The Many Ways To Use Loose Materials
Often loose material is thought of as a supporting material for more static and formal patio installations. It is often used as the filler between a large solid surface and the yard. However, loose material as the primary surface of your patio has many advantages!
- It can be easily installed over uneven ground.
- It provides good drainage – water won’t pool.
- It is generally less expensive.
- It can be easy to maintain – just add filler or rake it up for a fresh look
Loose material as a decorative accent provides a variety of interesting colors and textures to accent hard surface patios such s brick and concrete. It can soften the appearance of these traditional patios to create a more natural look.
Clean The Surface Of The Natural Stone
Once you are done spreading the polymeric sand into the gaps, use a leaf blower to blow the fine dust off the surface of your patio. .
DO NOT WASH IT OFF WITH WATER! THAT COMES LATER. If the natural stone is not free of polymeric sand on the surface, you may see a film/haze on the stones once you follow step the next step.
Proper wetting when using polymeric sand.
Once the surface of the patio is completely clean, follow the instructions for wetting on the packaging of the polymeric sand. This will entail lightly spraying the joint sand with water, which will activate the polymer that hardens the sand.
Secure The Concrete Pavers In Place And Fill The Gaps
Once you have finished each section and the pavers have all been laid, make sure none of the paver stones wobble. Youll want to check this before filling the joints.
I had about five that had some wobble and just about every time, the culprit was a raised bit of larger gravel that had been pulled near the surface. The concrete paver stone was resting awkwardly on the raised gravel.
The way to fix this is to gently remove the paver and check for the larger gravel that is raised. Remove it and fill in the hole with sand. Carefully place the paver back down into position.
If you dont see any gravel, then something in that spot isnt level. It could be that theres a bit of a bump, or just one edge needs a little more sand. Use the float to level it and place the paver back into place.
With all the pavers set as you need them, you can start filling in the gaps. Use the square nosed shovel to scoop the sand or paver dust and place it into the joints, but only add about ½- ¾ of the paver dust/sand.
Try to distribute it evenly between them. You can use a hand spade and/or a broom to help with this.
Now finish filling in the gaps with your decorative top layer. I used marble chips.
Spread these evenly throughout, but be sure to leave them recessed about ¼ from the top so you dont end up with a big mess of overflowing joint filler.
Those are all the steps! Now youll be ready to entertain on your new concrete paver patio!
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Tips For Installing A Stone Patio
This may be the longest post youve read here on DDD, but Im here to tell you all about how to install a stone patio and a few tips from our experience. If you are willing to spend the time and get your hands dirty, go for it.
So what do you think?!
When we were preparing to take on this project, we did A LOT of research. Neither of us had done anything like this before and we wanted to make sure we did it right . Almost every tutorial and article we read estimated that the project would take us 8-10 hours or a full weekend max. I wish that were the case. Maybe for a professional with a team of 5 men. Not for an average couple who likes to take on new DIY projects.
May be it was because we are amateurs or maybe it was because we are perfectionists, but this took roughly 40-50 hours between the two of us. We felt like it was never going to end. There are definitely ways we could have saved time but if you are looking into putting in your own stone patio, allow for a lot of time, patience and ask for help! Dont get me wrong, every single hour we put it into it was worth it because we are so in love with the final result, BUT it is a very long and tedious process.
Here is what we started with.
Full disclosure here, we are not professionals, this is simply how we decided to go about the project and what worked for us!
Stone Patio Installation Tips
Before starting to lay the patio, lift the first rail and move it along to a new section. Then fill in the indentation left behind with more HPB and level it.
Hubs continues screeding as I work toward the next section. Its best to start laying at an edge and work outwards, like right below this step. Its a perfect platform too. Thats because I can walk on it and avoid disturbing the first section thats already level as I place the stones.
Once I reach the second screed rail, we lift it out of the way and I use a hand scoop to fill in the indentations with HPB. To level it with the surrounding stone, Im using a short level to tamp where I fill in. I keep a bucket of HPB close by for this purpose . Note to self: wear a less revealing top when Hubs is snapping pictures :).
In the last section near the entry to the back yard, Hubs is using a straight wooden piece to drag along the top of the rails. Whatever you use to screed, just make sure the edge is perfectly straight so you dont even up with gaps.
Before long, the stone patio installation is almost done!
