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Patio slab joint mortar

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selectortone

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20 years ago, when I moved into my current property, the patio was in a sorry, uneven state. Back then I pulled up all the slabs, levelled what was revealed with a screed of well wetted sharp sand, and relaid the slabs.

That was fine for 15 years, now It's time to do the job again.

Last time, my feeble memory seems to recall that I found some mortar mix that I brushed into the joints, wetted it with fine spray, and next day it was a proper job (as we say down here in Dorset).

The nearest thing to that I can find in the local B&Q/Wickes etc is Sika Fastfix but at 30 quid a go it seems a bit steep.

Any alternatives?

Thanks in advance
 

Jacob

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Did mine without mortar, it's easier and neater.
The trick is to place a brick or a broken piece of slab at every corner where 4 slabs meet (or 2 slabs at the edges). level these with straight edge or spirit level, on mortar or hardcore etc. Then just drop the slabs on butted up to each other. 4 corners on one brick. Tighten them up with a railway bar. Job done. Mortar joints all fail sooner or later and look a mess. No mortar joints can be tightened up and also self level. easy to lift and adjust if necessary. One big advantage is that they are self draining - water runs off between the cracks.
 
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Jacob

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Thanks Jacob, but I need to use mortar to match the spacing of a further section of patio that does not need renewing.
Difficult to match if you don't know what it was. I'd just go for 1:4 cement/sharp sand but wet. Press it in, wire brush it off next day.
 

Spectric

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All you need is soft sand & cement at 4 to 1 and DRY mix. With a DRY patio tip the DRY mix onto the area and sweep into the joints until filled, sweep access off and no mix left on patio slabs and ensure no gaps or half empty then fine mist to dampen the joints, not so it washes it out and leave.
 

selectortone

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All you need is soft sand & cement at 4 to 1 and DRY mix. With a DRY patio tip the DRY mix onto the area and sweep into the joints until filled, sweep access off and no mix left on patio slabs and ensure no gaps or half empty then fine mist to dampen the joints, not so it washes it out and leave.
Thank you - that sounds like what I did 20 years ago.
 

gog64

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Wow, the woodworking gurus have failed. Do you want to do this to a good commercial standard or a DIY bodge? I absolutely hate laying patios and because karma hates me I’ve had to build and subcontract quite a few.

The good thing these days is that all decent quality paving slabs are “calibrated”. Which is just jargon for “all the same thickness”. That probably sounds trivial, but believe me it isn’t!

Every single contractor worth hiring will quote you a compacted stone base, spec per the ground conditions, slabs laid on a continuous sand / cement bed and wet pointing.

You can DIY what you want, but if you are paying for it in 2021 punters expect perfection that will last several decades without maintenance!
 

Jacob

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.......

You can DIY what you want, but if you are paying for it in 2021 punters expect perfection that will last several decades without maintenance!
That's what you get with no mortar. It's always the mortar joint which fails. It's also a massive labour saver if you are just levelling the corner piece bricks etc. This only works of course for heavy same size/thickness slabs.
 

Spectric

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The good thing these days is that all decent quality paving slabs are “calibrated”
A good landscaper will lay calibrated or mixed thickness and get good results, they came up with calibrated to make it easier for the layman. Some of the best period looking slabs are still not calibrated as you get a different look if done traditional. Problem now is that there seems to be a shortage of many landscaping products, especially real stone and concrete slabs tend to look naff.
 

Bm101

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I think there is a good argument for never pointing. Instead lay slabs on firm bases with space/accommodation for water runoff. Then add fine top soil and moss etc in the gaps. Job done.
Run your mower over it.
 

okeydokey

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Will the dry mix approach work on crazy paving with much wider gaps as I've got a good lot to sort out at home. I need to get rid of the holes and trip hazards between the uneven crazy paving. Might be Yorkshire stone (not tea) Been down I would guess some 50 years
 

Jacob

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..... concrete slabs tend to look naff.
They do when new but they weather in eventually. Though those "riven" pattern concrete slabs do look really naff I agree
Traditional paving around here was Hopton Stone which is very fine stuff, used by sculptors and on major buildings, but unless worn by use and polished it doesn't look much different from concrete slabs in the end.
 

pe2dave

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+1 to the dry mix. I've bought ready mixed 'buckets' from Wickes.
Suggestion. If you pour it on then brush it in, cement dust on the edges spoils the look (shows the mark).
find a funnel (e.g. petrol?) with appropriate sized exit hole. fill with the mix, tap to make it run. Lets you
get the mix where it should be and not on the slabs.
HTH
 

Jacob

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I think there is a good argument for never pointing. Instead lay slabs on firm bases with space/accommodation for water runoff. Then add fine top soil and moss etc in the gaps. Job done.
Run your mower over it.
Spot on!
There's pages and pages on the net about plants to grow between pavers. Many will self set you don't need to do anything. We've got mosses and flowering plants - Valerian and other smaller stuff. Looks very nice. Wildflower hour special on Pavement Plants You get taller stuff at the edges and small stuff survives where there is foot traffic
Nothing more boring than a great stretch of false rustic slabs all perfectly set in mortar and scrubbed clean like Disneyland. Even a couple of gnomes could liven them up!
 
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selectortone

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Out in the car this morning putting the materials together for the job. Had to hunt around - my local B&Q, Wickes and Homebase all out of cement and soft and sharp sand. Empty shelves in several departments. Wasted some petrol (that's gone up crazy too...) and finally found some at a larger B&Q further away. WTF is going on? (Rhetorical question - just venting.)
 
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