Step up your plans to create a superior patio surface - The Province, Sunday August 21st
August 22, 2011
Stone makes a terrific patio or walkway, with a natural striking appearance that blends well with all types of landscaping. Make sure to use a hard and flat stone material, which is suitable for walkways and patios.
Stone can be laid in a variety of patterns. An irregular pattern gives the most natural look, but will require more cutting so that the stones fit together tightly.
If you desire a more formal appearance, you can use a multiple-cut pattern of rectangles and squares that join in a geometric pattern. If you do not wish to do all the cutting, stone can be purchased pre-cut and then put together like a jigsaw puzzle.
You can also purchase pre-cut stones of the same size and place them in a brick-like pattern.
A stone patio or walkway may be built with either wet or dry construction. Dry construction can also be called "brick in sand construction."
The edging can be concrete, stone or wood. The sand base should be at least four inches deep on top of a well-compacted road base gravel.
Joints between stones can be filled with paving stone sand, crushed stone or decorative gravel to give it a unique appearance.
For a more permanent patio, use wet construction, setting the stone in a four-inch concrete slab with a four-inch gravel base, properly graded for drainage, and a perimeter footing to the frost line.
To make a stronger base, place reinforcing wire mesh between the gravel and the concrete.
To set the stones, mix a mortar of one part masonry cement, three parts sand and bonding agent with water to the consistency of a good packing snow (the kind you make snowballs with).
Spread over the concrete to a thickness of about one inch. Spread only enough prepared mortar to set one or two stones at a time. Tap the stones with a rubber mallet to embed them in the mortar, making sure that they are all level and even. After one week, seal with a concrete sealer such as AquaSeal
More to come next week. This article was published in The Province
newspaper, Sunday August 21st.