to stand. Remember that a south/south-west facing patio will get the most light throughout the day and early evening.

1) Preparation, preparation, preparation

After settling on where to build your patio and gathering all the required tools and materials, it’s time to draw up a detailed plan. Remember that these plans should include everything, from where each and every slab will go to any immovable objects such as drains etc. Next, transfer these detailed plans into your garden using string and pegs to create your patio’s outline.

2) Plan for rain

When building a patio, remember to include a gradual slope, around 25mm for every 1.5m, away from your home to allow for all water to drain off.  You will also need to build your patio at least 150mm below the damp proof course of your home to help further avoid any water damage.

3) Dig the foundations

Much like when installing paving slabs for a pathway, you’ll want to dig down to 150mm for your foundations. Add a layer of hardcore 50mm to 80mm deep and smooth out the surface to remove any bumps before adding bedding mortar.

4) Place your slabs

Begin laying down your slabs, starting at the border running alongside your house. Make sure to check each slab is accurately placed and level as you work, while also taking into consideration the required slope.

5) Check and wait

Once all your slabs have been laid, do another quick level check before leaving to dry for 24 hours. Return to your slabs the following day and with a trowel fill in any gaps between them using the mortar. This well help further hold the slabs in place as well as preventing any weeds from growing through.

6) Job done

Brush away any remaining mortar and dust before giving your new patio a rinse down. Now all that’s left is for the area to dry and then you can relax and enjoy hopefully many countless hours outdoors on your brand new patio.

How to lay slabs for a shed

This is what a shed looks like - how to lay paving slabs

Having a shed in your garden can be a great way of adding extra storage space or creating a secluded office in which to get away from the distractions of the home. So when it comes to building a shed, whether pre-made or from scratch, you’re going to need a sturdy base and level surface on which to begin.

1) Ready the area

Step one when laying any sort of base or paving is measuring off the area before using string and pegs to create your shed’s outline. It’s often recommended that when measuring out your shed’s dimensions to add an extra 100mm in both width and length to your final measurements.

2) Create the foundations

Remove all soil to a depth of 60mm, before using a spirit level to ensure an even surface. Make sure that the ground is compact by using a spade to pound the dirt. Again, use the spirit level to ensure an even surface.

3) Build the base

Now you’ll want to fill your base with either a coarse sand or a concrete mix to a height of 50mm. Smooth the surface and begin laying down the slabs for your shed starting from one corner and working your way out. Remember to use a spirit level on each and every slab once placed, if not level use a mallet and wooden block to hammer until it sits flat.

And there you have it, a level and strong base on which to start building the shed of your dreams.

Maintaining your paving slabs

Seeing all the hard work put into a project just to see it all go to waste a couple of months later due to poor maintenance can be a frustrating feeling, So here are our key tips on making sure your paving slabs avoid any unwanted damage.
Every couple of months or so, give your paving slabs a regular check to pick up on any that may be showing signs of cracking or loosening. Picking up on any problems early before they become a bigger issue can help you to save both time and money in the long run.

A patio makes the perfect space for a barbecue, and as such, will surely see its fair share of spills and stains. Help get rid of any nasty spots by regularly going over your patio with a pressure house or with an intensive cleaning treatment.

Defrosting your garden path with salt may be a good idea to help prevent slipping during the winter months, but it can cause untold harm to your paving slabs. A better method of avoiding damage to your pathway or patio is to simply use a shovel to remove any ice or snow.

In Summary

Adding a pathway or a patio can help breath new life into a garden with relative ease. However, if you would rather have a qualified tradesman carry out the work, get in touch with us here at HOMYZE. Our trusted professionals are available around the clock, so whatever the problem, we can help.