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How to Point a Patio: An Easy 5 Step Guide to Paving Pointing

Our simple guide for how to point a patio.

Keeping your patio paving in mint condition is tricky, especially with UK’s harsh winter weather. Rain and freezing temperatures can leave a patio not only cracked but riddled with weeds. From the severe yet slow-to-appear damage that erosion causes to physical damage and ground movement, there’s plenty that can affect your patio’s structure.

Neglected and cracked patios have gaps that allow water in, making weed flourish in the spring. Learning how to remove all the existing pointing helps maintain its premium look.

This post is all about the best way to point a patio, basically from scratch. If you have little gaps in the pavers that need filling, read this post.

If you are hiring a professional or pointing the patio yourself, there will be some expense, here’s a breakdown to help you calculate the cost of repointing patio flags.

Let’s take a look at how to point your patio paving below

First Things First

Before you point your patio paving, you first need to clean out the old joints to remove the existing pointing material. A plugging chisel is useful in the joint’s hard-to-reach areas, whereas a lump hammer and bolster helps loosen most of the existing pointing.

After removing all the old pointing, use a stiff-bristled brush to clean the joints thoroughly. An angle grinder or pointing iron can also be helpful in thoroughly cleaning the joints.

Once all joints are clear and the smooth surface is clean, you can begin the job.

The Modern Way to Repointing a Patio

The contemporary way of repointing a patio involves using a jointing compound. With this method, you need a particular form of an easy-to-use compound that is usable in any kind of weather. The compound is suitable for getting the job done in real-time.

Use these steps to point your patio paving:

  1. Completely soak your patio slabs
  2. Pour the jointing compound over the paving slabs
  3. Sweep the compound evenly into all the joints
  4. Using a metal tool, press the joints solid to compact
  5. Remove excess product from the patio surface

Completely Soak Your Patio Slabs

The first step involves removing everything from the surface and completely soaking the patio slabs with water. Use a brush to evenly distribute the water onto the entire area that needs pointing. Proper saturation is paramount.

Pour The Jointing Compound Over the Paving Slabs

Once the area is completely saturated, pour the jointing compound over the patio. Three popular compounds to use include;

They help you achieve an attractive, lasting and tidy finish on the patio.

Avoid simple resin or polymeric mortar, which is inappropriate for wet weather. Additionally, staining is common with mortar joint products.

Sweep The Compound Evenly into All the Joints

Utilise a broom to sweep your compound evenly into all joints in this step. It is essential to exercise caution in this step by ensuring that every joint is filled with the compound completely. This goes miles to prevent premature cracking in the future.

Using a Metal Tool Press the Joints Solid to Compact

After ensuring that the compound is inside all paving joints, use a stiff brush to sweep aside any surplus. After this, utilise a metal tool or pointing trowel or pointing bar to press the joints solid to compact. Ensure the product is packed firmly, leaving no spaces.

Remove Excess Product from The Patio Surface

Brush off any excess compound from the surface using a soft brush once you’re sure that every block paving is good to go. The period it takes the compound to set hard or cure depends on many factors, the chief of them being the weather.

In dry summer, it should take around three days and 28 days in wet weather.

Best Joint Compound to Use?

We cover which is the best joint compound to use here, but these are the best ones in our opinion;

Marshalls Weatherpoint

Marshalls Weatherpoint is a favourite among do-it-yourself enthusiasts and professionals because of its easy-to-use nature.

Without any mixing or waste, this all-weather jointing compound not only reduces labour involvement and speeds up installation times, but it can also be laid throughout the year.

It is a great do-it-yourself choice to replace crumbling, tired and old mortar. Excluding granite and marble, you can use them on all other paving materials. It is available in buff and grey.

Pavetuf Jointing Compound

Pavetuf Jointing Compound is another jointing product that is pocket-friendly and effortless to use. This compound is equally usable in different weather conditions and provides an exciting granular finish. Available in grey, buff, and black, it is an excellent option for stone and porcelain pavement.

The quick and easy to apply jointing compound removes the hassle from your patio installation and maintenance.

Geo Fix Paving Joint Compound

The Geo Fix Paving Joint Compound is a unique, ready-to-use jointing compound that is effective for different types of paving with 5mm+ joints. This self-curing jointing material offers an easy and quick way to apply a permanent rigid joint without any equipment or special machinery.

You can use it on natural stone, granite, terracotta, clay, slate, and concrete. The jointing compound is appropriate on a patio with light vehicular foot traffic.

Easy Joint

We love the one and here is the review we did of Easy Joint.

The Old Fashioned & Cheap Way – Sand & Cement

The old-fashioned and cheap way of pointing your patio pavement is by using a dry mixture of sand and cement. The cement mix depends mainly on your joint’s width. You need to do the re fill not only on a dry day but also when the patio itself is dry.

For less than 0.5-inch joints, silver sand, commonly known as playpit sand, works best. Mix sand with cement in the ratio of 1:1 and spread it out, avoiding any small gaps. Allow it a few hours to ensure the mix dries thoroughly.

If you are unsure about this step, we have a guide covering making the right patio mortar mix.

Note: Avoid mixing mortar on flagstone patios.

A brush is handy in spreading the mixture into the joint. Make sure the cement joints are full without any voids. Once the joints are full, brush every surplus off the surface. Let it sit out for a while until it has slowly finished hardening.

The moisture from the underground and in the air gradually hardens the sand and cement mixture in the joints. Provided you correctly filled the joints up, they’ll not crack. However, if you do not, water will get into the voids and within no time, freeze-thaw action will destroy the entire joint.

For more than 0.5-inch joints, sharp sand works best as dry grouting. In this case, the ratio of sand to cement should be 3:1 to make the bone dry mix more flexible and leaner. Once you have the mixture, follow the same procedure outlined above.

Note: Although this method is the least time-consuming for pointing patio paving, it can equally create a neat-looking outdoor slab. Provided everything is dry and completely clean, it’s unnecessary to stain the slabs like with ordinary pointing.

This video shows how to mix sand and cement like a pro

Conclusion

Two methods are handy for pointing your patio paving. The modern method involving using a joint compound is quick, efficient, and straightforward. The downside is, it’s expensive.

The second method, which is traditional, involves using cement and sand mortar mix. While it is cheaper, it’s more time consuming and you need to be careful with the mixing ratio. Additionally, you run the risk of stints.

Whichever option you choose, we hope it is a success.