Before You Start
Call 811 a few days prior to digging. Tell the operator where you're planning to dig and what type of work you will be doing, and your affected local utilities companies will be notified about your intent to dig. In a few days, they'll send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground lines, pipes and cables, so you'll know what's below - and be able to dig safely.
- Determine the material requirements, pattern you are using and square footage of the patio you would like to build. We offer a landscape tile calculator tool to help you decide the amount of tiles you will need.
- Stake out your patio or walkway area.
- Verify location of all underground utilities before excavating, by calling 811. This service is free.
- Excavate a minimum of 6" of soil.
- Check the slope for proper drainage.
- For patios near a home, be sure your excavation slopes away from the home a minimum of ¼" for every foot of patio.
- In clay soils, a filter fabric should be used between the earth and gravel base.
Sand Leveling Pad
- Fill area with enough crushed stone and rake evenly so you can compact gravel in 2 to 3" deep layers.
- Compact using a plate compactor to 95% of proctor.
- Fill area again until you have a 6" deep compacted gravel foundation.
- You may need to lightly wet very dry gravel to improve compaction of the material.
- Be sure your gravel base extends a minimum of 6" beyond the edges of your tiles.
- To prepare for your sand leveling pad, fill area to accommodate 1" of sand for your leveling base.
- Use 1" PVC pipe or screed rails as guides to level the sand base.
- Move your pipe or screed rails as needed to cover your patio area.
- Work in small enough sections that will allow you to maintain level.
- Be sure level sand extends 6" beyond the edges of your tiles.
- Remove screed rails.
Sand the Joints
- It is recommended you start in a corner to assure proper alignment. If no corner exists, a string line may be placed at a right angle off your house.
- Carefully lay your first tile without disturbing the sand base.
- Lay additional tiles according to your pattern maintaining a minimum of 1/8" spacing between all tiles.
- Set tiles by gently tapping on them with a rubber mallet.
- When less than full tiles are required, cut tiles using a concrete masonry blade. Be sure to remove all concrete dust to prevent staining. Always use proper eye and hearing protection when using power tools.
- When all the tiles are down and fully dry, fill in all joints with sand.
- Polymeric sand is recommended to prevent weed growth and insect infestation. Follow the manufacturer's application instruction.
- Be sure tiles are swept clean before you begin
- You may choose to use a mechanical plate compactor on your patio or walkway, however you must use a rubber pad to protect the tiles surface from scuffing.