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Materials For Your Concrete Paver Patio
Project specific supplies:
- Landscape fabric for clay soil-*see note
*Some Important Notes About Your Project Materials
A 16 x16 paver is actually 15 ¾ x 15 ¾ and just over 1 ½ thick . This is important to know when it comes to sketching out your design so it fits the space well.
If you are using larger pavers and installing the patio yourself, you may want to take weight into consideration. I used 16×16 pavers, which weighed 36 lbs each! I could carry only one at a time, so this made the project more time consuming.
Instead, you can opt for the 12 x 12 pavers. Or if you have a little four-wheeled wagon and dont have a hill to go up to, that will make things much easier!
When it comes to base layer and top layer materials, a landscape supply company in your area will know the best base material for your patio pavers.
For instance, if you live in an area that has a high amount of clay in the soil, plan on using extra gravel in your base layer. Clay has draining issues and larger gravel will help with this.
In my area, the base layer material is known as crusher run. A crusher run has granite dust and coarse and fine angular aggregate and the gravel is about ½-4 in size.
For my top level, I used paver dust, but in your area, sand may be recommended. Again, trust the guidance of your local supplier.
How To Lay Pavers Brick Patio Stone And Stone Pavers
How To Lay Pavers, Brick, Patio Stone and Stone PaversBegin by assessing what is currently in the project area where you intend to lay your new pavers. If you have a lot of sugar sand, you are going to want to remove as much as possible. If the water table is high in your area, or you have water and/or flooding issues, the base material depth will have to change. In Florida, we live in dirt, sand, and if you are lucky you may have a lime rock bed under the area . Therefore, you must take precautionary measures to ensure your pavers will not fail over time. Follow the simple steps below to make sure your hard-scape lasts in our tropical climate.
1. Choosing your Pavers/Patio Stones:
Pavers, Patio Stones, Clay Brick, Turf Block, travertine, Natural Flagstone, Natural Keystone, Dense Oolite etc are available in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes, strengths, etc There are different products to match different applications. Here are a few rules to follow when choosing a hardscape for your project:
Thin pavers/brick are NEVER to be used for a driving surface. I dont care what you have heard, unless you have a specially engineered, high-strength, polymer product specifically designed to be driven on, you will ruin thin pavers/brick if you drive on them. No matter if they are all mortared to a concrete slab or have 12 of base under them, they will fail.
2. Mark the Project Area Dimensions:
3. Grade Stakes:
4. The Dig Out:
5. Base Materials:
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Before The Stone Patio Installation
Heres the yard were starting with. Thankfully by the end of our stone patio installation, our neighbours gargantuan satellite dish is gone!
Measure the property first. Then draw a plan out on graph paper thats to scale for the size patio you want. For instance, each 1/4 on the graph can represent a foot. Draw another line around the perimeter of the patio thats a foot larger all the way around this will be your cutting line.
Fill The Joints And Edge The Patio
While a patio doesn’t need edging to hold the stones in place, cobblestones are an option.
To install them, dig a trench far enough into the pack to accommodate a 4-inch bed of concrete and set each stone 3½ inches below finish grade.
After the patio is firm enough to walk on, spread stone dust over the stones and sweep it into the joints and along the edge.
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Snap A Base Line And 2 Perpendicular Lines
Snapping chalk lines directly in the sand is the best way to keep your bricks running straight. For the running bond pattern, youll only need a baseline and two lines perpendicular to the baseline, offset by half the width of a brick. Mark the rough center and snap a line at right angles using this method:
The Character Of The Stone Makes This Patio
Stone varies greatly in color and texture. Visit a number of stone suppliers to see what’s available in your area and to check prices. We chose 3- or 4-in. thick stone intended for building walls, but any relatively flat stone that’s 2 to 4 in. thick will work. Because stone is sold by the ton , a thinner stone like flagstone would have been more economical, but it wasn’t available in the tumbled finish we wanted. If you use thinner stone, don’t tamp it with the compactor. It will crack. The stone dealer will tell you approximately how many square feet a ton of each type of stone covers. Order at least 15 percent extra to allow more selection when you’re looking for just the right shape.
Concrete pavers are the most economical choice for paving patios. They are available in many sizes and colors. Traditional clay pavers have truer brick color and cost a bit more. Concrete pavers are available at home centers and landscape retailers, but you’ll probably have to find a brickyard to buy clay pavers. You’ll need about 4-1/2 bricks for every square foot, assuming an average sized 4 x 8-in. brick. It’s difficult to figure the exact amount of brick needed for an irregularly shaped patio like this, so order about 15 percent extra.
