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How to Cover Old Paving Slabs: A Modern Guide for 2024

How to revamp a patio with stylish and practical outdoor rugs.

How to add vibrant colours, textures, and flowers to breathe life into your patio.

Revive your old paving slabs with creative painting techniques or decorative stones & stepping stones

How Do You Cover Up Old Pavers?

#1. Revamp with Outdoor Rugs

A garden with furniture and a rug

Why not start your patio transformation with a stylish and practical solution – outdoor rugs? 

These waterproof and durable rugs are designed to handle weather conditions, including rain, while covering old concrete paint on patio slabs. You can easily find the perfect outdoor rug to complement your patio furniture and match your unique style.

Before laying your new outdoor rug, properly preparing the old paving slabs is essential. A thorough cleaning with a pressure washer or a stiff-bristled brush and a mixture of water and mild detergent will ensure the slabs are flawlessly prepped for your new rug.

Outdoor rugs offer a quick and easy way to transform your existing concrete patio space, adding a fresh look and feel to your outdoor area.

#2. Breathe Life with Potted Plants

A patio are with furniture and plants

Another cost-effective way to enhance the appearance of your plain concrete patio is by adding potted plants. Various plants and flowers’ vibrant colours and textures can bring life to your outdoor space, primarily when covering old paving stones. 

Strategically placing pots and planters around your patio can help draw the eye to the vibrant colours and life they add while tastefully distracting from unsightly stains and cracks on the old concrete patio.

Consider using the thriller-filler-spiller formula to create stunning plant arrangements, a planting technique that works wonderfully in pots, raised beds, and even galvanized steel tubs. Choose pots and plants that make a beautiful focal point and will draw attention away from the old concrete pavers on the patio. 

Additionally, incorporating flower bedding and patio furniture can further enhance the beauty of an old patio.

Using teak or cedar for wood planters and seating is an excellent choice, as they are long lasting and reliable and can enhance your patio space. 

Consider adding colour to your pet-relief patio with beautiful potted plants and coloured concrete, making it more enjoyable for your pet.

#3. Opt for Artificial Grass Solutions

A small artificial grass garden with plants

Consider artificial grass if you’re looking for a low-maintenance, comfortable solution to cover old patio slabs. Offering a natural, organic feel and a soft surface underfoot, artificial grass is perfect for kids and pets alike. 

To install artificial grass over old paving slabs, thoroughly clean the paving and let it dry. Then cut the turf down to size, apply adhesive, lay the turf, and leave it to dry for a few hours, ensuring the glue is completely dry before using the patio.

Use sharp sand in the gaps between slabs to create a flawless and even surface when laying artificial grass over an existing patio. This will prevent any lines from appearing through the surface of the grass. Gather essential tools for a successful installation, such as a hose, broom, and sharp knife. 

A handy accessory is also needed to spread the turf adhesive.

With artificial grass, you can enjoy an affordable, low-maintenance, and beautiful patio space perfect for outdoor relaxation and entertainment. 

#4. Decking Over Concrete

A decking leading to fake grass and trampoline

Decking over concrete is a great and cost-effective way to construct a deck, providing a more accessible and cheaper alternative to building a deck from scratch. Wood and composite decking are two popular material options, each offering its advantages. 

Composite decking is a long-term choice, known for its minimal upkeep, while wood decking provides a more traditional, natural look.

To construct a deck over concrete, gather the necessary tools and supplies, including concrete bolts, plastic anchors, and paint brushes for applying water-based epoxy. Start by cleaning the old concrete patio with a power scrub and a shop vac, then use a water-based epoxy on the surface to seal and protect it. 

Lay the decking material on the existing concrete patio, securing it with concrete bolts and plastic anchors.

Choosing the suitable decking material and following proper installation techniques allows you to create a beautiful space that integrates with your existing patio and outdoor area.

#5. Resin Bonded Surfaces

Resin bonding is an exciting process that combines decorative aggregate and resin over existing concrete, giving your outdoor space a stunning new look. This fast and straightforward process is also an economical way to enhance the appearance of your outdoor area.

Mix the decorative aggregate into the resin and then trowel it over the concrete base to achieve a beautiful resin bonding. Resin-bonded surfaces can be laid on a suitable sub-base material, such as concrete or permeable asphalt, creating a solid and durable surface.

This versatile solution offers a unique, eye-catching finish that can effortlessly blend with other landscaping features in your garden. This is not a do-it-yourself job, this guide will show you prices for resin-bound overlays.

#6. Create a Mosaic Masterpiece

A mosaic floor using pebbles for a spiral pattern

If you’re feeling artistic and want to give your old patio a one-of-a-kind makeover, consider creating a mosaic masterpiece. This can be achieved by arranging colourful small stones, pebbles, or tiles in a captivating pattern or design on top of the existing surface. The Stone Mosaic method involves creating a unique pattern or design on top of the existing patio surface by arranging small stones, pebbles, cobbles, or tiles.

