Which is the right way up to lay a natural stone paving slab?

How can you tell which is the right way up to lay a natural stone paving slab?

Lay natural stone paving correctly.

Don’t waste your investment in natural stone paving by ignoring this advice.

Quite often natural paving is laid the wrong way up by inexperienced contractors and DIY ers.

Find out here how to tell if you or your contractor have identified the correct way up to lay natural stone paving slabs before you start

Natural stone paving is a beautiful material to use for landscaping your garden.  At Stoneworld we have a wide range of natural stone paving options in many different formats.  We know our stone, and we’re proud of it.  When you buy from us the stone is of exceptional quality. Please ensure to lay natural stone paving correctly, to show off its natural beauty. The result if its laid the wrong way up is quite disappointing, so PLEASE heed our advice

How to lay natural stone pavers the right way up first time!

Natural hand cut stone paving with a riven surface will have a larger surface on the upper side.  The underneath side, the one to place on the mortar bed, is slightly smaller.  See below.

Example 1 : an unlaid slab sitting the right way up

Natural Stone Paving Slab sat the CORRECT WAY UP
Natural Stone Paving Slab sat the CORRECT WAY UP

Example 2 : an unlaid slab sitting the wrong way up

Natural Stone Paving Slab sat the WRONG WAY UP
Natural Stone Paving Slab sat the WRONG WAY UP

 

Take our advice about the correct way to lay a natural stone patio-we know!

We know that some ‘old school’ landscapers think it is the opposite way round- THEY ARE WRONG.  What they are remembering is the old format of concrete slabs from years ago.   Natural stone pavers with a riven top are always laid with the larger surface uppermost, every time!

See how the joints will sit on natural paving laid the right way up

Laying the paving the right way up will ensure the texture of the surface is more attractive, and the joint is presented in the correct way, ensuring the pointing joint is secured, see below.

Natural Stone Paving Laid the right way up will present a protected joint for pointing
Natural Stone Paving Laid the right way up will present a protected joint for pointing

See how natural paving joints sit on natural paving laid the wrong way up

Laid the wrong way, a less appealing surface texture is revealed, and messy, wide, and unsecured joints occur. See below.

Natural Stone Paving laid the wrong way up will present messy open unprotected joints
Natural Stone Paving laid the wrong way up will present messy open unprotected joints

See Natural Paving laid the correct way up

Here we have an example of correctly laid sandstone paving.  See how the joints present at right angles to each other, and the finished surface is riven, but safe and even.

example natural paving laid correctly
example: natural paving laid correctly

When laid incorrectly exposed surface will be very uneven, and the joints will be very wide and messy.  We don’t have a picture to show you , because usually our customers heed our advice before starting their project.

See an outstanding project using our natural stone paving laid correctly here

See Natural Paving laid the wrong way up

Here we have found an example of an unfortunate homeowner whose patio has been laid using the natural stone slabs the WRONG way up.

example: natural paving laid the wrong way up
example: natural paving laid the wrong way up

What a difference!  Now you can see what we mean can’t you?

It matters that natural paving is laid the right way up

You can see that the stone still has attractive markings, even on the wrong side, BUT look at the joints! and the degree of riven-ness (if that is a word!) in the surface.  See how craggy the edges are and how far apart the slabs have to laid from each other. (Remember, in this example the wider surface is lying on the sub base, therefore even if the slabs are touching underneath, this has the effect of splaying the joint at the top surface).  Over a few winters you can see how the unsecured mortar will break free from the paving and how the surface of the paving will flake away where the riven surface is more marked.  This will make for quick deterioration of the surface for sure.  Scroll back up to the correct way to lay the paving to see the difference.

Further advice about the correct mortar and method to use when laying a natural stone patio can be found in another blog. Go to blog>>

How can you tell the right way up with a sawn paving slab?

In the case of sawn paving, it is often described as sawn on 6 sides with a honed or sandblasted finish.  The finish is applied to the uppermost surface, the one that is to be displayed. On the underneath side it is possible to see faint lines, caused from milling the stone.  This is your clue to make sure you lay the right surface against the mortar. See images below.

Example 1: Sawn paving laid the right way up

Sawn Paving Laid the correct way up will show the beauty of the surface finish

Example 2: Sawn paving laid the wrong way up

Sawn Paving underneath side will have faint milling lines from the sawing process

 

It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times we’ve had to point this out to customers and landscapers to avoid costly mistakes.

Our advice is to check twice, and lay once!

For more information and guidance call our office on 01844 279274, or email sales@stoneworld.co.uk

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