The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Real Stone Paving Slabs


A couple of months ago I asked if anyone had experience of buying and using stone paving slabs imported from India. Well, we went ahead and bought a load and have laid a paved area by our front door.

The bed in front of this window faces north and west and has always been difficult to garden satisfactoraly, so we decided to pave over this the concrete path to the front door. The path is made of poured concrete, is very deep and would be almost impossible to break up without bringing the house down!

The soil level is above the level of the floor in the house with a ventillation grill beneath the window so we had to arrange an air gap between ground and the wall to prevent dampness in the house. Concrete blocks were buried, on edge, a few inches in front of the wall and leveled to the path. The slabs were laid to overlap the blocks and reach the wall of the house. The soil fill was levelled off and allowed to settle before a weedproof memberane was laid down followed by the slabs.

The slabs come in different sizes which made laying interesting but, in fact, the different sizes were very useful in getting it all to fit. Even so the loan of an angle grinder with a diamond tipped cutting wheel was a godsend. We did not lay a bed of sand but laid the slabs directly on the soil or concrete path with small amounts of sand being used to level things off where necessary. A couple of slabs had to be lifted and relaid to compensate for unevenness and the they were finaly tighted up by brushing dry sand into the gaps.

The main challenge was the variation in thickness of the slabs, illustrated above. They varied from 20mm to 35mm so we had to be very careful not to lay one of the thinnest against a thick one.
I know that we don’t approve of direct advertising on this site but we had excellent service from the supplier, Order Stone Ltd., from Staffordshire (
They were ordered one day and delivered on a pallet three days later. There was enough stone in a pack to cover 15 square meters and the cost was £290 including VAT and delivery as far as about Glasgow. Even if we had had to pay a £40 surcharge on the delivery it would still have been well worth it and I would have no hesitation in recommending them.

More blog posts by bulbaholic

Previous post: Scotland - North Coast

Next post: Grants for Horticultural Students



Fascinating.. I like this type of blog...
Well done ...
... you've explained each stage carefully, and with useful photos...

What plants and bulbs are you planning to put near the new path ?

2 Nov, 2010


Thank you Terra. As this area never gets a lot of direct sun we intend to use containers of ready flowering plants and bulbs according to season. Our trough of Cyclamen persicum is already on there and can easily be pulled into the adjacent porch/conservatory in bad weather. The immediately adjacent areas are suitable for the C. coum and hederifolium which have been there for many years.

2 Nov, 2010


Good ideas... and containers will be useful ...
... can move them around with the seasons ...

2 Nov, 2010


A good job done, looks great Bulbaolic. What type of stone are they?

2 Nov, 2010


sorry i missed your earlier blog bulbaholic, [not sure if i was on GoY then] we have indian sandstone paving in our back garden. we didnt import it ourselves so i cant tell you about that bit; we have had it down for about 18 months now and i love it. it changes colour in the rain but is always a little different. we havent put any protective layer on it yet although i think that may be advisable. one or two small flakes came off after that very hard winter last year, but nothing serious ~ the stone is the same colouring and marking underneath so it is no problem. i think ours is desert sand ~ it gets some sun but more than half the day it is in the shade of tall trees ~ we have had no problem with moss or anything

2 Nov, 2010


A useful and interesting blog Bulbaholic very easy to understand together with the photos, and must say the end result looks very good, love the different shades in the stone.

2 Nov, 2010


It is a sandstone, Da, called Raj Green. Not that it is very green.
I hope not to have have too much trouble in the winter. At the back of the house the paving and patio is built from moderately expensive concrete slabs (blog 30July 2010) and during the winter I needed to salt the path to clear the ice. The salt has pitted the coating of the slabs! We are hoping not to have the same problem with the sandstone.

2 Nov, 2010


That must have been heavy work, Bulbaholic....and the result is very pleasing. Containers sound a good choice. It must have been quite a challenge to keep the gap between the house and the paving so you wouldn't encounter damp problems...and you appear to have mastered it. Your photos show us the progress from start to finish which makes it much more interesting than just seeing the finished project.

2 Nov, 2010


Thanks Bulb, I was hoping you would say sandstone - my favourite. I hope too that they are not slippery in the Winter and if so saltable! I'll take a look at the website, thank you.

2 Nov, 2010


ours are not slippery ~ even last winter they were fine

2 Nov, 2010


Very, very interesting, and most informative, Many Thanks! The slabs look GREAT!!

8 Nov, 2010


Great article...I am a big fan off sandstone myself....But I find articles like this really interesting & helpfull. Thank you..

7 Jul, 2014


I don't really have anything to add now that this blog has re-surfaced. Salt used on the sandstone in winter has had no detrimental effect and it still looks good. The idea of seasonally flowering containers never really happened because I forgot all about it ;-(((. It was a good buy.

7 Jul, 2014

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by bulbaholic

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Sep, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    24 Jun, 2007

  • Gardening with friends since
    11 Feb, 2012