Please ensure that you read this information before any installation. Below is important information regarding natural stone & concrete paving along with a simple guide to laying a patio & some very important fixing instructions. We highly recommend you consult a Bradstone Assured member for a professional installation.
Colour variations & Natural Stone conditions
Colours depicted in brochures are as accurate as modern photography allows. Tonal variations are evident in all manufactured and natural stone products, we therefore recommend that colours are judged from actual materials. This is of significant importance when selecting a natural stone product, where, by nature, each component will exhibit considerable deviations. However samples are for guidance only & can vary dramatically in texture, colour, tone & finish from batch to batch & from sample seen.
Manufactured products are designed to simulate natural stone and naturally occurring aggregates are utilised, therefore variation between batches can occur. Where possible, products should be selected from the same production batch. Reconstituted stone will weather in a similar way to natural stone, therefore the effect of the elements and site conditions may cause some colour change dependant on the degree of exposure.
Natural stone is an extremely hard wearing and low maintenance paving. It may, however, contain minor imperfections and foreign materials as part of its inherent make up. This does not affect the performance of the paving. Being a natural stone product means that no two stones are the same and can result in a wonderfully random riot of colour bringing a unique look to your garden. After laying, some natural stone products may exhibit a brown colouration where oxidation of any iron content occurs. This is a natural occurrence in all stone & may bleed from the stone after installation, which is beyond our control. This may be more pronounced in our Buff & Pink granite as these granites get their colour from iron oxide within the slabs & will vary from slab to slab & batch to batch. This should be able to be removed using a cleaner called Lithofin Bero. This cleaning can take place after the installation is complete. We recommend that once any oxidation has been removed that the area is left to settle & dry & then sealed using the appropriate sealer. We would recommend that any patio should be left for a season or two before sealing. We will not be responsible for any discolouration or oxide that may appear once the patio has been laid or for any cleaning that may be required.
If you have more than one pack of paving to lay then you MUST fix them using slabs from each pack to ensure you get an even blend of paving. We will not be responsible should you lay areas of paving from one pack at a time as each pack may differ in colour, texture &/or finish.
All natural stone products should be laid on a full mortar bed & granite paving MUST have a cement & liquid SBR (primer) slurry mix applied to the back of the slab before installation. To produce the bonding slurry dilute SBR Bonding Additive with an equal volume of water then mix to a smooth creamy consistency with ordinary Portland Cement. The approximate mix is 1 part SBR: 1 part water: 5 parts cement (by volume) giving an approximate coverage of 30m² per 5 litres of SBR per coat. Following preparation of the substrate as detailed above the bonding slurry should be brushed vigorously into the surface giving an approximate 1mm thickness. Subsequent coatings must be applied while the bonding slurry is still wet. Should the slurry dry then a further coat must be applied. Please refer to Paving Expert website for further detailed instructions :-http://www.pavingexpert.com/stonpv04.htm We highly recommend natural stone paving to be sealed using the appropriate sealer however we recommend that paving should be left for a season & you MUST ensure that it is completely clean, any efflorescence has disappeared & the patio MUST be bone dry before applying any sealer. Sealing natural stone paving will help prevent the build up of lichens, algaes, dirt etc & will make the paving easier to maintain. We will not be responsible for any sealer applied incorrectly & recommend that a small inconspicuous area is tested before the whole patio is sealed. Follow the manufacturers instructions before application.
Please allow at least 10% for cutting, wastage & breakages. Please note that your material has had to travel along way, on & off boats & lorries & there is often a chance that you will have some damaged or cracked slabs. These can often be used for cuts however if they cannot then we MUST be notified within 3 days of delivery. Claims or replacements will not be given after this time.
Regular maintenance is required to keep the overall appearance of the product in pristine condition. We recommend thoroughly washing paved areas with warm soapy water and brushing off with a stiff broom three or four times a year.
High pressure washers are not recommended for use on manufactured paving.
We cannot be held responsible for the possible effects or damage caused by the contamination or application of some chemically based products which come into contact with a concrete or natural stone paver e.g. some weed killers and acid or alkaline based cleaners. We recommend that acid is NOT used on any natural stone paving.
Common salt should not be used to de-ice wet cast paving. To prevent possible surface damage always use a proprietary brand of de-icing product expressly formulated for use on concrete.
Patio cleaners are available but we would recommend using a Lithofin product.
Sizes and joint widths
All dimensions quoted in brochures are nominal and are for guidance only. Actual sizes will vary, particularly on the products designed to replicate natural stone which have features such as riven profiles and fettled edges. Where space is critical, Bradstone recommends dry laying the product to check area required (especially circles and patio feature kits). The sizes and quantities given in the colours and sizes tables usually allow a nominal 10-15 mm joint width. When laying random paving and circles, joint widths will depend on the paving type and laying pattern chosen and will be variable – from approximately 10mm to 30mm.
Sometimes dark patches appear on the surface of concrete paving slabs. It is caused by the movement of the moisture content within the paving slab drying the surface at different rates. Given time and natural weathering the darker patches tend to tone down and become less apparent.
Efflorescence is commonly identified as a white mark that sometimes occurs on Concrete Paving, on brick work and very occasionally on Natural Stone pavers.
