10 Step Guide To Installing Slate Paving Slabs on Your Driveway

By: Leo Onthriar


This guide has been produced for people looking to install slate paving slabs on their own driveway. Depending on the existing surface, the slate must be installed on either an existing block paved driveway or onto an existing concrete base. This is a guide only and professional advice must be sought from your contractor to determine which method is best suited for your own individual project.
Step 1: Prepare the surface
The base must be flat, level and clean - i.e. free from moss and weeds.
Hint / Tip: Use a power washer and wire brush.
Step 2 - Repair the surface
Make good any of any holes, cracks and lose materials - the surface must be flat and dry before proceeding to the next stage. Hint / Tip: Fill holes, cracks with either concrete or PTB (Pourable Thick Bed adhesive supplied by us). Steps 1 and 2 are very important as the slate cannot and should not be installed until these steps are complete. If unsure, please discuss this with your contractor.
Step 3 - Apply Acrylic Primer
Apply acrylic primer - dilute with water 50:50. The primer is deliberately pink in colour so it is easy to see where you have applied the primer, cover the entire area using a roller and allow to dry. Hint /Tip: Diluted at 50:50 primer should cover 10m2 / Litre. So for an area of 30m2, 3 litres of primer will be required. Applying primer neat, will require 6 litres to cover 30m2.
Step 4 - Setting Out
If running square from the house -run a string line from the house or any square object, to make sure tiles are laid in a straight line Hint / Tip: Use pegs or similar to keep string line taught.
Step 5 - Mix PTB and lay slate
Mix up the PTB (adhesive) and start laying the slate, if using slate to create a border around the drive, we would suggest laying these first. Keep these tiles in line with the string line, use tile spacers to ensure consistent joint width.
Step 6 - Laying and Cutting Slate
For the main area of the drive, start at a square point, start laying tiles until area complete. Cut tiles as needed using a wet tile cutter. Clean off any excess PTB from the slate surface as you are going along
Hint / Tip: It may be easier to make cuts as you are going long - to avoid having to step on tiles already laid. When making cuts, don't forget to allow for the grout joints.
Step 7 - Cleaning prior to first coat of sealer
Once the adhesive has set - should take about 4-5 hours in normal dry conditions; clean the slate using a sponge and lots of water. The slate must be clean and dry before sealer is applied.
Hint / Tip: It is very important that the slate is clean and dry before sealing, if not then the dirt will be locked in under the sealer and a cloudy appearance on the slate will be visible. Cleaning is a key step, so don't rush this process.
Step 8 - Sealing -First Coat
Using the sealer provided, use a small roller to spread the sealer on the tiles and once complete, allow the area to dry. In dry conditions, this should take 2-4 hours.
Hint / Tip: Do not leave too much sealer on tiles as this will tend to form small puddles on the surface. To get an even spread; apply in one direction and then the other (criss-crossing). Complete small areas at a time moving away from areas you have just sealed.
Step 9 - Grouting - Filling the joints
Mix grout in small quantities and fill joints - clean up as you go with water. For more information, please visit our website www.blueskystone.com Allow the grout to set fully - leave for a day
Hint / Tip: Mix enough grout to do 2 to 3m2 at a time, cleaning any excess grout on the slate surface with a sponge and clean water. The first coat of sealer applied in step 8 will make it much easier to remove excess grout on the slate surface.
Step 10 - Cleaning and second coat sealing (final)
There is likely to be a "film" of cement like residue on the surface - it will looks like dust. This is typical of the surface after step 9 above. Use the cement remover product and dilute 50:50 with water, scrub the surface and use plenty of water to remove this "film" of dust. Use plenty of water - a hose is ideal, continue cleaning until the water running off is clear Allow to dry completely and then re-apply a second coat of sealer as per step 8. A suggestion is to not use the drive for at least 48 hours - to ensure everything is dry.
Hint / Tip: It is important that the slate is completely clean and dry before the second and final coat of sealer is applied. Make sure the water running off is clean

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Blue Sky stone are reliable suppliers of slate paving slabs for home improvement ideas. Based in the heart of England, specialising in Brazilian Slate, Blue Sky stone have built a formidable reputation for consistent quality and a reliable service with customers through the UK and Europe. The company supplies quality slate flooring tiles every time.

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