Filling in the jointing between your paving can be labour intensive if you are using traditional mortar. Thankfully technological advances have brought us some great paving joint products which make this a thing of the past.
As professional landscapers we lay paving on a weekly basis. We can honestly say that using resin paving joint compounds has improved the quality of our paving finish AND made it quicker. Resin jointing compounds are great but they do have some downsides which we discuss below.
Over the last few years we have tried out various resin joining compounds Below are our top recommendations, starting with the best.
Most paving joint compounds are formulated for use on paving with wider 5 – 15mm gaps such as sandstone and limestone paving.
Best resin paving joint compounds
Number 1: Nexus pro-joint fusion
Our rating 10/10
Why we like it
All round this is a great product which is easy to install, sets rock hard and comes in some nice colours. It works on all types of paving and doesn’t seem to leave a residue.
Nexus pro-joint has great reviews on Amazon and in our opinion Its head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to east and quality. We have found that 1 tub of jointing compound can cover around 12 square meters of sandstone paving with 10mm gaps.
Number 2: Sika FastFix
Our rating: 8/10
Overall Sika FastFix is a good product and is a top seller on Amazon. If used in the right conditions it works well however it does over promise. Applying Sika FastFix in wet weather is not a good idea and tends to leave a mess.
You are also limited to one colour which works well with browns but not so well with darker coloured paving. Its slightly cheaper than the Nexus Pro-jointing compound but doesn’t perform quite as well.
Number 3: Easy Joint
Our rating 7/10
Easy joint comes in 12.5kg tubs which can be great if you are working with a small area and don’t want have much wastage. Over all people have good experiences with Easy Joint. It also comes in a wide variety of colours such as jet black which other brands don’t offer.
Number 4: Everbuild Geo Fix
Our rating: 5/10
Similar to the Sika FastFix jointing compound but more expensive. Again it claims to be usable in wet weather but some Amazon customers have been left disappointed.
Tools for installing paving joint compound
Wide stiff brush for pushing jointing compound around
You will want to get as much jointing compound into the gaps as possible. Sweeping it over and into each gap multiple times which compact it and make sure there are not air gaps left. Use a wide stiff brush for best effect.
Jointer for Masonry
When the compound has been brushed in you will need to compact it in the gaps to make sure it won’t crack or fall through these little jointing tools are made for perfecting the mortar in brickwork but work just as well for paving.
Heavy Duty Wire Brush
Although the jointing compound will mostly brush into the gaps there are always bits left over on the surface which can dry and get stuck. Use a long wire brush to easily remove any left over bits. Be careful if you have slate paving but everything else will stand up to wire brushing no problem.
Types of paving joint compound
Paving joint compound comes in 2 main types, premixed and not mixed. We have worked with both and both have pros and cons.
Premixed joining compounds come in 10 – 15kg buckets which are air tight. They have the right mixture of resin and sand. All you need to do is open the packet and follow the installation guidelines below.
Premixed is almost always recommended for smaller jobs because it is so easy to install. Its one downside is the price. It is very expensive.
Resin jointing compounds are generally made from epoxy resin with fine sand. Here you purchase the 2 part epoxy resin and mix it yourself. Generally it is easy to mix but this method is very messy and epoxy resin doesn’t budge once it’s set on anything.
As you would expect, this method is cheaper but it’s much more difficult to get right.
Things to watch out for when using paving joint compounds
Resin jointing compounds are fantastic and a welcome innovation to bring us away from the laborious and inconsistent mortar pouting which has been used for centuries. However there are a few downsides to using paving joint compounds instead of mortar.
Discoloration of lighter colours
Resin jointing compounds come in various colours. Up until around a year ago we offered these to our customers. Now we only offer 2 colours, buff and grey. Here’s why.
The first few times we used white or very light jointing compounds they looked great. It was an effect you couldn’t get with any other outdoor product that we knew of. Our customers were over the moon with their unique paving.
