Repointing a patio

Hi, I have laid a number of patios, but never had to re-point an old one.

The patio in question covers the whole garden with soil borders.

The slabs are all 45 x45 and there are 132 slabs in total.

About 20 need to be lifted and relaid, maybe a few more once Ive bashed all the old mortar out.

Some of the mortar is loose and will come out easily and about 50 % of it will need to be cut out or taken out with a hammer and bolster.

My question is, what will this take in time roughly, and is there a standard price per sqm for this type of job.

Also, I have only ever pointed before with sand and cement. Would it be better to use one of these pre- mixed grout type products.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Ian B.


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  • PRO

    I should add it is roughly 30 sqm. overall

    Ian B

  • have you lifted any of the flags to see what they are layed on because if you have to dig out and put hard core in there will be extra expence not forgeting waste removal

    as for re pointing about £25 M2

    no experiance with the pre mix

  • PRO

    i would certainly use a disc cutter or similar. you'll be there for a mind numbingly long time doing it with a hammer and bolster. JUst make sure to stock up on PPE 


  • My approach would be to check how the slabs are laid first, if spot bed, you may as well just walk away now. 

    if they have been laid p[roperly on a full bed I would chase the joints as bgood as possible with a mortar rakeing blade on a disc cutter, sweep then blow the whole patio (if you have a blower) then use either a jointing compound such as easy joint and brush it in as per the instructiuons or use a gunable pointing mix such as larsons gpm following the instructions for that. 

  • PRO

    Thanks All,

    Kieran, when you say if they are spot bed, walk away from it, is that because the raking out/cutting out would loosen all the slabs that are not loose?


    • If the slabs are not soundly bedded, you are opening a can of worms Ian. It could be that the reason for the pointing failing is slight movement, in which case yours could do the same.  

      450 X 450 slabs wont take a lot of knocking to dislodge even the sound ones, so I would definitely use a 210mm and mini angle grinder on the tough bits, but make sure all dust is thoroughly removed prior to re-pointing.  


      • PRO

        Use a disc to cut the old joints out.

        Re point using a mix of 1cement, 1 Lime and 4 sharp sand, and water plus SBR gradually. Use a power mixer with a paddle to get a nice creamy consistency so this can be gunned into the joint. Slightly overfill the joint so it is just proud of the slab and allow a little time for the joint to dry before striking it off with a pointing iron. By letting it dry a little it prevents the mortar from marking the slab. Do not be temted to brush off the spoil until it has dried further and you are certain it will not mark the slabs. I suggest you experiment with the mix prior to starting the job, it might take a bit of practice until you get the mix right. Once it sets it goes rock hard with great adherence due to the SBR.

  • PRO

    Hi Ian, I,ve done loads of these types of job. First off, only use a disc for stubborn areas. Get yourself a mini pick (mine has a 750mm handle) and use that to hoick and lever out the pointing. If you are lucky whole lengths come out in one go and also there is very little mess. Grinders create a lot of dust so use as last resort. From what you say check if patio is haunched in and add that to the job spec if not done.I  had a job where the patio shifted sideways a little and pointing dropped through the joints as there was no hauch to hold it in one place.  20 slabs to lift and relay is about 4sqm. Price as you would for normal paving or include in your re-point price. I tend to do the latter at £30-32m. I only do old school mortar 2:1:1 - 2sharp:1building:1cement so a 3:1 mix. Get the mix the correct wetness and you will get plenty of stick without staining. Also dont worry about 5 spot. I've repointed those as well - you will just need to allow for some extra material as the joints will swallow the muck to start with. I wouldn't use sbr as in my mind some poor sod may have to redo it again one day in the future and they'll be cursing me and also pointing is all about locking the slabs together so they don't shift. A well made mortar should have all the stick you need.Worst i ever had to do were completely loose slabs with 2 inch joints that client insisted i just repoint, against my advice i might add. 4-5years later it still looked fine to my complete surprise. Remember clients repoint to save money, solve a problem cheaply so if you explain that that is what it is then they should accept that its not a permanent solution. Having said that i have done enough to know that done well they can and do last for years.

    The above is my way to do it and in no way is meant as criticism of how others might choose to do it. We all have our ways.

    Final note without getting into details - I personally don't like and don't use brush in resin pointing systems.

    Hope that helps and best of luck.


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