patio base

8 Nov 2004
Reaction score
United Kingdom
hi all,
back for more advise always get great advice on here, i am laying a patio i have edging stones all around it, would it be ok to just use sand as a base, the way they do with block pavers
i should add that the it was a patio before and ive just removed the old slabs which were laid directly on to the soil so the soil is very comapcted
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I think you know the answer but its not what you wanted to hear.

What type of paving? Slabs? what size ? Natural stone, concrete ?
I think you know the answer but its not what you wanted to hear.

What type of paving? Slabs? what size ? Natural stone, concrete ?
thanks for the reply the slabs are natural stone 450mm sq, i guess from your answer i need to lay them on a mortar mix then?
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sorry just realised that that might sound a bit disrespectful wasnt meant to be i appreciate your answer just wondered if that method might work as my slabs are the same size and it is just for light foot traffic.
Really Its all just a matter of opinion but my heart sinks when i see monty don laying his brick path on a bit of grit and hoping for the best etc etc and people listen to this advice go out and buy some lovely reclaimed brick (not cheap) only to find their path has become very 'rustic' in only a few months.

I as a professional will always do work and give advice to a standard where i can be sure there will be no problems and possible comebacks. In many cases this is over the top but the differences and associated costs are often marginal.

I feel its important to offer the best way to do it and then people can decide from there if they feel its over the top. Starting with a mantra of 'that should be ok' gives you very little room to manoevere before the job is doomed.

I disagree that any paving whether foot traffic only or not is suitable with only a sand base and no sub-base. Its a total bodge. A 50mm bed of mortar will be ok for many paths and patios but the very little extra money spent on sub-base is definately money well spent. Hardcore is pretty cheap afterall.

There are so many different laying methods for different flags and stone but generally speaking flags 450mm and smaller can be bedded on just sand as you would block paving. Bigger than 450 or any kind of natural stone and a mortar bed should be used.

To get back to your situation Natural stone is softer than the pressed concrete flag mentioned in the above post and so should definately be laid on a mortar bed. Sub-base recommended but of course that up to you

hanks fr the reply i appreciate where you are coming from and will take your remarks into consideration whilst i attempt to do something that i have never done before
As there is an expert on hand I hope its ok to join in. Outside the flat is an old concrete patio with a few crack and weeds but not too bad Someone gave me some concrete paving stones which I would like to put on top. I was thinking about killing the weeds filling the cracks then some plastic sheeting with a layer of sand. then mortar the joints. Is this a reasonable plan. If so what sand should I use and to what depth. The original base is quite flat.

no - use a full wet mortar bed between concrete and new slabs, provided the concrete itself is not moving.
inch - inch-an-a-half maybe. Use a mix of sharp and building sand (with cement, too, of course)

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