How to lay block paving
Our useful how to lay block paving laying guides will give you all the information you need to install our range of block paving products, if you choose to do-it-yourself.
Ensure you read our advice before beginning work on your new design project - this will mean you are fully prepared and have everything to hand, ready to complete your perfect garden...
Step by step guide
Step 1: Design
You will need to draw up a design that suits your own requirements.
Are you replacing or extending your existing driveway?
Are you completely landscaping the front of your house to make it low maintenance? Once these decisions have been made, you can decide on the type of block you wish to use and the colour.
Colour choice is important as you may decide to blend with the colour of the property or indeed choose a contrasting colour.
Step 2: Excavation
Depending on the size of the job, you may want to use a mini excavator to excavate the existing driveway, as this will save you time and a lot of backbreaking work. Mark out the area that needs to be excavated.
Dig out the area to the desired level, (which depends on your existing surfaces) while making sure that your proposed finished level is 150mm below the damp proof course in the brick of any adjoining buildings.
If the excavated area appears to be flat, it will be necessary to create a slight slope to aid the dispersion of standing water. This should be constructed with 1:40 fall across the width of the drive, and a 1:80 fall along the length.
Step 3: Edge restraints
Kerbs must be laid and fully haunched on a concrete bed in order to provide adequate edge restraint to the block paving
Using a concrete mixer, mix 1 part cement and 6 parts ballast to create the concrete foundation, which should be 100mm thick in depth. The kerb unit or edge restraint will sit on top of this at the required level. This should be done using a string line and spirit level. Mortar the kerb units or edge restraints to the foundation using a trowel and rubber mallet. Once the kerbs are in position, haunch the back of the units so that the concrete reaches half way up the rear of the kerb.
Step 4: Subbase
Lay the MOT Type 1 Roadstone or Type 1 crushed concrete inside of the edge restraints and rake to the desired level in layers of 50mm.
Level and compact using a vibrating plate to a finished depth of at least 150mm thick after compaction. The vibrating plate should be passed over the area until thoroughly compacted.
Step 5: Laying Course
A layer of sharp sand needs to be applied at a depth of 30-40mm (after compaction). This can be screeded to the correct levels using string lines, screeding rails and a straight edge.
Step 6: Paving installation
Always begin laying block paving from the bottom of a slope, preferably starting from a right angle or a straight edge. Place the blocks on top of the laying course ensuring blocks are around 5mm above the desired finished level. The 5mm will disappear to become flush once the final compaction has taken place.
Continue with your desired pattern while making sure that you are using blocks from between 3-5 packs at once to minimise any colour banding. When the full blocks are laid, you will need to cut an amount of blocks to fill the smaller gaps. This can be done by using either a block splitter or a disc cutter with a suitable blade. You should avoid making a cut block less than a third of its original size.
STEP 7: Finishing touches
Once all of the blocks have been laid, sweep the drive thoroughly to make sure that there is no debris left on the blocks. Then apply kiln dried sand and sweep across the whole of the drive, making sure that this sand falls down between the joints of the blocks. After doing this, the drive needs compacting with the vibrating plate. We recommend a neoprene faced or rubber sole plate on vibrating plate compactors to reduce scuffing. You will then need to sweep more kiln dried sand over the drive and compact again. Keep doing this until all of the joints are full of sand.
We hope this guide helps you on your journey to completing that perfect patio in your garden! It can be daunting but there's nothing more rewarding than that first cup of coffee on your new patio. If you do not feel this is for you, then find your local Bradstone Assured Installer.
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