This seems like a long time coming, but if you’ve been following along over on Instagram, you’ll know that we have been working out butts off and we have actually got this done in a pretty small space of time considering both myself and Matt work full time jobs. I have no shame in tooting our own trumpets with this, we have spent near enough every evening on this garden over the last few months and every weekend too so I’m so pleased that we are nearly there with the garden revamp – to give you an idea, we started taking the patio bricks up on 26th May, so it’s taken us just over a month to get to this point! If you missed my last blog post, you can see the modern garden makeover plans here.

The biggest task of all for the garden was the main patio area which was previously an ugly bricked area. I thought about decking before but I’m so pleased that we ended up going with tiles – it’s just completely transformed the space and given it an even more modern look than it would have had we decked. Luckily, we don’t live that far from Tile Mountain’s Showroom so we were able to pop over to decide which tiles we liked best. Tile Mountain’s Icon Outdoor Slab Tiles were the clear winner. We were looking for grey tiles but these had a decking feel with their length which made them a bit different.

The bricked patio area before

The base ground we were working with once we had taken all the bricks up

Once the tiles had arrived, the first thing we had to decide was which way to lay them – we actually hadn’t considered this at all prior to this but it was a pretty big decision to make, and we couldn’t decide, so naturally, I took to Instagram stories and put it to a poll!

The end vote was the second option, which we agreed with. Laid width ways the tiles make the garden look bigger for some reason, so that’s what we went with! Time to get laying! The ground that we (I say we – once again I find myself using the royal ‘We’ – I couldn’t help a great deal with laying the tiles, I could pass them one at a time and that was about it!) Anyway… the ground that WE 😉 were laying the tiles on to was a bit of a disaster – it had previously been concreted (a long time ago) so some areas were solid concrete, which were ideal for laying the tiles onto but other areas were crumbled, loose concrete which had to be swept up and then we had to build the ground up so it was level to match the rest of the space. If you have a solid, level ground to start on then this would without a doubt be the best solution and base to work with.

As advised by Tile Mountain, we used the Adesilex P4 Grey Floor Adhesive 20kg to secure the tiles down – this is a self levelling compound so it will help to ensure your tiles are as level as possible but it’s always helpful to start with a fairly level base ground to save time when you’re tiling. We put three biG blobs of adhesive down for each tile, one at each end of the tile and one in the middle. Once the tile was laid on top of the adhesive, we needed to make sure it was level (spirit level is your best friend) with the rest of the tiles and then once we were happy, in went the tile separators until the adhesive was dry. Once mistake we did make as we were tiling was that we didn’t clean up the adhesive from the top of the tiles as we were going, adhesive is a buggar to get off these grooved tiles once dry so trust me, do it as you are going, use a sponge and water and just wipe any excess off the top. Washing your hands with a hose pipe before picking up a new tile will help avoid excess mess too.

When we got about half way we had to pause because we knew the pergola was going in the far right hand corner, to ensure the pergola was securely in the ground, we dug deep holes, concreted the pergola posts in and then tiled around the pergola posts once it was in.

Now that all of the slabs were down, it was time to take the tile separators out and finally time to grout the gaps between the tiles – I was actually allowed to help grout too! Again, this is a task that is easier done with two people, especially when tiling/grouting in a heatwave, everything will dry a lot quicker and will be a lot harder to scrub off once dried, so we would recommend that one person grouts and another follows with a sponge and water to clean up any grout on the tiles.

As mentioned before, during laying the tiles we did get a fair amount of adhesive on the tops of the tiles so we did have to spend some time at the end scrubbing the tiles down to remove this! Tip – when the tiles are wet this is an easy way to see if there’s any excess adhesive!

And below is what the space is looking like now! We just have the top area of the garden to do this week but we are hoping to get that, the pond edging and the slatted fencing finished by the end of next weekend fingers crossed! Wish us luck!

There will be another full blog post on all where all the furniture, pergola etc is from coming very soon but in the mean time if you want to know where anything is from, pop me an email or head over to my Instagram where I tag everything where possible!

Disclaimer: a MASSIVE thanks to Tile Mountain for sponsoring us with these outdoor tiles for this project and helping us to completely transform this space. We are absolutely over the moon with the tiles and couldn’t recommend them enough. I think the pictures say it all!