The information which is summarised in this article does not constitute professional advice and is meant for general guidance only. It does not consider your projects specific circumstances and should not be acted on without you seeking full clarification from your contractor / installer.
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Please do not book your contractors to start until you have received the goods and been able to check them off. It will also give you the opportunity to check the products carefully without delaying your project.
Please kindly ensure you have ready and understood our delivery policy - details can be found here.
We have set out a very practical policy in these instances where breakages may have unfortunately be sustained. Please ensure that you have read and understood it as this will avoid potential project delays. Details can be found here (section 8)
Using a Priming Slurry
It is recommended to use a priming slurry, also known as a primer or SBR, on the underside of the slabs for a safe and sturdy fix. This will create a barrier between the stone and the mortar to prevent any natural salts and minerals from being drawn up through the base of the slab.
In addition to applying a priming slurry to the underside of the slabs, it is also important to properly prepare the area where the patio will be installed. This includes removing any existing debris, leveling the ground, and compacting the soil to create a stable base. Neglecting this important step can lead to the formation of sinkholes and other types of structural damage in the future.
After preparing the ground, it is important to carefully lay each slab, ensuring that they are level with one another and leaving enough space between them to allow for proper drainage.
It’s important to remember that while priming slurries are an essential part of ensuring the durability and longevity of any stonework, the incorrect application can lead to the opposite effects. So, always follow the manufacturer's instructions and don't skimp on the priming slurry if you want your stonework to look beautiful for years to come. Proper priming of the slabs will create a strong bond between the stone and the mortar, prevent moisture and salts from pushing out, and make the stonework last much longer.
Sealing Your Slabs
We always advise sealing your paving, whether it’s Natural Stone or Porcelain. This will help to protect the stone against staining.
Natural stone is a beautiful and durable material that requires regular maintenance to retain and resist damage. In addition to regular cleaning, one of the most effective ways to protect natural stone slabs is to seal them periodically. There are many different types of sealers available on the market, each with unique features and benefits, so it's important to choose the right one for your application. When applied correctly, a high-quality sealer will provide long-lasting protection against stains, moisture, and other types of damage, helping to maintain the beauty and integrity of your stone for many years to come.
Porcelain can also be susceptible to staining from cement and other materials from the laying process and using a porcelain sealer will help with the removal of this.
A full range of sealers, visit our LTP Page.
Sealing your slabs involves the application of a chemical sealer that fills the pores in the stone, making it resistant to moisture and stains. Sealing provides protection against discoloration, etching, and staining from wine spills, food splatters, or any other substances that may come in contact with your stone. Sealing is quick and easy, and it can offer long-term benefits to preserving the lifespan and beauty of your natural stone.
Patches / Dot & Dab
Reflective Staining is a distinctive pattern of marks or stains most commonly (but not solely!) seen on porous stones such as sandstones and granites and caused directly, no argument, undeniably, no matter what the contractor says, by improper installation. Specifically, the use of spot or ring bedding. For more information on this subject, please follow the link to Paving Expert.
When dealing with natural stone products, it's important to embrace and appreciate the natural variations that make each piece unique. Not only does this bring character and charm to your project, but it also ensures that your paving will blend in seamlessly with its natural surroundings. It's worth noting that you may not be able to reorder the same stone in the future, so make sure to purchase extra slabs to account for any potential changes or repairs. By working closely with your landscaper, you can create a beautiful outdoor space that reflects the natural beauty of the materials used.
It is also important to remember that variations in colour and tone are what make natural stone products unique and beautiful. If you are unsure about which slabs to use, take the time to lay out a few options and see which ones complement each other best. Additionally, be mindful of the direction of natural light when selecting your paving, as this can affect how the colours appear when laid. It can be helpful to view any variations or differences in colour as an opportunity to create a unique and visually interesting design. Furthermore, as natural stone ages, it tends to develop more character and charm, which can add to the overall beauty of the project.
It is also important to remember that these variations are not defects, but rather a natural aspect of the material, which can enhance the authenticity and value of the finished product. By embracing these variations and incorporating them into your project rather than trying to hide them, you can create a stunning and one-of-a-kind outdoor living space.
When laying the slabs, try to ensure that you mix the batches together for a varied but even finish.
It is important to inspect each slab before making your final decision, as the veining and flecks can vary greatly even within the same type of stone.
By carefully selecting slabs that match your desired aesthetic and taking the time to inspect them beforehand, you can ensure a beautiful and cohesive final result.
How to Lay Your Paving Slabs
For a guide on how to lay your slabs, please follow the link below: How to Lay Slabs
We recommend the use of a Polymeric jointing product - our recommendation is Joint-It as we have found it to be a good balance between performance and cost. For a general overview of these type of products a very good source of reference can be found on the Paving Expert website. Here is the link specific to this type of application.
Cleaning, Maintenance & After Installation
Good maintenance is the key to ensuring continued appeal and aesthetics of your paving.
Regular sweeping and the occasional washing is typically all that is needed - this will ensure surface debris does not accumulate which is often the underlying factor of staining and unsightly marks appearing. Please also note that natural stone does weather so its appearance over time will change
- this is inherently its appeal so don't be too critical over the cleaning regime!
For a more comprehensive look at this please see this link from the Paving Expert site