Slate Patio Upgrade

3 Materials
$200
12 Hours
Medium

When we first moved into our house, I had stained my concrete back patio and over the years is did not hold up all that well. In high traffic areas the color had worn off and the concrete had mildew stains. After a little research, I decided on adding slate tile to the patio - very affordable @ 53 cents a tile and we already had a wet saw and all the tiling tools (trowels/sponge/spacers).


You can calculate all your materials quanities needed online before you even go to the store - this will save time and the hassle of trying to find someone to help you.

Schluter Edge installed


The schluter edge has spaces to install with the mortar. You don't want a lot of extra mortar poking through the edges, just a quarter inch or so to make sure it's solidly attached to the concrete floor.

For the mortar, I used FlexBond, which allows for the Slate to expand during drops/raises in temperatures. This was a little more expensive but well worth it at $30 bag versus $20. I used two bags

Now that you are ready to lay your tile. Mix the mortar to the manufacturer's instructions. I used a trowel with a small and wide toothed edge, my preference because it gives you two options to get the needed grooves in your mortar. These grooves are important for getting the mortar even and will make your tiles last longer. Also, remember to add spacers to every side as you go - this will make your tiles exactly the same width apart. Slate tiles vary in thickness, so you will need to add additional mortar below the tiles that are thinner and less for the really thick ones.

On the edges, you will need to measure and then cut your tile to fit the opening. We started in the most high traffic side and moved towards the house. We wanted the cut edges to be up against the house. After you have installed all the tiles, you will want to wait at least 24 hours to grout.

When you go to grout, make sure you are ready with a clean bucket of water and sponge, as well as your grout (premixed or mixed to the manufacturers specs). I chose a medium grey color for grout.


Work in small sections so the grout is easy to remove and don't mix too much grout, because it will dry out if you work slow. I used a small putty knife to apply the grout, pushing it into all the spaces....doing about 9 tiles before I washed it off.

To remove the excess grout, squeeze out most of the water in the sponge and lightly rub the entire surface. Rinse sponge and repeat, leaving less and less water in the sponge.


I waited about 24 hours after grouting to clean the tiles really well...using my little steam cleaner.

Finished patio!

Visit my website for more pics and project details! www.flawlesschaos.com

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Flawless Chaos

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Michelle Frost
    on Mar 28, 2019

    DId you do anything to prep the concrete below the tiles? Also I live in southwest Michigan where our winters and summers can sometimes become extreme. Will the slate tiles hold for our temps? Can’t wait to try your idea!

    • Sue Sanders
      on Feb 14, 2020

      What did you do about the mold. Did you spray with a clorox solution and let it dry for a day before doing the laying of the tile.?? Mold grows so wouldnt want to lay tile over active mold.

Join the conversation

3 of 18 comments
  • Merelyn sale
    on Feb 29, 2020

    What was the cost of this project? I like it very much.

  • DEE MCNEIL
    on Apr 21, 2020

    I THINK THIS IS THE PROPER WAY TO LAY THESE TILES OR PAVERS. IF YOU HAVE SAND OR DIRT UNDERNEATH AND NO MORTAR EVERY TIME IT RAINS YOU WILL HAVE A MESS AND YOUR PAVERS OR TILE WILL BE DIRTY AND YOU CAN NEVER CLEAN IT BECAUSE IF YOU TRY TO HOSE IT DOWN IT ONLY CREATES MORE MESS WITH THE DIRT COMING THROUGH around EACH PAVER. TRUST ME TO TELL YOU BECAUSE I HAVE THAT VERY SITUATION.This is one project I wish I had never done.To remedy this situation every paver would have to come up and then start over doing it properly.

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