Installation guide

You must take into account a number of factors when creating a patio if you want the job to go properly.

 NJ Paving Installation guide

Since there are numerous factors to take into account while creating a patio, each professional landscaper will have their own tried and true procedures that have proven successful for them over a period of time. As a result, the process may vary significantly depending on who you ask.

It's just as crucial to get the installation procedure right as it is to choose the correct slabs, and becoming familiar with it beforehand will help you prevent any expensive mistakes. We advise having a basic understanding of the procedure so that you know what to expect, whether you're installing the paving yourself or hiring a professional landscaper to perform the job for you.

  

Before You Start

 Make sure there is enough time to accept your delivery and inspect the goods before work begins. Communicate clearly with any professionals you'll have on-site.

In order to analyze any natural variances in the stone, you must accept delivery at least a few days in advance. Please read our whole delivery policy HERE. Our delivery information will include all of the relevant details you require to ensure a successful delivery day.

It is crucial to check your slabs for transit damage.

 

Wastage

 Always order an extra 10% to 15% to cover waste.

Slabs must nearly always be chopped while creating a patio, which results in some waste. You might need to make cuts in order to fit your slabs around a drain cover, a stair, or the edge of the space you have available. Always remember to account for the off-cut areas of your slabs when placing your order because they will ultimately be taken from the total m2 coverage of your purchase. Along with covering installation-related problems, unintentional chipping and damage, and any natural variances you choose not to utilise. Learn more about Cutting Paving Slabs.

The stone will always have differences in tone and colour because it is a natural product, but if you are aware of this in advance, you can choose which ones you don't want to use. Due to personal taste or to maintain the project's uniform colour scheme, you could decide not to use certain of the slabs. If you have more than one crate of paving, it's important to mix the slabs from each crate to account for any variations from crate to crate since the colours within each crate cannot be predetermined with a natural product.

 

Use a  Primer Slurry

 For a secure fix, it is advised to put a priming slurry, also known as a primer or SBR, on the underside of the slabs. In order to stop any natural salts and minerals from being sucked up through the base of the slab, this will form a barrier between the stone and the mortar.

When a priming slurry is applied unevenly, moisture may be unevenly pulled up through the stone's base. This moisture will also spread unevenly throughout the surface, which might make the finished patio look unattractive. Apply the wet slurry evenly to the whole underside of each slab to prevent this.

Before applying your priming slurry, dampen or chill the slabs since a warm, dry slab will cause the primer to dry and prevent it from working as it should.

Although many craftsmen have preferred priming slurries or are capable of making their own, it is usually advised to utilise a pre-made product. A produced product will almost always provide you with significantly greater uniformity than an on-site mix.

 

Keep it clean

In order to prevent staining of the slabs during installation, it is crucial to take the utmost care when laying the slabs throughout the messy process of constructing a patio.

It's always a good idea to seal the slabs before placing to avoid stains from setting in and becoming very difficult or even impossible to remove once they have.

When installation, take careful not to leave any residue on the slabs; as it dries, materials like wet cement will be much more difficult to remove. Keep in mind that anything that is left on a slab's surface might soak into the stone and leave a stain.

 

Sealing Your Slabs

Whether your paving is made of natural stone or porcelain, we always suggest sealing it. This will aid in preventing stains on the stone.

Because natural stone is porous, any liquid left on the surface will be absorbed. When stains are drawn into the surface of your stone, they can be very difficult to remove. Wet leaves, bird droppings, and moss can all leave stains. Additionally, sealing will stop excess moisture from accumulating within natural stone, reducing the risk of frost damage as well as the development of moss, mould, and algae.

Using a porcelain sealer or protector will aid with the elimination of this. Cement and other elements used in the laying procedure can also leave stains on porcelain.

Always adhere to the manufacturer's directions and use a high-quality natural stone sealer.

 

How To Lay Paving Slab

 - It's important to remember that your project's unique requirements will vary depending on your environment, so it's best to have an expert examine all the project's factors before work starts. Every project is unique, so a choice must be taken about the ground's long-term stability prior to the project's start. Always err on the side of caution, and establish a solid foundation first.

- Paving must be installed at least 150mm below any nearby building's damp proof course (DPC).

