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Stenkul uteplats

Cool patio


A newly laid patio with classic concrete slabs and outside it a patch with unrolled lawn. Straight and angular without life. Mode to make a bet.

The patio

Concrete slabs

New lines

A few lilac trees in a flower bed create a new line and define the future patio. To further break the straight lines, the edge of the patio towards the lawn will go in a curve. Clematis and ivy dress the fence and create height. Time to remove the existing tiles and excess grass.

Green is good

Stone whale

Now the project can be said to have started. The old concrete slabs are to be replaced with something more fun. At first we had thought of irregular slate, but when Stenbolaget had a promotional price for cut regular Chinese slate, we jumped at the chance. Black or grey? Well, the black one is probably gray enough. The dimensions are 30 x 60 cm and the thickness 2-4 cm. 120 tiles should be enough.


Sample plates

About 1.2 tonnes


After excavation, the new patio has taken shape. Grass and soil have been removed and the previous settling sand has been raked out so that the ground is reasonably level. Before the sub-work takes off, curbstones must be laid. The former concrete slabs are reused and placed across as a border against flower beds on the sides. The edges are aligned with the cords and have approximately the slope from the house that the paving will have. Soil-moistened concrete, i.e. sand with a little cement should make the curb sit properly. The edge towards the lawn may become a later solution.




Straight as nails

Ground cloth

Ground cloth

All the way

To keep underground growing guests away, the entire excavation is covered with ground cloth. Measured by the meter and measured so that it reaches all the way up to the curb. The edge between the flowerbed and the lawn is also coated.

Loose weight

Now it's time to add a few loads of gravel. A layer of crushed rock that is packed tightly and over that a thinner layer of stone flour to put the tiles in. Everything is bought in bulk from Stenbolaget. 4 tons distributed among a number of trailers that were driven back and forth for new loading. The staff had little to do. Also took the opportunity to get some tips and advice along the way.

A scoop please

A little more

Hard and steady

The last bit of crushed rock is transported with a wheelbarrow and distributed evenly over the entire surface. Use a spirit level to check that there is a slope for drainage from the house. When enough is in place, it is compacted with a rented soil vibrator. Quick and easy. The slope is controlled. Then on with the stone flour to pack it a little lightly before returning the soil vibrator. Check measurement again, it should lean from both the house wall and the edge of the flower bed. There must be no pools of water in the middle.


Ground vibrator

Stone flour

Lightly packed


Finally time to put the first stone slab in place. The top layer of stone flour is roughed up with a rake to make it easier to get the stone to lay nicely. The stone is naturally uneven and there will be repeated lifting and adjustments with stone flour to get the right fit. At each new attempt, the stone is knocked down with a rubber mallet. The tiles are laid from the facade in a wraparound pattern. A strip of a few centimeters is left between the facade and the first row of tiles. Otherwise, they are laid with an approximate joint width of 5 mm.

Softer surface

First row

Correct slope

A ch

The slate tiles are regular in dimensions 30 x 60 cm but have an uneven surface and vary between 2-4 cm in thickness. They are relatively easy to cut with a simple hand-held angle cutter with a diamond blade. A carved cutting table holds the stone nicely in place. Considering all the stone dust, the stones are advantageously cut in the forest behind the plot.


Passport pieces are needed

Grassy border

Getting the tiles in place proved to be time consuming and tiring. Now, in any case, it has advanced so far that it is time to finish the edge towards the lawn. This side of the patio will go in a curved arc. The same curb as before will be used - the recycled concrete slabs but the top of the curb will be level with the stone slabs and the adjoining lawn. A new trench is dug and the slabs are set on edge and fixed with soil-moistened concrete. When the edge is in place and at the right level, the trench is filled again with crushed rock and stone flour and flattened. Now the last tiles can be laid and in the bend there will be puzzles and fine cutting to get a nice and durable curve. It turned out that the edge ends up slightly lower than the plates, but rather than sticking up. You can always come up with something afterwards if you want to increase the edge. It fulfills its function anyway.



Check the height

Fill again

Passport pieces

Space Empire

strikes back

Star cruiser


After a much-needed break from pounding tiles, it's high time to finish the work before summer completely turns into autumn. It is time to do something about the joints and the choice has fallen on flexible hard joint from Stenbolaget. In the relatively short time that has passed since the last tile was in place, rows of miniature weeds have already started to grow and quite a few birch seeds have found their way into the cracks. The point of flexible hard joints is to avoid this in the future. It should also keep ants away, which sounds promising considering how many ants lived during the previous paving. In order to give proper depth to the hard joint, all joints were cleaned and emptied of weeds, debris and excess stone flour with the help of a chisel and a construction vacuum cleaner. When the entire tiling was dry and cleaned, the hard joint was spread out. As long as it is dry, it looks and behaves like any fine sand. After the sand was swept out, work was resumed with the chisel, this time to systematically press the sand firmly into the joints so that all voids are eliminated. Between 1-2 sacks were used and after the work was done the chisel was no longer a chisel but an awl. Finally, excess sand was brushed away. In the absence of a leaf blower to remove the last dust from the stone surface, the construction vacuum cleaner was used again. After that, the entire surface was carefully watered three times according to instructions. Then you just have to wait for the joint to harden and hope that the autumn fog is not too heavy and causes it to harden.


Construction vacuum cleaner

Flexible hard joint from Stenbolaget

Like sand

Brush down into the joints


The work on the patio is now complete for this time. But there is more to do next year to spruce up and improve the feeling of the room. The vegetation can get more space, especially on the sides. An awning can be fitted to protect against sun and light rain. Optionally, the concrete curb can be built on or covered in any suitable material. The lawn must be adjusted and built up slightly so that it connects nicely to the tiles. Maybe a pergola or something for plants to climb? Some reflections when the work is finished:
  • It has taken time and effort to build the patio, but I had expected that. However, the amount of work involved in laying, adjusting, tapping on, and re-adjusting the tiles was something I underestimated.
  • Renting a ground vibrator for a day made compacting the base both easy and fun, much better than struggling with some homemade method.
  • On several occasions, I have discussed ideas and working methods with the staff at Stenbolaget. Grateful when doing something the first time.
  • I was advised to lay the tiles with a 3mm joint. In practice it was maybe 3-6mm. If I had to do it over again, I would have chosen to add 6-10mm. I only see advantages in a larger joint as it facilitates in all stages from the laying and adjusting of tiles to the final jointing.
  • Breaking right angles and straight lines gave the desired effect and gives a harmonious impression to the garden.
  • The old saying "it can be too small but never too big" applies as usual. The future will tell if we have taken in enough.
  • I had early ideas about casting tiles instead of putting them in stone flour. I don't know which is best, nor which is hardest or most demanding. There's only one way to find out: The next project will be cast paving, it's cast in stone!






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