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Grey Porcelain tiles installed

LANDSCAPING SERVICES

Stone Centre doesn't just supply high quality building materials. We work in partnership with J W Elliott Landscapes in Rotherham to carry out projects across the Doncaster, Sheffield and Barnsley area. It means customers across South Yorkshire get to enjoy the highest quality materials and the highest quality workmanship, at the best possible price.

Call us biased, but we believe local businesses do it better. Our partnership with J W Elliott has allowed us to transform gardens across South Yorkshire. Hard or soft, our landscaping services can help you turn your vision into a reality and create stunning outdoor spaces you can enjoy all year round. For more information or to arrange an estimate, contact our team in Rotherham today.

HOW TO CUT YOUR INDIAN STONE SLABS

Making cuts to some of your slabs is often necessary when laying a patio. Whether it's fitting around drain covers, accommodating steps, or aligning pavers with the edge of your available space, there are various reasons for this. In the following discussion, we'll guide you through the two most employed methods for cutting paving slabs to ensure optimal results.

The primary technique for cutting paving slabs involves the use of a circular power saw. This method is particularly effective for Porcelain, Granite, and Sawn Sandstone, delivering a smooth cut with a straight edge, ensuring consistency with the rest of your slabs.

You can employ either a bench saw or a handheld circular saw for this task, and it's crucial to use a diamond-tipped blade specifically designed for cutting stone. Diamond blades provide a more consistent depth of cut, unlike regular abrasive blades that wear down quickly, impacting the quality of cuts. Before starting, always verify that the blade is suitable for the type of stone you'll be cutting.

Ensure your safety by wearing protective goggles and a dust mask and employ a dust-suppression system to prevent dust clouds, which can be hazardous to the eyes and respiratory system. Dry cutting should be avoided, and all necessary tools and safety equipment are readily available for hire from standard tool rental companies. If uncertain, your local tool hire provider can offer guidance on the required tools and safety equipment.

Paving stones installed
TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT NEEDED:
  • Tape Measure

  • Pencil

  • Steel/Aluminium Ruler/Level

  • Workbench

  • C-Clamps

  • Power Saw

  • Diamond-tipped Blade

  • Rubber Mallet

PROCEDURE:

  • Start by measuring the space you need to fill with your slab, then mark out the measurements onto the slab to serve as a cutting guide.
     

  • Secure the slab to the workbench using C-clamps to prevent movement.
     

  • Use the ruler as a guide for the saw and begin cutting the paving slabs along the pencil markings. After achieving a cut of approximately 1cm deep, flip the slab and repeat the process.
     

  • Once you have a 1cm deep cut on both sides, use a rubber mallet to separate the stone. Depending on the thickness of the slabs, a mallet may not be necessary. For thicker slabs, additional and deeper cuts may be required.

 

When determining measurements for your cuts, it's essential to verify the accuracy of all dimensions before commencing the cutting process. Additionally, remember to factor in joint widths during your measurements. Comprehensive preparation, coupled with a thorough check of your measurements, ensures optimal results, and minimizes unnecessary waste.

It's advisable to order an additional 10-15% of paving material to account for potential waste during installation. Off-cuts are derived from the total square meter coverage you've ordered and having a surplus of a few extra slabs prepares you for any unforeseen shortages of materials.

In essence, the process of cutting paving slabs is straightforward. If uncertainties arise, seeking guidance from a professional before proceeding is always a prudent course of action.

Brazilian Black Slate pavers
INSTALLATION GUIDE

NATURAL STONE & PORCELAIN

When embarking on a patio project, several considerations come into play to ensure a smooth and successful outcome.

Experienced landscapers often employ their own well-established techniques for laying paving slabs, honed over years of practice. Given the numerous variables in play, the specific methods may vary depending on the individual professional.

Ensuring a seamless installation process is equally vital as selecting the right slabs. Acquainting yourself with the procedure in advance is crucial to avoid potential costly errors. Whether you're personally undertaking the paving project or relying on a professional landscaper, having a fundamental understanding of the process is advisable. This knowledge ensures that you are well-informed and aware of what to anticipate throughout the installation.

