Pebble patios are attractive and easy to maintain. They go well with a pool, spa or outdoor fountain. Pebble patios can be extended into dry watercourses to connect additional patios and outdoor rooms. This creates unity and harmony in your landscape plan, and adds to your home's curb appeal. Pebble patios also reduce the amount of grass lawn you will need to maintain, an important point in areas where water is scarce.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Washed, tumbled river pebbles
- Quick set concrete mix
- 5 gallon drum of clear UV resistant acrylic epoxy
- Carpenter's level
- Mixing trough, 30 gallon plastic tote or wheelbarrow
- Mason's trowels with extension handles
- 2-by-4-by-8 inch piece of lumber
- Black plastic landscape edging, with stakes
Decide the shape and size of the patio area you wish to pebble. Use a tiller and shovels to dig the outline to the desired depth of your patio base. Outline the patio with black plastic landscape edging to make a form for your patio. Lay a long board, such as a 2-by-4, across all directions of the shape of your patio to check that the top edge is level in all directions. Check the patio base depth in several spots to be sure it is a uniform depth. Dig out areas that are too shallow, and add soil or sand to areas that are too deep until the patio base has a uniform depth.
Calculate how much concrete mix you will need (see Resources). You will need enough to fill the form of the patio base to within 2 inches of the top of the black landscape edging. You will need pebbles 2 inches deep as well.
Purchase the pebbles and concrete. Use a cement mixer, mixing trough, a 30 gallon plastic tote or a wheelbarrow to mix your concrete. Pour concrete into the patio base form, smoothing it out a batch at a time until you have filled all but the last 2 inches of depth. While the concrete is still slightly wet, pour pebbles into place to fill the remaining 2 inches of depth.
Use a long board across the black edging to smooth away any excess concrete and pebbles that have flowed over the landscape edging. This will push the pebbles down into the wet concrete slightly. Add more pebbles if necessary to level any areas where the pebbles sink into the wet concrete. Allow concrete to dry for several hours.
Pour UV resistant epoxy over the entire pebbled surface, being careful to keep all the epoxy inside the black plastic landscape edging outlining the patio. Wait for the epoxy to fill all the spaces between the pebbles. Add more epoxy until the entire patio has been sealed, without allowing epoxy to overflow. Reapply epoxy 24 hours later to ensure that all the pebbles have been sealed.
Tips and warnings
- The pebble patio surface provides some traction in icy weather, but should not be salted, as this will cause the acrylic sealant to break down faster.
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