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What is External Paving Grout?

Paving grout is a material used to fill the gaps between pavers in an outdoor paving installation. Find out all about external paving grout and why it’s an important part of a well-installed paving project.

Example of EasyJoint grout
Find out how to achieve seamless and weed-free joints

Benefits of external paving grout

There are many benefits to using an external paving grout.

Many experts say grout is essential for a durable paving installation that truly stand the test of time.

External paving grout helps to secure the pavers in place, enhance the appearance of the paving, and prevent movement and damage over time.

Certain types of grout will also help to reduce weed growth through the paving cracks. Depending on which grout you choose, paving grout can eliminate weeds altogether.

By choosing the right type of external paving grout and following the installation process carefully, you can achieve professional results and enjoy a beautiful outdoor patio for years to come.

What are the different types of paving grout?

There are three main types of external paving grout, each with their own unique uses. These include:

  • a sand and cement mix or brush-in grout
  • cement-based slurry grouts
  • epoxy-based grouts.

When choosing external paving grout, it is important to consider the type of pavers being used, the intended use of the paved area and the expected weather conditions.

For example, if the paving will be exposed to heavy foot or vehicle traffic, a durable grout that is resistant to damage may be necessary.

Likewise, if the paving will be exposed to heavy rainfall or even flooding, a moisture-resistant grout is the one to go for.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common types of grouts, how to use them and their pros and cons:

A sand and cement mix – or brush-in grout

A dry grout made of a mixture of sand and cement is the most common type of external paving grout due it being relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

Sand-based grouting mixes are used to fill small gaps between pavers. It’s a popular choice for informal paving projects such as garden paths and patios.

Made by combining sand with cement (at usually a 3:1 ratio), this dry mix for permeable paving is simply swept into the paving joints using a sweeping brush.

Although effortless to install and cost effective, dry grouting does have it’s drawbacks. Overall, it is not as durable as other types of paving grout and may require regular maintenance.

Simple sand/cement mixtures are prone to cracking and you can expect weed growth through the joints.

Also, if any moisture is present in these homemade mixtures, staining can become a problem. Some landscapers use kiln dried jointing sand in the mix for this reason. 

Dry mixes are often best suited to patios with smooth flags and regular joints.

Pre-mixed formulas of brush-in grouts are available to use direct from the tub that can make the application process even easier.

EasyJoint brush-in grout is a DIY formula that can be used in all weathers and offers extra resasurance when it comes to strength and reliability of the formula. This sanded joint filler is available in a range of colours too. EasyJoint can be applied as a dry or wet mix.

For an advanced brush-in jointing compound with a higher spec, consider using PremJoint. Another sand/cement-based formula, PremJoint can also be applied as either a dry or wet mix, depending on whether you have installed a permeable or impermeable bed.

Cement-based slurry grouts

For a strong and durable option, choose a cement-based slurry grout. 

Made from a mixture of cement, sand and water, wet slurry grouts are commonly used for heavy-duty paving projects, such as driveways, commercial paving installations or those projects where longevity is important.

Cement-based paving grouts are resistant to moisture and abrasion, but they can be more difficult to install and need a little bit of know-how. If you create the slurry formula yourself, it can take longer to set than other types of paving grout.

Obviously being cement-based, slurry grouts are an impermeable jointing solution. They’re low maintenance but if permeability is important to you, you’ll need to consider another option. 

Flowpoint is a popular slurry grout with many UK contractors. With an advanced, rapid-setting formula, it’s commonly used for domestic installations and large-scale commercial projects.

Relatively easy to apply, Flowpoint is hardwearing, pressure washer safe and, when applied as advised, lasts up to 40 years. It also meets the British Standard BS 7533, an important factor for those contractors requiring the extra reassurance that their projects will last.

Applying Flowpoint Fine with rubber squeegee
Grouting with the Flowpoint Fine mixture on porcelain tiles

If you are looking for a pre-mixed formula for slurry grouting, other popular options are Fuga-Pave Flex CH (available in 20kg bags and 5kg buckets) and Larsen FJM grouts.

I’ve been a ceramic tiler for 20 years and have used many different grouts. Recently I have been grouting porcelain patio for landscaper’s. I can honestly say Fuga Pave grout is the best grout I have ever used. I wouldn’t use any other grout. This grout is the best on the market.

