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CREATE A PATIO USING NATURAL STONE

Category: Landscaping
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A traditional patio can be a great addition to anybody's garden. The material is attractive and durable, and nicely complements a wide range of other landscaping features.

Choosing the right material to update your existing patio or create a new patio is very important. We suggest selecting natural stone because of its durable and aesthetical nature.
Here are some ideas for you:


Combine Natural Stone Patio to Stone Steps

Incorporating stone steps within your garden might already be a feature you want to include, but have you ever considered connecting your stone steps to your patio? This will surely add an elegant touch to your overall garden design.


Mosaic Finish

Get a little creative with your patio design and try a natural stone mosaic style paving to help your patio stand out.


Build your Natural Stone Patio around a Centrepiece

Go for a classical style by building your patio around a centrepiece feature within your garden and create a focal point whenever you have any social gatherings in your garden. You can use natural stone paving circles, which are perfect with stunning designs.

Our Natural Stone Harvest Paving allows you to add a stunning feature to your project.

Available in a variety of colours, we’re certain you’ll find something suitable to match the overall look of your garden and create that perfect finish.


Natural Stone Paving for Contemporary Homes

Want to create a modern feel to your homes exterior? By selecting Natural Stone Graphite paving for your patio design will do the trick for most contemporary homes and make a bold statement.

Natural Stone Graphite paving slabs have been machine cut to give a consistent, nominal thickness. Calibrated stone is useful where weight and/or limited depth for laying the product is an issue. It is easier to install than non calibrated stone and can also be used internally.


How to get started

Because flat stones are sold in standard width and length dimensions, you can create just about any pattern from a simple all-one-size approach to a more complicated pattern. Just keep in mind that stone dimensions can vary by as much as 1/2 in. A 12 x 12in. stone could be 11 1/2in. on one side and 12 1/2in. on the other. These differences in size are accommodated by the grout joint between stones, which is usually 3/8 to 1/2 in. wide. Work out your pattern on graph paper before you place an order. Try to minimize the number of stone pieces that will need to be cut to size on-site. If you're laying a patio, plan to slope the installation away from the house so water can drain off. A 1in. drop for every 8 ft. of run is a good minimum figure.

Begin site preparation by removing the sod in the patio area. Then spread gravel on the site using a shovel and rake.


Layout and Site Preparation

Next, attach screed guide boards to the house and to stakes driven into the ground on the other side. The boards along the house should be level from side to side. The opposite boards also should be installed level from side to side, but located lower than the house boards to accommodate the necessary slope mentioned above.

Next, cut a notch in both ends of a screed board to fit over the guides. Pull the screed across the gravel until the surface is flat. Add or remove gravel from areas as needed.

Once the surface is flat, compact it with a plate compactor, available at tool rental. If you haven't used one of these machines before, it's a good idea to work in the centre area of the patio site first. These machines can be hard to control, so it's smart to get comfortable with your machine before you work close to the house. Make at least three passes over the entire area, overlapping passes by half a plate width each time.

Before you begin placing stones in the sand, you must establish a square corner. To do this take a long, straight board and place one end against the house where the patio corner will fall. From the corner point, measure over 6ft. along the house wall and make a mark. Then, measure 8 ft. along the board from the house and make another mark. Have someone hold the end of a tape measure at the house mark and adjust the board until the 8ft. mark intersects the 10ft. mark on the tape. Drive a stake at the end of the board and tie a string from the house corner to this stake. Tighten the string so there is enough space to slide a scrap wood block between it and a stone below. By aligning the edge of the end stones with this string, you'll ensure that your installation starts square.


Laying the Stone

With your square starter string in place, slide the corner stone into position. Check its height by sliding your scrap block between the string and the stone. Then check for level from side to side.

To make the stone fit properly, lift it up and either add or remove sand from the base using a trowel.

Lay the next stone in your pattern. Maintain a joint of about 1/2 in. between the stones, and check that the matching faces of the stones are flush and that the second stone is level with the first from side to side.

As you add more stones, always make the edges meet flush and check the overall slope frequently, especially as you work farther from the house. A long board with a 4ft. level on top should keep you in the ballpark.

Cutting stone is easy, though very loud and messy, using a circular saw with a masonry blade that has diamond chips bonded to the edge. These can cleanly cut through 1in. stone in a single pass. 

They work much better and last longer than the commonly available aluminum oxide abrasive blades.

Once all the stones are laid, align the grout joints using a pry bar or flat bar. You'll have to make some compromises on this step because not all the joints will line up perfectly. Just favour the ones that will be more visible and let the others fall where they fall.

You can grout the joints with either sand or stone dust that's available from your stone dealer. Spread the material you choose over the patio and use a broom to fill the joints.

Pack the sand or stone dust into place with either an ice scraper or a mason's trowel. Some joints will take more material than others. When all the joints are full, sweep any of the excess off the patio, then rinse the surface with a gentle spray of water from a garden hose. Avoid spraying a strong stream right into the joints because this will flush out the packed sand or stone dust.




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