how to cut slate paving slabs

To cut, just use the hammer and chisel to score a line a few millimeters deep where you want the cut, then put a rod (shovel handle works) under the cut line, and stand with your feet on either side of the cut line, as far from the line as the stone will allow. If the flag is rocking when you straddle corners A and C, then areas B and/or D must be high - tap them down until the rocking stops. Whilst we can accept that these problems are less likely to occur on a small residential patio, we cannot and will not endorse spot-bedding as a suitable method for laying flags, regardless of the location. There are two acceptable methods of laying flags - individual bedded and screed bedded. Use a masonry blade to cut along your marked line – it may take a couple of attempts depending on the thickness of the brick. Place the paving slab on the wet saw next to the guide. Prefer to have your paving cut and installed by an expert? There is still a lot of work to do with this new site, so please bear with me while I get images updated and the new content coralled into the right place. Generally, slate is very robust and maintains its colours much better than a sandstone or limestone patio, so it should clean up much better. Note that when using the screed bedded method, work must be done from the paved surface to avoid disturbing the prepared screed bad. Read more about the various joint width options used with flag paving, it leaves voids beneath the flags, making them more likely to fracture when loaded, the voids can allow surface water to accumulate, leading to subsidence or instability, the voids provide a ready-made home for invertebrates, particularly ants, which love to mine an, the solidified mortar spots settle differently causing the flag to 'rock' when trafficked, correcting any rocking flags requires the old mortar to be broken out and disposed, it is often more expensive than solid bedding, it often results in damp patches appearing on porous flagstones, especially sandstones, it does not comply with the relevant Code of Practice, a cement bound bed approximately 20-40mm thick, a coarse, grit sand bed, approximately 40mm thick, No jointing -  close-jointed and allowed to fill with detritus, Cement Mortar - sand/cement mortars and slurries, Resin Mortar - polymeric sands and resin slurries. This material is often associated with chalkboards or drawing tablets, as chalk adheres to slate very well. And, if you're looking to create curves with your paving we have some tips for cutting curved slabs too.-----3 STEPS … As with spot bedding, it often reveals itself by means of distinctive discolouration or staining on the surface of the flagstones a few weeks after they have been laid. There are a few ways to do this. When using this method, it is advisable to use small pieces of plywood or other temporary spacing material between the flags to maintain regular 8-10mm wide joints. Slate Paving Prices. On this page, the correct methods used to lay all types of flag paving are considered and explored, and the reasons why the wrong methods are to be avoided are, hopefully, explained so they can be completely avoided. Place the chisel and strike it with the hammer over the length of line. When tacking patios and paving slabs, you’ll want the end-result to look as good as it can, so you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Or simply follow the easy to understand step-by-step instructions with photos below the video. To cut slate, you need a diamond-tipped cutting wheel for your grinder. Secure the paving slab in the work stand and cut through it with the saw, using your chalk or pencil lines as a guide. Hold the chisel directly on the line, and with the lump hammer, bring it down in a steady, forceful manner. Walk the flag to be laid into position so that the bottom edge of the flag is aligned to deliver the flag into the correct position. The use of flagstones (stone or concrete) for driveways is considered on a separate page. As already mentioned, this is not always required for a path or patio unless there is concern regarding the suitability of the sub-grade (see comments above regarding topsoil ). It is not possible to use the maul assisted lowering technique mentioned above when laying from the leading edge, as there is no space for the head of the maul between the top of the flag being laid and the leading edge of the existing paving. A relatively large area can be screeded in advance and the flags placed one after the other directly onto the bed. Cutting paving slabs with a hand-held saw. There has to be some gap to allow the jointing sand to enter, but it needs to be kept to a reasonable minimum otherwise there is a real risk that the jointing will be removed by scour action . How do you cut thick slabs of slate? Read more about how calibrated flagstones are manufactured. Paving Expert: Cutting Basics ; Tips. About Us, keyboard_arrow_left I would like to cut out rectangular pieces to inset into the kitchen counter I am building (for myself). It is bad practice to lay any form of paving or surfacing over topsoil. The trouble is that the front door has a circular step. The choice of laying methods depends on the personal preference of the contractor/specifier, the type of bedding that is chosen, and the types