Step-by-step guide to laying paving /cobble stone

A 10 Step Guide to Installing Pavers or Cobble stone

A 10 Step Guide to Installing Pavers or Cobble stone, whether you have planned to pave your driveway, road or walkway the process remains at core the same. If you have decided to do this as DIY project or decide to make use of the professionals, this list should give you a good over view of the process involved.
  1. Plan where your pavers will be installed and ensure there is enough space for them. It would be a wise choice to make use graph paper or software to draw the planned installation of paving. Mark or outline the area where you intend to install the pavers, use spray paint to mark approximately 200m outside the planned area of paving. Remember that the area needs slightly slanted or slopped for the pure purpose of water drainage preventing flooding or pooling, this will help to prevent any unintended damage in the long term.
Planning Paved Area
  1. Calculation of pavers needed. This can be done by measuring both width and the length of the area where you intend paving. Calculate the m2 by multiplying the width by the length. The result gives you the square meterage of the area to be paved. To play it safe one should always add on an additional 5-10 % extra to taking into account odd spaces and curves that require cut pieces of paving.
  1. Excavation. Determine the max height that the pavers should reach keeping in mind that the slab should slop away from your house downwards allowing water drainage. Every 1.2 meters, you should slope down approximately 25mm. Position stakes around the area and use sting or something similar as a guide for the downward slope. Calculate the total depth of excavation needed. Do this by adding together the mm required for the base (100mm to 150mm) the sand bedding (2mm) and the paver’s thickness. This gives you the total depth needed to excavate. Dig out to the indicated depth, level and compact the ground with a compacting machine. Once excavation is completed it is recommended to establish a temporary boarder for rectangular areas with 2 x materials set at the correct height and slope.
  1. Base Material Once the excavation is complete, the next step is the laying of the base material. The base material usually consists of crushed rock, such as 3/4 minus gravel. The crushed rock has varying sized stones with sharp edges. The sharp edges and size variance makes for easy compaction. Using crushed gravel that has a little moisture in it, makes compacting much easier. The base material should be laid to a thickness suitable for the planned use which depends on the sub-base material and the weight to be placed upon the paved area. If your sub-base is soft clay, then a thicker layer will be required. If the pavers are to be driven on, a thicker layer will be needed than that for a patio. Check with your suppler for recommendations. Spread the crushed gravel over the area in an even layer. It is suggested that you divide it into three smaller layers, and compact in between each layer, for best results. Once it’s spread evenly, use a plate compactor to go over the area several times. Make sure the compacted gravel is level, sloped and to grade with your established height.

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  1. Edge Restraints Edging is essential in the maintenance of your paved area. If edge restraints are not installed, your pavers will move and separate. Harsh weather and high traffic usage, along with no edge restraints, will ruin your paved surface. Edge restraints can be made of plastic, pre-cast concrete, metal or wood.
  1. Sand Bedding Before laying the pavers, a layer of bedding sand is placed over the compacted base material. This layer provides a bed into which the pavers are set. The sand bedding also helps to protect the sand joints from being eroded away. Lay down one 25mm diameter PVC pipe across the bass material. Next spread a layer of sand between one and one and a 12.5mm thick. Now, use a 2 x 4 to screed across the sand so the PVC piping is visible. Carefully remove the PVC pipe. This process ensures a uniform layer of sand one inch thick. Your material supplier can provide advice on the appropriate type of sand that should be used for bedding purposes
  1. Laying Pavers Lay the pavers in the pattern and design of that you have planned for. Lay them close together. Some pavers have space bumps incorporated into the paver design. If pavers need to be cut to size, use a diamond saw, masonry chisel or mechanical splitter and safety glasses. After all the pavers are laid, use a mechanical plate compactor to help set the pavers into the sand bedding.
  1. Sand Joints This step involves sweeping sand over the surface which fills up the joints locks the pavers into place. It is important to use finegrained sand rather than a coarse one. Sifted and bagged play sand works well as does that labeled as “paver sand”. The reason for this is that fine sand will compact much better and fill up joints quicker. The sand and paver area must be dry to complete this step.

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  1. Sealing First, clean and sweep the newly paved area, in order to remove all materials and debris. Seal the area with a sand binding sealant, this will ensure that the joint sand will not disappear. This will also prevent the growth of vegetation between the joints. Sealing your pavers helps prevent stains from oil, grease, grime, rust, moss, algae, tire markings and day-to-day spills. The sealant allows you to clean off such stains with greater ease.

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  1. Maintenance Maintenance is usually not an issue when it comes to pavers, if they have been laid properly. The overall function and use of your paved surfaces should be stable. Re-sealing your pavers may be necessary on a regular basis to maintain color and appearance. It also helps protect the pavers against stains, algae and loss of joint sand. Regular cleaning and sweeping of the pavers is recommended. This is particularly needed if your pavers are in shaded or damp areas, where they are prone to efflorescence (chalky salt deposits) and moss build-up. Power washing is generally not recommended because it will dislodge the joint sand. If power- washed, Steps # 8 and #9 should be repeated. There are many cleaning products available on the market which can be used for various types of situations.

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