Top tips for laying your patio so you get it right

Top tips for laying your patio so you get it right

When it comes to our garden, the patio space is always one of the focal points and for many people wanting to upgrade their garden space, it’s often one of the first points of call.

While the vast majority of us will choose our outdoor tiles and natural stone paving from a specialist and get said specialist to install it for us, others see it as an opportunity to enjoy a bit of DIY, save a bit of money, and enjoy the fruits of their labour when the hard work is complete and they can sit out and soak up the sun on a patio of their creation.

However, that can be risky business, as there is a lot to get wrong when laying your own patio. That said, it can also be a rewarding project, so here are five top tips if it’s a project you’re wanting to take on.  

Plan Your Patio Layout

One of the first steps is to plan out your garden. You want to think about the entire garden and how your patio fits into it. This will allow you to plan your patio layout more carefully, considering the size and shape and how well it fits into the garden space.

A big factor is understanding what the patio will be used for. Is it a space purely for lounging? Will you dine on it? Is it a spot for the children to play? Decide upon the functionality of it and this will also give you a better idea of the size and scale you need your patio to be.

During the planning stage, you’ll also need to decide upon the materials you want to use, with there so many materials, such as porcelain tiles, limestone paving, concrete slabs, decking, brick and so many other options.

Prepare the Ground Properly

When it comes to the building, this is where the room for error becomes a lot slimmer. You need to get this right if you want your patio to be long lasting. One critical aspect to consider is stone restoration. Stone restoration in Sydney requires precision and expertise to ensure that your patio not only looks great but also stands the test of time. Proper stone restoration can prevent issues such as cracking, chipping, and discoloration, ultimately enhancing the durability and aesthetic appeal of your patio. 

You then want to excavate to around 15cm deep, ensuring it’s completely level, which will then allow for the paving slabs or flooring material to be laid flat on top of a solid base layer.

That base layer should be about 10cm thick of crushed stone or hardcore, which will help create a firm foundation once compacted. You may need to hire machinery to ensure this is stable, level and even.

Lay the Paving Correctly

Laying the paving correctly is crucial for a professional finish. Start by spreading a layer of sharp sand over the sub-base, about 50mm (5cm) thick. Level the sand with a screeding board, ensuring it’s even and smooth. This sand layer provides a stable bed for the paving slabs.

Begin laying the slabs from one corner, working outwards. Use a rubber mallet to gently tap each slab into place, ensuring it’s level. Maintain consistent spacing between slabs, using spacers or a small piece of wood to achieve uniform joints. Check your progress regularly with a spirit level to ensure the patio surface is even.

Joint and Finish

Finally, once your slabs are laid, it’s time to joint and finish the patio. You’ll need to mix a suitable compound or mortar to get between the gaps of the slabs. A pointing trowel will be necessary to apply this neatly. Alternatively, if you want a more contemporary feel, a brush in compound could be a good option, particularly as this can be easier to apply.

Ensure you follow all the instructions when it comes to jointing as this is such an essential part if you want your patio to be durable and look good over the long term. Once complete, sweep the patio to remove any debris, and clean the slabs and you’ve got yourself a patio!

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