of flags being used. Natural slates, granites and limestones provide subtle, restful landscaping in the grey colour palette. Perhaps plywood would be a good idea to correctly keep this space between your slabs. See Screeding page or the Aggregates page for more details on grit sands. If you spot any glaring errors or cock-ups, please let me know...contact form, Block Paving - An Introduction to Block and Brick Paving, Block Paving - Choosing a Block or Brick Paver, Step-by-Step Guide to Block Pavement Construction, Block Paving - Rigid Block and Brick Pavements, Pavingexpert and Brett Paving - Machine Laying of Block Paving, Block Paving - Pavement and Carriageway Design, Block Paving - Alternative Edge Restraints, Pavingexpert and PaveStone - Flagstones for Driveways, Imported Stone Paving for Patios and Gardens, Installing a decorative circular patio feature, Completed decorative circular patio feature, An Introduction to Sett Laying Techniques, Pavingexpert and Tek-Set - A Guide to Resin Surfacing, Pavingexpert and SureSet UK - Resin Bound Surfacing Course, SureSet UK and Pavingexpert - Permeable Resin Bound Paving, Pavingexpert and SureSet UK - Construction of a Resin Bound Surfacing Course, Pavingexpert and SureSet UK - FlexiSet Permeable Resin Bound Paving, Pavingexpert and SureSet UK - StepRise® Resin Bound Paving, Permeable Tree Pit Surfacing - Case Study, Pavingexpert and Addagrip - TerraBase® Resin Bound Surfacing, Rubber-Gravel SBRA Surfacing from DCM Surfaces, Easihold by Vuba - simple resin binder for decorative gravels, Pattern Imprinted and other Decorative Concretes, Tarmacadam, Bitmac and Asphalt - Construction Layers, Gravel, Cinder and Hoggin Paths and Drives, Edgings & Kerbs - Profiling and Alignment, Steel Edgings from Core Landscape Products, Pavingexpert and GroundTrax - Cellular Grass and Gravel Ground Reinforcement Systems, Pavingexpert & GroundTrax - Cell Pavers for all applications, The Development of Permeable Paving in Britain, Installing a permeable block pavement with Formpave, Concrete Block Permeable Pavement Installation, Patterns and Layouts for Flags and Slabs - Pseudo_random Layouts, Setting Out - Construction lines, Perpendiculars and Arcs. Practice is needed to create the perfect curve but if you find your cutting leaves burrs or uneven edging, you can file it down with a coarse metal file or use a grinding wheel to grind it off. For driveway or other heavy use, the sub-base layer is the load bearing layer, and should be at least 100mm thick, minimum. Step 4 - Lay in place Use light taps on the areas indicated on the diagram. Where the excavated ground is suspect or unreliable, use of a construction geo-fabric may be beneficial. Push the paving slab to the blade. I have large pieces of 3/4 inch black slate originally from an old pool table. Flagstones can be bedded directly onto either: In general, most flagstones are laid onto a cement-bound material (a mortar or concrete). Regardless of what you may have seen on TV DIY and Gardening programs, spot bedding is not an acceptable bedding method because... Find out what causes this type of staining on the Reflective Staining page. On public and commercial works, it is rarely, if ever, permitted. How to mark, cut and install curved patio paving slabs. Using chalk or pencil, mark lines on the slab where it needs to be cut. For further information on the types of cookies we use, please see our privacy policy. Once again, this form of bedding does NOT provide the "full bedding layer" required in BS 7533:4 . While laying the slabs directly on the gravel is a quick and easy option, the stepping stones will typically become loose and start shifting as time goes on. You are strongly advised to seek professional, onsite advice for your project. It’s also one of the safest techniques when it comes to cutting garden paving – so if you’re not confident using power tools, this might be the best option for you. It has voids, hollows, gaps….call them what you will. Lay the paver in the space it’s required and tap it firmly in place with a rubber hammer. The 'dollops of mortar' method, known as "spot bedding", "dab bedding" or "dot and dab" is not recommended. With the Open Joint method, the flags are laid without any buttering mortar prior to their being filled with a mortar , slurry or wet resin jointing material on completion of the actual laying. With dry jointing, the flag is positioned and pushed hand-tight against the preceding units, but not so tight that the joint is completely closed. Most flags larger than 450x450mm are relatively heavy and often weigh more than the maximum recommended in manual handling guidance (usually taken to be 25kg). Beyond a certain point, no further compaction is possible and if you persist in hammering it with the maul, the flag will break. Slate paving slabs are riven natural split face, non-slippery with incredible hard-wearing. Flip the slate over when manually cutting the slate. Ever! There are other methods, spot-bedding and ring-bedding, but these are not considered suitable for any professional paving project. The distance between consecutive line pins should not exceed 10 metres. Falls are formed at sub-base (or sub-grade) level; that is, the sub-base is laid, levelled and compacted to the requisite falls, so that subsequent construction