Laying Paving Slabs

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by jonny2shoes, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. plastererboy

    plastererboy New Member

    Regarding the statement u made..

    "I even posted a copied part from a well-known website which backed up my dissing of the '5 blob' method."

    are you implying you copied the statement dissing the 5 blobs method from a tiling website?? if so you should have at least copied a proper statement from a paving website such as paving expert!! Statement abt 5 blobs method from a tiling website to diss a paving slabs 5 blob method??

    While everyone knows the solid bed performs better than the 5 blobs method,, we gave advice to a diyer who would have found using the solid bed method difficult and labour intensive if he didnt have a mixer! its all about using our knowledge and offering the ideal method we felt would help the diyer do a great job! meaning in DIY terms.. a nice flat patio without sticking up corners and wavy patio!
  2. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    plasterboy, when I said use a large-notched trowel, this is a DIY suggestion. The use of your builder's trowel to 'plough' the mortar is a specialised technique that is learned as you go along( a brickie will do it without thinking)but a diyer might just make a mess.

    Laying a flat bed and using a large notched trowel to 'plough' the mortar is a good way for a diyer to gat a flat bed first and achieve an even laying of all slabs.

    When comparing it to laying tiles, it is similar, just larger amounts of everything(we would tap tiles down with a rubber mallet or wooden handle of trowel if we didn't think we'd break them).


    Finally, about the passage that I quoted(5 blobs). This was in fact from pavingexpert.com.

    As I said, I made the comment about the 5 blobs method, but being conscientious as I am, searched for backup on it, and that is where I found it.

    Mr. HandyAndy - really
  3. deacon

    deacon New Member

    Laying a flat bed and using a large notched trowel to 'plough' the mortar is a good way for a diyer to gat a flat bed first and achieve an even laying of all slabs.

    andy stop , listen to the advice , there is not one professional will use a notched trowel to lay slabs , true a brickies trowel would take a bit of handling at first but to suggest a notched trowel no, we don't use the end of a trowel to bang them down either
  4. gangman

    gangman New Member

    Laying slabs on a screed mix is great when the slabs are a uniform size. If you are laying reclaimed york stone, it can be 1in thick or 6ins thick, not very easy to use level beds then.

    On york stone I always use dabs and I've never had any problems. I've even done this on driveways with no problems.

    Any one who has laid big yorks will know you only want to handle the big slabs once. If you get the amount wrong on a level fill then the slab has to come up. If you've got a slab of 80-100kgs you need to avoid having to pick them up especiially with fresh slabs all around it.

    The secret is to have the right amount in the dabs, you need to have to really bang it into place. What holds the slabs in place and stops them rocking, is the jointing. None of this brushed in ****, 3 x 1 sharp mix, semi-dry, ram packed the full depth of the joint. With big slabs this could be 6-7ins.

    Jointing is a boring, tedious job and normally gets skimped on but trust me good jointing will hold slabs in place.

    If you parge all the edges of the slabs and the joints are all full where does all the vast amounts of "surface water" come from ?

    So my point is it's not always wrong to use dabs.
  5. deacon

    deacon New Member

    he,s right , this method is pretty much standard , even with new slabs they can vary slightly, be twisted and allsorts , the screed method is not for me , were I can if slabs like yorks I fill in to within 50mm from he top as I lay it saves a little time later with pointing

    andy another reason to see that your trowel method does not work
  6. yorkshireboy

    yorkshireboy New Member

    I use dabs also,but I cement all edges as well and point straight away so each flag is connected to the other.
  7. deacon

    deacon New Member

    have done that before on small areas and to complete the job , I wouldn't use this method if the weather is damp or might rain
  8. gangman

    gangman New Member

    I use dabs also,but I cement all edges as well and
    point straight away so each flag is connected to the
    other.

    I use a wet soft sand mix for dabs, semi-dry sharp mix for joints, so I wouldn't joint as I went. Plus with yorks in a random pattern you lay all the full slabs you can first, then go back and fill with cuts. Which could be the next day.

    Definately fill the edges of the slab and, like deacon, partially fill the joints as you lay them.
  9. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Laying a flat bed and using a large notched trowel to
    'plough' the mortar is a good way for a diyer to gat
    a flat bed first and achieve an even laying of all
    slabs.

    andy stop , listen to the advice , there is not one
    professional will use a notched trowel to lay slabs ,
    true a brickies trowel would take a bit of handling
    at first but to suggest a notched trowel no, we don't
    use the end of a trowel to bang them down either





    deacon, if you are not going to read the posts I make, kindly refrain from commeenting on them, and getting it wrong every time.

