Paving Indian sandstones on your patio areas creates a distinctive look for a house. Variance in the stones and the smooth and tranquil tone of colours revealed after a rain and during sunny days fill the space with exotic beauty. You can use these stone materials to build anything from a castle to pavements. Indian sandstones come in a range of attractive colours such as plain mint, yellow mint, fossil mint and raj green. The textures and colours can differ widely from one stone to another.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Sandstone flags
- Portland cement
- Building sand
- Grit sand
- Lifting tools
- Brick trowel
- Pointing trowel
- Levelling tool
- Safety glasses
Clean the area you have selected for the patio by removing any type of vegetation and any stones or unwanted materials. Level the soil.
Choose the type of Indian sandstone you will use. Purchase smoother, lighter flags. Choose the flags with the most even edges.
Make a cement-bound bed all over the area where you will lay the flags. Make a 10:1 ratio of grit sand and cement with water. To make 1 ton of mixture, use 950kg grit stone with 100kg of cement and .5kg of water, as semi-dry works best. The bedding layer should be ideally 35 to 50mm thick. At 35mm depth, 1 ton of mixture covers 14 square meters, while at 50mm depth, it covers 10 square meter of area.
Lay the sandstones on the bedding. If the flags are relatively small and light, you can lay them with your hands. For units larger than 450 X 450mm, use specialist paving tools and lifting aids. While laying, you can align either the bottom edge or the leading edge. However, make sure it remains tight to the preceding flag.
Join the flags with each other by using mortar on the receiving edges of each sandstone flag while laying them. This process is called buttering. Make mortar by mixing 4 units of building salt with one unit of ordinary Portland cement. Mix it until you can not differentiate the colour of sand and cement anymore. Add water and plasticiser. Water and plasticiser must be added a bit at a time and then thoroughly blended until you have achieved the desired consistency.
Start the pointing process within 4 hours after laying the pavement, while the joints still have fairly fresh mortar within them from the buttering process. The pointing will 'top-up' the buttered mortar to form a solid mass in between. Use small pointing trowels to fill the gaps and trim. Polish the mortar after filling all the gaps by running the edge of the pointing trowel at a slight angle along the top of the filled joint. You can also use a V-shaped pointing trowel.
Place a cautionary sign or use some form of caution tape around the parameter of the patio. This will prevent anyone from either walking or driving on the patio for at least 48 hours after laying the flags. After that, wash the patio. Lay red brick on both sides and decorate with plants.
Tips and warnings
- Always wear protective gloves before handling cement and avoid any contact of cement with eyes or uncovered skin.
- In case of exposed corners (such as for steps), make sure the edges are not sharp.
- Maintain the patio to keep it clean from moss and lichens. Sweep occasionally to remove dust and detritus.
- Ensure proper drainage of water. Create connecting paths to gullies or other suitable drainage points so that the patio does not become slippery.
- Do not lift heavier stones with bare hand. Use lifting tools or get assistance.
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