Trying To Install Pavers Or Tile Over Concrete Slab In Questionable Condition - Landscaping & Lawn Care - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:35 PM   #1
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Trying to install pavers or tile over concrete slab in questionable condition


I'm an owner builder who grew up building houses with my dad.

I recently purchased a long-term investment property in Los Angeles and am in the home stretch of a 3 month project. It's done a pretty good job of reminding me how little I know.

The house was originally purchased with a 15x30, unpermitted metal building attached to it where the owner kept all of his model trains. Carpet over concrete floor. The walls were built on a little 2 foot block wall with an outdoor fireplace built in. Once we tore it down, the entire side yard is a total of 44x18. The idea was to fence it in and make a private patio.

Now that the building is down and we've ripped up the carpet, things aren't quite so rosy. The concrete is pretty cracked, and there are several expansion joints around the yard. To make things more complicated, the slab slopes toward the house at about 1" per 8 feet. It's a pretty sturdy slab overall... In most cases, we've seen that it's 6-8 inches and has a 4" wire mesh running throughout.

I'm pretty much at the end of my budget, and was hoping to get by with what it would cost me to lay down 2-3" of sand and some pavers for bricks. our initial idea was actually to buy slate tile at $1 a square foot, do a leveling layer over the concrete, and call it cheap and easy with a beautiful look. With Sand, and pavers, we're probably going to double that estimate now for something I'm less excited about, as it looks like the concrete won't accommodate the tile.

Based on internet reading, here's what I am curious to understand-

1) Is there a leveling layer I could add to the concrete to make it more ideal for laying pavers, or is that even possible over cracks and expansion joints?

2) would it be possible to cut a drainage ditch along the foundation to ensure the slope isn't an issue? I've also read suggestions of drilling holes randomly throughout the concrete slab beforehand so water doesn't pool on it under the pavers

3) does my location in Los Angeles make it less of an issue since we don't really have a ton of rain or seasonal change?

4) I've read diametrically opposed opinions on whether or not this is possible over concrete. Some people say it's lasted 20 years for them and they love it, and some say it's impossible and that the concrete should be ripped up first. Opinions are welcome.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:43 AM   #2
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Re: Trying to install pavers or tile over concrete slab in questionable condition


Post some pictures so we can see what your seeing.
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