If you are one of those people that like to get things done yourself and would like to run your own home paving project this DIY paving guide is for you.
Starting something new might be intimidating but following this guide to walk you through the fundamentals of paving will allow you to complete your own paving project and be proud of it!
What tools are needed to do paving?
If you are into gardening you most probably have most of the tools you need to get started. For the tools, you don’t have head over to your local tool hiring company and get what you need from them.
For a side note, it might be worth your while to phone around and just get pricing on the equipment & tools you need from more than one tool hire company.
Your checklist of tools needed for your paving project includes:
- Pickaxe (if you need to dig out rocks and hard soil)
- Rubber hammer
- Sweeping Broom
- Spirit level
- Sweeping Broom
- Builder’s line (Fishing gut)
- Metal or wooden stakes
- Angle grinder with a diamond disc for cutting pavers
- Safety Glasses, Dust mask & Earplugs
- Compactor (hire for the day)
Materials and Supplies needed for paving
The four main things you will need is the paving bricks, river sand, plaster sand, and cement. Paving bricks can be sourced from your local builder’s yard or direct from a manufacturer (such as EcoPaving) In most instances the manufacturer will give you the best price on the paving bricks and include delivery.
River sand is used as the bed the paving bricks are laid on and a mixture of river sand and cement is brushed into the openings between paving bricks to secure them in place.
The sand and cement can be sourced from your local builder’s yard. Give the salesperson your measurements and they will be able to assist you with the quantities needed. If you are struggling with quantities you are also welcome to give EcoPaving a call and one of our consultants will help you out.
How many pavers make a square meter?
Paving bricks come in all shape and sizes and the amount of paving bricks to make up a square meter will depend on the paver you have chosen. If you are using beveled pavers or interlocking pavers measuring 50 x 100 x 200 you will get 50 bricks per square meter.
Bevel & Interlocking Pavers
|Application||Driveways Paving, General Paving & Gardens|
|Size||50 x 100 x 200|
|Pallet Qty||500 Bricks Per Pallet|
|Qty per sqm||50 Bricks per Square Metre|
To workout, the correct amount of pavers you need, you first have to choose your paving combination. Make use of the friendly EcoPaving consultants and let them show you what works best and how much you need to complete your paving job give us a call today.
How to prepare the ground for paving
The first step is to prepare and level the area you want to pave. Ground preparation is very important and will prevent problems like the pooling of water, loose bricks, and sagging paving.
The top layer of the soil needs to be removed so you can get rid of any grass, weeds, roots and big rocks. You must also keep in mind to slope the paving level away from the main structure and always make sure you have adequate drainage to handle heavy water flow.
Once the level is in place the soil needs to be compacted. For small areas, a hand compactor can be used but for a smoother more even finish it is advisable to get a plate compactor to create a solid base for the paving stone to sit on.
How much slope should a paver patio have?
The minimum slope for water to run off is 1% but the minimum slope for new paving that I would recommend is 2%. This will keep the water away from your house and out of your pool. This will also allow water to drain and not run off to fast to cause damage to the rest of your garden.
Do I you need to install drainage for paved areas?
When paving between walls and passages you need to think where the water is going to run off to. If a problem area presents its self it is better to spend the extra money and install a few drainage points.
It might be more effort and cost a bit more but the cost of water damage to your property and installing drainage before paving cant be compared.
Preparing the base for laying your paving.
After the soil had been leveled and compacted a layer river sand of about 20cm thick is applied. The river sand can then easily be sculpted to join other levels or to fit in under doors and gates.
To get the desired level and slope of the paving bed use a straightedge to level out the river sand.
You do not need to mix in any cement. If the paving bed was prepared correctly and compacted the paving stones will sit firmly on the river sand. This is also helpful should the need arise to lift up the paving stones in the future!
What pattern to use when laying your paving?
Depending on the use of the paving there are a few patterns to choose from, but the patterns are not “use specific” and in most instances, the desired look for the paving always wins.
The 4 most commonly used paving patterns are the Basketweave paving pattern, Herringbone paving pattern, Running paving pattern and the Circular paving pattern.
The Basketweave paving pattern is one of the most popular paving patterns because it is easy to install but attracts attention. Pavers can either be laid level or on an angle, side by side two pavers at a time.
The Herringbone paving pattern is also a favorite and fits into any irregular space. It can be laid at a 90 or 45-degree angle. It’s also a strong interlocking paving stile & works great in driveways and patio areas.
The Stretcher Bond paving pattern or Running paving pattern is a popular choice for patios and walkways that carry a lot of foot traffic. It can also be used to gives a formal and professional effect.
Circular paving patterns are great for creating focus points or starting points that can be combined with the Basketweave or Herringbone paving pattern. Cobblestones or Circular pavers can be used.
For more information on different patterns please have a look at the article “Top 10 Popular Paving Patterns and Designs”
How to lay paving
After you have chosen your paving pattern it is time to get on your hands and knees and start laying that paving. I will be using the herringbone pattern as an example. The herringbone pattern is very popular and stable.
To get started, find the line you want to use. Your lines could be following the edge of a wall or match up with other paving or tiling.
Start from one of the corners and work your way down by laying out the paving pattern. To keep the paving straight place some builders line along the intended path.
Lay the pavers next to each other as tight as possible. Each paver can be gently tapped with a rubber hammer to make sure it is bedded into the river sand base. As pavers are added make sure they are flush with the previous pavers and firmly bedded.
Following the paving pattern, continue to add more pavers to cover the whole area. When you get to the outside edges leave open the gaps. Once you are done you can come back with the grinder and cut the needed paving pieces to fill in the gaps. If you do not want to fill the gaps you could also do a border around your paving, area. Remember your Safety Glasses, Dust mask & Earplugs when working with the grinder.
It is important to remember that if the boundary of the paving is not against a wall, the edge of the paving must be laid on a bed of cement to ensure the paving does not move. Once all this is done it is time to do the grouting.
Grouting – What kind of sand to use between pavers?
You need a very fine sand to get in between the bricks and fill up the gaps. To ensure that the paving bricks are locked in place a mixture of plaster sand and cement is used. The mixture consists of 1 part cement to 3 parts sand.
The mixture is applied in a dry state and using a broom you will need to sweep over the surface a few times to ensure all the gaps are filled in. Once this is done the surface can be lightly sprayed with water and gaps that open up can be filled in with leftover grouting.
Inspect the paving surface and if you have a few high spots or uneven paving, use the plate compactor to smooth out the whole surface again. Be careful not to compact paving edges that have wet cement holding it in place. Once everything is level remove any leftover grouting and lightly clean the paving. Remember to wear your dust mask when grouting!
How long before I can walk on new paving?
If the steps were followed and the preparation, compacting and laying was done correctly your paving area should be usable in a few hours. For the best results, it is advisable to let the cement and grout mixture cure for at least 24 hours before walking and utilizing the new paving area.
For small jobs, this paving guide should be more than enough to ensure a happy result but for larger projects and driveway paving it is best to consult with one of our paving experts and make use of a seasoned paving contractor.