How to Lay a Patio



How to Lay a Patio


A patio is a great addition to your home, adding a new and interesting feature to your place as well as giving you somewhere to relax and barbeque in the summer months. A well-constructed patio is a great low-maintenance feature that will extend your indoor living area outdoors and even increase the resale value of your home.

In this guide, we will take you step by step through the process of laying a patio. We’ll outline exactly what equipment and materials you’ll need, as well as how to get the perfect finish for your new outdoor space. With the right tools and some simple DIY, you can create a patio space that’s completely unique and designed especially for the style and size of your home. We have looked specifically at how to create a patio from paving slabs, since paving stone is durable and hard-wearing, providing a stable foundation for a patio area.


  • Equipment You’ll Need

  • Materials You Need

  • Step One: Planning Your Patio

  • Step Two: Clear the Space

  • Step Three: Add the Sub-Base

  • Step Four: Add the Mortar Mix

  • Step Five: Lay the Paving Slabs

  • Step Six: Create a Border


Equipment You’ll Need:

  • Shovel

  • Rake

  • Wheelbarrow

  • Wooden pegs

  • String

  • Rubber Mallet

  • Bricklayers trowel

  • Spirit Level



Materials You Need:

  • MOT Type 1 Sub Base - 100mm

  • Sharp Sand/Cement Bedding Mix - 50mm

  • Paving Slabs - 25mm

  • Bricks




Step One: Planning Your Patio


First of all, you need to come up with a plan for how you want your patio to look. This means deciding on a type of paving stone, the size you want your patio to be and the pattern you’re going to lay your paving stones in. Remember, if you want to create a border around your patio, you will need to add this onto the final size.

Some things to think about when designing your patio:

  • Size

  • Positioning

  • Privacy

  • Patterns and materials


Step Two: Clear the Space


When you’ve decided on how you want your patio to look, you need to mark the size and shape using pegs and string. Calculate the fall of your patio, which will vary depending on the type of paving slabs you’ve chosen. A typical fall for a residential patio is 1:60 which basically means there will be 1 unit of fall for every 60 units of patio width. The fall is critical to prevent water from pooling. Once you’ve done this, clear the space by digging the required depth of your patio. You will need to account for 100mm of MOT type 1 sub-base, 50mm of Sharp Sand/Cement bedding and the height of your chosen paving slabs. Dig to the required depth using a shovel.


Step Three: Adding the Sub-Base


Add half of your sub-base to create a 50mm layer and rake until even. Compact this layer of sub-base with a wacker plate or vibrating roller. Then add the remaining 50mm of sub-base and repeat the process of raking and compacting the surface.


Step Four: Adding the Mortar Mix


Now it’s time to lay your paving slabs. First of all, you need to make your bedding mix to secure the paving slabs. To do this, mix 6 parts Sharp Sand with 1 part Cement inside of a wheelbarrow or cement mixer. Add water if the mixture looks dry to create a damp mix. The mix should be firm and not sloppy.


Step Five: Laying Paving Slabs


First, wet the underside of your paving slabs so that they don’t dry out your bedding mix which will prevent the slabs from setting. Then, lower your paving slabs into position and fix into place with a rubber mallet. Make sure that you leave a 10mm gap between each of the slabs for pointing. Fill in the gaps between your slabs with bedding mix using a trowel or pointing iron to compress. 


Step Six: Creating a Patio Border


Now your paving slabs have set, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Creating a border to frame your patio is a great way to give it a unique look. To do this, first add a layer of bedding mix along the length of your patio border. Then lay your bricks and set with a rubber mallet.