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Stone Patio Water Drainage: A Quick Guide

Natural stone is one of the most sought after materials that can be used as a hardscape product. The aesthetic appeal is unmatched by other materials, and it can be extremely durable and last for a long time if properly cared for. So how does a stone patio does when it comes to water drainage?

Natural stone is commonly used in the form of pavers, and bad drainage can be a big problem for a paver installation. This is due to the fact that the best way to install pavers is through what we call a dry installation. This dry installation consists in building a bedding with gravel and sand in which the pavers will be placed upon.

This creates an interlocked system that can whitstand even the heaviest weights, but that can be easily compromised by any damage in the bedding. And a bad drainage is one of the most damaging things to the bedding of a paver system.

So how to properly estabilish the drainage of a stone patio to ensure its longevity? Let’s give you some quick tips to make sure your drainage is on point.

Stone Patio Water Drainage

Stone Patio Water Drainage: Installation

It all starts during the installation process of your stone pavers.

The first step of any paver installation is to dig a whole of about 12″ for driveways or 6″ for pedestrian usage. When digging this hole, you must be mindful of the proper slope. That means the bottom of the hole must be slightly inclined in a direction moving away from the main building in the area.

The most traditional and simple way to ensure this slope is to add a 1″ in depth for every 6 feet of distance. That way, you’re making the water naturally flows to a specific direction instead of accumulating at the bottom of the installation and causing damage in the bedding.

When that part of the installation is done properly, it can already ensure your drainage is going to be optimal, but you can also, on top of it, install drainers.

And drainers are a universe all by themselves.

There are tons of options available in that market, as well as many techniques that can be used to incorporate them in the design of the project. Talking about every single possibility here would be impossible, but we can try to name the most popular ones.

The most popular use of drainage is a combination of slope and french drain pipes. The pipes are placed at the bottom of your installation, following the slope. These pipes can redirect the water to an appropriate area and preventing its accumulation.

Another very popular option is to install channel drains alongside the edges of the installation. They will gather the water and, again, redirect it to the proper area, or even directly to the sewage system.

Permeable Pavers: A Alternative to Drainage

Bad drainage is one of the worst enemies of a regular paver installation. But what if an installation can be changed to take advantage of drainage instead of fighting it?

That’s exactly what a permeable paver installation does. The installation process is almost the same, the difference is in the bedding process.

In a regular paver installation, the bedding consists of gravel and sand, whereas in a permeable paver installation it composed of several layers of crushed rock in varying sizes.

This allows the water to freely flow to the bottom, where it can be redirected to the drainage system or even recycles and store for further use.

It really is an excellent and elegant alternative, with not much increase in cost when compared to a regular paver installation.

Stone Patio Water Drainage

Professional Help

As you could see, make sure you have proper drainage on your stone patio installation is not as easy as it seems.

Many people choose to tackle the project from a DIY perspective and, although doable, if you’re 100% sure of what you’re doing, it can lead to several drainage problems in the future.

Pavers are an investment, especially the natural stone ones, so you want to protect your investment as good as possible. That includes investing in hiring professionals to handle your installation.

That it is even more important when it comes to a permeable installation, where there are many factor to consider.

During our 12 years of experience, we here at S&S Pavers have helped countless homeowners across the Sarasota and Manatee counties with their installations, both of regular and permeable pavers. So we know very well the importance of working closely with professionals to make sure everything goes smoothly.

We highly recommend you get in contact with a hardscape professional in your area to see what options you have available. And if you happen to be around our area of activity, why not give us a call to help you?

You can contact us any time for a free estimate on our services. Call us right now at 941-773-3098 or email us at We would be happy to hear from you.