The major benefit of laying standard square slabs into a diamond pattern is that of creating a more interesting design that simply laying slab against slab. The design layout shown here allows a 55cm x 55cm slab to provide a path 80cm wide by laying each unit point to point. This pathway was laid in a new build garden, and was therefore based on a 150mm wet mix 1.6 concrete foundation, reinforced with two x overlapping 13mm reinforcing bars to prevent any cracking during site settlement. A few pounds extra on the project meant a very strong job.
The paths were formed using 25mm x 150mm sawn timber, which provided the fixed edges to the pattern. (This timber is left in situ to rot away) The concrete was laid to the correct depth to allow for the bed joint of 1.6 cement/sand plus the slab thickness (average 30mm). The slabs were laid point to point, with the rest of the area treated as exposed aggregate concrete (essentially pea shingle pressed into the wet concrete and levelled with a trowel).
Several notes here; the pattern is very formal, which means that any change in direction must meet with a neighbour, i.e. point to point, otherwise the pattern is lost. Secondly, the point to point method lends itself to curved or serpentine pathways – as long as the edging boards are laid parallel, the slabs will fit in between the twin tracks. The infill area may also be filled with small cobbles or a different type of aggregate e.g. crushed seashells or chippings.
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