How to install paving slabs
A form used for a soft landscape such as clay, grass etc:
- When the area has been levelled and unnecessary topsoil has been removed and the site compacted you can take the operation forward.
- It is highly recommended that you usebidim cloth or black plasic sheet under the 20mm-30mm sand base to prevent the growth of vegetation, moles etc.
- The bidim cloth is preferred over plastic as plastic breaks down over time and the cloth allows for water to drain through it in case of rain and pool water.
- An estimated layer of 20mm-30mm of builder’s sand on top of the compacted area is well advised. This is for added stability to the base.
- Mark the area with white marking paint, string lines or a garden hose(if long enough) to clearly see the working area.
- You should then use a spirit level from the top to even out the area after pressing down the pavers into the sand base. Or you would be looking at a very much unlevelled area which is not advisable due to water compiling up.
- If a stone chip is being used you should have a size of 20mm-40mm and ground covers should get 30mm-50mm, that is the advised amount but you may use another format of size based on your knowledge or liking at own risk.
This form is suitable for light to medium traffic – patios, courtyards, pool areas and pathways:
- Firstly your base needs to be cleared of all vegetation, roots etc. The ground then needs to be cleared 100mm at least and compacted below finish floor levels. After compaction, a layer of sub-base which consists of stone, cement and gravel will be compacted to stabilize the ground.
- You will then lay a layer of DPC plastic to prevent weeds from growing, on top the plastic you will then lay the final layer of white sand mixed 10:1 with cement meaning – 10 wheelbarrows of sand to one wheelbarrow of cement.
- At this stage, you can hand compact this sand/cement mixture and start levelling out the surface to be paved using a wooden or aluminium straight edge and a spirit level.
- Beginning in a corner, outline the area to be paved with string lines and pegs, adjusting the height according to the thickness of the pavers.
- It is extremely important to brush the underside of the pavers with either a steel brush or hard broom with water to remove all the loose dust.
- If the pavers require cutting, use an angle grinder with safety equipment including cutting glasses. (a diamond blade is very much suggested)
- You can now lay the pavers to your design. Use a mixture of sand/water and pour it under the under slabs individually to create a bond with the base. Using a rubber mallet tap cautiously down into the base to ensure enough adhesion.
- You should sprinkle the area lightly with water to set it off, once the laying of the paving is completed. Wait 1-2 hours to settle and become solid before grouting.
- The grout gap between pavers should be 5mm-20mm approximately and grout using a semi-dry mixture of sand and cement.
- It is advised to clean off slabs whilst grouting with clean water and a sponge or any specific cleaning tool – changing water and sponges to ensure dirt does not get recycled on the slabs.
- Once the job has been done wet the area regularly for 2-3 days after, especially in times of hot weather as it will help the area cure at a standard rate and keep joints from drying fast. No major traffic should be allowed for 2-3 days allowing the paving to cure and settle firmly.
- DO NOT throw cement on top of all the pavers, as the cement will react with the pavers and stain the color. Rather grout using pointing method as video below.