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Gloves & Eye Protection Face Mask  Knee Pads & Steel Toe Boots Ear Defenders  Slate Marker

Spade Pointing Tool  Trowel  Rubber Mallet  Soft Broom

Compactor Plate  Tape Measure  Pegs & Line  Spirit Level  Hammer & Chisel/Disc Cutter

Tile Cutter (Bench Saw)



Paving Slabs  Sharp Sand  Mortar  Watering Can & Rose  Bonding Agent

Pointing Material







Slate, granite ice and granite frost

These products sometimes absorb colour impurities from ordinary portland cement (OPC). We strongly recommend

substituting white cement in the mortar to reduce colour leeching and staining, and adding an

SBR or other bonding agent. Lay granite with the textured slip resistant face upwards.

Granite - all colours

Depending on site conditions, moisture coming through from the mortar bed below can create moisture transparency

(dark/damp patchiness on the installed product) which is a natural drying process that can affect all

slabs (particularly granite). This is completely normal and should dry out over time.

Veining in granite products

Our granite products (particularly Dusk) may display natural veins which may not be visible when the product is dry.

It is advised that when the stone is dry laid before fixing you should wet the stone to ensure you are happy with the

appearance, as veins become more apparent when wet. Veins are a natural feature of the product and are often

mistaken as cracks - veins should not be considered a defect as they will not affect the durability of the product.


Before any work is carried out, each piece of natural stone should be inspected prior to laying as pieces will vary.

No returns can be accepted once the product is installed, so it is important to confirm you are happy with your product

before proceeding. When work begins, ensure the area is cleared of all vegetation and debris. Then, ideally using a

scaled drawing of your planned area, you can start plot pointing by marking out the space using pegs and a string line.


Dig the ground to a depth of approximately 150mm below the finished patio level (or 200mm deep below the finished

driveway level), making sure the soil is compact.


In the now excavated area spread a layer approximately 100mm deep of hardcore (or 150mm deep for driveways).

Remember to leave room for the thickness of the flags and 30-50mm of mortar. Compact the layer of hardcore

thoroughly, ideally using a plate compactor. Foundations must not be laid on water saturated ground as

they may sink in time, creating uneven paving. Extra drainage may be required.


Once happy with the layout, using your line and pegs as a reference you can start laying your flags down on a full bed

of slightly wet mortar mix 30-50mm deep. For the mortar mix we advise 1 part cement to 5 parts sharp sand (some

contractors use a 50/50 mixture of building and sharp sand). All products must be laid on a full bed of mortarespecially

when laying a driveway. A full bed of mortar is key to help reduce moisture transparency or discoloration,

as well as to provide a solid base for the patio.


A bonding agent should be used to help the slabs adhere to the mortar bed. An SBR bonding agent should be painted on

to the back of each slab before laying when using natural stone. Use a rubber mallet to gently tap down the flags and

a spirit level to check the patio is uniformly level, being careful to check you follow your slope level as you go along.

To provide suitable run-off during wet weather a fall angle must be considered. Falls must be angled away from

buildings or structures at an incline of 1:60 or steeper. An adequate drainage outlet source should be present at

the end of the patio’s run off edge. A planning officer may need to be consulted for further advice.


It is important to note that Digby Stone products are not designed to be butt jointed, and a suggested joint of approx

10mm should be used. For products with an aged finish we suggest to increase the joint size accordingly in

order to accommodate for any potential variations in edges (between 15 - 20mm approx).


Once the main area of the patio is laid down and there are slabs that need cutting, in the case of natural stone a disc

cutter with a suitable attachment or a hammer and chisel is needed to shape your flags effectively (please see our

porcelain laying advice overleaf for specific guidance on cutting porcelain tiles). Once happy with the shapes of the

now cut flags you may lay them down (refer to step 4) on a full bed of slightly wet mortar mix. Using a rubber mallet,

gently tap down the flags and use a spirit level to check for a uniform flatness (taking into account a fall).


Once the patio has been fully laid, ideally allow a few days for the mortar to set. There are several ways of sealing the

joints between paving slabs - the installer must determine the most appropriate method to use. Some use a cement

based mortar mix and so create a solid, inflexible joint. Others use a modern jointing compound that brushes in and

hardens with contact with the air, commonly known as paving jointing compound. See the porcelain laying guide

overleaf for specific porcelain laying instructions. When using any jointing products always follow

manufacturer’s instructions.



A minimum of 150mm compressed hardcore foundation must be used before laying products for a driveway

(only suitable products to be used). It is essential that products are laid on a full bed of wet mortar for driveways.


Circle Features

These should be dry laid before final positioning on a full bed of mortar, starting from the centre of the circle outward.


Calibrated products are subject to a minimum of +/-3mm variation. Due to the composition of natural stone, colour variations

may occur after installation. Some delamination (when riven parts of the stone flake off) may occur after laying -this is perfectly

normal and tends to happen near the riven part of the slab. As with all Digby Stone products the spot-laying method is not

suitable - always use a full bed of mortar.


Delivery service available with crane service