A step by step GUIDE

How to Lay Carpet Stones 

Our useful How to Lay Carpet Stones guide will give you all the information you need to install our beautiful Bradstone paving products if you choose to DIY. 

Carpet stones are the perfect way to add a mix of instant sophistication and rustic charm to your garden. Just read our advice before beginning work on your new design project so you're prepared and have all you need to complete your perfect garden. 

Tools you need

DIY garden work can make you feel accomplished and save money, but you need the right tools if you're going to achieve professional results. It doesn't matter where you're laying your Bradstone carpet stones, here is the equipment you're going to need before you get started: 

  • Carpet stones
  • Cement
  • Sharp sand
  • Rubber mallet
  • Measuring tape
  • 75mm x 50mm piece of timber
  • Spirit level
  • Buckets for measuring ratios
  • Protective gear such as gloves 

 

Cement can be corrosive so it's important to protect your skin when teaching yourself how to lay carpet stones or any other paving materials. Before starting your project, you can get extra peace of mind by discussing your plans with us. 

What site preparation do I need to do before laying carpet stones?

Before you can start laying your carpet stones, there is essential prep. The last thing you want is crooked paving, water pooling or uneven stones. You need to: 

  • Measure and mark up the area with tape.
  • Clear all vegetation and topsoil to about 150mm deep across the paving area.
  • Mark your area with pegs to ensure precision and adjust them as necessary to reach finished surface levels.
  • To guarantee that you can enjoy your garden patio for years to come, ensure that the carpet stones are laid on a firm, level and well-drained base.
  • Use a garden roller to compact the area and create an even depth. 

How to lay carpet stones 

Ready to transform your garden? Under Bradstone's careful carpet stone instruction, you can add stunning stonework to your outdoor spaces without hassle or excessive spending. Just follow our simple steps below: 

STEP 1 Dig the foundations

Whether you're paving your garden or driveway, you need to get your foundations sorted before you start laying the carpet stones. Go at least 150mm below the damp proof course, plus the thickness of the paving, plus another 75mm. Ensure water cannot collect beside buildings by allowing a slight fall away to a convenient place.

STEP 2 Lay the foundations

Cover the entire area with a semi-dry foundation mix of 6 parts sharp sand to 1 part cement. This should be 75mm deep. Compact and level the area. It is recommended that a maximum of 3m x 3m is levelled at any one time.

STEP 3 Lay the carpet stones

Lay the carpet stones as required, making sure the joints are evenly spaced. Use a rubber mallet to ensure the stones are bedded into the foundation. Alternatively, you can use a 75mm x 50mm piece of timber with the rubber mallet. Use a spirit level to ensure the paving is level.

STEP 4 Joint

After 24 hours, brush a mix of 4 parts sharp sand to 1 part cement into the joints. The mix should be dry enough not to leave stains on the surface of the stones. If you prefer, you can point the joints using a semi-dry mortar mix of 3 parts building sand to 1 part cement. Again, this mix should not be too wet or too dry.

For a more rustic effect, you could simply lay on a 50mm bed of sharp sand and brush in more sand or sieved soil to fill the joints.

 

Get design help for your carpet stones with Bradstone 

Whether you're learning how to lay carpet stones for your driveway or how to clean your patio, we have a wealth of knowledge just waiting to be tapped thanks to our 65+ years in the industry. 

We take the responsibility of upgrading your garden seriously, which is why we ethically source our materials and offer you our Bradstone Assured Guarantee. We believe in sustainable and homegrown business, which is why most of our garden carpet stones are made in the UK. 

Whatever you've got planned for your outdoor space, Bradstone is here to help. Give us a call at 01335 372 289 or visit your nearest stockist to shop our range in person. Don't forget to take advantage of our free sample service too! 

STEP 6 PREPARING THE BED

Using your trowel spread the laying bed to cover the area where the paver is to be laid. The paving should sit approx. 5mm above the string line before being tapped into position. 

STEP 7 PRIMER

All paving should be primed with a polymer modified cementitious slurry primer to adhere the paving to the mortar bed. Use a masonry brush or trowel/float to coat the entire underside as per the manufacturer's instructions. Take care to avoid getting any primer on the face of the flags as it sets rock hard and can be impossible to remove if allowed to dry.

STEP 8 PLACING

Lower the paver onto the bed. Gently tap down the paver onto the bed using your rubber mallet. Adjustment will be necessary to ensure that the paver is fully supported and does not rock or move and you should use a straight edge with a spirit level repeatedly to check that each paver achieves the desired level and the fall as per the string line

It is good practice to immediately wipe down the paver using clean water and a sponge and it is essential that any Bradbond slurry primer that may have accidentally found itself on the face of the paver be removed immediately. You will not be able to remove this once it has set.

Remember to clear enough mortar from the gaps between the pavers to allow sufficient jointing compound to sit comfortably. Check and follow the manufacturers' installation instructions if you are using a jointing compound to check the application and suitability. A dry application method must not be used on heavily textured paving such as Mahina, Textured, Stonemaster or Natural Granite as it is prone to staining when jointing compound has not been fully worked into the joints. 

If cutting is required a suitable specification of blade is required along with a water input for dust suppression. It's important that all the relevant PPE is worn during this stage.

Lastly, dress the patio…and enjoy!

Four tips for success

As a reminder, follow our four tips for success:

  • Always dry lay the patio first to ensure you have checked the measurements
  • Create a good solid foundation and check the depths
  • Start laying the patio from the corner and work outwards
  • Check the levels and fall frequently to make sure you stay on track