Please note: online orders placed after Thursday 20th December 2018 will be processed from Wednesday 2nd January 2019.

How to Lay Garden Paving

How to lay garden paving: tips from the Turnbull team

Laying garden paving is a pretty straightforward task but that can depend on your choice of paving slab. So, before you pay the earth for those amazing reclaimed flags you've found somewhere, read on!

Choose a paving slab designed for easy installation

Believe it or not, some slabs are easier to install than others. They've been designed to make laying simpler, quicker and to ensure a successful, professional end result with minimal experience. So we recommend some smart shopping before you get stuck in.

From £232.12 Per Pack
From £23.93 Per m2
Price Includes VAT

If you are choosing natural stone, select a calibrated design and you'll get slabs that have been cut to the same thickness. This will make levelling your patio much easier. Marshalls Indian Sandstone Paving is calibrated to 22mm, making it a robust slab but one that's not too heavy to lift.

£1,071.36 Per Pack
£69.76 Per m2
Price Includes VAT

The weight of slabs is something to consider if laying a patio isn't something you do every weekend. Marshalls has developed a manufactured lightweight vitrified paving slab with your back in mind! Marshalls SYMPHONY Vitrified Garden Paving is only 18mm thick, super-strong and much easier to lift and handle than many other slabs. Find out more about how to lay this great option in this short video.

If preparation and levelling is very new to you, or you're in a hurry to install a patio before a special event, then look at paving slabs designed to make this DIY easy.  Stonemarket Yorkstone NEXTpave Garden Paving looks like natural English sandstone but you can install it straight onto a sand screed bed.  The slabs have quick automated uniformed joints and your patio can be immediately jointed using Stonemarket's Fastpoint Jointing Solution. Result!

Watch this Nextpave installation video to see how easy laying a patio can be.

Make sure you have the tools you need

The following kit is essential:

  • Site preparation: Spade, shovel, pick, wheelbarrow, string line, tape measure, sledge hammer and rake.
  • Bed preparation: Cement mixer (or large shovel and wheelbarrow), float, compactor and trowel.
  • Laying and preparing paving: Lump hammer, spirit level, circular saw, block splitter, plate compactor, brush, rubber mallet, chisel and bolster.

Prepare your patio foundations

Work out the size of the area you are paving in m², making an allowance for wastage (usually an additional 5%). This will allow for any mistakes in cutting or accidental damage. Mark out your area with pegs and string to make sure you have straight lines to work with.

Make sure that your sub-grade surface is clear of plants and vegetation to avoid paving settlement and weeds sprouting up between slabs.

Your new paving surface must be at least 150mm below the damp course of any adjacent house wall.

Choosing the correct laying course for your project is essential. Concrete block paving should have an unbound (ie without cement) sharp sand base whereas natural sandstone slabs require a moist sharp sand and cement mix. This is particularly important if you are using uncalibrated sandstone.

Generally, building sand is unsuitable for use as a bedding material as it is not free draining.

Don't start without a slab laying pattern!

Before starting to lay your paving slabs, make sure you have the laying pattern drawn or printed out, and close to hand to prevent errors. If you have a Project Pack, make sure you have the correct laying guide for that pack.

It’s a good idea to buy all your block paving/paving flags at the same time to avoid colour differences that might occur between different batches.

Some basic errors to avoid when laying your patio slabs

  • Some paving flags have a smaller and a larger face. The larger face always faces up. Laying them upside down has been done, believe us!
  • Use a rubber mallet to tap in slabs prevents any accidental damage.



Any more questions? Give our paving team a call on 01529 308839.