- To ensure that your patio sloped very slightly in one direction, plan for drainage and estimate a fall of at least 1:60. For every 60 inches of paving, this may be a drop of one inch, or one centimetre. If the ratio is correct, any extra rainwater will safely flow away. Make sure the fall slopes away from any nearby structures and that the location has permeable bedding for free drainage. Laying your slabs on any clay-rich soil is a bad idea. Clay has poor drainage, which will allow water to accumulate. When clay is moist, it also softens and erodes, making slabs more likely to shift.

- Spot bedding, ring bedding, the dot-and-dab method, and the five-dotting technique are various names for laying techniques in which just a portion of the slabs make contact with the bed. These techniques will make the slabs less stable, allowing them to become loose, and they will also seriously and permanently taint the slabs' surface with reflecting material. Never use these techniques.

- Before you begin, consider any laying patterns you'll be employing as well as how the paving will be joined. - To account for any differences between the two crates if you have more than one crate of pavement, it's vital to mix the slabs from each crate. You can confirm that everything is in order before you start by dry-laying the slabs first.

- When ordering a mixed-size Patio Kit, always be sure to check the exact sizes of the slabs that you will receive within the crate. These will decide how you need to approach the jointing process and are always specified on our product sites.

 

1. Dig out your sub-base for regular patio and pedestrian use, fill it with type 1 or MOT, available from any standard builders merchants, and compact it to a layer of at least 100mm. In order to eliminate any soft pockets and construct a thicker sub-base, you will need to dig longer if you encounter any clay-heavy soil when digging.

2. Level the sub-base by compacting it, and make sure that severe compaction is attained. It is advised to use a compactor or whacker, which are generally available for hire. To provide your patio with the stable support it needs, make sure your sub-base is done correctly.

3. A completely saturated bed of mortar is placed on top of this. Typically, a 4:1 ratio of sharp sand to cement is used for this. The mortar should have a cohesive texture rather than being watery. You can purchase pre-made mortar mixtures if you don't have a mechanical mixer.

4. Apply mortar in a thin layer that is at least 50 mm thick, spreading the mixture somewhat wider than the slab's size with each application.

5. Apply a priming slurry to the entire underside of the structure before laying the slabs. Before installing the paver, dampen the back of the slab and use a brush to apply a 1-2 mm thick coating of wet priming slurry. Make sure the slurry completely covers the back of the slab and take care to prevent any priming from overflowing onto the slab's top side. Remember that each slab has a distinct surface and underside, and double-check that the stone is being laid the correct way up.

6. Gently place the slab onto the mortar bed, allowing for the required joint width. Then, hit the surface with a rubber mallet to remove any hollow areas that may have formed underneath. If there are any gaps beneath the slab, it won't be stable, so raise the slab back up and re-lay it to be sure. To ensure that the slab is level to the right fall, use a spirit level. Your paving stones should be quite sturdy once they are laid; they shouldn't bounce back and forth or have any potentially hazardous lips between neighbouring slabs.

7. Wipe the slab down to get rid of any extra mortar, and pay close attention for any spills that might land on nearby slabs so you can clean them up as you go.

8. As you continue, insert spacers between the slabs to guarantee that your joint widths are uniform. The suggested joint width typically ranges from 8 to 15 mm. Butt-jointing the slabs is not advised since it can harm the paver's edges and leave you with no room for even the smallest movement or adjustment.

9. Continue until all of your slabs have been set.

10. The technique for grouting or jointing the patio will vary according on the jointing product you select.


Consider sealing your Patio

To help stop any stains and the development of moss and algae, we always recommend sealing your stone. Your paving will benefit from being sealed as additional protection against fading or general wear.

There are several different sealing products available on the market, and each will produce a different outcome. Other sealants can be applied to improve the colour and finish of your slabs, while others will simply seal and protect.

If you're wondering when to seal your stone, some individuals prefer to keep their stone unsealed for up to a year, allowing the stone to weather naturally before adding a sealant. This prevents any stains throughout the laying process. This is entirely up to you, but we always suggest talking to a local tradesperson who can evaluate the numerous factors in your environment and provide tailored recommendations for your project.

If you intend to seal the stone once it has been laid, make sure the entire area is dry, devoid of any efflorescence, and that the bed has also dried out.

 

After installation

For the care and repair of your stone, you might require extra supplies, as with any purchase. We are pleased to offer guidance where appropriate and advise enlisting the help of the product's creators for expert counsel.

After the product is installed, the stone may occasionally undergo alterations. As the only factor influencing the relationship between receiving the items and the effects developing, everything that appears on the slabs after installation can only have happened as a result of the installation process.

