‘Floating’ decks on concrete

How to install porcelain pavers over concrete surfaces

Directly laying Archatrak porcelain pavers over concrete surfaces is one of the best ways to transform a drab patio, terrace, porch or balcony or create new rooftop deck.  You don’t need extensive surface preparation, no need to bed the pavers in thinset, and no need for grouting.

Assuming it’s not a large area and the slope for drainage is around the typical 2-2.5%,  you can easily lay Archatrak porcelain pavers over concrete surfaces using our 1/4″ or 3/8″ high rubber support pads placed under each corner of the pavers. As well as providing support and compensation for any slight unevenness of the concrete slab or deck surface, the rubber pads help reduce noise transmission and provide added shock absorption. And inbuilt spacer tabs ensure precise, trouble free spacing and accurate alignment of the pavers.

If you don’t need the patio deck to be perfectly level/horizontal, you simply place a support pad under each paver corner and insert our 1/16″ or 1/8″ rubber shims between the pavers and the support pads if necessary to provide minor height correction.  With this laying method, the resulting patio deck will slope in the direction of any existing slope.

But if you want the surface to be perfectly level/horizontal, you can stack the rubber pads on top of each other to give additional height adjustment, up to a height of about 1 1/2″. To lay pavers over concrete surfaces where you need a greater height adjustment to make the surface horizontal, will require our Eterno adjustable height pedestals which provide continuous height adjustment from 1″ to 21″ and beyond.

A brief outline of the procedure for laying our porcelain patio pavers over concrete surfaces follows.

  • Ensure the concrete surface is smooth, even across the surface and is constructed with a 2° slope pitched away from any building.
  • In elevated situations such as rooftops and balconies, the area to be paved should be surrounded on all sides by a low retaining wall or other restraining structure to prevent lateral movement of the pavers over the concrete surface. For on grade applications, although a low height restraining barrier is also recommended, it may not be necessary to install a restraining barrier in all circumstances, because the excellent frictional properties of the rubber pads can be sufficient to stop lateral movement of the 24″ wide pavers. In such cases, edge trim using lengths of ‘L’ shaped aluminum (or plastic) profile could be placed along the exposed edge(s) with one leg of the profile slipped under the rubber supports along the edge of the last row of pavers.
  • Draw the layout of the pedestals on the concrete patio using chalk and optimize the placement of the pavers over the concrete surface to avoid cuts which would leave sections less than 8” wide.
  • Place pedestals which have been cut in semicircles along the perimeter at the paver intersections, ensuring the only remaining spacer tabs are aligned with the gap between pavers. At right angle corners, cut pedestals into quadrants with all spacer tabs removed and place in corners.
  • Place pavers carefully over the pedestals ensuring each paver butts tightly against the spacer tabs.
  • Use 1/16” or 1/8” thick shims between the paver and pedestals as required to adjust for any slight unevenness of the substrate.
  • Fixed height pedestals may be stacked on top of each other up to heights of approx. 1 ½” providing the opportunity to install a patio with ‘floating’ pavers over concrete surfaces that will be perfectly level and horizontal, irrespective of any slight slope of the base.

Laying porcelain paver over a concrete patio deck
Placement of fixed height pedestals around perimeter walls

positioning support pads for pavers laid over a concrete surface