Cement slab and patio pavers

by Monica
(Allen, TX)



Hi I just read a letter from someone asking about extending her cement slab with patio pavers. I have the similar situation.

I have a cement slab of 10 x 10 and would like to extend it along the house which would be adding an additional 10 x 15 1/2. We thought of extending it with patio pavers and covering the cement slab as well to make it a more unified look.

The problem we are having is that there is not much drop from the door to the patio. Therefore, adding the pavers directly onto the cement would make it a higher step. So we thought about just extending it with the pavers.

I too am worried that it would look odd. Do you have any photos of something like this or design ideas so I can reassure myself that it won't look odd?

Thank you,
Monica

ANSWER


Adding On Pavers To A Concrete Patio
by: Susan

Hi Monica,

Every situation is a little different.

I understand about the grade at your door and why adding the pavers on top of the concrete will not work. Actually, the nice part about pavers is that they can be dry laid, and by laying them on top of concrete means that you would have to set them in cement. So it probably was not a good idea anyway.

From visualizing what you are say, I think that adding a linear section of pavers would most likely not look the best. For a little bit more money, you can have the concrete removed and do the entire patio in pavers.

Also, I understand that just extending the patio along the house seems logical. However, why not change the shape a bit? Do you have room to make the patio a little deeper than ten feet? Would the patio work at 15 x 15 or something similar? That's just a little bit less total square footage that what you were planning.

If you are on a budget and really want to just add on, perhaps create a separation so it looks like two completely different sections by design. The separation could be a strip of groundcover, a row of shrubs, or a bench.

Another ideas is to border the concrete with the same pavers.

I don't have any pictures of this but I hope some of this was helpful

Susan


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Pool Decking - Adding on Paving Material

by Kim

Concrete Pool Paving

Concrete Pool Paving

We have a rectangular pool built in 1996 with a concrete 3 foot border all around. On one side of the length of the pool we can add on more surface to make a big patio.

Would it look bad to just add more concrete, maybe with grass in between to break up the new and old? We are considering blue stone as well, but will that look bad continuing from the old concrete?

We are trying to save money and not dig up the existing concrete around the pool. We thought about incorporating grass in between the concrete and the new paving to make a better transition. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance -Kim

ANSWER




Hi Kim,
I can only do so much without actually designing it, but from the pictures, I would recommend the following.

I would definitely do bluestone or brick, dry laid to keep the cost down. If you do more concrete, even though you had a good thought to put grass in between, it will never match and look like an after thought. The bluestone or brick will be pretty and add interest. I think it will look fine because of the shape.

I like your idea of dividing the area with grass. However, a narrow strip of grass will be difficult to care for and will most likely easily
burn out between the concrete and the stone. Instead, why don't you consider a strip of groundcover, about 6"wide...easy to care for and
pretty.

I hope this was helpful.

Regards,
Susan

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Paver Patios and Adding On To Existing Concrete

I have a question about creating a paver patio with an existing concrete area.

I had an installer come out to give me an estimate on extending my patio with pavers. I currently have a 9 x 17 slab patio that is surrounded by the house on 3 sides. I was told that labor would be about the same if I wanted to go ahead and lay the pavers on the slab as well, so there is no transition.

However, I'm concerned about having two different underlays for pavers. What is your suggestion? Should I just add the extension and not worry about the two different looks, or go ahead with paving over the slab and slightly raising the ones that will go on the ground to be level?

By the way, this is a very professional company that primarily does commercial paver installs, so I'm not worried about their skill so much as the longevity of this project. Thanks in advance!

ANSWER

First of all, if he lays the pavers on top of the existing concrete patio, that will raise the height of it, and you have to make sure it will work with what is around it.

In addition, your existing patio must be in excellent condition to serve as a base for pavers....no cracks, settling etc.

So...assuming this is all OK, I think laying the pavers over the existing patio should be fine, as long as the base of the extended area is done correctly so that there is no settling. The two areas are not
physically connected as if additional concrete was to be added.

Just be sure to get a professional installation.

Regards,
Susan


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Pavers Over Concrete?

We have a walk-out basement with a 25x10 concrete patio that is beginning to crack. It would cost around $1000 to have the concrete removed so we're thinking of just putting sand/pavers over it. Since we live in Michigan, though, would winter snow/ice cause the pavers to heave and making mess of the pavers? Would size of paver make a difference?

Answer

Laying pavers over concrete can be done. However, it should only be considered if the concrete is in excellent condition. It sounds as if yours is not, due to the cracking, so I would advise against doing this. You will be asking for problems down the road regarding heaving, drainage issues, etc.

Susan

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Installing Pavers Over Concrete

by Phil

I'd like to know if I should install pavers over concrete.

I have a four-sectioned 16x20 concrete patio (sections separated by 2x4s that spread outward radially from a stoop by a family room slider). Our home/patio is 30+ yrs old. We would like to update with concrete pavers. Should we remove the concrete or can we place pavers on existing concrete patio design?

ANSWER

Hi Phil,

If your concrete is in excellent condition, meaning no settling or cracks, you can lay the pavers over concrete. But I prefer to start fresh for a few reasons.
First of all, you have issues with grades/heights. Once you lay pavers on top of the concrete patio, your finished grade will be higher. This may or may not be an issue for your particular situation.

