There are various ways of laying a patio and your builder may have his own method. These are suggested methods; if the area to be paved is soft, it should be dug to a depth of at least 200mm (ensure that one end is lower to create a fall). It should then be back filled with blinding and compacted to leave a working depth of 70mm. A screed bed of builders sand or quarry dust and cement mix, (8 – 1) can then be used as opposed to creating a wet mortar bed.
Areas which are to be subjected to heavier use may require a mortar bed which is normally mixed at a ratio of (5 – 1).
Place the slabs according to the plan or to your own design and they can then be seated by lightly tapping them down with a rubber mallet or alternatively, you can use a piece of softwood between a hammer and the slab. Continually check your levels, gaps (normally 14mm) and falls during the laying process. It is better to re-lift a few and do them again than it is to hope that you will pick up your levels, gaps or falls again further down.
Your patio can be pointed with a (4 – 1) wet mortar mix, however we would recommend that you remove it from the mixer and allow it to dry slightly on a wooden board before use. Push it into your joints on a dry warm day and as it dries, use a stiff brush to remove any access from the
surface of the slab, as this will be impossible to remove once set. You can finish the job by sliding a brick jointing tool along the joints to leave a
crisp look. Give the patio a last brush off and you’re finished.
We believe the method above to be superior; however some people point their patio with either a dry mix of sand and cement brushed into the joints or they purchase a jointing compound. If pointing with a dry mix, a ratio of (5 – 1) is used. The dry mix is indirectly watered by lightly watering the surface of the slabs, rather than the joint itself. The water trickles into the joints and hydrates the cement. Do not water the joints directly as this will splash the dry mix over the surface of the slab.