patio confusion

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21 Jan 2003
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United Kingdom
I apologise now if this repeats any other posts but I am getting confused by conflicting information.

I want to lay a patio measuring 5m*7m in my garden using 18*18inch slabs.

The most common advice regarding the base seems to be, use a layer of hardcore compacted with a wacca plate and then a layer of sand. but I have no idea how thick either layer should be?!

Also some sites don't mention that you need sand.

Access to my garden is very difficult and delivery of a large quantity of materials is virtually impossible, so it would save a lot of hard work (and the budget) if I did not require a layer of sand. Is this sensible?

I suppose what I am asking for is a basic recipe for a patio.
thickness of hardcore=?
thickness of sand (if needed)=?
(amount of hardcore and sand for 5*7 patio)=?

lay the slabs on mortar mix made up of ?
fill the gaps with mix of ? and water before or after?

ANY help appreciated.

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well I know what a lot of people do with sand, personnally I rate it as a temporary job and should be avoided.

I lay on as much concrete (equal parts 10mm aggregete, sharp sand, cement to good strength) as possible.

If this is an inch thick it may not take as much traffic as if it was 3 inches thick.

If it is laid on shifting ground full of rotting wood fragments it may not take as much traffic as well compacted clay soil.
i always preume sand is used to make an "even surface" but i oftenwonder will it wash away.

tommy walsh allways uses his special mixture, 3 sharp, 2 soft, 1 cement when he lays slabs (think that is right)
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unless the manufacturer says otherwise, i always lay on a wet mix, with sharp sand, building sand and cement. Some use the weak 10:1 dry mix and use it as a screed. It can work ok if the grouting is ok, but personally i prefer to know that its down and fully bedded and it aint going to move. It allows you to lay staright over the hardcore or any other surface provided the its been compacted down. A whacker plate is great, but so is a punner or the head of a sledge, bit more time consuming, but good enough for pedestrian traffic.Also stops any weeds growng through.

I dont use aggregate for the bedding layer, as sods law says i will get an over size pebble under a slab as i maul it down and i hae to prise it back up again.

As for grouting, again depends on the slab. If its wet grouted eg crazy paving i use gauged 1:3 with building sand and colourant to get rid of the new look. Im also lookin for a project to try a new product sika have bought out, which is a dry mix resin product, which is just swept into the joints and goes off rock hard in time.

Hope it helps
I have always laid on sharp sand without any problems. As long as your sub base (3-4" of hoggin) is well compacted with a 2" layer of sharp sand on top, you shouldn't have any problems. Make sure you have adequate boundaries around the edge to stop the sand from spilling out.

I grout with a 6:1 dry mix of sharp sand and cement.

Most pavements are laid on a sand bed, it would take too long to spot each one down.
nstreet said:
Most pavements are laid on a sand bed, it would take too long to spot each one down.

That's mainly the reason I hate the idea, it's just a quick and in my books, temporary fix. Ask anyone who's gone arse over tit from tripping on shifted slabs!

My daughter went over recently, got up and asked 'why'd they leave the slab like that?'. After a bit of explanation about time, effect of tree roots etc I think she got the picture.
That's mainly the reason I hate the idea, it's just a quick and in my books, temporary fix. Ask anyone who's gone a**e over tit from tripping on shifted slabs!.

Yes, but you have to consider the volume of people on a public pavement compared to that of a patio.

If the bed is constructed properly and the grouting is sound the slabs wont shift. I even parked numerous motorcycles on my last patio without any problems.
its a personal preference really, altough i find its a bit slower in laying them, it saves time on the ground preperation. Theres no quick or easy way, just what works for you!
Did you know, there's more stars in the universe, than grains of sand on earth? Just a thought as you lay your slabs! :confused:
doesnt feel like it when im barrowing sand from front garden to back garden!
A beach in the back garden, wow that's something I haven't got :LOL:

post locked to prvent hi-jacking (again)

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