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slabs havent stuck

Hi Everyone

yester I laid down my patio slabs with a mixture of 3 parts building sand to 1 part concrete. I made the mixture not too sloppy and basically could make a snowball out of it without it falling apart.

today I went to see how they had set and they seem pretty solid however, I tried to move a couple of the slabs with my finger tips from underneath and they came up. So my question is why haven't they stuck and what have I done wrong?




  • don't worry guys I will pay someone to do it

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,148

    Might have been a bit too dry Cd. It should be wet enough that you can bed the slab into it and move it a little without it all squidging out the sides, but solid enough that it stays in a reasonable shape when you put the 'blob' down. If it's too dry there's isn't enough moisture to transfer to the dry surface of the slab - if that makes sense. image

    It's one of those things that's trial and error initially.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Spraying the underside of the slab just before laying it as any dust will prevent the slab from sticking to the blob of cement underneath.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,499

    And of course, fingerpoken ist verboten, naughty!image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,253

    What size slabs are they Cake dude? Normally just the weight is enough to hold them down if they are large. Like summerwine says,try to make sure the base is clean and the slab isn't wobbling after you've laid it. I always used to use sharp sand when I was in the building game but it shouldn't matter too much.

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Cake dude you made it too dry! You won't get them to stick down now, so I'm sorry but for the best finish you'll need to start again. You want your mix the consistency of porridge, sloppy enough to stay on the trowel or spade, but not sloppy enough to run off. It's difficult to get right first time.

  • Yeah I made it so I could make a wet snowball out of them but not too wet so it falls through my fingers. Oh well I have so much on now i have a man coming in to clean up my mistake ! £200 for a stress free life lol

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,992

    Could you try running a hose gently over the whole area to further wet the sand/cement mix rather than lifting them. They should  'stick' over time with normal rainfall.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Hogweed, you can't wet cement that's already set.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,148

    Dave's right. He said it in a much more scientific way than I managed! image

    A bit of practice was all you needed cd. it's easier if you have someone to show you though, then you get a feel for when it's right.

    You'll know next time....image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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