Efflorescence is the accumulation of crystallised salt on the surface of the paving. In the case of Concrete Paving, salts from within the cement rise to the surface of the paving where they accumulate causing a white mark. Efflorescence may also occur on Natural Stone products depending on the chemical composition of the stone and the local weather conditions. Efflorescence is an unpredictable, but temporary, process. Once all the salt from the paving has risen to the surface it is commonly worn away through use or by weathering. This process seldom takes more than 12 months. Efflorescence may temporarily disappear when wet.
In most cases scrubbing the paving with warm, soapy water or a mild bleach solution will reduce the build up of salt from the surface of the paving. This breaks down the crystallised salt causing it to be more readily worn off through use and weathering. In extreme cases of efflorescence, an acid wash may need to be applied to remove the salt. It is important to note that the salt may again form on the surface of the paving if the efflorescence process has not
finished. Consequently, acid washes should not be applied until the efflorescence process has concluded. If you are considering acid washing to remove efflorescence, please use it with caution as it may react with your paving. Efflorescence does not structurally affect paving.
STEP 1: Digging the foundation
You need to allow 150mm for foundation mix and paving, and if you are laying directly next to a house then the finished patio should be at least 150mm below the damp proof course. This means you will need to dig out the area to a minimum depth of 300mm below the damp proof course.
To ensure that water does not collect on the paving, the foundation needs to have a fall of 1 in 60, which means one centimetre of fall for every 60 centimetres of width. So a 3m wide patio will need 5cm or 50mm of fall.
STEP 2: Preparing foundation base
To create the firm foundation, use a concrete mix of 6 parts all in one ballast with 1 part cement.
Mix and add enough water to dampen the mixture just enough so it binds together.
Cover the entire area with the mix to a depth of 75mm, level it out with a shovel and then tamp down using a length of timber or trample down with your boots.
STEP 3: Mortar preparation
Lay the paving slabs on a FULL mortar bed, which should support the whole slab, not just the corners. You MUST ensure that there is contact with the whole of the back of the slab & the mortar.
Use a mortar mix of 6 parts sharp sand to 1 part cement.
Mix together with just enough water to make it damp and workable, but not overly wet and runny.
PLEASE NOTE that ALL granite paving MUST have a cement & SBR liquid slurry mix painted on the entire back on the slab before fixing. Failure to do this may result is the slabs drying out at different rates & cause patchiness & or effect the surface of the slabs. We will not be responsible for any issues arising with paving that has been installed incorrectly. Please refer to http://www.pavingexpert.com/stonpv04.htm for full details.
STEP 4: Laying the paving
First set up 2 taut string lines to guide both the line and the level of the paving. 1 line should run down the length of the patio and the second line side to side, with one including the fall for drainage.
Start from the corner and work your way out from there. All paving MUST be mixed & blended together & laid dry before any installation to ensure you are happy before fixing as no claims or returns can be accepted after the product has been fixed. If you have several crates then you should be taking from all crates as you lay to ensure you have an even blend especially with natural stone.
Spread out mortar to cover an area slightly larger than the paving slab you want to lay and high enough to allow you to tap down the flag to the correct level. The bed should be approximately 30-40mm which will squash down.
Lift and lower the slab into place careful not to catch the corners. Using the rubber mallet start to tap it down. Hit the paver, firmly but not too hard, at a point that is roughly midway between the centre of the paving slab and each corner along imaginary diagonals. Move around the paving, tapping in succession until the flag settles down to the correct level.
Check the paving is level with a spirit level and that you have included a fall, then start to lay the rest of the paving, leaving joints as required.
Once laid, the patio should be left for at least 24 hours to allow the bedding mortar to harden and should not be walked on.
STEP 5: Jointing the paving
Use a mortar mix of 3 parts soft building sand to 1 part cement and mix it slowly adding a little water at a time to get a smooth, damp consistency – not wet or sloppy. A plasticiser can be added to make the mortar easier to work.
Use a trowel or pointing gun to put he mortar into the joints, pressing it down and smoothing over using a pointing bar if necessary.
Take care to avoid any mortar going onto the surface of the paving slab especially with natural stone as this could stain the slab. Any mortar spilt on the paving should be wiped off immediately.
Once the mortar has hardened, all you need to do is give the patio a good sweep and then that’s job done.
Please note we are unable to accept any claims or returns once material has been fixed. You MUST ensure you are happy with the material BEFORE it has been laid.
Health and safety
Good manual handling techniques should be adopted when handling products. Some products in the range are heavy or are an awkward shape and it is recommended that suitable lifting equipment is used for these products. Always wear gloves and safety footwear when handling the product. If product is being cut, always wear safety goggles, and when using a high speed cutter also wear suitable respiratory protection, such as a dust mask. Before removing wrapping or banding, ensure that the products are on level ground or retained in some way to prevent falling over. When removing shrink wrapping and banding use the appropriate cutting tools; also it is recommended that safety goggles are worn. Product should always be handled with care as breakages, chippings and other damage may result from mishandling. Minor scuffing can occur due to movement in transit and will generally disappear in time.
All deliveries will have to be made by hiab & will be charged at £50 per hour. A full load will take approximately 6 crates depending on the size of the crates. Any returns / collections will be charged at £50 per hour.