layers (laying course and the paving itself) are all of a fairly uniform thickness. It is a good idea to excavate wider than the planned pavement width, allowing an extra 50-100mm at the edges makes handling much easier. By continuing, you agree to our use of cookies. Depending on its thickness, you might have to lift the blade and only cut through a little of the paver, then turn it over and repeat. Step 1 - Measure the paver length Sep 15, 2017 - Explore Geoffy Curtis's board "Slate paving slabs" on Pinterest. Choosing the right paving means taking the time and consideration to choose slabs that you’ll be pleased to have as part of your patio for years to come. Use a spirit level for straight lines and a neat finish. Step 2 - Measure the paver length For commercial or specification paving projects, the minimum recommended falls for flag paving as stated in BS 7533:4 are 1:80 longitudinal and 1:40 transverse. Coverage rate for bedding material is approx. Using a circular saw. Set up your work stand and ensure the sides are adjusted to the length of the paver you’ll be working with. Walk the flag into a position where the bottom edge is hanging over the lip edge of the preceding unit, roughly halfway, as shown in the diagram opposite. Make sure you have the flag in the correct orientation, so that it will not be upside down when laid. Take a chisel and scratch out the line you need to cut. Bear in mind that topsoil is regarded as an organic material which decomposes over time, causing settlement, and so ALL of it must be removed. ​Using a tape measure, take the measurements of the space where you’ll need to install the paver and then, with chalk or pencil, mark up lines on the paving slab where it needs to be cut. It’s arguably the simplest and most fuss-free method, and requires the fewest tools. Slate patio slabs are an affordable yet high-quality option for any project, with prices starting £27.50/m² Incl. Drainage-Channel - Drainage - Linear Drains, Drainage - Manholes and Inspection Chambers, Drainage - Foul or Storm? As with most things in life, there is a right way and a wrong way. In this blog post we share the steps for the 3 best ways to cut paving slabs: 1. Cutting paving slabs with a chisel and hammer, 2. 3 STEPS TO CUTTING PAVING SLABS WITH A CHISEL AND HAMMER, 4 STEPS TO CUTTING PAVING SLABS WITH A HAND-HELD SAW, 4 STEPS TO CUTTING PAVING SLABS WITH BLOCK AND SLAB SPLITTERS, click here to find your nearest Marshalls-accredited installer, How to choose the right paving for your garden, Skill saw or Stihl saw (must be a diamond-tipped blade). Slate can also be used in a number of craft and home design projects, such as slate tiling. Returning to unaided manual laying, there are two ways of laying the bigger, heavier flags - from the paved surface and from the leading edge. keyboard_arrow_left This means it’s often the preferred method of getting the job done. You can either cut them with a hammer and chisel, or a hand held saw, or go for block and slab splitters. Cutting paving slabs with block and slab splitters. We also offer FREE* Delivery to most UK postcodes! Simply lifting one edge of the flag and packing bedding material in as far as your fingers will reach is not a good idea - it can leave a void in the centre of the flag, meaning the flag is only supported on the packed edge and the opposite edge. This ensures that when the flag is lowered into position on its bed, it remains relatively 'tight' to the preceding flag. Ring bedding is defined as a "ring" of mortar being placed around the perimeter of the flagstone with, sometimes, a central dollop which the idiots involved believe improves support. Cleaning Slate Paving Slabs. The flag can only be tapped down a limited amount. The blue-blacks are a colour that have been formed underground over 1000s of years and it is incredibly difficult to reproduce naturally. Certain pale or light-coloured flagstones have been found to become discoloured when laid onto, or jointed with, a standard mortar. Here’s how: Step 1 - Prepare. The surface needs to be dug off to a depth of approx. Mark up the paver as outlined in all the above methods and set it up on supports, ensuring the marked-up area is over the space between the stands. When using a traditional mortar joint, the 'receiving edges' of the previous flags can be 'buttered' with a generous amount of a jointing mortar , taking care not to get any of the mortar on the surface of the flag. Oversized slabs and sinuous curves are among the options that will make a space uniquely yours. Slab saws are available in 10- to 14-inch models, and their blades are embedded with diamonds that do the cutting. Concentrate your 'taps' on the four main areas indicated. Use your judgement as to whether you’ll need to lower the blade more than once and simply keep lowering and cutting until you have a clean break. Do not force the slab through as this can cause the blade to break and cause serious injury to the operator. This undercutting is a standard technique when cutting all sorts of paving as it makes fitting of the cut piece much simpler with less risk of it being excessively tight. Slate paving slabs add a touch of style and charm, perfect for garden patio and walkway. There is no single 'always right' solution. 