Finally Lets Take A Look At Each Type Of Paving Slab To Help You Choose The Best Patio For Your Garden
So we’ve looked at the basics of choosing the right paving slabs for your garden patio such as your garden’s theme, prices of paving and choosing the best sized patio slabs depending on the area you will be paving but I really think that the best way to finish this buying guide and to give you a better understanding is to have an in depth look at the 4 main categories of paving which are the block paving, concrete, natural stone and porcelain paving slabs.
First Lets Look At Choosing The Right Sized Paving Slabs Depending On The Size Of Your Garden Patio
One of the best ways to help choose the right paving slabs for your garden is by looking at which size slabs works best and go from there. As a general rule if thumb, the bigger your patio the larger the paving slabs your going to want to use. Just look at the before and after image below where we replaced the square 600x600mm Indian sandstone paving with the 900x450mm porcelain paving slabs. The customer wanted rectangular paving slabs for her patio, but I explained that it would be better to use the thinner 900x450mm porcelain paving instead of the 900x600mm since it was a small area.
If the area was larger then I may have gone for the 900x600mm paving slabs but I think this worked well in this instance. Rectangular sized paving slabs can vary quite dramatically with natural Indian sandstone typically available in 600x295mm and 900x600mm options whilst porcelain paving typically has a few more options available including 600x295mm, 900x600mm and even 1200x600mm.
If you aren’t into rectangular paving slabs then you can always go for the 600x600mm square patio paving slabs which are the most popular size available for both Indian sandstone and porcelain paving. You can get the smaller 450x450mm squared paving slabs but these are typically more popular with the machine made concrete paving as opposed to natural stone and porcelain, although that doesn’t mean they are impossible to find but it will definitely narrow your choices down.
How To Choose The Right Paving Slabs For Your Garden Patio Depending On Your Budget
In any case, laying a new patio is never cheap but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t cheaper paving slabs to buy compared to others on the market so let’s look at the typical starting prices per type of patio slabs.
If your looking at the prices by the squared meter, then there are typically 4 groups available. Block paving like you see on driveways are the cheapest option with prices starting from around the £15 mark, concrete paving slabs start from around the £20 per squared meter mark, natural Indian sandstone as well as limestone we purchase from the £28 per squared meter mark with porcelain coming in at the most expensive with prices starting from £35 per squared meter which is no surprise as they are the easiest to maintain and in my opinion, look the best.
There are other aspects to look at too when trying to keep the price down such as the preparation and cost of materials needed. Block paving is in my experience the easiest and quickest to lay which means that it will save you money on labour where as natural stone with an uneven riven surface may take longer to lay as it will be harder to find an average level that looks right. Porcelain paving are the most expensive per squared meter but their smooth finish makes them lovely to work with. With all of this in mind, it could be worth getting a few quotes with a style of slab you love, and one that you can afford.
Natural Stone Paving Is The Most Popular Choice But Are They Right For Your Garden
Natural Indian sandstone and natural limestone paving slabs are likely one of the most popular paving slabs being layed today and with so many options to choose from it’s no surprise why.
Unlike machine made concrete patio slabs where each slab is identical to the next, from the colour/shade to the patterns and riven surface, each natural paving flagstone are truly unique from each other.
Not only this but they are so popular that you can get your chosen style from a range of different suppliers making it easy to compare prices or even order more slabs if your chosen supplier has sold out and you are a few paving slabs short.
You can typically choose packs of singular 600x600mm square slabs or 900x600mm large rectangular slabs or even go for the mixed packs offering 4 different sized slabs for that modern jigsaw effect, although other options may be available. Not only this but you can choose between a natural hand split edge or a machine cut sawn edge. There are lots of options available when it comes to natural paving to help you not only choose, but create the perfect natural stone patio for you.
Use Your Gardens Theme To Help Pick The Best Paving Slabs For Your Garden Patio
Are you just going to be changing the patio in your existing garden or will you be redesigning your garden entirely? If you are happy with your existing garden and just want the addition of a new patio then it might be a good idea to match your new paving slabs to your current garden’s theme and decor. If your going to be redesigning your entire garden then make sure that your new paving slabs are going to match your new garden, and not what exists now.
