There are quite a few reasons why you would want to lay a patio without cement.

Cement is expensive, and if you are doing it yourself, it can be quite difficult to work with.

Laying a patio without cement is actually quite easy, and it can be done in a weekend with just a few tools.

You can build a patio by putting pavers directly onto sand rather than a mortar mix that includes sand and cement. Choose a well-drained location for this type of patio. Dig out the area to 6 inches (150mm) deep and level it using a spade. Place a permeable weed control membrane down, lay a sand screed, then lay slabs on top of that sand screed and ensure it is level.

The great thing is this can be if you are a beginner Do-It-Yourselfer as it is not complicated and the materials are readily available from your local builder’s merchant.

The Exact Process (laid on sand only)

Step 1 – You first need to measure where your patio is going to go by stretching a string line or using chalk to outline the area.

Step 2 – The next step is to start excavating the area where your patio is going to go. You need to excavate to a depth of around 6 inches (150mm).

Step 3 – Once you have finished excavating the area, you need to make sure that it is level. You can do this by using a spade.

If there are any high spots, simply remove them with the spade. Once you have finished leveling the area, you can use a tamper or vibrating plate compactor to compact the soil.

Step 4 – The next step is to lay a weed control membrane down over the area that you have just leveled. This will help to prevent any weeds from growing through your patio.

Step 5 – You can now start to lay your sand screed. This is a layer of sand that will help to level the area and provide a base for your pavers. The sand screed should be around 2 inches (50mm) thick.

Step 6 – Now it is time to start laying your slabs. It is important that you make sure that they are level before you start. You can use a spirit level or carpenter’s square and a mallet to do this. If there are any high spots, simply remove them with a chisel or mallet.

Step 7 – Once you have finished laying all of your slabs, it is time to compact the area. You can do this by using a tamper or vibrating plate compactor.

Step 8 – To fill the gaps between the pavers use sharp sand and compact it down with a plate compactor.

Step 9 – Once the area is completely filled and compacted, you can finish up by sweeping some jointing sand over the area. This will help to keep the pavers in place.

And that’s it! You have now successfully laid a patio without cement.

Related: The Cheapest Way To Lay A Patio (Inc. The Best Materials)

The Best Sand For Laying Slabs

Sharp sand is the best type of sand to use when laying slabs. This is because it is course enough to provide good drainage and it is also easy to compact.

Filling the Gaps Between Paving Slabs

To fill gaps between paving slabs with sharp sand, simply pour it into the gaps and use a plate compactor to compact it down. Make sure that you sweep the sand over the area when you have finished to help keep the pavers in place.

Related: Is it Cheaper to Make Your Own Concrete Pavers?

Use Circular Patio Kits

Circular patio kits are a great way to create a patio without using any cement. They are easy to use and you can find them at most home improvement stores.

They can either be used in conjunction with your other pavers or you can place them within gravel or pebbles to create a more decorative look.

If you are looking for an easy way to create a patio without using cement, circular patio kits are the perfect solution.

Where Car I Get Paving Slabs?

You can purchase paving slabs from stores like B&Q, Wickes, Homebase, and many others. If you are looking for a specific type of slab, they may be able to order them for you. You can also find slabs online.

Related: How Do I Dispose Of Patio Pavers? (Quick And Easy)

Laying Slabs Tips

  • You can use edging to prevent your pavers from moving.
  • If you are having trouble getting your slabs to stay level, use a wet saw to cut them.
  • You can use a border with 10mm pea gravel or chippings to create a nice edge around your patio.
  • It is important to make sure that the slabs you use are big enough. For example, if you are using 300mm x 300mm slabs, each one should be at least 2.5cm thick. If they are not, they may crack or break when you try to lay them.
  • When using a vibrating plate compactor, make sure that you do not over compact the area as this can cause the pavers to shift.
  • You can use a garden hose to wet down the area before compacting it. This will help to settle the pavers into place.


What is the difference between flags and slabs?

One of the most important ‘words’ is the word ‘flag.’ It’s quite common to refer to flags as ‘slabs,’ whether they’re made of concrete or natural stone, in certain regions of Lower Britain.

Can you put slabs on the soil?

It is possible to put paving slabs on soil, but this is not usually advised. The strength of any pavement with a dirt foundation might be affected by a variety of factors, including the type of soil: Heavy clay soil will be far more durable and resistant to weather conditions than light sand.

Can you lay a patio on a dry mix?

Yes, you can lay a patio on a dry mix, but it is important to ensure that the surface is level and compacted before you start. You can use a tamper or vibrating plate compactor to do this. The ratio can be as low as 1:10, but I would recommend a minimum of 1:5 for stability.

How do you lay stepping stones without cement?

You can use sharp sand to fill the gaps between stepping stones and compact it down with a plate compactor. You can also use circular patio kits to create a patio without using any cement.


So there you have it – a few tips on how to lay a patio without cement. If you follow these simple steps, you will be able to create a beautiful and durable patio without having to use any concrete.

What do you think?

Comments? Questions?

Please let me know.

Some other useful articles:

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Pressure Wash Your Patio And Driveway?

How To Remove Moss From Patio And Driveway Block Paving

Patio Laying Guide (In Just a Weekend)

The Patio Guide: (Everything You Needed to Know)

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}