Using a concrete or sand & concrete dry mix base is key for your garden patio or driveway to last the test of time! If you are going to use a sharp sand base without concrete then be prepared for the consequences. Sand moves over time and causes many issues such as dipping and lots of movement!
Some landscapers use a sand a concrete mix that will set after your patio has been laid, this will suffice for gardens and pathways. But, if your planning on parking your car on your driveway without a concrete base then it will not last a year!
Concrete Base For Driveways
For a driveway that is receiving a lot of weight or constant traffic, you must use a hardcore base and at least 4 inches of concrete to prevent it from cracking! The ratio should be 3 parts hardcore to 1 cement!
- 3 to 1 ratio of sand/gravel and cement
- 4 inches of concrete
- use steel mesh for extra strength
- Hardcore such as broken bricks, rocks or scalpings
- 3 inches of hardcore
If you follow this base for a driveway then you will not experience cracks or dips. If you are paving or slabbing this base then
Concrete Base For Garden P
atios and Pathways
For general patios and pathways, you can use a dry mix, but this will not be as strong as a solid concrete base! If you are “building to stay” as we call it in the trade then we would advise you to lay a concrete base 3″ and bed your slabs on top because it will last 20, 30 or 40 years.
A dry sand and cement base works well but will not last as long! It might last 5/10 years before it moves and deteriorates. Once the rain starts to wash through and the seasons start to change you will notice dips and movement! For best results:
- lay hardcore 2″ and a concrete base 3″
- Bed slabs on top with a strong sand and cement mixture
- Use steel mesh for extra strength
If you are crazy paving then you can still use a concrete base and add the dry sand and cement on top. Most contractors or landscapers will lay scalpings as hardcore and dry mix sand and cement for a bedding base as they lay the blocks.
This method looks great for a few years but will deteriorate/dip over a few years when exposed to the elements. All you have to do is look around at older driveways and patios in your local area!