If you want a more natural looking garden then I would recommend looking at the natural hand split paving slabs with a riven surface – The Sagar Black have an old medieval look about them and are dark in colour . If your after something lighter then I would recommend looking at the Mint Fossil – If this is too light then the Raj Green could be a happy medium.
Block paving is great for lots of twists and turns such as paths but this doesn’t mean it’s not possible with other paving options. If your looking for a back garden to match the front drive as opposed the the theme itself then it’s likely block paving could be the way forward.
For the most modern look then porcelain paving is your best bet with a wide range of colours available. We had a customer go for white porcelain to match his villa in Spain and painted his walls and plant pots/vases to match!
How To Lay A Patio Yourself Prepare The Ground For Pavers Using Cement Or Not
How to lay a patio: DIY with our 10-step guide. How to prep the ground to install a patio on grass or not, using cement, or not…
Learn how to lay a patio yourself to enjoy a great looking feature that suits the style of your yard perfectly. With our easy step-by-step method, you don’t need to call in the professionals to install a patio on a grassy or other area of your backyard space. And, in no time at all you’ll have the perfect spot for wining, dining and relaxing in.
Laying a patio is a straightforward job for a keen DIYer, and is a task you could do over a weekend. The only catch is that you might need a friend to help you lift the pavers into place, whether you’re working with big or small patio pavers.
We’ve got all you need to know to install a patio in our guide, including how to prepare the ground and lay the sub-base. We’ll even let you into the secret of laying pavers without cement…
- Find the best patio ideas in our edit for when it’s time to decorate your space.
Porcelain Is More Expensive But Would It Be The Right Choice Of Patio For You
Out of all the paving options available I would say that providing you go for the 20mm thick ones that porcelain is the most durable and requires the least maintenance. Most of the porcelain paving slabs on the market are vitrified meaning that they have a low water absorption rate of less than 0.5% making them less likely to suffer from moss and algae and don’t suffer from lichen like natural paving does.
They are machine made so have a smooth surface and edge, unlike natural paving. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t come with their own shades and patterns like the natural paving does – Just look at the image above! These porcelain paving slabs are called Kandla grey, an imitation of the Kandla Grey natural sandstone.
In my opinion porcelain looks the best and requires the most maintenance. With an approximate price increase of around 30% compared to the other varieties of patio slabs to choose from, I would say that they are worth the money. Although all patios can last a lifetime and look as good as the day you layed them provided that you look after and maintain them properly.
My Overall Thoughts On Choosing The Right Paving Slabs For Your Garden Patio
Hopefully I’ve not complicated things when choosing the right patio for your garden but rather simplify everything by breaking the paving options up into 4 different categories. I would first recommend looking at the paving options available and just ticking off exactly what your not looking for before deciding on the best colour slabs that would best suit your garden. Once you have your colour and style chosen, you just need to figure out which sized slabs you are looking for and fingers crossed – It’s as easy as that! In theory at least.
There was lots to write about in this article that I’ve most likely forgotten a few things so if you do get stuck then please comment below and I’ll try and answer your questions the very same day! If your looking for paving ideas then why not follow our Instagram page?
Are Concrete Paving Slabs Better Than Natural Stone For Your New Patio
Like the block paving, concrete paving slabs don’t suffer from natural staining on a scale that natural paving does, such as lichen but they aren’t as popular as they once were.
If you are looking for paving slabs that can hold a substantial amount of weight such as a car, jacuzzi, shed etc then concrete slabs are more durable since in most cases, they are thicker at 30 – 50mm. Although this doesn’t mean that natural stone and porcelain can’t be used – It just means that you will need to look for thicker slabs and make sure you do the preparation correctly.
Concrete slabs are available in a wide range of colours and styles such as a smooth or riven surface, giving the impression of a natural stone but almost always have a sawn edge taking away that natural look. This isn’t all bad as many people opt for this neat finish and it allows them to use spacers when laying.
If concrete paving slabs sounds like the best option for you then just be aware that unless you are looking for square 450x450mm or 600×600 paving slabs then they may be hard to find or at least, narrow your options down quite significantly
Step 1 Measure The Area Of Your Intended Space And Paving Slabs
Start by measuring the area that is to be paved and calculating just how much paving will be required.
The area of your intended patio space is usually measured in square feet. To calculate this, simply multiply the length by the width of the proposed patio area.
