I recently built a deck off my backdoor/backyard patio, leaving about 3″ vertical space between the bottom of the decking end board and the outer 1″ edge of the patio. Once the deck was done, its new-ness next to the old, pitted and stained concrete patio (18×10) demanded my attention. I entertained jackhammering it out and re-pouring a new concrete patio but quickly changed my mind after looking at pavers on sale at Home Depot (and a little intimidation about removing and hauling away all that concrete).
Now you must be warned, my project is my own design and procedure with no long-term results yet. I doubt a professional would use it; however, for a 40+ guy on a shoestring budget doing a paver job over the weekend, my plan sounded “sound enough”. Why not let the concrete patio be a foundation for pavers.
On Saturday, I power washed the patio to remove mildew and algae with a bleach solution. The patio connects to the foundation wall below the backdoor and the adjacent kitchenette alcove. I removed the footer/kick board below the door so I could butt up the pavers to the foundation wall. Then for the exposed side and outer edges of patio I built a frame using some remaining 5/4×6 from the deck in order to hold the pavers in place during the cementing process. At Home Depot, I picked up 30lbs of sand, 80 12″x12″ pavers and (1) 80 lb bag of ready-mix mortar.
On Sunday, I laid down ~1inch of sand over the already-sloped patio and leveled it with a level and screed board. Then I used a 5/4×6 board to step onto the sand as I positioned the pavers. Starting from the patio where it connects to the foundation wall, I placed a row of pavers leaving a 1/2″ gap all the way around. I kept adding rows of pavers all the way to the exterior edge of the porch (fortunately, the final row lined up with the outer edge of patio without too much repositioning). On the kitchenette side of the porch where 12″x12″ pavers wouldn’t fit, I placed pieces and sections of paver (that I created by dropping them onto the driveway to break them up) to create an irregular, mosaic pattern along that edge of patio.
Once the pattern was laid out with pavers on the sand, I used a gutter scoop to pour/sprinkle mortar powder into all the gaps, ensuring sufficient mortar filled the gap up to the straight edge of the paver but not above the bevel. And then I used a mist pattern from the garden hose to lightly wet the mortar which also had the effect of washing loose mortar on top of the paver into the gaps. About 30 minutes later, I went back over the entire patio with a shower water pattern, soaking the mortar a little more. Then about 30 minutes later, I ran a final soaking water pattern over the entire patio to soak all the mortar around the pavers.
On Monday, my family and I were walking a firm, paved patio that looks nice and provides extra height for the step up to my Dek-Block 12×20 floating deck. Using the existing concrete patio provided an already-sloped foundation for water and rain to run off below the deck. We’re ready for summer!
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