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Slate chippings problem

Due to difficulties cutting grass - age etc, had small area of rear garden grass removed and replaced with slate chippings. This was done by people doing other work on the house at the time. Did not realise until later that they had put down large slate chippings rather than small chippings and it is therefore difficult to walk on and put table and chairs on.
Any suggestions for rectifying this without having the slate removed ? Possibly another layer of small chippings or gravel on top and compacting ? Do not want artificial grass.


  • a1154a1154 Posts: 1,058
    It sounds like they have used broken slates, not proper chippings. That wouldn’t be safe. Have you got a photo 
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,236
    I think I know what you're getting at, I have 20mm slate chippings which are fine, but you sometimes see really chunky slate (larger than 40mm) and it doesn't look very comfortable to walk on etc. I think if you added 20mm slate on top it would get mixed with the larger stuff. 
  • Thanks. I attach a photo. As Loxley says I think this is probably 40mm or larger.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,236
    I think if you want to leave the slate in situ, you need to make a slabbed area for your table and chairs.. This is probably more comfortable whatever type of gravel to be honest. You could skimp by having stepping stones leading to it rather than a proper path.

    If you wanted to change the gravel for a smaller size, I'm afraid you'll have to cart away the old chippings first. If they go deep you might be able to crape off an inch or two, compact and flatten what's left, and then lay new chippings. But unless you use a geotextile to separate the layers, I think the old stuff will migrate to the surface.
  • ErgatesErgates Posts: 2,193
    Any point taking a sledge hammer to it? Might it break up into smaller pieces or just into dust? 
  • My parents had the same issue and I added smaller chippings on top to fill the gaps which worked fine. It's not as stable as solid ground but we put bricks under the table legs. The only thing is if the slate gets a lot of use, like with a crazy dog in their example, then the smaller slate shifts downwards. We solve this by raking it every year to mix it up more.

    The only issue with smashing them up is you can leave some nasty sharp edges. 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,179
    I've got that type of slate chippings on top of a geotextile layer and don't find it a problem to walk on at all.

    I have however scraped aside the chippings and laid small bricks/slabs under the bench legs just to keep it level. That works fine as we don't move the bench. Chairs might be a bit more tricky.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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