For example: if your proposed area is 15ft in length and 10ft wide, the measurement of this space is 150 square foot.
To calculate the area of your paver, multiply the length by the width then divide by 144 as you will need to convert this unit into square feet.
For example: if the measurement of your intended patio area is 25 meters squared and your paving slab measures 12 inches x 15 inches, multiply 12 x 15 = 180, then divide this by 144 which is 1.25 sqft.
To calculate how many paving slabs you need for your project, divide your total project area by the total area of your paving slab.
For example: 150 sqft divided by 1.25 sqft = 120 pavers
Minster Tip: we recommend adding 10% to the total amount of pavers you intend to purchase, this will account for any broken slabs and any that need to cut to fit corners etc.
If you need further assistance, Minster Paving can help you with this by recommending materials and suggesting a selection of sizes that can be combined to best cover the area.
How To Build A Shed Base With Paving Slabs In 10 Easy Steps
Having a solid foundation is a must if you want to place a shed in your yard. You could just put it on the ground, but that invites problems. Uneven ground can lead to warping and contact with soil allows moisture to seep into the wood, leading to damage and rot. Most homeowners, however, can build a shed base with paving slabs.
It takes a little time and elbow grease, but a foundation will prolong the life of your shed. Also, putting in a paver shed foundation isn’t as hard to do as you may think.
Step 5 Laying A Patio Base: Creating The Support Layer
The first layer of your patio is the support layer, called the “sub-base”. It consists of a 75-100mm thick layer of hardcore .
Spread the hardcore out and level it off so that it slopes down towards your garden or drainage channel.
Minster Tip: Compact it with a vibrating plate compactor until it lies 50-75mm below the level at which you want the finished patio to sit.
Patio After Setting Pavers Over Concrete Patio Slabs
Pavers dress up the patio and make it an attractive outdoor living space. A concrete patio is made for practicality, not beauty. It starts out looking plain and goes downhill from there. As craters, cracks and stains accumulate, it can go from dull to downright ugly in just a few years. But there’s a simple solution, whether you want to dress up a bland patio or hide an aging one. Covering concrete with paver bricks is much easier than pouring new concrete or laying paving stones the traditional way. It requires less skill and less time, and it’s a whole lot easier on your back. Here we’ll walk you through how to lay paving stones over concrete.
Assess your slab This project will work with most patios. Surface damage like flaking, chips and craters is no problem. But a few conditions make this method a no-go:
- A too-low threshold. Door thresholds have to be high enough above the existing patio to allow for the thickness of the border pavers, plus an extra 3/4 in. to allow for “frost heave”—rising of the slab when the soil freezes.
- Expanding cracks. This method will work over most cracks—which grow and shrink with seasonal ground movement. But if you have a crack that has noticeably grown in recent years, this method is risky. The crack may eventually “telegraph” through the pavers, creating a hump or gaps.
Is Block Paving The Best Solution For Your New Patio
Block paving is most common on driveways but also make a great addition to any back garden and can make a beautiful patio – They especially look good when used for garden paths with twists and turns like the one above.
They are low maintenance as they don’t suffer from natural staining on the scale that natural stone does and you don’t need to worry about the pointing breaking and coming away since you would usually just sweep in kiln dried sand!
These block paving slabs are known for their ability of holding substantial weight and it’s no surprise with a depth of 50mm per pavier – Much thicker than your typical natural stone and porcelain slab. Although block paviers come in 200x100mm sizes as standard there are other options available with many colours and styles to choose from. You could make patterns within your new patio, create your very own borders with ease and so on.
What Is A Paver Shed Foundation And When To Use It
A paver shed base is a surface made of paving blocks. You can find pavers in a variety of materials, including concrete and brick, which are suitable for shed foundations.
Pavers fit together tightly, allowing you to create a sturdy base for your shed. Plus, they are durable and relatively inexpensive letting you get top quality results without breaking the bank.
Using a shed paver foundation ensures your new outbuilding is on a stable, level surface. It also keeps the shed off the soil, lowering the chance of moisture wicking up into the materials.
With a proper foundation, you can prolong the life of your shed, protecting your investment.
What To Consider Before Choosing The Base Location
One of the first things you need to do before starting the project is deciding where to put your shed. After all, once you put down the foundation and build the shed, moving it isn’t exactly easy.