Plan Out The Order In Which Youll Lay The Pavers
Once you have the 4 of base layer, double check that you have a little more than 1½ from the top of that to the top of the marked paver line.
Take the two black pipes and lie them on top. Set them just in the base layer enough that they dont roll, but not so much that they are recessed. You can add a little paver dust to help lodge them into place.
Use a level to double check the slope angle that you set up based on your string lines.
Before putting down the concrete pavers, plan how you are going to place the paver stones. Typically you want to start from an outside edge or corner.
Be sure not to box yourself in because you cant walk on the paver dust one youve screeded it.
Patio With Accent Rocks
There are many varieties of rocks ranging from the very large to pea gravel or crushed stone. River rocks are best as an accent feature as they remain in their natural state which is quite beautiful but not a good choice underfoot.
An example is the patio below. The rocks are used as an accent feature surrounding a stable, flat entertaing surface. River rocks are pleasing to the eye and highly decorative however, walking on river rock can be challenging!
White stones patio
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Build Your Own Patio With Natural Stone
Yet another option is fieldstone, the rocks removed from the soil when land is cleared. Though truly distinctive when installed properly, its finished surface is much rougher than flat stones like slate and bluestone. Flat stones usually are sold in nominal thicknesses from 1 to 3 in. and in 6-in. width and length increments, starting at 12 x 12 in. and going up to 2 ft. 6 in. x 2 ft. 6 in. Anything larger or thicker is usually a special order. Prices vary substantially. We bought ours in upstate New York, where 1-in.-thick bluestone costs about $4 per square foot delivered.
Stonework can certainly be beautiful and can add value to your property. Unfortunately, it’s not very easy to install. Most of the problems are in the material itself. Unlike consistent building units, like bricks or cast concrete pavers, natural stone comes in variable thicknesses. When you order nominal 1-in.-thick stones, for example, you get pieces that have one flat side but that vary in thickness from as little as 1/2 in. up to as much as 1-1/2 in. Because your goal is to create a finished surface that is as flat as possible, this means you have to custom fit the bottom of each stone in the sand base, which can be extremely time-consuming even after you get the hang of the job.
Install The Natural Stone
This is the fun part! Laying natural stone is very simple. Before putting the stone onto the project lay them out in the yard and try to find the pieces that fit well together with the size joint you like. There is a slight art to figuring out which stone fits best where, but that is what makes no two patios the same. Once you have an idea of where you want them. Take the ends of the geotextile that you let long and simply fold them over on top of the sand to make the whole system sealed so you are sure nothing will move. Then install the stones into the bedding sand. If you find an area with a stone that is very thin and there is not enough bedding sand, simply add more underneath it until it is level and positioned where you want it. The same holds true for a stone that is slightly to thick. Simply brush some of the sand away until it lays as you want it. Try to keep the bedding sand on the bottom of the stones and dont let it work to far up between them as we will be filling the joints with a special sand later to hold it all together. Make sure to leave 2-3 of exposed sand around the outside of your project to later add edge restraint.
Install edge restraint.
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How To Install A Flagstone Walkway
A flagstone walkway is a simple and functional way to beautify your outdoor space and provide a useable path to your garage, garden, shed or other points of interest in your lawn and garden. It is durable, requires little maintenance, and blends well with almost any type of outdoor décor.
Measure Slope To Allow For Patio Drainage
So that your concrete paver patio drains away from your house, youll need to account for the slope of the space.
If your patio is on a hill or against a retaining wall, for instance, you will slope in two directions: away from the house and also away from the wall or the hill.
The angle of slope that allows for proper drainage for your patio is 1 per every 4 feet. For instance, my patio was 9 deep, so I created a slope of 2¼.
The way to mark the slope is to start at stakes that will be your low end. Take the strings youve tied onto those stakes and lower them by the number of inches required to meet the correct slope for your patio base on its depth.
Next, use a marker to mark a line where you pulled the strings to .
The new string locations now mark the height of the 4 base layer with the slope included.
I also found it helpful to mark the top of where the paver will be. Its important to note that depending on what your top base layer is made of, it may not actually add any height to your total.
The paver dust I had compacted down to maybe about ¼. You may want to test yours to see because if yours doesnt compact like that, you may want to add it into your calculations.
If you are using the same pavers I used, these are just over 1½ thick. If your paver dust/sand compacts to almost nothing, you will want to make your last mark 1½ above the base layer mark just made.
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