3 Tips for Laying Patio Paving Stones in Clay

What You'll Need
Curved shovel
Sprinkler can
Geotextile fabric

Patio paving stones can make your outdoor area look beautiful and livable. They allow you to have a surface in which to relax as well as to play and entertain friends and families. Patio-paving stones take some work to install but the project is not overly difficult to do. It will take time to get the patio paving stones installed and set so you can use them. When you are installing the paving stones you need to excavate the area and make sure it is flat. Dealing with normal soil is rather straight forward but if your soil is made out of clay then you may be faced with several interesting issues. The article that follows will share with you several tips on how to properly lay patio paving stones in clay.

1. Use a Straight Shovel

When you are excavating soil that is either clay or contains a high content of clay you will see that it is often very hard. This makes it hard to form a square or rectangular site for the patio not to mention other shapes you may want out of your patio. Using a curved shovel will create gouges in the clay soil which will be difficult to carve and form into a flat site. The trick to getting the clay soil properly removed is to use a shovel that has a completely square blade that has no curve to it. You essentially stab the ground and remove the soil. You can also easily shave off sections that need touching up.

2. Water the Clay

Clay is very hard to shovel and form but is also hard to pack down flat. It is important to have an area that is flat and even. Clay us susceptible to water as it does make it softer and malleable making it easier to work with. Do not fill the area with water as you need to use very little to make it softer. Using a garden hose may be overkill and you will wind up with a mess on your hands. The easy way to wet down the clay is use a sprinkler can filled with water. This allows you to lightly wet the clay without worrying about it becoming soaking wet and muddy. You can then level the clay easily.

3. Geotextile Layer

This is a type of plastic fabric much like landscaper’s fabric. Since there are not many things that will grow through clay there is no real need for the ladnscaper’s fabric to be used. Geotextile fabric can prevent weeds from growing but for clay these fabrics are used for another purpose. Over time clay can settle which means your patio paving stones will also settle which creates an even patio. The geotextile layer will stop this from happening keeping your patio paving stones even. When you put in the geotextile fabric you do so as you would with any landscaper’s fabric. This means placing it along the bottom of the excavated area as well as up the sides.