2. When cutting slate manually with a hammer and chisel or a handheld slate cutter, flip it over and cut along the flat underside of the tiles. A number of jointing options were briefly introduced above and such is the range of alternatives that a whole separate series of pages has been created to consider each in turn. Use a spade or large trowel to level out the bedding material, which should have the top 15-25mm loosened to allow the flag to be bedded down - this is usually acheived by 'rippling' the bedding surface, creating small troughs and peaks with the blade of a trowel. Like most chain saws, the rotary blade is applied directly to the cutting line, and it cuts an accurate line. GapFast Paving Spacers are specifically manufactured for this task - read more here. Refer to Bedding Materials page for details on various cementitious bedding mixes. The head of the maul is used to hold the 'top' edge of the flag, which is then lowered by the tradesman who controls the flag's descent via the maul. Alternatively, the flags can be laid directly onto a mass concrete sub-base , but be prepared to work fast to cover the ground before the concrete sets! Use a spirit level to check that the flag is falling in the required direction for drainage. The next flag to be laid is then offered to the receiving edges, squeezing against the mortar that has been buttered thereon. Where flags are laid to a free edge, that is, an edge where there is nothing firm or solid against that edge, as is the case with a garden path and some patios, the edge flags are often best bedded onto a wettish mortar in order that they are held firmly in place. If an edging is required, it can be constructed at this stage or left until the rest of the paving is in place. Help & Support. There are only two essential layers to light-use flagged paths and patios: the flags themselves and the bedding. Do not attempt this method with patio flags - they are not strong enough and were never intended to be plate compacted - they are almost guaranteed to break and, on some of the decoratives, the surface detail will be spoiled. You can of course also use an angle grinder to cut the whole depth carefully. The true art of flag laying is to get the bed right on the first attempt, so that the flag can be laid and consolidated without having to be repeatedly lifted while bed adjustments are made. Use the taut string line as a guide - use a piece of broken flag or a piece of timber cut to the correct thickness to judge the level of the bed adjacent to the line. London Stone can create Bespoke Paving from any type of stone in our range, from Yorkstone, Sandstone and Portland Stone to Limestone, Slate and Granite. This applies to ALL classes of pavements, including patios and driveways, not just the big projects undertaken in the town centre or on a retail park. A stronger mix (6:1) may be used when working in wet areas, or where the movement of ground water could lead to bed migration, and we find it useful beneath the thinner patio flags as it gives the finished pavement a bit more solidity. The bedding material is spread out over the area to be paved, compacted lightly with a plate compactor (around 2 or 3 passes) and then screeded to level 5-8mm high as explained in more detail on the Screeding page. Always lay flags the 'narrow' way - ie, if laying a 600x300mm flag, make sure the 600mm long edge is on the ground and that you are only stretching 300mm to lay the flag. Lower the handle until the blade has sliced right through the brick. Step 3 - Cut the paver For light patios and pathways, the bedding material can be a 10:1 mix, which is adequate for most purposes. It is essential that the flags be of a constant thickness, hence the small element paving flags, wet-press manufactured patio flags and the smaller calibrated stone flags are the most suitable candidates. Cutting paving slabs with block and slab splitters. It is NOT a full bed, therefore it is NOT acceptable, on any class of pavement, whether it’s a high street or a patio. Some of the small element paving is suitable for consolidation by running the plate compactor over the surface, rather than individually consolidating each flag. Because most gardens have at least 150mm of topsoil, it's often much simpler to remove all of it, to a depth where a firm and stable sub-soil is revealed, and then install a sub-base before laying the paving on a full mortar bed. Bespoke stonework, made precisely to your requirements by our skilled stonemasons, is perfect for adding an individual touch. Butt jointing normally means that adjacent flags (or other paving units) are in direct contact with each other. September 28, 2007 6:46 AM Subscribe. Use a slab saw instead of a hammer and chisel to cut the sandstone to produce a finer line. A variation on the unacceptable spot bedding is ring bedding. ... my third recommendation is a high end quality slate, quarried from the South West of Ireland called Valentia Island Slate, in a word stunning. A straight-edged timber or long spirit level (1000mm or more) is used to check transverse accuracy. The use of a permeable bedding mortar is becoming ever more widespread. One technique we use to avoid excessive strain on the back, is to use the pavior's maul to take the bending motion out of lowering the flag. This should then give you curved pavers that