Natural Stone Installation: Laying a Sandstone Patio

After moving house I decided to lay an Autumn Brown Sandstone paving patio in my back garden.  When I first moved into the new house the garden was like a jungle and I wanted to reduce the maintenance.  We decided on a natural stone patio and I have been recording the progress on this blog.

After building a small retaining wall the next stage was to lay a sub base.  I used recycled crushed stone which was then compacted using a whacker plate.  We also had a slight issue with next door's garage, which was a concrete pre-fab and very ugly.  We decided to put up a timber screen to cover up the garage.

I was now ready to start laying some natural stone.  The first thing I did was to unload all the paving slabs from the crate.  I had a quick sort through them and set aside 5-6 slabs which were quite riven.  I would use these slabs for cuts.  Stone is a natural product so there will always be variation in colour and texture.  The best way to get round this is by ordering an extra 10% for wastage and also do what I did and spend half an hour sorting through the flags.  That way you can set aside the odd looking flags for cuts, or to be used in discrete areas.

Sandstone paving, or any type of natural stone paving should always be laid on a full bed of mortar.  A common misconception is that paving can be laid on spots of mortar.  This method of installing paving is a complete fail and in the worst case can deteriorate within a matter of months.  Here are a few picture of the ongoing installation

Full bed of mortar for natural stone paving


Use spirit levels and string lines to get levels spot on


Garden paving is cleaned off ready to be pointed

That's all for today.  I was quite proud of my efforts as I managed to get all the paving laid down in one day on my own.  It took me 13 hours to finish.   It took me until about 2pm to actually get any momentum going because I was so rusty.  Hard work but very enjoyable.

Will post some more pics tomorrow of the pointing and the screen.

All the best

Steve Walley

By London Stone Blog | Published 16th August 2012
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