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Install Slate Rock

Updated:2013-09-16 16:57:16
Slate rock, a sturdy, metamorphic stone, is popular for outdoor uses. The stone is mined from quarries and cut into sections. Generally, these sections are uniform, but can vary slightly, creating a slate rock that is slightly shorter on one side than the others. This gives a slate rock patio a distinctive look, as no two stones are exactly alike. Properly installed, slate rock can produce a relatively flat surface, with few uneven areas, that will last for years.
Instructions as follows:
Firstly, dig the footer for the patio with a shovel. Remove all grass, roots and dirt from the area to a depth of 10 inches. Try to keep from gouging the bottom of the footer with the shovel.
Secondly, fill the area with a 4-inch layer of gravel. Pour the gravel in the footer and pull a 2-by-6 screed board over it. The screed board will show the low spots in the footer, which can then be filled with more gravel.
Thirdly, compact the gravel with a plate compactor. Begin at the centre of the patio. Turn the plate compactor on and walk across the gravel, firmly holding the compactor. Work in small areas, moving the compactor over each section of the patio at least three times.
Fourthly, pour a 3-inch-deep layer of sand over the gravel. Pull the screed board across the sand to locate low spots and fill them in appropriately. Compact the sand in the same manner as the gravel.
Fifthly, lay the first slate rock in the corner of the patio. Use a rubber mallet to gently press the stone into place.
Sixthly, lay the next stone into place, leaving a 1/2-inch gap. The stones must be the same height. Add or remove sand under the rock as needed--more if the slate is low, less if it is too high. Continue working in this fashion until all of the slate rocks are laid.

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