Slate patios have a natural look that complements the landscape rather than competing with it. Square slate tiles are most commonly used for building outdoors, but a patio made with different sizes and shapes of stone can be more appealing in a less structured outdoor area. Laying a patio without concrete simplifies the project because there is no need to set rebar or wait for the concrete to dry. This project doesn't require any special skills and can be completed in a weekend.
Things You'll Need
- Stakes and string
- 2 x 4 lumber
- Builder's sand
Mark the sides of the new patio with stakes and string.
Dig out the area inside the string to a depth of about two inches. Use a tamper to flatten the excavated area. Uneven spots will lead to an uneven patio.
Pour pea gravel into the excavation to a depth of about one inch. Use a rake to smooth the gravel out.
Lay the slate. Start in the middle and work outward to both sides if you're working with square or rectangular pieces. If you're working with uneven shapes, start in the middle and fit the pieces together as you work outward. Leave about a one-fourth-inch space between the pieces.
Check that the slate is level as you work. Lay a two-by-four across your work area and look for high or low spots. Adjust them by adding or taking out gravel beneath them.
Spread builder's sand on the slate when you're finished. Use a hose to rinse the sand into the cracks between the pieces of slate.
Tips & Warnings
- Calculate the patio's size so that you don't have to cut any pieces of slate. If you do need to cut slate, use a circular saw with a masonry blade.
- If the patio will be right next to a home or other building, make sure it has a slight downward slope so water will be directed away from it.
- Photo Credit Jude/Flickr.com
How to Build Patios Without Cement
Although building your patio over a concrete slab helps to ensure it won't settle unevenly later, you can build a patio without...
How to Install Slate Tile Over Concrete
A concrete slab is the best subfloor for any type of tile installation. Installing slate over concrete is a project anyone can...
How to Stamp a Concrete Patio
Stamped concrete patios are being installed alongside homes across the country. They add a finished touch and attractive elementl to landscaping. Stamp...
How To Lay Slate Tile Outside
Slate is a shale type sedimentary rock that is often made of clay and volcanic ash. This rock splits easily into sheets...
How to Install Slate on an Existing Concrete Patio
For its dark colors and natural durability, slate is a practical choice for a patio surface. If you want to lay a...