Use a strong adhesive suitable for outdoor use to ensure your stones, pebbles, or tiles stay in place. Once your design is complete, seal the mosaic with a protective coating to preserve its beauty and longevity.

Transform your old patio into a stunning, one-of-a-kind outdoor space that’s sure to impress with a little bit of creativity. 

#7. Stone Veneer Transformation

Transforming an old patio with a stone veneer can give it an upscale, sophisticated look. Stone veneer is a beautiful thin layer of natural or faux stone applied directly to an existing surface, like a flat concrete base. A flat surface is crucial for a successful stone veneer installation, ensuring a seamless and professional-looking result.

Stone veneer is available in various colours, styles, and textures, so you can get that ideal design to complement your outdoor space. Following the proper installation techniques, you can create a stunning stone veneer transformation that will add elegance and charm to your old patio.

#8. Raised Garden Bed Integration

Integrating raised garden beds into your old patio is an exciting way to add vibrant colours and life to your garden. Raised garden beds can be created from scratch using wood, metal, or brick, or you can purchase ready-made raised garden beds to save time and effort.

Before adding a raised garden bed to your patio, properly preparing the paving slabs is essential. Lay at least three inches of coarse gravel or stones covered with a geotextile membrane to optimize drainage and prevent soil erosion. Use a layer of cardboard or landscaping fabric to prevent weeds from growing.

Raised garden beds bring colour and life to your outdoor space and provide a fantastic way to cultivate your fruits, vegetables, and herbs. By integrating raised garden beds into your old patio, you can create a functional and attractive garden area to enhance your outdoor space.

#9. Painting and Staining Techniques

Another way to upgrade your old patio is by using paint and staining techniques. Adding a simple coat of paint or creative diagrams and scoring can bring life and depth to your old concrete patio. Paint offers a vibrant layer of colour on top of the concrete, while stain adds a deep, rich colour that penetrates the concrete.

When applying paint or stain, consider using a chalk line to draw a pattern onto the concrete and tape off sections with painter’s tape to add a unique design element. Staining or etching the concrete is an affordable way to transform a concrete patio and can be easily accomplished with creativity and effort.

#10. Decorative Stones and Stepping Stones

Stones and plants next to each other in a garden

Decorating your old patio with decorative stepping stones is an excellent way to upgrade its appearance and functionality. To achieve this stunning transformation, set the stepping stones on a full mortar bed on top of the existing patio or concrete base. Fill the remaining area with decorative aggregate or gravel, and add an edge to the front of the patio area to prevent stones from spilling onto the lawn.

Using decorative stones and stepping stones adds visual interest to your patio and provides a functional pathway for walking across the area. With various materials, colours, and designs, you can choose the perfect combination of stones to complement your existing outdoor space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you pave over old paving slabs?

You can pave over old slabs with careful preparation and suitable materials. It’s unlikely to be possible though as you’ll end up above the damp-proof course.

How do you update old patio slabs?

Refreshing your patio slabs can be a quick and easy process! You can quickly spruce up old patio slabs with cost-effective methods such as outdoor floor paint, adding an outdoor rug, decorating flowers and plants, laying new paving stones, or even some artificial grass.

These methods are all relatively inexpensive and can be done in a day or two. Outdoor floor paint is a great way to add colour to your patio.

How to lay paving slabs on concrete?

Lay the perfect patio easily and quickly with our helpful guide. Before you start, make sure the concrete surface is even and clean, then prime the paving slabs.

Plan out placement, create your mortar mix, lay the pavers, and fill the gaps to finish. With these simple steps, you’ll have a beautiful patio in no time.

How to lay slabs in the garden?

Laying a patio in the garden doesn’t need to be complicated! Implement these easy steps to make it look great. Start by digging down to a depth of 150mm and laying a sub-base of 100mm. 

Then prepare your concrete mix, and lay the paving slabs 15mm into the concrete, leaving a 10-15mm gap between each slab. Let it set for 24 hours, and fill any gaps with concrete mix. With these few easy steps, you’ll have a beautiful patio ready to enjoy!

Last Word

In conclusion, there are numerous creative and cost-effective solutions to cover and beautify old patio slabs. 

Whether you choose to revamp your patio with outdoor rugs, potted plants, artificial grass, decking, resin bonding, stone veneer, mosaic designs, raised garden beds, decorative stones, or painting and staining techniques, you can transform your old patio into a stunning, inviting outdoor space. 

With a little effort and imagination, you can breathe new life into your patio and create a functional area which is gorgeous and you can enjoy for years.