Then after a year or so the complaints started to come in. The light colours had turned green. Oh dear. We had a few apologies to make and some strong words for the company who sold us this product. I won’t name and shame them but it’s safe to say we stopped using them after this.
Moral of the story, if you are going to use paving joint compounds steer clear of the lighter colours.
Leaving a film on the paving
Paving jointing compounds are sand stuck together with epoxy resin. An amazing product but one which is not compatible with all paving materials.
Paving joint compounds are bruised across the surface of the paving, the sand falls into the gaps and then the surfaces are brushed off.
This process leaves a residue on the surface of the paving.
Epoxy residue mostly goes unnoticed on porous and lighter paving slabs. We have used resin jointing compounds hundreds of times on sandstone paving, limestone paving and light porcelain paving which all handle the resin with no issues. However it’s a different story with some types of paving.
When we used it on dark Brazilian slate it was another story.
Because the slate is non porous the rein sat on the surface and created a film. On white or light paving this would be invisible and would cause no issues. On slate, it’s a different story. The paving looked terrible and there was nothing we could do about it as I explain in the next section.
Be very careful when applying paving joint compound to dark coloured or non porous paving slabs. If you are not sure, apply it to a small area or an off cut and see what happens before applying it to the whole patio.
Part of the reason resin jointing compounds are so good is that they are very durable. But this can be a downside. As i mentioned in the example above, sometimes it goes wrong and when it goes wrong it can be hard or impossible to fix.
Epoxy resin can be removed with powerful cleaning solutions and with heat.
The trouble with both of these methods is that they are very likely to cause damage to the paving. This can leave it looking worse that it did with streaky epoxy stains.
If you do make a mistake with jointing compounds be very careful when reifying it as the cure could be worse than the disease.
The final pointer we have for applying paving joint compounds is to allow ample setting time. Some compounds advise between 24 and 48 hours for it to set. This can be OK but in our experience it can take up for a week for a jointing compound to properly set.
You don’t want to be the one to discover that it’s not set and you have just blasted away your hard work. This is especially true in winter when setting times for paving and jointing compounds are increased.
Paving joint compounds such as those in this article can be used on most paving from sandstone to porcelain but they do have a limitation when it comes to gap sizes.
For paving joint compounds to work you will need a minimum 5mm gap between your paving slabs. 10 – 20mm depth is also ideal.
On the majority of paving such as sandstone this will be no issue as gaps tend to be around 10mm however on porcelain paving smaller gaps can be common. Some jointing compounds claim to be stable in a gap as small as 3mm however we found it very difficult to properly apply the compounds in joints this small.
Can Jointing compound be used with porcelain paving?
For the most part yes you can use jointing compounds with porcelain paving. As mentioned above you will need to have a 5mm or more gap between the paving slabs but we have found it to work very well.
There are specific outdoor grouts for porcelain paving which we started out using before switching to standard jointing compounds.
The porcelain grout creates a slightly smoother finish but is fraught with issues both during and after installation.
Installation takes much longer and removing the residue left by the porcelain ground is time consuming and frustrating. We also found that the porcelain grout starts to wear and wash out after around 1 year which is less than ideal.
Can jointing compound be used on block paving?
Plenty of people in the UK have issues with weeds in block paving. An obvious solution to this could be using a paving joint compound instead of fine sand. However we would not recommend it for the following reason.
Epoxy resin joint compound is brittle and block paving moves.
Resin paving joint compound sets rock hard after around 7 days. This means it’s strong but it’s also brittle. Block paving is laid on a sand base which means it has some room to move about.
This is a good thing because it can easily take very heavy weights and uneven pressures but it also means that anything connecting 2 or more blocks together needs to be flexible enough to bend with the movement.
Normal paving slabs by contrast are usually laid on a concrete base which has no give in it whatsoever. The concrete base will hold the slabs exactly in the place which means a brittle jointing compound won’t face any stress from the slabs moving.