Porcelain patio grouted with Flowpoint Fine
Advanced slurry grouts can create a sleek look with porcelain pavers

How to install slurry grouts

Slurry grouts come as a dry mixture in either bags or – for absolute ease – plastic buckets.

The dry cement-based mix is combined in a bucket with water. A mixing paddle is normally used to achieve a batter-like consistency.

Paving surfaces must be slightly damp before application. Apply the slurry using a rubber squeegee to force the mixture into the paving joints. Keep the area damp with a light misting of water during application.

Once the slurry has been applied and cured, clean the slurry off the paving surfaces using a squeegee and hosepipe.

Slurry grouts like Flowpoint and Fuga-Pave can be applied very quickly and effectively with a little knowledge on how to use them. Read an expert landscaper’s tips on how to install Flowpoint for more info, or get in touch to see whether we can arrange a training day for your team.

Epoxy-based resin grouts

Epoxy-based paving grout is a high-performance grout made by mixing epoxy resin and hardener. It is highly durable and resistant to moisture, chemicals and abrasion.

Typically a mixture of aggregate sand-based material with resin, the ingredients are combined to form a slurry mix.

Epoxy resin grouts are a popular choice with professional landscapers working on industrial and commercial paving projects. But they can also be used by DIYers grouting their patio for the first time.

As with slurry grouting, epoxy grouts are particularly suited to high-traffic residential paving installations such as driveways. EASYJoint PRO is an epoxy resin-based grout that offers the extra strength and durability for these types of projects.

Typically, epoxy grouts can last 10 years or more and will withstand regular jet washing.

Epoxy grout can be more expensive than other types of paving grout and sometimes require specialist equipment and expertise to install.

How to install epoxy grouts

When installing epoxy grouts, mix the aggregate, sand and resin together in a bucket. Pour the mixture on moist pavers, either using a brush or rubber squeegee to manipulate the formula into the joints.

Similar to slurry grouting, you must keep the paving moist when applying epoxy.

Installation is easiest with two people involved: one person to keep the pavers wet while the other installs the paving grout.

With expoxy resin, we also advise sealing the paving prior to jointing to avoid any stains developing on the surfaces.

Frequently asked questions

External paving grouts can be made from a dry sand mixture, cement-based slurry or from epoxy-based resin. Once pavers have been laid, grouts are installed to fill the gaps between each of the slabs. Good quality grouts will reduce surface movement (the number one cause of cracks) and limit weed growth.

Sand, slurry and epoxy grouts are all suitable for grouting outdoors. Which one you choose depends on your budget, skills, whether it is a high traffic area and your expectations for ongoing maintenance.

As with any pointing materials, external paving grout doesn’t last forever. Expect a lifespan of upward of eight years. When installed correctly, some quality grouts can last up to 40 years.

How long a grout lasts really depends on the type of grout you install, the quality of bedding layer and whether a primer was used.

Some grouts require a sealer for the required longevity.

Use either a cement-based slurry grout or two-part epoxy resin grout for outdoor areas. As more durable grouts they can be used for pointing driveways or on external surfaces that need to withstand heavy loads.

A simple brush-in grout can be used for patios and paths that don’t receive heavy footfall. However, be aware that a dry, sand-based grout may not be as durable as a cement-based or epoxy grout.

Cracks in patio grout are not always down to a problem with the grouting formula. In actual fact, the main reason for grout cracks is commonly due to installers failing to lay pavers on a full contact bed and not using a primer.

Otherwise, too much water or additive may have been added to the grout mix. Excess water can sometimes be applied during the installation process.

Either a cement-based slurry grout or epoxy grout will stop weeds growing between the paving joints.

Preventing weed growth is more difficult when you use a permeable brush-in grout.

Get in touch for tailored advice

If you want to find out more about external paving grouts and which type of joint filler is right for your project, get in touch with our family-run team on 0330 122 1025. Or send us a message in the comments box below.

At The Paving Experts we offer a whole host of great deals on mortars, grouts, adhesives, together with landscaping tools and equipment. Huge discounts are available on bulk orders. We deliver to your door across mainland UK, with next day delivery an option.

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