How To Lay Flags & Slabs

Are you looking at laying some flags (also referred to as slabs) in your garden? This guide is designed to help you step by step on how to lay flags, below contains all the information you should need to know to improve the look of your home & be a paving expert in no time at all!

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Quick Navigation

  1. Required tools for laying flags
  2. What to know before starting
  3. Step by step guide
  4. Get a quote on paving

Required tools for laying flags

Before you get head first into it, you need to make sure that you have all the tools necessary. Here’s a list of some of the things you may require:

  • Shovel
  • Paving slabs
  • 5 Parts sand / 1 Part cement
  • Spirit level
  • Large amount of string
  • Trowel
  • Have the necessary safety equipment

What to know before starting

The biggest thing you want to do is layout the slabs before starting. Make sure you have enough and it measures up in the way that you want it too & lay it out in a way you are happy with.

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Step by step guide

  1. Preparation
  2. Depending on where you are laying the slabs you may want to excavate the ground so the slabs tuck neatly under the layer of surrounding grass. Measure the depth of your flags & use that to plan out how much soil you need to get rid of.

    Check that all spots of the ground are compact & have little give so the heavy slabs don’t subside further into the ground than expected. If there are a lot of soft spots then you may need to go deeper down & fill the gap with some hard sub base material.

    Once you are happy & you’ve checked that everything is at an even depth then it’s time to move on to the next step.

  3. Preparing the mix
  4. To make the mix you will need 5 parts sand & 1 part cement in which you add water until the consistency goes doughy. You can use a cement mixer for this if you have one, however when I was doing this I simply just mixed a small amount on a tarp that I was happy to dispose of afterwards.

    To check if the mix is the right consistency grab some and mush it into a ball, this shouldn’t drip any water excess or fall apart, if it holds its shape then it’s good to go.

    Once you’ve done with that, use your trowel to distribute the mix, you typically want a depth of the mix of around 35-40mm. Make sure it is evenly spread across the area of your first concrete flag / slab.

  5. Laying the slabs
  6. Line up the slab & evenly lower it into place. From past experience I found it’s much better to do this with 2 people, it also makes the job generally a lot quicker, so rope in a friend to help you out!

    Once the slab is down tap the corners with a rubber mallet until it’s firmly in place. Use the spirit level to ensure that the slab is level. Leave the slab for around 24 hours & it should be good to step on.

    Rinse & repeat until you’ve completed the area you want to pave.

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Does it all look like too much of a task to get stuck in yourself? No worries, you can get a professional to do it for you & leave you with a fantastic looking driveway or garden. You can compare quotes for a variety of different paving & driveway services by using the below product chooser. We will put you in touch with local tradesmen and companies who can quote on the work:

About Mat

A complete novice trying to navigate in the world of DIY. I bought my first home about 2 years ago & ever since I've been trying to research & learn how best to tackle common household problems.

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