How to lay a patio

Planning for your patio

There are a few things to take into consideration when planning for a patio in your garden. A patio could just be a simple paved area directly outside the house, it could be a Mediterranean-style outdoor living area, or it could be a secluded/private dining and entertainment area at the bottom of the garden.

Areas that are most likely to catch the sun at that time of day you are most likely to use it or to be facing the evening sun for al fresco dining, or in full sun all day to make a nice suntrap. It may be that the area is purely practical and provides an area directly outside the property to allow access to the garden but still has to look aesthetically pleasing. All of these areas will need to be assessed on best shape and design so consider the size to allow for outside furnishings. Patio packs come in certain sizes so the area could be increased or decreased in size to match a certain pack size all though if you are purchasing from us we will happily split packs to suit your required area.

Measuring up your patio

When planning your patio make sure there is enough space not only for the table and chairs, but also to move the chairs away from the table and walk around it. Brick patio pavers and certain patio packs must be selected with furniture in mind, something that has to uneven a surface will problematic with trying to level furniture. Measuring for laying patio area shold be done in meters as slabs a brick patios and patio packs are sold in m².

Preparing your patio for sub base

Clear the area you’ve chosen for your patio and mark out the desired shape. Dig the area out to a depth of 150 mm to allow room for the hardcore, mortar and paving slabs. Lay the hard core in three separate stages and compact at each course. Getting the hardcore and leaving 50 to 60 mm off finished height of the paving with the correct falls is important so spend time insuring this is do properly raking out any bumps. We recommend using MOT type 1 for the sub base and this can be purchased from us if required.

Laying your patio paving slabs

You May wish to prearrange the slabs to the pattern you require for a random design using a patio pack, place several slabs on the ground to help you decide which shapes interlock well together. Alternatively, cut out pieces of paper to represent scaled-down slabs and work out a design on your scale plan.

You need to leave a 8-12 mm gap between each slab, which you’ll fill in later with mortar or jointing product As you progress, use a spirit level to ensure the slabs are level and have the correct fall. We recommend priming the back of each slab before laying and that each slab to be laid on a full wet mortar bed.

Pointing your patio

Filing the gaps between the paving slabs can be done using a couple of methods either using a pointing trowel and a mortar mix .This can be done using either a semi dry or wet mix of sharp sand and cement at a ratio of around 4 to 1.Try not to get mortar on the slab surfaces as this will stain if allowed to set. Alternatively a brush in compound can be used we recommend Marshalls 365. This is applied on to a wet surface and brushed in. The second brush in method is ideal for DIY and trade alike it simple to use and gives a high quality professional finish.

How to maintain your patio

Marks such as algae, lichens and moss can accumulate over time when water is allowed to sit.In the case of algae removing it as quickly as possible as when it gets wet or damp it poses a potential danger of slipping. Weeds can also be a common problem and can grow on top of paving and in joints. If dirt and debris is allowed to settle on top of a paving surface then it is only a matter of time before something takes hold and starts to grow. Along with simple brushing, the occasional scrub down with soapy water or pressure washer is advisable twice a year, just make sure that any cleaning products are acid free as acid based cleaners can react and damage some concrete or stone surfaces.

Frequently asked questions

Can you lay paving on sand?

We advise that all brick patios (block paving) should be laid on sand and all slabs should be laid on a full wet bed of mortar using the methods we have suggested above.

What sand should I use for laying a patio?

We suggest using a mix of soft building sand and sharp sand to create a workable mortar for laying full wet beds for laying patio slabs.

Can I lay slabs on soil?

You should not lay slabs directly on to soil as the soil will move and the slabs will become uneven and the patio will fail. Slabs should be laid on to at least 100mm of compacted hard-core and laid with a full wet bed.

Can you lay patio slabs on to an old patio?

It is acceptable to lay over an existing patio if there is no restrictions with the damp course on the house and the existing patio is stable and not cracked and moving. If the old patio could be taken out and replaced with 100 mm of compacted hard core this would give a far longer lasting and all-round better job.

How to prepare the ground for laying a patio?

Clear all shrubs and waste from the area then mark out the area you wish to pave dig it out wider than it needs to be to a depth of approximately 150mm to allow for hard core, Mortar and your chosen slab.

Paving Products


Perfect Pave Ltd
Unit 2B Valley Line Industrial Park, 
Wedmore Road, Cheddar, 
Somerset BS27 3EE
01934 740 163
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