Terrace tiles on the Grass
Simply lay garden paths, step plates, and surfaces
Does a beautiful lawn need a fully paved garden path? Not necessarily! If you love your green space or are looking for an alternative laying method for your terrace area or step plates, you can choose to lay on the lawn. Read the advantages, possibilities and practical tips here.
A simple, inexpensive and versatile method
A terrace in a green dress or some other way of designing garden paths: Laying on the lawn is easy and inexpensive because there is hardly any additional installation material.Prerequisite: you like striking grass joints. For garden paths, individual step plates or the laying of surfaces, laying on a lawn is currently the trend. And a wide variety of materials can be laid with it. In addition to concrete slabs and real natural stone, ceramic tiles made of marble can also be used as a terrace and path.
How it works: Laying on the grass
Should it be an entire terrace or rather a path? The area size determines the amount of work. Here we present both:
Step by step to the garden path with steps! This is how the installation works:
- Place the plates where the path is supposed to run. Orientate yourself to a stride length that is comfortable for you.
Tip: To make it particularly even: Measure the distances between the tread plates (always starting from the center of the plate) and calculate an average value. Align the plates with this.
- Mark the outline of the slab with a spade and dig a hole a few centimeters so that the slab is level with the lawn and does not protrude later.
- Compact the excavated soil (e.g. with a hand tamper). This way, the plates cannot sink into the ground later.
- For a substructure, fill the hole with an approx. 5 cm thick layer of filler or construction sand. Alternative: With a root fleece (also: root foil) you ensure that grass no longer grows under the plates so quickly. Instead of sand, a layer of gravel can be applied and compacted. This substructure ensures good water drainage underneath the slabs or tiles and makes it difficult for ants and small animals to settle there.
- Now insert the plates and check with a spirit level whether they are at ground level. If this is not the case: remove and pad the surface with filler material (sand or gravel).
- Then tap the plates with a white rubber hammer (white due to possible traces of paint).
- Now fill the gap between the step plate and the lawn again with soil and press on.
- For an optically more beautiful picture: sow grass seeds again at the transition between lawn and slabs. So that the seeds germinate quickly, keep this area moist for the first week or two.
A terrace with a grass joint
Would you like a little more green lawn in the outdoor living room? The trend is currently for your own outdoor area to the terrace with a decorative grass joint or a larger, green space. With a smaller terrace area, it is advisable to proceed as with treads to achieve a nice result.
Lay terrace slabs made of natural stone, porcelain stoneware or another material on the surface: For the most exact distances possible and harmonious grass joints between the slabs, it is worthwhile to prepare a laying plan beforehand. In this, you enter all data such as tile size and joint width.
Follow steps 2 to 8 of “Laying steps”.
Advantages of this installation variant:
- modern, natural look
Alternative: laying in a grit bed
The most frequently chosen installation method for outdoors is also inexpensive and easy to put on: loose installation in a stone bed. Here are a few basic tips and steps:
Right on the grass? Rather not
It is not recommended to place terrace tiles directly on lawn or grass. Due to weight, load, and rain, the plates sink quickly, so that you have to dig them out and realign them.
Better: A substructure with chippings (for a natural stone this should be fine chippings to prevent possible discoloration) and gravel. This also acts as drainage. For optimal water drainage, do not forget to take into account a 2-3% slope of the surface.
Create a split bed
Now place guide rails or pull-off rails and tighten a masonry cord for a straight joint. Pour the chippings and pull off along the guide rail with a spirit level or a leveling stick. The chipped bed should be 30 – 50 mm thick (plus slope).
Insert the terrace slabs and knock-on
Depending on the type of laying and laying pattern (e.g. the very irregular polygonal panels), start laying in the middle of the area or from the house. Place the panels in the laying bed and tap them with a white rubber hammer. Joint crosses or spacer wedges ensure even spacing and joint width of your choice.
The layout of joints
For a grass joint, you can grout with sand and later sow lawn seeds. The joints are traditionally filled with quartz sand or decorative chippings.
Other outdoor installation options
Do you prefer laying on grassless? There are also other laying options for slabs made of natural stone
As an alternative to a gravel base course, one-grain mortar can be used. Do you have a solid surface, e.g. a concrete slabs? Here you can find out how laying on concrete works with a drainage mat! Weight and installation height often play a role for the roof or balcony: Read here how to install a pedestal!