HOW TO LAY:

Always bear in mind that the specific requirements of your project will vary based on your environment. It is highly recommended to have a professional assess all the variables before commencing the slab laying process. Given the unique nature of each project, a thoughtful decision must be made regarding the long-term stability of the ground. It's prudent to prioritize a robust base from the outset and err on the side of caution.

Ensure that the paving sits at least 150mm below the damp-proof course (DPC) of any adjacent building.

Incorporate a drainage plan, aiming for a minimum fall of 1:60. This slight slope, such as a drop of 1 inch for every 60 inches of paving or 1cm for every 60cm, ensures proper rainwater runoff. It's crucial to confirm that the fall directs water away from adjacent buildings and that the site promotes effective drainage with permeable bedding. Avoid laying paving on clay-heavy soil, as clay's poor drainage can lead to water buildup, causing the slabs to shift and break when wet.

Terms like Spot Bedding, Ring Bedding, Dot & Dab Method, or Five Dotting Technique all describe laying methods where only some parts of the slabs are in contact with the bed. These techniques compromise the stability of the slabs, making them prone to becoming loose and resulting in irreversible reflective staining on the slab surface. It is strongly advised to avoid these methods entirely. Using a full bed method will ensure the strongest bond and avoid compromising integrity of the patio/path.

Natural paving stones
STEP-BY-STEP
  • Begin by excavating the sub-base for your patio, intended for regular pedestrian use. Fill it with type 1 or MOT, readily available from standard builders' merchants, and compact it down to a minimum depth of 100mm. If you encounter clay-heavy soil during excavation, dig deeper to eliminate soft pockets and lay a thicker sub-base.
     

  • Achieve a level and thoroughly compacted sub-base, ideally using a compactor or whacker that can be easily rented. Proper compaction is essential to provide stable support for your patio.
     

  • Apply a full wet bed of mortar on top of the compacted sub-base. The mortar mix typically consists of sharp sand and cement in a ratio of 4:1. Ensure the mortar has a cohesive, non-runny consistency. If a mechanical mixer is unavailable, pre-made mortar mixes are also accessible.
     

  • Spread enough mortar for one slab at a time, with a thickness of at least 50mm, extending the mix slightly beyond the slab's dimensions.
     

  • Before laying the slabs, use a priming slurry to coat the entire underside. Dampen the back of the slab and apply a 1-2mm thick layer of wet priming slurry using a brush just before laying the paver. Be careful not to spill primer onto the top side of the slab, covering the entire back of the slab. Confirm the correct orientation of the slab, considering its definite surface and underside.
     

  • Gently place the slab onto the mortar bed, allowing for the necessary joint width. Tap the surface with a rubber mallet, ensuring no hollow spaces remain beneath. Any voids can compromise stability; if uncertain, lift and re-lay the slab. Use a spirit level to verify that the slab is level with the correct fall.
     

  • Wipe down the slab to remove excess mortar and promptly address any spills on neighbouring slabs.
     

  • Insert spacers between slabs to maintain consistent joint widths. Typically, recommended joint widths range between 10-15mm. Avoid butt-jointing slabs to prevent damage to edges and allow for slight movements or adjustments.
     

  • Repeat the process until all slabs are laid.
     

  • The final step involves grouting or jointing the patio, with the specific process determined by the jointing product chosen.

GROUTING YOUR PATIO

To fill the spaces between each paver, utilize a jointing compound, selecting from various options based on your design preferences and the type of stone used. Grouting your patio serves to prevent the accumulation of debris in the gaps and hinders the growth of unwanted algae and weeds.

Ensure that the gaps between your slabs are a minimum of 10mm wide and 25mm deep.

We recommend using jointing compound, a solution requiring the addition of water before use. While other grouting products are available, the process may vary based on the chosen product.

  • Clear all joints of debris or any accumulated water to ensure an even and consistent grout depth across the entire area.
     

  • Dampen the area before applying the compound. Pour the grout over the patio, spreading it across the surface and into the open joints while keeping the paving moist.
     

  • Once the joints are filled, wet the paving again and let it sit for 15 minutes.
     

  • Brush off excess compound, simultaneously filling and topping off the joints.

London Graphite pavers
background of floor with paving stones

STONE CENTRE - LANDSCAPING SERVICES YOU'LL LOVE

07791 683391

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