You may be tempted to place your shed based on how it will look in your yard. However, there is a lot more to consider than just appearances.
For example, are there any utility lines running through your yard? Where are the high and low points in your yard? How stable is the underlying soil?
Will sunlight hit the shed during the day? How far from the property line does it have to be? Are there any local restrictions to consider?
Placing a shed over underground utility lines is a big no-no. If they need to do any repairs, you should move the shed and the foundation. Who wants to do that?
Before you start the project, having area utility companies mark the location of any lines nearby. In some cases, you’ll need to find the locations of certain lines yourself.
The utility company knows where your home connects to their side, but you may need to know how it goes from that point to your home.
Slope and Drainage
You need to examine the slope of your yard. Putting a shed foundation on paving slabs in a low point in your yard means rain and meltwater will pool in that area.
You can also improve drainage in the area. For example, installing a French drain around the pavers base can keep water away from your outbuilding.
Prepare The Underneath Of Paving Slabs With A Sub
You do need to put something under paving slabs. Paving slabs should not be laid directly on to soft ground or grass. What’s crucial to patio laying success is a sub-base to provide the support paving slabs require.
You’ll need a sub-base, which is the main load-bearing layer of your patio. The best sub-base for a patio is hardcore laid to the correct depth, along with a binding layer of sand. The pavers should then be laid on mortar made using sand and cement.
To do this, fill the bottom of your patio area with the sub-base and rake to an even depth of 50mm, then compact – you can do this by just walking over it , ensuring that you cover the entire area twice.
Prepare Your Ground Properly Before Laying Slabs
You need to prepare your ground before laying out your slabs, and this includes more than just digging up the area they’ll need to go into; you’ll need a hardcore to sit at the bottom of your paving , followed by your mortar then your slabs.
Extra tip: To keep weeds from growing up through your patio, you can lay a weed suppressant fabric before laying down your hardcore. It’s very inexpensive and can help to keep weeds at bay for years to come.
Step Two: Think About The Position Of The Patio
The area at the back of the house is convenient for a patio, making it easy to carry all you need outside. However, it might not be the best location – or you might want more than one patio. Consider conditions at different times of the day: a patio positioned to catch the morning sun will make breakfast outside a great prospect, while one that faces west will enjoy evening sun.
Take privacy into account as well – both yours and your neighbours – and use a spot that’s not overlooked. Bear in mind that you can stay out of view with screens or pergolas, though, if the choice of location is limited.
Step Three: Choose The Materials For Your Patio
The array of patio paving on offer is vast. You can pick from paving slabs made from concrete, which come in a range of colours and finishes, including those that make them resemble natural stone; exterior porcelain; or natural stones themselves. Bear in mind that these vary in thickness, which makes a patio more challenging to lay. They are also heavier to work with.
The material and finish of paving should complement the look of your garden. Porcelain or smooth paving are ideal for more contemporary spaces, while cobble-style paving slabs would work in a more traditional space.
You might also think about how the paving slabs work with your house. Red-toned paving can sit well with red-brick homes, while pale and greyer slabs might suit a house with a light-coloured render.
Especially If Youre Laying Indian Stone Paving
Indian stone paving is a stunning choice – and although they may look a little complicated to lay, using the right preparation, you can definitely do it yourself. Rather than waiting until you’re ready to lay down your slabs, it’s a good idea to lay out your slabs in the shape you’re hoping for before attaching them to anything. That way, you can easily see which slabs need to be cut before you start and it gives you a chance to play about with the pattern a bit before committing to a final result.
One you have your Indian stone paving slabs laid out in the way you finally want them to sit, it’s a good idea to take note of where all the slabs are laying. One way to do this is to number the slabs on the bottom, so you can remember which order you should lay them in. It can also help to take a photo of the slabs, then make a basic outline drawing that you can number and carry with you while you lay out your Indian Stone Paving Slabs.
Step 3 Calculate The Number Of Pavers Needed
The number of pavers you’ll need depends on a few factors. First, how big are the pavers you want to use? Second, what is the square footage of the foundation?
Start by finding the square footage. Just multiply the length and the width of your marked area and multiply the two measurements.