Then we have to assume that your concrete will remain in good condition. Being that it is 30 years old, it seems like it would, but you never know.

If you remove the concrete and dry lay the pavers, you will have relatively no problems in the future. The pavers can be easily removed and replaced if an issue ever arises.

Laying pavers over concrete can be done in two ways. They can be mortared in place or they can be dry laid. Mortaring will be more costly. If you use the dry lay method, I would suggest using polymeric sand in the joints. That way, no water will percolate down and sit on the concrete. The polymeric sand hardens, but you need a good contractor to do this correctly.

I like polymeric sand, but there is a negative to it. I mentioned above that pavers can be easily removed. However, since polymeric sand hardens, this makes any removals not quite as simple.

I hope this was helpful and if you have any further questions, just let me know.

In a nutshell...remove the concrete.

Susan


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Concrete or Sand for Pavers Over Concrete

Our new house will be finished in June and will have a standard 10 x 10 concrete slab patio. We'd like to cover it with pavers. Since it'll be new construction, how should we go about doing it? I've seen instructions for sand and mortar. We visited a stone yard and one of the employees said just use sand. The pavers we've chosen are an interlocking design.

Answer

If the concrete patio is going to be newly installed and you want to use pavers, why not eliminate the concrete pad? There is no reason to have it if you want to install pavers. Pavers should be dry laid. I have a very good page on Paver Installation which show you exactly how it should be done.

Good luck with your new home! If you have further questions, let me know.

REPLY

What other option do we have? We don't want an extra expense of removing a newly laid patio just to pay to put another down.

ANSWER

I didn't know it was laid already. You can lay the pavers on top of the concrete, either in sand or with concrete joints. If you use sand, I would suggest polymeric sand. This hardens, and helps prevent water from percolating down to the existing concrete base. Make sure everything is pitched correctly (1/4 inch per foot) and that there are no elevation issues, as the pavers will raise the height of the patio.

Susan

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Installing Pavers Over a Concrete Driveway

by Ed Grier
(Elkton MD)

I would like to place pavers on top of my concrete driveway. Do you see any problem with this?


ANSWER

Theoretically, you can do this as long as the concrete is in excellent condition (no settling, cracks, etc.)and if raising the grade is not an issue.

I could see this as a potential problem where the driveway meets the garage and also where it meets the street. By adding pavers to a concrete driveway, the finished driveway height will be higher and not transition to these other two areas smoothly. In addition, a driveway should pitch away from a garage by getting lower as it moves further away so that water does not travel into the garage.

I don't know how large your driveway is but I am sure this will not be an inexpensive project. If it were my project and I could afford some extra money, I would remove the concrete and start over. This will avoid and future potential problems, such as water seeming down to the concrete and just sitting there. This is particularly important since it's a large hardscaped area.

An excavator might be able to remove the concrete in a day. Typical costs for excavating work is around $800 per day.

You also might like to see another page here related to installing pavers over a concrete driveway. See the specific posts at the bottom. Pavers Over Concrete

Susan

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Concrete pavers on a concrete slab

by Ron Fulton
(Doylestown, Ohio USA)

Someone told me you cannot use concrete pavers on a concrete slab. They said that they would absorb moisture and disintegrate over time. Is this true? The slab is 8 by 10" and newly poured.

ANSWER

Hi Ron,

That is not true. You can place pavers over a concrete slab, but the slab must be in excellent condition. I am assuming since it is newly poured that it is.

You can either place them dry laid or laid in a bed of concrete over the existing concrete slab.

I feel it would be best to lay them in concrete. Your other option is to lay them in sand but to use polymeric sand in the joints, as this will harden. Ideally you don't want water seeping down to the concrete below and just sitting there. It will have nowhere to go and can't really dry out. If the existing concrete is graded properly, the water should drain off the patio, but still some water will seep into sand joints.

Susan

Elevated Paver Patio on Concrete Slab?
by: Anonymous Michigan Guy


I've noticed several responses regarding not wanting water to seep down to the existing concrete (when laying pavers on top of existing cement slabs). Is this still an issue if one were using retaining wall blocks all around the perimeter of the existing patio cement, then filling the entire inside area with dirt/slagsand, and then laying the pavers on top of this dirt/slagsand base? (Yes, it would be intentionally elevating the entire patio.) I'm thinking the dirt/sand would eliminate the problem of the water making it all the way down to the cement and "sitting there"...? Thanks in advance.



by: Susan

Regarding bordering the existing patio with retaining blocks, the water seepage would still be a problem. The concrete block does not solve anything. In fact, depending on how the block is installed, it could make drainage worse.

Let's assume the block is raised above your existing concrete patio and the top of the retaining blocks are now at the same level of the new patio pavers. Your existing patio should be pitched away from your house. Any water that seeps down through the sand joints will travel downwards, but I would imagine that it's possible for the water to also travel slightly along the pitch, depending on how much slope there is. The outer "wall" will not permit the water to travel out onto the surrounding lawn or planting beds.

You are much better off removing the existing patio. I would not want to create any type of situation that could possibly cause a drainage issue. I have been through it personally, and believe me, it is not fun!

Get a price on removal. I think it will be less than you think.

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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
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