How to Cover Old Paving Slabs (Easy Guide)

Do you have an old, worn-out patio that's seen better days? Are you tired of looking at those unsightly slabs every time you step outside? If so, you're not alone! Fortunately, there are plenty of creative ways to cover up those old patio slabs and breathe new life into your outdoor space without the expense of uplifting and replacing your entire patio. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Outdoor Rugs:

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to cover old patio slabs is by using outdoor rugs. These come in a variety of sizes, styles, and colours, and can be easily placed on top of your existing patio surface. Not only will they cover up unsightly stains and cracks, but they'll also add a cosy and inviting feel to your outdoor space. Ensure you use rugs that are specifically designed for outdoor use so they can handle the odd rain shower. 

2. Stone Veneer:

For a more upscale look, consider covering your old concrete with Flexstone stone veneer. This is essentially a thin layer of natural or faux stone that's applied directly to your existing surface. It's a bit more expensive than some of the other options on this list, but the end result can be truly breathtaking. This option requires a completely flat surface to begin with such as a flat concrete base rather than covering over paving slabs. 

3. Potted Plants:

If you're looking for a budget-friendly way to cover up your old patio slabs, consider using potted plants. Strategically placed pots and planters can help to draw the eye away from unsightly stains and cracks, while adding a pop of colour and life to your outdoor space. Consider using pots and plants that make a great focal point and draw your eye away from the unsightly patio. 

4. Artificial Grass:

If you're looking to create a more natural, organic feel in your outdoor space, consider covering up old patio slabs with artificial grass. This can be a great option if you have a small patio or if you're looking to create a low-maintenance outdoor space. Plus, it's soft and comfortable underfoot, making it a great option for kids and pets. When laying artificial grass over an existing patio, it's a good idea to use sharp sand in the gaps between the slabs to prevent the lines from gradually appearing through the surface of the grass. If you don't want to go the the expense of covering your entire patio, you could consider just creating an fake grass rug!

5. Stone Mosaic:

For a truly unique and artistic look, consider covering your old patio slabs with a stone mosaic. This involves arranging small stones, pebbles and cobbles or tiles in a pattern or design on top of your existing patio surface. It can be a bit time-consuming and labour-intensive, but the end result is a one-of-a-kind outdoor space that's sure to impress.

6. Raised Garden Beds:

Raised garden beds are a great way to grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They are also a great way to add some colour and life to your back garden. If you have the space, you can even create a multi-tiered raised garden bed. This will allow you to grow a variety of different plants in one place. Make a raised bed from scratch use landscaping sleepers or buy a ready made one for a quick and easy option. 

7. Decking:

A deck is a great way to extend your living space outdoors. It is also a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. If you have the space, you can even build a multi-level deck. This will allow you to create different zones for different activities, such as a dining area, a living room, and a play area. Start by creating a support frame or bearers on top of the paving and then affix the composite decking boards running in the opposite direction to the run of bearers. Hey presto! A decked patio. 

8. Resin Bonding:

Installing a resin bonded patio on top of existing concrete can be a great way to give your outdoor space a fresh and updated look. The process involves mixing the decorative aggregate into the resin and then trowelling it over the concrete base to give an attractive and functional outdoor space. It's important to ensure that the existing concrete surface is in good condition before beginning the installation process, and to allow enough time for the resin to dry completely before using the patio. 

9. Decorative Stone with Stepping Stones:

Covering an old paved patio with decorative aggregate and stepping stones can be a cost-effective and visually appealing way to give your outdoor space a new look. Firstly, set the stepping stones on a full mortar bed on top of the existing patio or concrete base. Then you will need to fill the remaining area with decorative aggregate or gravel. Be sure to add an edge to the front of the patio area to prevent stones spilling over onto the lawn - this can be as simple as a cheap timber gravel board used around the perimeter and set down into the earth. If you're planning to add furniture to your patio, you will need to use stepping stones where the legs are to be positioned to prevent them from lodging down into the gravel. This simple solution will give your patio a completely new look. 

10. Paving:

Laying new paving slabs on top of old paving slabs is possible, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind to ensure a successful project. Here are the steps to follow:

      1. Assess the Condition of the Old Paving Slabs: Before laying new paving slabs on top of old ones, it's important to assess the condition of the existing slabs. If they're cracked, uneven, or loose, they may need to be replaced or repaired before the new slabs can be laid. If the existing slabs are in good condition, you can proceed with the project.

      2. Clean the Old Paving Slabs: Next, you'll need to thoroughly clean the old paving slabs. This can be done using a pressure washer or a stiff-bristled brush and a mixture of water and mild detergent. Be sure to remove any dirt, grime, or debris from the surface of the old slabs, as this can affect the adhesion of the new slabs.

      3. Lay the New Paving Slabs: With the surface level and prepared, you can now lay the new paving slabs on top of the old ones. Use a full mortar bed on top of the old slabs to ensure an even bed on which to lay the new paving. Start at one corner and work your way across the surface, making sure to leave a small gap between each slab for expansion and contraction. Use a rubber mallet to tap each slab into place and ensure that it's level with the surrounding slabs.

      4. Fill in the Gaps: Once all of the new paving slabs are in place, you can fill in the gaps between them with a mixture of sand and cement. Use a pointing trowel to apply the mixture, making sure to fill in all of the gaps and smooth the surface as you go. Another option is to use a quick and easy paving jointing compound.

      5. Seal the Surface: Finally, to protect the surface of your new paving slabs, you may want to apply a sealer. This can help to prevent staining and protect the surface from the elements. Be sure to choose a paving sealer that's suitable for the type of paving slabs you've used, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for application.


While it's possible to lay new paving on top of old patio slabs, it's important to follow these steps carefully to ensure a successful project. With the right preparation and a little bit of patience, you can transform your old, worn-out patio into a beautiful outdoor space that you can be proud of.

So there you have it. There are plenty of creative ways to cover up old patio slabs and breathe new life into your outdoor space. Whether you opt for outdoor rugs, composite decking, stone veneer, potted plants, artificial grass, modular decking, paving slabs or a stone mosaic, the key is to choose a solution that suits your needs, budget, and personal style. So get creative, get inspired, and transform your old, worn-out patio into a beautiful outdoor oasis that you'll love spending time in!