Concrete Patios built out of concrete should
be constructed out of 4 inches of 2000 psi concrete with ½ inch
rebar placed every 24 inches on center going in both directions.
The Soil under should be well compacted.
Brick Traditional brick patios should be
built over a 4-inch concrete slab. The bricks are now set in a
mortar bed and leveled one at a time. Then all the spaces
between the bricks are filled with a grout. This is can be
rather expensive because one is building two surfaces.
Interlocking brick patios are far
more economical because they are set in sand instead of in
mortar over concrete.
Flagstone is a generic term for thin flat rock that is
used for paving flat surfaces. Flagstone is named from the
location of the quarry it comes from. Arizona red is a reddish
sand stone; Pennsylvania blue is a grey blue. The cost of the
stone is proportional to the shipping distance. It is
best to pour a concrete slab and set the stone in mortar on the
slab. However, in the interest of economy the stones can be set
directly over the soil. They will move and shift over time and
will have to be readjusted from time to time.
Stamped Concrete A stamped concrete patio should
first be prepared with 4 inches of concrete with ½ inch rebar
going both ways. The "stamping' happens after the
concrete has been poured and just before it sets up. There are
several methods of stamping. The most common is to use a rubber
mat like material with the desired pattern molded into one side.
The molded pattern is placed down on the concrete leaving the
desired pattern in the concrete. The procedure is repeated over
the area to be stamped. Control joints are placed in the
concrete in the effort to have the cracks follow the joints.
This does not always happen and the cracks can appear anywhere
in the newly finished concrete. Concrete is usually
colored before it is poured. There are standard colors that can
be added to the concrete at the ready mix company as it goes
into the truck. The colors are not 100% predictable and may vary
slightly from the color chosen.
Pavestones The price of pavestones is more
affordable today than before. The techniques have improved and
the skill in laying the stones has been expanded. When one
compares similar aspects of a stamped concrete patio done
correctly costs are usually less. However when the advantages of
each are compared the paving stones far outweigh the concrete.