Laying paving guide

Laying a good patio is a really satisfying DiY project that you will enjoy for years to come.  This page contains links to the best advice we have found on the web to explain how to lay patio paving

Image of completed granite patio


Steps to laying patio paving:

Step 1 - Design

  • Define the function of the paving
  • Size and shape
  • Choosing the paving material, colour and finish
  • Edges
  • Drainage
  • Steps
  • Manhole covers and other fittings
  • Planning and drawing
  • Access considerations
  • Waste disposal for dug out ground and installation waste


Step 2 - Check your capability

  • Are you physically fit to do all the digging, lifting and carrying ?
  • Have you got the right tools ?
  • Timescale - As a rough guide 50m2 will take a competent DiY person about 8 weekends (assuming suitable weather)


Step 3 - Costings

  • Labour
  • Plant
  • Materials
  • Waste disposal


Step 4 - Site clearance

  • Get rid of vegetation
  • Remove rubbish


Step 5 - Setting out

  • Set out the shape
  • Set the levels


Step 6 - Drainage

  • This is a key factor in success


Step 6 - Build up the layers.  The thickness of each layer will depend on the intended duty of the paving

  • Prepare the subgrade
  • Install geotextile separation layer
  • Install the sub-base
  • Install the laying course
  • Install the flagstones
  • For medium or heavy duty driveways a layer of concrete will be necessary to provide additional strength


laying paving guide

Step 7 - Pointing and grouting

Step 8 - Aftercare

  • Check and repoint any settled joints
  • Apply sealants
  • Cleaning and weed removal


There are many online "how to" guides and this is our pick of the best of them.

1.  Paving expert website.  This site covers everything but it isn't the easiest to use and its format looks very dated.

2.  Phillipa Tuttiette has a simple and quite short video.  If anything it is a little too simple because she doesn't explain how to included a fall into your patio for drainage.  It has one big problem, which is that it provides some advice you should definitely not follow:  She advocates bedding paving on blobs of mortar which is definitely not recommended because it does not adequately support the paving and can cause discolouration of the slabs after laying.

3.  Brett Landscapes have a more professional looking video which does cover how to create a fall and also recommends bedding slabs so they are fully supported by the bedding layer.

4.  "Driveways, Paths and Patios" is a very good book by Tony McCormack is a reference that we keep in our office when we need technical advice.