A Guide to Laying Paving Stones

Preparing Your Site

Your paving stones need a well-drained, level, firm base to help ensure stability and extend the lifetime of your patio. Therefore, it is essential that you properly prepare your site.

Begin by removing all vegetation and topsoil. Dig down 200 to 250 mm across the entire area where the paving stones will be installed. Mark your patio using retaining boards or pegs. When placing these, ensure that they are at the proper height and create a drop ratio of 1:80 to ensure that all water drains away from your home. Additionally, the paving surface of the first two courses should be at least 150 mm below the damp proof course level. After you have excavated the area, level the area with a rake and compact it using a plate compactor.

After this, you will need to set up an edge restraint system around the paving area. This edging system may include existing walls and concrete edging. If you are using concrete edgings, they should be embedded 100 mm in the concrete at the required height, using a 45-degree angle. This will ensure your pavers and the sand will not move once they are laid.

Drainage gratings, underground drainage and recessed manhole covers will need to be installed now if needed. You can refer to the product’s technical information to find out installation guidance.

Backfill the area with 150 mm of crusher run and compact it to 100 mm.

Then, install a 50 mm layer of slightly dampened sharp sand. Sharp sand drains better than building sand and does not wash away as easily as building sand. The sand should be compacted using a plate compactor. Then another 20 mm layer of sharp sand should be installed. Use string lines and a straight edge to level the sand before beginning to lay out your paving stones.

Laying Paving Stones

Begin at the bottom of your slope. The block should start at a right angle or along a straight edge. Work from several packs of paving stones at a time to help ensure even distribution of your colors. This is especially important when using mixed sized stones and mixed color stones.

Place your stones on top of the laying course and ensure they are 5 mm above the desired finished level of your patio. Once all the stones have been laid, use a mechanical block splitter to cut the stones for the retaining edges and infill spaces. You should avoid using pieces that are smaller than one-third of the size of the stone. Once you have completely laid the patio, you will ned to sweep the area and then compact it using a plate compactor. Run the plate compactor over the area two to three times.

Jointing the Paving Stones

When it comes to jointing your patio, it should be done during a dry period. To joint your patio, apply kiln dried sand to the paved area and brush into the joints using a soft brush, ensuring that each joint is fully filled.

Run a plate compactor over the area to help push the sand down into the joints. After you do this, inspect the area and check for gaps in the joints. If there are any gaps, fill the gaps with more kiln dried sand and compact again. During the next few months, you may need to add and compact more sand into the joints.