Next, you’ll need to divide that number by the size of each paver. Multiply the length and width of the stone and then divide your foundation’s square footage by that number.
Now you know how many pavers you need; here’s a tip: buy extra pavers. Sometimes, if you buy a large batch of pavers, some may be broken. Additionally, you may accidentally damage a few along the way.
Having spare pavers means you don’t have to pause your project because of a lack of usable materials. It can cost a little more upfront, but it removes a lot of hassle.
Plus, depending on the stores return policy, you may be able to take the extra back for a refund. Alternatively, you can keep them on hand to act as replacements or for use on another project.
How To Make The Correct Mix To Lay The Slabs
It is best to make enough mix to lay just six slabs at a time. That way you avoid it getting hard and unusable.
How to lay a patio in the garden
Pavers Over Concrete: Assemble The Materials
The materials for this 12 x 14-ft. patio cost about $850, or $5 per sq. ft. Using less expensive pavers, you could cut the cost by almost half. Most landscape suppliers and home centers stock all the materials, but you may have to do a little hunting for the right combination of pavers. The pavers used for the border must be at least 3/4 in. thicker than the “field” pavers, which cover the area between the borders. That thickness difference will allow for a bed of sand under the field. A difference of more than 3/4 in. is fine; you’ll just need a little more sand. If you can’t find thick pavers you like, consider retaining wall cap blocks for the border. We used cement pavers for the border and clay pavers for the field.
To estimate how much sand you’ll need, grab your calculator. First determine the square footage of the sand bed. Then divide that number by 12 for a 1-in. bed or 18 for a 3/4-in. bed. That will tell you how many cubic feet of sand to get. You can have a load of sand delivered or save the delivery fee by picking up a load yourself with a truck or trailer. Most home centers also sell bagged sand. A 50-lb. bag costs about $3.
How To Prepare Your Site For Laying Pavers:
An In Depth Guide To Laying Flawless Paving
This beginner friendly guide is written by a professional landscaper. Teaching you tricks of the trade we usually keep to ourselves. Its a lot to take in, but getting it right can save you thousands compared to paying professionals.
This video shows us laying a curved patio. Its a good idea to watch it before you read, then refer back to it during and after reading for a visual demonstration.
How To Bury A Time Capsule Under The Patio
My two grandsons were fascinated watching me working on the patio. Their mother had the great idea of making a time capsule so they could bury it under the slabs.
A tin was found and they set about filling it with items. They both made a picture with the date and their names on the back of them. They put in a piece of paper with a few news stories from that week which was printed from the internet. Three toys were also added. One for each of the boys and one from their dog. A few coins and a photo of the family completed the box.
It was wrapped with a plastic bag a few times to keep it water proof. I made the hole and let the boys place it there and then add the soil to cover it. They watched even more excited as it got to the slab which would cover the time capsule.
Making a time capsule
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Tips On Laying Paving Slabs In Your Garden
Laying a patio is a big undertaking, and the first tip here is probably to get a professional in to do it for you.
While we can’t lay out a full guide on how to install a new patio here, but there are plenty of good ones online though.
If you do still insist of taking on the job yourself, here are 9 handy tips to make the whole thing go just that little bit smoother:
Mix It Up Even If Its All The Same Colour
If you do opt for the former, as you’re laying the patio, mix and match slabs from different pallets if you’re using more than one.
There may be some imperceptibly small colour differences between any two batches, and while you might not notice it as you’re laying it out, two separate sections of slightly differently shaded patio are going to stand out.
Step One: Decide What Size Patio You Need
The position and what you want to use it for will guide you when you’re deciding on the size of a patio. If it’s to be located adjacent to the rear wall of your home, you might want a patio across the house’s entire width. Equally, you could prefer it to link to a particular room, such as a kitchen-diner, for example, in which case you can match to the width of this room.
A patio will need to have the dimensions to fit the furniture you want to locate there, so it’s worth setting out the furniture to see how large the patio needs to be to accommodate it. As a guide, a patio 3 x 3m can create a comfortable dining space for four; to fit a rectangular table for six might require a patio 3 x 3.8 metres. You can also work from the size of your table, adding 2m to the width and length of the table to calculate the space needed.
Add around 1m of clearance around living room-style seating or loungers, too, so everyone can move around freely on the patio.