Creating a patio gives your landscape a new look. It can define a place where you can gather without damaging the grassy portions of your lawn. A patio can also define the area that is designated for foot traffic in front of and around your house and garden. There are many stones and other paving materials that you can use to pave your patio like broken or cut natural flagstone, bricks or patio pavers. Using different colors and/or cuts will give your patio an interesting pattern. Here are the steps on how to install patio stones.
- Measure and mark the area you have chosen for your patio. Decide on what type of stone you will put on your patio. You can search online to view some of the stones that will make good patio pavers. You can also visit your local garden center to look at the available stones they have for sale. Tell the sales assistant the type of landscape you have and where you are located so that he can give you suggestions on what type of stones will be appropriate, how much stone you will need as well as the stone dust or sand that you will use to line the surface where the stones will be laid.
- Decide on the design you want to apply to your patio. You can look for inspiration from the web and browsing home landscaping magazines. You will be able to find tips and additional information from expert landscapers on how to create beautiful patios using different paving stones or by selecting the right stone colors.
- Dig inside the marked area. Dig to a depth of eight inches and remove the dirt. Fill the area with screen fill or a mix of three-fourths inch stones and stone dust up to four inches high. Use string guides to level the filler.
- Use a tamper to compact the filler. This will ensure that the ground will not sink/settle after some time. Add another two inches of filler and compact the filler once again with the tamper.
- Set up guide string to the final height of the patio. Start laying the stones that you have chosen on the area. If it is an irregular pattern you should start from one side of the designated area. If you have a circular area you should start laying the stones from the center. Broken or cut pieces of natural flagstones should be placed at least one-fourth inch apart from each other. Bricks and patio pavers should be placed as close to each other as possible. Continue placing your stones until you have covered the whole area.
- Use stone dust or sand underneath the stone when needed to keep the level even. After you have laid a stone, use a dead blow hammer to push the stone down onto the base and ensure that the stone is level. Add sand or stone dust as needed and strike the stone with the dead blow hammer again.
- After you are done with laying all the stones on the patio, finish this with a wash. Washing is done with water and sand and a stiff broom. This will ensure that the gaps between the stones are filled so that the stones will settle and not move later. Repeat this at least twice as some settling may occur.
Make sure that there is a slight pitch when the patio is near your house and foundation. This will prevent water from settling around your foundation. It will also ensure that water will not create puddles over your patio after the rain.