    Look above. "there is not one professional' etc.

    Firstly, you cannot call yourself professional, when you use methods that do not give the best results(by your own admission).

    Secondly, if you were to bother reading my posts before commenting(if you can read at all) you would not come back saying how professionals might do it.

    I have clearly stated that the advice I have given was for DIY patio slabs.

    How many professionals does it take to lay DIY patio ?

    How many ?


    Now, go back, read it all, or don't bother, because you are wasting my time.


    Mr. HandyAndy - really
  10. gangman

    gangman New Member

    Laying a flat bed and using a large notched trowel to
    'plough' the mortar is a good way for a diyer to gat
    a flat bed first and achieve an even laying of all
    slabs.

    andy stop , listen to the advice , there is not one
    professional will use a notched trowel to lay slabs ,
    true a brickies trowel would take a bit of handling
    at first but to suggest a notched trowel no, we don't
    use the end of a trowel to bang them down either

    If you are laying slabs on a dry mix you need a straight edge to help level the mix to the right height especially getting into the corners.

    A brick trowel is not the best thing to use, waste of time compared to using my screed trowel. I've used a notched trowel for this, and I know others who do. It's all about getting a good, flat surface on the mix, you can use what you want, even a bit of skirting could be used if you didn't have a trowel.
  11. HardiLandscaping

    HardiLandscaping New Member

    HAndy

    Gangman here means he uses the straight edge of his notched trowel to level out the screed and this is fine,, anything straight is fine to use to level out the dry screed mix but when laying wet solid bed,, i prepare each bed idvidually for each slabs I lay and a notched trowel wouldnt make deep enough ridges to be able to bed down the slabs to the determined level, whereas just running brick trowel making grooves in mortar lets me have a degree of adjustments to bed down slabs to level,, but if bedded too low,, up comes the slabs again and more mortar is added.. and yeah using sharp sand mix for pointing s best compared to soft sand as it lasts longer more harder. Been laying slabs all my working years since a teenager,, I aint keen on dabs but in some situations its actually better to use dabs if done properly and pointed in properly,, and for DIY the 5 dabs s easier for a area with light traffic on it.. no vehicle traffic at all... as most patio slabs re only 32 - 35mm thick,, slabs for driveway would ideally be 50mm thick to withstand traffic with less risk of cracking if done properly like gangman has said.

    U cant say a person is not a professional if he gives bad advice on some subjects,, like a roofer is a professional but if he gives advice on laying slabs he might not be a professional but he will have seen it done many times during his career and might even have done it during college or apprenticeship where we learn the basics of building trades..
  12. deadonmate

    deadonmate New Member

    My mate is a brickie but lays patio's etc

    Once a good base is prepared i.e. dug done, depending on weight load, uses ballast and blinding etc

    Always lays them, especially slabs on a bed of quarry dust, cements joints and has to date had no probs.

    His preferred method he says is more cost effective, no dabs, no solid bed of cement, the slabs are on a solid level base and it works, I've seen him do it.

    Just me 50p's worth but what do I know

    God Luck:)
  13. deacon

    deacon New Member

    andy , andy , you seem to be getting a bit of stick , I am not going to give you any on this occasion .
    professional means that when joe public wants work doing he goes to a professional , have you ever heard of anyone asking for a diyer , no
  14. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    andy , andy , you seem to be getting a bit of stick ,
    I am not going to give you any on this occasion .
    professional means that when joe public wants work
    doing he goes to a professional , have you ever heard
    of anyone asking for a diyer , no




    You are still not reading my posts, deacon.

    I have said, when a person wants a job doing and money is no object(or he is prepared to pay the going rate) he will ask a professional to do the job.

    You have commented on the number of posts I have made, and this goes to show how much I read read read, and reply.

    Now, in my experience on these forums, I expect that when someone comes on and asks 'how do I do this to my patio, whatever?' he wants to know the DIY way, the cheapest, effective way to do it.

    Otherwise, he would go to a professional and get it done.

    These posts that ask for help, are what I reply to. I try to give the best possible way to do a job, without needing a professional, without costing a fortune, and without having to go out and buy special(or even just the correct) tools.

    Then there are those that ask for help within their own trade. Nobody knows it all, so it's fine to ask.

