Slabs ‘R’ Us Ltd Installation and Advice Guide for Patios
Create a sketch of the area to be paved, showing dimensions and laying pattern, especially if creating a random pattern. Remember, if laying close to the house, the finished paving level must be at least 2 brick courses below the damp-proof course. However if this is not possible, you can leave a gap approx. 2” (50mm) between the patio and the property, and fill with decorative chipping to create a gulley. Always provide a slope to enable surface water to fall away from the house/buildings.
Preparing the ground for paving does depend upon the site conditions and the intended use of the paved area. The area to be paved must be firm and compact to avoid any subsidence. For normal garden situations approximately 30-40mm of compacted sub-base mix, leaving enough depth to accommodate the mortar and slab thicknesses.
As our slabs are hand made, and therefore have a variation in thickness of each individual slab, we would advise that you use the “5 spot” method, which allows for easy alignment and adjustment for the required finished surface level. You should use a slightly wet mortar mix of 1 part cement to 5 parts building sand.
Starting from a corner or straight edge, put five large trowel fulls of mortar at each corner and in the middle of each slab, this would make the slab about 1-1½” higher than the finished level of the paving. Ease/push the slabs gently down on top of the mortar, to form a full mortar bed beneath each slab.
Continuous checking of levels and falls should be on-going, and should be taken across the top surface profile of a number of slabs remembering that slabs are domed or dished, so take several readings. Also check the slab spacing; gently shuffle the slab with a twist of the trowel until the joints look even.
Care should be taken to ensure that cement is kept off the surface of the paving, as it can cause staining.
DO NOT WALK ON THE PATIO FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS
The joints should be pointed as soon as possible, but NOT if it is raining, or snow is forecast.
We suggest using a slightly wet (but not sloppy) cement mortar mix. Using a trowel to push the mix between the joints.
Care must be taken – do not brush across the face of the slab or use too wet a mix – this can cause staining of the slab.
Care & Maintenance:
Before using any cleaning materials, test a small area before cleaning the patio, but use sparingly. Sealants can be used, but they can affect the colour of the paving.
Dark patches are due to different weathering, or efflorescence. Efflorescence is a chemical reaction of the cement in the concrete with water, from rain, dew or condensation. There is no hard or fast rule as to why it may occur in one area and not another. The reaction is temporary and is best left to weather out naturally, however it can take some time and we cannot accept any responsibility for its occurrence.
On icy or snow covered patio areas, please be aware that putting salt down on the patio causes rapid thawing and rapid freezing which could lead to the slabs scaling (ie: the top coat of the slab flaking off).
Regular washing and brushing should be adequate to maintain your patio.
Note: The above information is given in good faith, but for guidance only. However if alternative laying methods are used it may result in the slabs becoming damaged, and we cannot accept any responsibility for this.