How to lay a patio
Installing a patio is an excellent way to get more out of your garden. A patio can be an area for relaxing and entertaining and acts as a transitional space between house and garden. Patios are low maintenance, hard-wearing, and relatively simple to install. Laying a patio also offers a chance to be creative with design and construction, thanks to the wide variety of available slabs.
We’ll show you how to lay a patio without cement or mortar using the handy pre-mixed.
This guide includes tips on:
- Which patio slabs to choose
- Safety measures to take when laying a patio
- Preparing to lay a patio
- How to calculate the amount of sub-base needed
- How to lay patio slabs
- How to lay patio slabs with mortar
- How to point a patio
- Patio aftercare
Before getting started, browse our gardens range to stock up on everything needed to lay a patio. You can pick a paving slab to match your garden design in our extensive patio range, plus all the accessories required for installation.
What patio slabs do I need?
There are many factors to consider when selecting your patio slab. Of course, you’ll need to pick a style that complements your existing garden design. Budget, maintenance and durability also affect the choice you make.
To help with your decision, here’s a summary of the benefits and drawbacks of popular paving slab materials:
- Porcelain. A popular choice with homeowners, porcelain is durable and low maintenance; although it’s a slightly pricier option, porcelain is algae resistant and less susceptible to staining, making it a smart choice
- Sandstone. A natural stone, sandstone is very durable and has a textured surface that can help prevent slipping. With a distinct look, sandstone’s colour won’t fade, although an anti-algae sealant will need to be applied
- Limestone. Another natural stone that boasts excellent durability, limestone comes with a smooth finish for modern garden designs. A mid-range patio slab, limestone suits most budgets
- Concrete. This type of paving is very affordable and comes in various finishes to suit any garden; go for a minimal flat slab or a textured one to add some character. Concrete is considered less durable than other paving, and you’ll need to apply a sealant to prevent staining and algae buildup
Is laying a patio difficult?
Follow our simple steps, and you’ll find that any DIY beginner can lay a patio. Although the steps involved are simple, this can be a time-consuming process. However, thorough preparation and planning will ensure the project is successful.
Safety measure to take when laying a patio
To ensure you stay safe when laying your new patio, follow these steps:
- Patio slabs can be weighty; we recommend working with another person to reduce the strain of lifting and moving the slabs
- Always wear suitable footwear and gloves when handling slabs, sand, cement and digging; if you use a wacker plate, wear ear defenders and steel toe-capped boots
- Wear a dust mask, protective gloves and safety goggles when mixing and handling mortar mix, cement or Slablayer; you should also follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Wet and dry cement can cause irritation, so handle carefully and cover your skin. Always wash with soap and water if any cement comes into contact with your skin
- Before digging, use a CAT tool to ensure there are no hidden pipes or cables. Pipes and cables should be at least 450mm below the surface