Paving stones are a trendy and versatile material for lining the ground. Its properties make it easy to install, durable and affordable. However, is the laying of paving stones complicated? Our guide explains step by step the steps in this process. We will describe different patterns of paving stones and present similar purchase prices and arrangements per square meter. We will also offer professional paving tools that will significantly facilitate the process of laying paving stones.
Paving cubes – TYPES, SHAPES AND PRICE
Due to the production specification, paving stones can be divided into industrial and noble. The first type is by far the most popular. It usually takes the shape of a rectangle or hourglass. Noble cobblestones are more expensive and chosen by people who value considerable aesthetic values. These include a cube with a rinsed, aged, brushed and split surface.
It is also worth mentioning the shapes of paving stones. The most common is the one in the form of a rectangle and hourglass. Ecological cobblestones are also common, which enables rainwater to be drained directly into the ground. This is possible thanks to individual joints, filled with grit or overgrown with grass. The next topic is the price of paving stones. There is no clear answer here; it all depends mainly on its type and manufacturer. In the case of standard cobblestones, you should prepare for an expense of 25 - 35 zł/m². Providing much better aesthetic values, coloured paving stones - it already costs up to 80 zł/m². The assembly costs, however, vary depending on the company and the size of the paving stone (the smaller, the higher the price of its location). In the case of concrete cubes, professionals can count 30 - 45 zł/m², clinker pavement around 55 zł/m², and granite cubes up to 80 zł/m².
HOW TO START LAYING A Paving Stone?
Before proceeding to the appropriate preparation of the ground, pay attention to whether the paving stones are not damaged. If we notice a severe defect that can affect the arrangement of the cube or its aesthetic value in any way, immediately contact the seller. With the installation of the paving stone, its complaint related to mechanical damage ceases to apply.
The ground for paving stones should be prepared as carefully as possible to avoid later falling or collapsing. The thickness of the cobblestones is also essential, which must be suitable for the future conditions of its use. A 4 cm thick cube should work in lightly loaded places and is ideal for pedestrian routes. Unfortunately, it will not work for the construction of driveways. In this case, a much better solution would be to buy a material 6 cm thick, which should quickly meet the typical load (pedestrian traffic and passenger cars). If the conditions of use of the surface will be much more demanding, reach for cobblestones 8 or 10 cm thick.
Paver handling grab Probst PAVERBOY PB I
SUBSTRATE PREPARATION FOR A Paving stone
Before you start laying the cube, you need to make a cavity, the depth of which will depend on the expected intensity of movement on the surface. For a garden path, 20 cm should be enough. However, if the projected change is much more significant, the depth should be at least 50 cm. The ground for paving stones consists of a foundation and ballast. In particular, attention should be paid to the quality of the foundation, as it performs two crucial functions - filtration and load-bearing. What material will be the best for the foundation? We recommend using aggregate with 30-60 mm fraction, e.g. gravel or crushed stone. The thickness of a typical foundation usually ranges between 25-45 cm. On top, lay a layer of the sand bed, on which the paving stones are laid. Its thickness is generally from 3 to 5 cm. Ballast should be levelled with a wooden batten, but very importantly, it must not be compacted. Most often, to level the weight, handy scraper strips are used.
It is imperative to shape and compact the bottom of the excavation properly. This is due to the need for natural drainage. It's best to keep a 3-4% drop. If this is not possible, then it is worth considering installing a linear drainage surface.
LAYING AND WELDING OF Paving stones
If we already have a firm foundation and loose, even ballast, then paving stones can be laid. This should not be a problem, although accuracy should be maintained. It is worth stacking the cube alternately, using different palettes. In this way, a more casual tone is obtained, which gives the whole aesthetic appearance. It is imperative not to move around the ballast when laying paving stones. However, you can easily walk on the already laid surface. For cutting paving stones, it is worth using a grinder with a diamond disc for concrete or a special guillotine. Finally, compact the entire surface to even out any unevenness. For this purpose, it is best to use plate compactors with unique elastomer overlays. Subsequently, the cube can be appropriately impregnated.
Grouting paving stones are also significant. Filling the gaps protects the cubes against movement and creates a compact surface. Laying paving stones together is a common mistake. To avoid later problems, remember to keep a gap of at least 3 mm wide. The oldest and most popular method of pointing is the use of sand. Optionally, basalt or ground granite can be used. Another way is to use grout based on resins, which are frost-resistant and flexible. The joints can also be supplemented with cement-based preparations. This makes the entire surface virtually impermeable to water. This choice will be ideal for pavements laid on concrete screed or high ceilings.
THE MOST COMMON ERRORS WHEN LAYING A Paving Stone
Proper preparation of the foundation and ballast seems to be the most challenging stage during which many mistakes can be made. This is true, although the accuracy of execution should be maintained until the very end. What mistakes when laying paving stones are the most common?
Probably the most common mistake is placing the cube too close together. According to paving art, joints between hubs should be 3 mm, and for more massive slabs 3 to 5 mm. Failure to do so may result in damage to the ankle edges, pushing out smaller items, or unevenness. Another mistake also at the final stage is the compaction of the finished surface using a plate compactor but without additional protection. This will almost certainly lead to visible scratches and jags caused by the compactor. The most problematic are errors already at the foundation stage, resulting from insufficient compaction of the substrate or incorrect drainage. They cause rutting and plaque collapse over time. Unfortunately, the only way to regenerate such a surface will be to break the paving stones and re-prepare the foundation.
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT FOR Paving cobblestones
Professional paving tools can significantly affect the quality and performance of paving stone laying. The more that their cost is often not too high. Paving hammers belong to the essential and necessary tools. They allow precise driving of paving stones, curbs or pavement slabs, without the risk of damage. The prices of opening hammers start from a few dozen zlotys - even for more reputable manufacturers.
Paving grabs will be another must for more advanced paving work. Most of these types of solutions on the market allow you to change the width of the handle easily, so you can quickly adapt the tool to the specific type of work. Specialist vacuum grippers are also available in our offer, which is perfect for laying stones or tiles of larger dimensions. We also have specialized ballast levelling equipment, i.e. professional scraper strips. Our store offers small and handy scrapers for amateur and semi-professional applications as well as heavy tools for industrial use. Paving stones transport, on the other hand, can be improved by paving carts. They allow quick loading of cubes from the pallet and unloading them close to the place of stacking.