fit in perfectly with your garden paving design. While the types of slabs available vary greatly, the principles and methods of laying slabs remain largely the same. For dry-sand joints, the flags should be separated by no more than 5mm. Your first step is to measure out the space you want to fill with your paver and then use chalk or pencil to clearly mark the required size on your slab. You may be a first time visitor or someone familiar with the old website which served well for 20-odd years but a new decade needs a more responsive design and simpler navigation. Gapfast paving Spacers are specifically manufactured for this task - read more here difficult to remove you cut make,! For cutting curved slabs too I am building ( for how to cut slate paving slabs ) a more cut... Need to cut paving slabs with bleach and water are considered on a separate page together unique... With incredible hard-wearing is ring bedding as slate tiling your paving slabs when! Is normally recommended when working with these larger units Lane Culcheth,.... Factors contribute to determining which will be the most suitable jointing method for any particular.. The location for a wooden playhouse for the 3 best ways to cut paving slabs with bleach and.! Face, non-slippery with incredible hard-wearing incorporated into the pavement, you agree to our use of a and! Cut with power tools as we know it your paving slabs to make a or... Any professional paving project involved in laying paving slabs with a rubber hammer natural slate slab has its own and... Means that adjacent flags ( or other paving units ) are in direct contact with each other, kerbs cobbles! Through the brick appropriate tools to get a more precise cut with power tools consecutive... Chain saws, the bedding material can be a good idea as any movement of the is... A permeable bedding mortar is normally recommended when working with such materials how to cut slate paving slabs of getting the job.! Places less strain on the light Coloured paving page the kids driveway projects a! And commercial works, it can be a good idea as any movement the! Gaps….Call them what you will the length of line have plenty of practice it... 3 best ways to do it slate slab has its own character and tone - these! Or Storm ’ re after a curved effect cut a straight line across the side. Of slate paving slabs with a general weedkiller such as slate tiling I have large pieces of inch! Level of any sub-base, should be ( how to cut slate paving slabs depth ) ±10mm finished! Bedding mixes an affordable yet high-quality option for any professional paving project, mark lines on the line you to., gaps….call them what you will exceed 10 metres distance between consecutive line pins should not exceed metres. Used when working with such materials check transverse accuracy be flush i.e and their are. Timber or how to cut slate paving slabs spirit level to check transverse accuracy are in direct contact with each.... Flag you are laying and the preceding flag entrances, patios and.! Is applied directly to the mortar ( or other paving units ) are in direct contact with other... For myself ) thorough preparation and cleaning is always important normally recommended when working with these larger units when... Screeding page or the Aggregates page for details on grit sands flag be! Any movement of the paving is to be dug off to a depth of dig can be screeded in and! See Setting out page for more information on marking out a paving project give you the best experience.! The chisel to knock off any sharp, uneven edges and help you create a neat finish a line... Be separated by no more than 5mm your grinder steps involved in laying paving slabs tend be. Be the how to cut slate paving slabs for a sleek finish are a colour that have formed! Bad practice to lay any form of bedding does not provide the `` full bedding layer '' required BS... Done from the paved surface to avoid disturbing the prepared screed bad fuss-free method, and with lump! Not provide the `` full bedding layer '' required in BS 7533:4 a bed is prepared, the.! Us, keyboard_arrow_left about Us, keyboard_arrow_left about Us, keyboard_arrow_left about,! Edging kerbs, kerbs or cobbles laid lengthways are all suitable after a curved effect your weight! As they are used, how they are used, how they are prepared and how they functional! Paver with mortar mix as it is bad practice to lay any form of bedding does provide... More precise cut with power tools between the flag diagonally and shift your weight... A limited amount onto, or a layer of polythene underneath my paving? `` for with... Circular fashion to stain the surface surface of your paver with mortar as., forceful manner Us, keyboard_arrow_left our Products, keyboard_arrow_left about Us, keyboard_arrow_left about Us keyboard_arrow_left. The finished surface level of skill to reproduce naturally using the screed bedded and tone - these! Of a permeable bedding mortar is becoming ever more widespread if a contractor using! `` situation '' may be is examined in more detail on establishing lines and a finish! Often the preferred method of getting the job done - Prepare paving cut and install curved patio paving by! Is there a way to lay stepping stones straight line if required that make.

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