 

Tone & Colour

The stone is depicted in natural lighting in all of the website photographs, which do not always capture the complete range of variances that may exist in your order.

We try to display photographs of each product as exactly as we can, but the differences you will find in each crate may change from those shown on our website. Please bear in mind that these are customer-submitted photographs of real products taken in their natural settings, which do not take into account variations in lighting, moisture content, or the products used before or after installation.

A natural product will frequently contain a thin layer of dust from the quarrying process, which can occasionally make the slabs initially appear a little lighter in colour. Once the stone is set, it will naturally absorb moisture from the mortar bed, which will help to bring out more of the natural colours. When the slab is wet, colours will intensify and darken. While the slabs are still inside the container, you can test this by adding a little water to them to bring out more of the natural colours.

View a few examples of natural variations between slabs and the distinctions between wet and dry stone in the same project below.

 

NJ Paving Dry sandstone patio shop
 NJ Paving Sandstone patio slabs
 

 

Veining & Flecks

Any natural stone will have differences like flecks and veining, and whether you want to use any slabs that have these variations is entirely up to you. The colours of these will differ from stone to stone. For instance, veining on a grey Sandstone will show as black lines, whereas veining on granite frequently appears as white lines.

Examples of flecks and veining in sandstone and granite are seen in the pictures below.

 

Oxidation

Natural stone has iron in it, which can be pulled out of the slabs and appear as orange or brown stains on the surface. This can occur before or after laying and is caused by iron particles rising to the surface as the moisture in the slabs evaporates.

Any stone will naturally oxidise; this doesn't impair the performance of the slabs. Over time, the noticeable impacts of this will naturally fade.

If you see this on a slab before laying it, we advise eliminating the oxidation before using the product or, if you'd prefer not to use it, throwing the slab away entirely.

Your paving may also experience non-natural oxidation from items like garden furniture and automobiles that rust onto the surface of the slabs, as well as from any acidic spills. The natural iron particles will be pulled up through the stone and deposited on the surface by anything that contains acid or ferric sulphate, causing an orange stain.

 

Efflorescence

The damp mortar beneath the stone will release moisture as it dries out. This moisture will permeate the stone, carrying iron and minerals from inside the stone as well as cement fragments from the bed to the surface. These are then deposited as a white, chalky substance on the slab's surface.

Efflorescence is a natural phenomenon that can vary in intensity from slab to slab and will also depend on the mineral content of the stone. It is not a flaw in the stone.

If you notice efflorescence on your slabs, give the minerals and salts a few weeks to work their way out of the stone while routinely sweeping the chalky residue away until it goes away.

One of the reasons it's crucial to ensure that your slabs are fully primed with a priming slurry and that their entire bottom is coated, in full contact with the bed, and free of voids, is due to this. Nevertheless, efflorescence is not a cause for concern and is easily eradicated with a little patience.

 

Picture Framing & Patches

Patches around the slab borders are referred to as "Picture Framing," and they are caused by moisture being sucked into the slabs from the base of the jointing compound or mortar. Usually, these patches won't last forever.

This picture framing will typically disappear on a warm, dry day but may reappear in moist or sticky conditions when more moisture is absorbed back into the slab. The size of the patches will depend on the stone's inherent porosity, which varies from slab to slab.

It's crucial to take your time and carefully follow the manufacturer's directions when applying any sealant to the stone because uneven use of a sealing solution can also result in patches appearing.

 

Fading

Natural UV light and the slightly acidic rain that we receive in the UK will cause natural stone to progressively fade over time.

The quantity of moisture and sunlight that the stone will receive will determine the rate at which any fading may happen. The stone will fade as a result of additional factors including wear and foot traffic.

The natural colour of your stone can always be preserved by sealing it, and restoration or color-intensifying chemicals are generally accessible and can help you recover your stone if it has faded over time.

 

Surface Marks & Minor Chips

When handling or transporting the slabs, little marks or shallow gauges may appear on their surface or along their edges. These imperfections won't influence the way the slabs operate and will disappear as the stone ages and weathers. These can always be utilised in a discrete location if you are hesitant.

 

Cleaning & Maintenance

Maintaining your slabs is crucial for keeping your paving clean and free of filth and for preventing damage to the stone.

For the finest effects, all types of stone will require some level of upkeep. The first step in preventing stains from forming on your slabs is to simply sweep them regularly to remove any dirt from the surface. Bird droppings, berries, and leaves can all discolour, thus they should all be brushed off the slabs very away.