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How To Install Decorative Slate Aggregates

Posted on 20th September 2022

Whether you’re a novice or experienced gardener, decorative slate aggregates are extremely easy to install. At Stone & Surfaces Direct, we’re here to tell you that it’s all just about planning, preparation and choosing the right slate chippings.

We have a fantastic range of colours and sizes of aggregates to choose from to help you fulfil any garden vision you have in mind.

There are a few differences between installation of slate chippings, for example between a garden as opposed to a driveway. However, we will talk you through how to prepare and lay slate in a number of outdoor settings.

How to lay decorative slate aggregates in the garden

Laying slate aggregates is easy and just requires planning and some manual work, including light digging and carrying loads in a wheelbarrow.

Generally, the process is similar whether you are creating pathways, improving borders or adding the finishing touch to an eye-catching water feature.

Step 1 - Choose your slate chippings

Before you can make a start with your garden project, you will need to decide on the colour and size of your slate chippings and what will work best in your garden.

Slate adds to any theme or design idea you have and complements modern and contemporary gardens to more traditional. At Stone & Surfaces Direct we have a range of sizes and colours to choose from, check out our decorative slate aggregates catalogue here.

If you wish to create a beautiful slate pathway, we recommend the flatter texture of 20mm slate chippings because they are much easier to walk on as opposed to 40mm aggregates.

Alternatively, using 40mm for ground cover and ponds surrounds gives a more attractive finish.

Step 2 - Work out how much slate you need

At Stone & Surfaces Direct we have taken away the difficult guesswork. Use our helpful online calculator to work out exactly how much slate you need for your application.

Step 3 - Mark out the area

Using string or markers, mark out the specific area that will require digging. For areas without heavy foot traffic, such as garden borders and planting areas, note that a sub-base won’t always be necessary.

We always recommend applying a layer of weed prevention membrane beneath the slate chippings to prevent weeds from coming through and help improve drainage.

Step 4 - Dig the area

Once the area has been marked out, it’s time to start digging. If you are designing a slate pathway, we recommend digging to a depth of around 4 inches in order for a crushed sub-base material to go underneath the slate to add stability and strength.

If you are improving an area of your garden that won’t be walked on regularly, dig it out to a depth of 4-5cm, or 5-6cm for 40mm chippings, and prepare your weed prevention membrane.

Step 5 - Add the decorative slate aggregates

Now that your base is complete, lay your beautiful new slate aggregates by shovelling them onto the weed prevention membrane ensuring you distribute them evenly using a garden rake.

How to lay decorative slate aggregates for a driveway

When it comes to laying decorative slate chippings for a driveway, there are some things you will need to do differently. The process is still straightforward, however we recommend using 20mm aggregates because they are flatter and easier to drive on.

Simply choose your desired slate chippings from our collection, ideally 20mm, and mark out the driveway area. Dig the area out to a depth of approximately 4 inches and flatten the base.

Add a layer of roughly 10cm sub-base and ensure it is compacted using a sledge hammer. If you have a particularly large driveway, we recommend using a roller.

Finally, add a layer of weed prevention membrane to keep unwanted weeds from protruding through the slate and for water to drain through the surface easier. Once the base is fully prepared, shovel the chippings onto the weed membrane and ensure they are at least 6cm deep.

With over 25 years of experience distributing natural stone paving, porcelain paving, aggregates, rockeries and interior solutions worldwide; Stone & Surfaces Direct are the people to help you achieve the perfect patio, garden, or home interior.

Talk to one of our experienced stone professionals about your specific needs today.

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