There is more than one way to take an existing cement patio and lay in the more attractive brick pavers over the top of it. Naturally, there is simply replacing it – tearing out and dumping the old and reconstituting a base, then installing the new. This can be superior, especially since the old cement can break and heave if weather conditions get nasty enough. The one below I feature elsewhere here, but it gives the picture of removal and what is required.
However, with an old cement patio properly installed and with it intact and still serving its purpose, a makeover can be accomplished in one of two ways, which I specifically list below this next picture.
A new home might take an immediate upgrade by applying new pavers over the existing, somewhat boring cement surface. This is an after-the-fact look at just that in a newer home. Notice, if you enlarge the picture, we also cut a circle into the standard pattern at the doorway, to make the entry more inviting and to provide interest:
1. Pavers can be glued down right onto the cement, which is what the above was. The current adhesives for the job are astoundingly durable and are simple to apply. There are glues now which can be applied while the surface is wet – in fact, they require it. Thus a thorough washing (which is always required prior to the application of glue) can see one working to install the new pavers immediately. As well, there are any number of glues which can be applied with the help of a grouting gun and which come in tubes. These are best applied to the clean and dried surface, being water-aversive if anything.
2. One can also lay in some gravel much the same as a new construction, perhaps a sand layer over that, in order to achieve the same result. The primary difficulty here is in the veneer and the later compacting. Where the gravel/sand layer is extremely thin over the top of the old cement, the bouncing effect of the compactor can actually break the pavers in that there is so little cushion below. It therefore requires a quick and uniquely powerful touch and we only get one try. Take a look and you’ll see what I mean:
We went from this:
To this next phase after a huge cleanup. Notice how thin the relative thickness is of the material we lay the pavers on. You can see better by noticing the scuffed part, exposing the original cement patio:
In the end, we ended up with some clean lines and a pretty renovated patio area, complete with yet another “bubble rock”:
The water running through and over the rock made a gorgeous small trickling sound – very soothing for this extremely quiet neighborhood. It was a satisfying project but it was challenging, in spite of the apparent simplicity. It was anything but.