How to tell 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?

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

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

Natural stone 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 it is laid the right way up to show off its natural beauty.

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.

Natural Stone Paving Slab CORRECT WAY UP


Natural Stone Paving Slab WRONG WAY UP



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!

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


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


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.

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.

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.

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


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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