want to tile a small patio that is just dirt now


  #1  
Old 08-18-05, 11:28 PM
riffrandall
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want to tile a small patio that is just dirt now

I am buying the townhome I grew up in and for all of the years my family has owned it they never put cement in the small backyard. It is literally a jungle out there! After I clear it out I want to lay Spanish pavers out there but what do I need to do first? Do I have to cement it and then put the tile on top of that? Please help! Thanks in advance
 
  #2  
Old 08-19-05, 12:17 AM
jsb59
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1st things 1st

Measure out the area where you want your new patio and eliminate the vegetation.
Clay tile are usually laid over a concrete slab whereas concrete pavers can be set in sand
 
  #3  
Old 08-19-05, 07:43 AM
A
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Putting in a slab for pavers isn't all that hard since you don't have to smooth the surface (and some argue that you don't want to). However, I've only done it for real stone so I needed at least 1" of mortar between slab and bottom of stone. If the pavers are put in with thinset then your flatness requirements will be stricter and might be difficult for a beginner.

Forms are realtively easy to build especially if there are no curves. The difficulty is the volume of cement - my last slab was only 4" thick and 50 sq ft but it ended up taking about 30 80 lb bags mixed in a wheelbarrow. That was a tough day. Of course there are alternatives like having it pumped in or hauling a trailer with pre-mix in it. Just be sure your forms are real solid because if you have it delivered and your form blows out your in real trouble. The number of bags needed for a given thickness and sq ft are on the back of the bag.

IMO, sand bases are only good for infrequently used patios/walks in dry areas unless the stones used are mammoth in size.

If the pavers can be set on 1/2" or more of mortar and your patio size is not too large and you can cut 2x4"s, use a level and string to determine slope accurately you could probably do it yourself. Determining slope is the most difficult and important part - water must run away from the house. Get a book on cement techniques and make sure it has details on setting the slope.
 

Last edited by AlexH; 08-19-05 at 07:53 AM.
  #4  
Old 08-19-05, 08:40 AM
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want to tile a small patio that is just dirt now

Concrete paving stones are a more populat material. Interlocking concrete paving stones are laid in a sand setting bed. Concrete slab bases are not recommended.

For a patio. you would need about 4 to 6 inches of suitable base material (not topsoil). Compact as you would for a concrete base. Because of the light loads, a 60mm(2 3/8" thick) paver would be sufficent, but 80mm(3 1/8") pavers may be available in more patterns and colors. The installation method is the same.

Outline the area and spread a 1" setting bed of clean sand to use as a setting bed. Level the sand.

Lay the pavers in the pattern you desire.

Place an edge restraint. - Usually a fexible plastic strip (staked in place with spikes) the will conform to the shape you desire (straight, curved, kidney, etc.). You can also place the edge retraing earlier and use it as a guide for leveling the sand.

Sprinkle sand on the surface and go over the surface with a plate vibrator (usually you can rent for a landscaper that sells pavers). This forces sand in between pavers to increase the strength and stability. There are also other materials you may put between pavers.

Sweep off the excess sand.

Contrary to some opinions, concrete pavers set in sand are used for many applications ranging from patios to driveways, streets, airport taxiways and heavy duty port applications for huge mobile lifts carrying containers from ship. The smaller paving stones (8" or less) require this type of base. The larger stones (10" to 24") are really not interlocking pavers and require a thicker base to support the same load.

You can get concrete pavers in many different shapes and sizes and in many plain and blended colors. Generally, concrete pavers are more durable (especially freeze thaw resistance) than clay brick pavers because they do not contain clay and they are manufactured for a horizontal surface and not a vertical surface (walls).

Check out a few web sites (Borgert, Oldcastle, Pavestone) for ideas, products and other applications.

Dick
 
  #5  
Old 08-19-05, 03:52 PM
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Good point by CM,

Be aware that Mexican/Spanish pavers as I know them are closer to tile than what we call pavers today. I believe they are about 3/4" thick and are designed to be installed like tile. They are made of clay. You can install tile outdoors over concrete but if you live in areas that freeze you need to take precautions. The substrate (concrete) flatness requirement for these is probably better than the DIY'er could easily achieve.

The next step up would be clay brick style pavers designed for use primarily over a well prepared sand base. These are more durable than common brick but look like a smooth brick. Of course they are not as durable as concrete pavers. Manufacturers include Pacific Clay, McNear and HC Muddox.

Just a warning - I have found the clerks at the rockeries where they sell bricks, pavers etc. to have almost no knowledge of the products they sell (I'm sure there are exeptions). Be very careful before you plunk down the money for a large order because usually it's not returnable. In fact, when you have it narrowed down to a product type, buy of few samples of the pavers and take it home to see how it looks in your setting.
 
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Old 08-19-05, 07:37 PM
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Forgot to mention Claypave. They make more modern styles of clay pavers. They may have some that look like a Spanish Paver but that can be laid in a sand base.
 
  #7  
Old 08-20-05, 01:04 PM
riffrandall
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thank you for responding!

I feel a lot less overwhelmed now, but what about weeds? will they come up through the sand or do I need to lay down a weed barrier first?
 
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Old 08-20-05, 01:11 PM
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want to tile a small patio that is just dirt now

You can put down a weed barrier if you choose.

You will still have to cope with weed seeds that land a take root. For a patio, a spray can or squirt bottle of weed killer every few weeks does wonders.

Dick
 
  #9  
Old 08-20-05, 06:12 PM
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CM,

Are the concrete pavers really DIY friendly?

They are extremely heavy - even the small ones are about 10lbs each. I have seen even moderate size driveway concrete paver delivery by 18 wheeler. Also many require up to 6" of crushed stone followed by 1-2" of sand then another 2" for the paver itself! I shudder to think of the dirt spoilage if the current grade has to be mantained never mind the crushed stone and sand quantities.

Also, those edge restraints I have seen that have the 12" spikes are a joke IMO. On most soils I can get a 12" spike to go all the way in using my foot. I guess some recommend a concrete restraint which would be my preference.
 
  #10  
Old 08-20-05, 06:57 PM
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want to tile a small patio that is just dirt now

In a backyard they are much more DIY friendly than pavers set in mortar over a concrete slab. I have yet to see a 10# paving stone for a patio. A typical Holland Stone paver 8"x4"x2-3/8" weighs about 6#.

Apparently, you have not poured and finished a concrete slab or looked at the truck that delivers the concretre. For concrete you will need a gravel base, reinforcing and concrete. You will need a few people to finish the concrete. You must do all of the concrete at one time. The concrete slab is 4" thick, not 2-3/8" as pavers are. You will have to set the pavers in grout and then grout the joints. After that you will probably seal the clay pavers to protect them.

A paver job can be phased and can be done with a crew. Two people can do a job at the pace they choose. Depending on your soil only 2 yo 4 inches of base is needed. A driveway 6", a street or road 10 - 16" and 24 - 36" for a airport taxiway or ship unloading yard. After the sand is level the pavers can be placed over a period of time. A few bags of sand is used to sweep and vibrate between the pavers. Edge restriants can be concrete, but the purpose is to separate the sand/paver area from the surrounding soil and prevent sand from escaping. There is no difference in height, so there is not an appreciable lateral load on the restraint. Some people use brick as a restraint. Try to move an edge restraint laterally that has been pinned with a "laughable" pin.

Pavers make an attractive, durable patio. Concrete is good for garage slabs, but even Caterpillar uses pavers for it some of its repair facilities.

Take a good look at he installation instructions for a paving stone patio and then look at the amount of materials you will have to move for different types of construction. Then consider you can do pavers at your own pace.

Dick
 
 

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