If your old concrete patio, slab, sidewalk or porch needs a little TLC or you’re just ready to update its look, upgrade your concrete patio with pavers. This simple yet clever solution to old concrete patios can be easily done with very few tools and even less experience. Any weekend DIY warrior or home improvement guru can easily finish this home improvement project in lees than a weekend.
Begin by thoroughly cleaning away any debris or loose and crumbling concrete. A pressure cleaning or acid etching may be necessary for heavily molded or smooth finished concrete. A quarter gallon or muratic acid mixed with a few gallons of water will easily take up any problems that the concrete may have bonding with mortar. Wet the slab down entirely before applying mortar and keep it wet as you apply more thinset.
On porches, patios or other concrete slabs that break against a structure or a sidewalk with the longest and straightest edge, is where you need to begin setting pavers. Stack several rows of pavers against the wall and look at the pattern. If it is what you want, continue to the next step, otherwise, make the needed adjustments before spreading any mortar.
A layer of thinset spread about one foot in width with a ¼” notched trowel will begin the first row once you’ve laid it out. Setting larger pavers will help cut down on production time. Many sets of pavers come disguised as multiple pavers. These can be set in unique patterns and designs that make manipulating pavers easier by requiring less cutting. Offset multiple pavers can simply be turned to create unique patterns. Cutting the starter paver in half on every other row also offsets patterns for a unique design with minimal cuts.
Stack additional rows of pavers at least two rows ahead of the actual installation to ensure a proper fit and pattern before gluing it down to the old concrete patio. Spreading a layer of mortar no thicker than two feet at a time prevents the mortar from drying to quickly. Don’t forget to keep the existing concrete slab wet as you apply thinset. Dry concrete will not bond well with fresh mortar.
Once the pavers have all been set in place, allow the set to dry for 24 hours before walking on it. Once dry, you can begin sweeping paver sand in between the cracks. A push broom and bagged sand is all that is needed. Fill in the all of the cracks overflowing, moisten slightly, and then sweep in more sand. In the following days as the sand settles, sweep in more sand as needed.