Tough Choice, Easy DIY: 2 Projects to Rescue a Worn-Out Patio
If you're trying to refresh a tired old patio, choosing between these two new looks may be harder than the project itself, which is easy enough for dedicated DIYers of all skill levels!
As the weather warms up, patios take center stage for entertaining. But alfresco meals with friends and family lose a little of their luster when your patio is showing its age with cracks, spalling, or discoloration. You can certainly tear out and replace a damaged patio, but it’s a time-consuming and costly project. Fortunately, that’s not your only option. In fact, two accessible, DIY-friendly approaches to refreshing a tired patio offer different but equally delightful results. The hardest part may be deciding which to choose!
Here’s a quick review of these two patio restoration projects to help you determine which would work best for your situation. Rest assured that either approach will restore, or even upgrade, a worn-out concrete patio, and with barbecue season right around the corner, there couldn’t be a better time to get started.
Pitting and Spalling Concrete? Resurface for a Brand-New Look
You can’t turn back time on spalling or cracks, but you can cover them up with the right concrete repair products. For example, a layer of Quikrete’s Re-Cap Concrete Resurfacer will give your patio a smooth and wear-resistant finish with the look of freshly poured concrete, but with a shorter working and wait time. You can complete the entire application process easily in less than an hour and have your patio party-ready by the next day! Unlike regular concrete, Re-Cap requires no special curing measures, so the new surface is ready to walk on in just eight hours.
Sold as a dry cement product, Re-Cap Concrete Resurfacer contains polymers and modifiers that give it its superior adhesion. When thoroughly mixed with water using a drill and a paddle bit, a single 40-pound bag from your local home improvement store will cover approximately 90 square feet to a ⅛-inch thickness.
There are two steps in making over an old patio with Re-Cap: the repair and the renewal. First, diligently clean the damaged patio with a pressure washer, remove all of the loose or flaking concrete, and fill all cracks using Re-Cap Resurfacer that’s been mixed with water to a trowel-able consistency. Once the patch repairs are completely dry, saturate the patio with water and then remove any standing water. Spread Re-Cap evenly over the surface with a long-handled trowel. Before the mixture dries completely, apply a broomed texture to the surface using a push broom or squeegee. The texture will serve as a non-slip surface for the finished patio. Check out this Quikrete video to see how simple it can be!
Looking for a Design Upgrade? Overlay with Pavers
Maybe you’re ready for a change from your brushed concrete patio. If you’d like a different look, consider laying a set of pavers over the old patio. Pavestone, a Quikrete company, manufactures more than a dozen styles of thin textured pavers—including flagstone-inspired Milano Pavers—designed to go directly on top. Often referred to as remodeling pavers, the multi-piece Milano system is a fast, easy and affordable way to give a concrete patio new life.
To prep your patio for the pavers of your choice, first spread a layer of Quikrete’s PowerLoc Jointing Sand over the concrete slab with a utility broom and then smooth it into all cracks and indentations in order to form a level layer of sand. (PowerLoc sand contains polymers that harden after contact with water, so once the installation is complete, you’ll need to hose down the patio to help lock the pavers in place.) Lay the pavers one by one over the sand and tap them into place with a rubber mallet. A table saw or demo saw fitted with a diamond blade can be used to cut pavers to fit, if necessary. Glue the outermost row (called a “soldier course”) down to the concrete patio with Quikrete’s Construction Adhesive. This high-performance adhesive secures the soldier course, which in turn prevents the pavers on the inside rows from shifting.
Finishing your paver overlay is simple: Just sprinkle more PowerLoc sand over the surface and broom it evenly into the joints between the pavers. This locks the pavers in place and gives them a grouted look. That’s all there is to turning an old patio into an attractive entertaining space that will be the envy of the neighborhood! Don’t believe us? The Pavestone team captured just how simple the project is in this instructional video. With a little inspiration, the right supplies, and some helping hands, your new patio will be ready for the summer season in no time.
This content is paid advertising created in partnership with Quikrete. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.