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How to lay a patio or driveway


How to lay a patio or driveway

Are you planning on installing a new patio, drive, or pathway this year and are thinking about doing the job yourself? If so, we have created this easy-to-follow guide that considers all aspects of the project to ensure a solid base and professional finish. We have also outlined everything you need to get the job done from the aggregates required for the sub-base, to the tools used to create a compact, level surface.


Step 1 - Planning & Preparation

Starting a project of this size can be quite daunting, but with the right planning and preparation it can be broken up into smaller, easily achievable tasks. To begin, draw out the patio or driveway you are looking to create on a piece of paper and include the proposed dimensions and paving layout you are looking to achieve. Once you are happy with the general design, you can then lay out the paving to see how it will look before committing to digging out the foundation.


Step 2 - Excavation

Excavation

When the desired layout is confirmed, an outline of the patio or driveway must be created using a tape measure, pegs and string. It is a good idea to use the 90° edge of a flag to make sure each corner is square during this phase. Once you have correctly measured up it is time to start the excavation process, a minimum depth of 180mm for a patio and 250mm for a driveway is required.

A gradient of 1:60* must also be incorporated to ensure an adequate run off for drainage is achieved. Once you have dug down to the required measurement, you can compact the soil base to ensure it is level and potentially lay a ground stabilising membrane prior to adding the aggregate.

*A gradient of 1:60 means that there will be 1 unit of fall for every 60 units of patio / driveway width. If the drive or patio is 10 metres wide, the distance is divided by 60 with the result equalling 16cm of fall (or 1 unit).


Step 3 - Adding the Sub-Base

To ensure a patio or driveway remains structurally sound and retains its aesthetic beauty for years to come, having a properly compacted sub-base is essential. Using MOT Type 1, spread, level, and compact two separate layers* of limestone, while making sure to maintain a slight gradient for drainage.

For patios, 100mm worth of hardcore is needed, while 150mm is required for driveways. A whacker plate or roller compression must be used to level the surface as it helps to evenly spread the load on traffic bearing areas.

Driveway & Patio Diagram

*Two layers of 50mm and 75mm compacted limestone are required for patios and driveways respectively.


Step 4 - Edge Courses & Kerbs

If applying garden edging or kerbs, it is a good idea for it to be secured on a bed of concrete on top of the compacted MOT Type 1 at a depth of 30mm for patios and 50mm for driveways.


Step 5 - Laying Course

After compacting the MOT Type 1 in two separate layers and applying the kerbs or garden edging, a layer of concrete sand should be laid at a depth of 30mm or 50mm as a bedding layer*. It must then be levelled by raking and compacted utilising a straight edge or whacker plate to create a smooth and even surface. If laying 50mm paving flags for a driveway, it is advisable to use a wet concrete mix as a bedding layer to ensure structural stability.

*30mm for patios or pathways and 50mm for driveways.


Step 6 - Block Laying

Block Laying

Brushing In

Once you have properly compacted your base, ensured your gradient is maintained and laid your bedding layer, you can now begin to install your flags, blocks, or setts. Start by dampening the under side of your paving with water before placing at the highest point of the patio or driveway.

Using a rubber mallet, you should then gently tap down on the paver to bed it in before repeating the process for the other flags. It is advisable to regularly check that the patio, pathway, or driveway is level utilising a straight edge or spirit level, while remembering to consider the slight gradient.

After you have laid all the paving blocks a layer of kiln dried sand is then brushed into the joints to prevent lateral movement. The paving is then compacted using a whacker plate for a final time to ensure a firm and stable surface layer. It is also advisable to utilise a rubber cushioning mat during this process to prevent damage to the flags, blocks, or setts while the whacker plate is operational.


Popular patterns commonly employed

Basket Weave

Basket Weave

Contrasting Pattern

Contrasting Patterns

Diamond

Diamond

Half Diamond Inlay

Half Diamond Inlay

Herringbone 45°

Herringbone 45°

Herringbone 90°

Herringbone 90°

Pencil Line Inlay

Pencil Line Inlay

Soldier Header

Soldier Header

Stack Bond

Stack Bond

Stretcher Bond

Stretcher Bond

Stretcher Bond 45°

Stretcher Bond 45°

Stretcher Bond Inlay

Stretcher Bond Inlay


Step 7 - Adding the finishing touches

After you have laid and compacted the paving, it is now time to apply more kiln dried sand or use a paving compound between the joints to ensure a professional finish. Commonly utilised as an alternative to traditional sand and cement mixes, jointing compounds provide a quick and straightforward solution to point paving flags and blocks.

Unlike sand and cement, these compounds do not shrink or crack and ensure excellent year-round durability. They are water permeable and help to provide a natural barrier against weed growth. Simply mix the sand and resins together, brush across until the joints are full, and then brush away the excess.

For more information on how to mix and administer paving compounds, please see the video courtesy of Resiply Ltd.

 


Things to consider

As a general rule, allow 2.5 hours of work per m² of paving to complete the job if you have the right equipment available for the task at hand. Laying a patio, drive or pathway is a labour-intensive job and it is imperative that the sub-layer is properly compacted to ensure the surface does not sink or move over time.

What tools you will need:

Paving products available for the job:


Looking for some inspiration?

Check out our image gallery to see how your finished project could look...


Concrete Paving from Tobermore

Tobermore Historic

Historic Flags & Circles (Historic Flags Bracken) | Shannon (Bracken) | Tegula Setts (Charcoal)

Tobermore Shannon

Shannon (Charcoal, Heather)

Tobermore Mayfair

Mayfair Flags (Silver) | Sienna Setts & Circles (Sienna Sett Graphite)

Tobermore Historic

Historic Flags & Circles (Historic Flags Slate) | Sienna Setts & Circles (Sienna Sett Silver)

Tobermore Shannon

Shannon (Heather) | Sienna Setts & Circles (Sienna Sett Sandstone)

Tobermore Sienna

Sienna (Graphite) | Sienna Setts & Circles (Sienna Sett Silver)

Tobermore Sienna

Sienna (Graphite) | Sienna Setts & Circles (Sienna Sett Silver)

Tobermore Historic

Historic Flags & Circles (Historic Flags Bracken) | Tegula Setts & Circles (Tegula Sett Golden)


Natural Stone Paving from Global Stone

Global Stone Castle Grey Sandstone

Sandstone Paving (Castle Grey)

Global Stone Modak Rose Sandstone

Sandstone Paving (Modak Rose)

Global Stone Old Rectory York Green Cobbles

Sandstone Paving (Modak Rose)

Global Stone Mint Sandstone Setts

Sandstone Setts (Mint)


Porcelain Paving from Global Stone

Global Stone Porcelain Liquorice

Porcelain Paving (Liquorice)

Global Stone Porcelain Siena Dover

Porcelain Paving (Siena Dover)

Global Stone Porcelain Liquorice & Oyster

Porcelain Paving (Liquorice & Oyster)

Global Stone Porcelain Toscana Almond

Porcelain Paving (Toscana Almond)


View products by brand

Tobermore

Global Stone

 

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