So you’ve decided to build a patio out of natural stone? No doubt you’ve realised that natural stone will give a bespoke finish like no other but did you know it can even add value to your home?
When you lay a patio from material such as sandstone, or granite you’ll create an uber-stylish focal point for the garden that, if looked after properly, will continue to be pleasing on the eye for years to come.
Installing your natural stone patio
The investment you make in your natural stone patio will pay you back time and again as you gaze admiringly at its extraordinary good looks but firstly you need to ensure the installation is done correctly. After all, you don’t want any problems to arise somewhere down the line. You may choose to do the work yourself or call in a professional. If you’re confident enough to do it yourself then you will obviously cut costs but if you want a contractor to do the job do your research beforehand, ensuring that the company is reputable – checking online reviews is one good way to do this.
Tips if you’re doing it yourself
Ensure that you have enough stone. Not all your natural stone will be of the same shade, there might be slight differences in tone and texture so make sure you have ordered more than enough for the job.
Flagstones must always be laid on a ‘full bed’ of sand and cement mortar that support the whole flag, not just the corners.
When you lay the stones don’t just take them from the same pack, mix and match from different ones so you don’t get any colour banding.
Use six parts of sharp sand or all-in ballast with one part cement. Mix together then add just enough water to make a mortar that binds to a sticky consistency.
If you intend to seal your paving immediately, make sure it is completely dry and free from efflorescence (the migration of a salt to the surface of a porous material, where it forms a coating). It may take a period of time to ensure that the bed underneath has fully dried out.
Protecting your natural stone patio
Firstly you need to seal the stone (some people like to do this further down the line to allow the stone to weather). Sealant is an important maintenance tool to keep paver patios, looking as beautiful as the day they were installed. In this way you can help protect your paving stones from stains such as dirt and oils, plus give it a UV resistance to help maintain the natural stone colours.
How to maintain your natural stone patio
Regular maintenance will help keep the natural stone of your patio looking in great shape and ensure it has longevity and there are a number of ways you can do this.
The simplest way to maintain your paving is by brushing. Regular sweeping will remove detritus before it has a chance to stain or damage the paving.
Mild soap and hot water can be all you need to keep your natural stone in good order but you may also want to invest in a product specifically for the job. If you do buy an over-the-counter preparation take care as some of these cleaning products can be based on, or include hydrochloric acid which can damage the paving surface and make the existing stain worse, or even result in a new stain.
Hosing down your patio
A good hose down every once in a while will clear away debris, or you may want to use a power washer for a good deep clean. Do beware though as the force of the water can exploit any minor cracks or weaknesses and blasts out loose stone or slightly weak jointing.
You can buy an over the counter preparation but if you want to try out a purse-friendly home-made weed killer using white wine vinegar take a look at One Good Thing.
Also, consider using polymeric sand between patio stones as this can prevent weeds from popping up in the first place. It’s a good insect deterrent too.
If you’d like help in deciding what stone to use for your perfect patio don’t hesitate to contact us by submitting a contact form submission and one of our friendly team will happily assist. You can also call 0800 689 5236 or send an email to [email protected].