    I don't normally give advice to those people, because they will probably know as much as me, but if I have a particular point that I do know about, and I think needs to be said, I will.

    If I've achieved a result doing it a different way, or unusual way, I will also say so(although I will get slagged for it). If it works, tell someone.



    Read gangman's post. Go on. It's not rocket science to suggest an easier or simplified method. You can adapt to use different tools when you are on a tight budget.

    Using the wrong tools may take longer, but if it saves the DIYer a few bob, he don't mind struggling on a bit.


    All these things have to be taken into consideration when answering questions, and most of it depends on what the questioner wants to achieve. This normally involves a bit of intuition and compromising, synonomous with DIY.


    To summarize: In normal circumstances, to give professional advice to a DIYer is usually pointless, because if he wants a truly professional job done it will almost invariably be cheaper to have a professional DO the job, in the long run.

    Mr. HandyAndy - really
  15. deacon

    deacon New Member

    i don't read all posts but took time to read this, you have a way to describe the issue quite well , I have noticed that some people get a bit of stick and respond in a manner which causes upset ,I will try to remember this in future , maybe your posts should say what you think but if some one comes in you should debate and if a number of people are in general agreement we would say they were correct and maybe you should or indeed I or others should stand up and say maybe I was wrong
  16. fooman

    fooman New Member

    > I don't normally give advice to those people, because
    they will probably know as much as me, but if I have
    a particular point that I do know about, and I think
    needs to be said, I will.

    Mr. HandyAndy - really

    nothing changes then :^O left you alone for weeks as i thought it was only me that thought you were a *** but i am mistaken :^O

    LOL

    [Edited by: forum admin]
  17. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    I don't normally give advice to those people,
    because
    [/b]they will probably know as much as me, but if I
    have
    a particular point that I do know about, and I
    think
    needs to be said, I will.

    Mr. HandyAndy - really

    nothing changes then :^O left you alone for weeks as
    i thought it was only me that thought you were a
    *** but i am mistaken :^O

    LOL






    Once again FOOL, you are talking out of your *** about something you know nothing of.

    Get lost, I have said nothing wrong.

    Unless you know otherwise.........


    Mr. HandyAndy - really
  18. gardm1nt

    gardm1nt New Member

    in my opinion anything less than a full bed is a shody job.

    I use a minimum of 100mm compacted type 1 then a 25-30mm wet bed 1-1-4 mix cement, lime, dust. pointed with a stiffish mix of 1-3 cement, sand with a splash of SBR.

    i don't care if you use a dry soilid bed or a wet one, you are supporting the slab completely. Spots do not and will rock eventually maybe not instantly but certainly five years down the line.

    Laid sets but never slabs on stone dust alone and worked fine, to some extent the dust sets especially if you use say 10-1 dust to lime.
  19. Captain Chaos

    Captain Chaos Member

    always thought 'dust' was referring to cement not sand.
  20. gangman

    gangman New Member

    in my opinion anything less than a full bed is a
    shody job.

    You don't work for AJ McCormack do you. They seem to be the self proclaimed experts, a nice website and sticking expert in the name does not mean you know it all.

    Before people start using pavingexpert as the law have a look at some of their practices. Flags laid on sand with no sub base. If I need oats for my horse because I use dabs, then these guys must have steel toe cap cowboy boots and stetsons with a BS number.

    I was on an estate in Bray last week where all the patios and paths had been done without a sub base. There wasn't a straight slab anywhere, I looked at four houses, and apparently the whole estate is the same. Definately the most shody work I've seen on slabs. These are slabs on full beds not dabs.


    i don't care if you use a dry soilid bed or a wet
    one, you are supporting the slab completely. Spots do
    not and will rock eventually maybe not instantly but
    certainly five years down the line.

    How can you make a statement like this. I expect there are plenty of guys on this forum who can give examples that will prove you wrong. How did you come to this five year timescale.

    I laid a small patio of Indian stone in my garden. Laid on dabs over 5 yrs ago,still solid.

    About 8-9 yrs ago, laid a yorkstone patio in Effingham which was about 150m2. My B in L was back there a couple of months ago and it was still solid.

    About six years ago, built an extension in London, where my F in L had worked about 25yrs previously. We had to take up part of the yorkstone patio that he had laid, that was really solid, and still is now. That's been down over 30yrs a lot longer than the 5yrs you seem to think.

    I could give plenty more examples, as could other people. The point is, if done correctly, there is nothing wrong with using dabs.

Share This Page