If you are looking for a beautiful and timeless way to upgrade the outdoor spaces of your home, natural stone paving is the perfect solution. With a wide variety of colours, textures, and styles available, natural stone paving is an excellent option for any outdoor space.
Not only is it visually stunning, but it is also incredibly durable and requires minimal maintenance. If you are considering this type of paving, it is important to know how to lay it properly so that you can get the most out of your investment. In this blog post, we will discuss the best methods for correctly laying natural stone paving and look at some of the tools and skills needed.
Natural stone paving is an excellent choice for outdoor spaces like patios, driveways, and gardens. There are many advantages to natural stone paving, such as its beauty, durability, and low-maintenance requirements.
With the right materials and instructions, anyone can lay natural stone paving in their garden or other outdoor area. Before getting started though, it is important to make sure that you have all of the necessary materials, tools, and knowhow to complete the job correctly.
The tools you’ll need
When laying natural stone paving, it’s important to have the right tools for the job. Depending on the size of your project, you may need some or all of the following:
- A shovel: For digging out and levelling the area before you lay the paving stones.
- A level: This is used to make sure that the area is even and that there are no large bumps or dips, and to check that each laid paving stone is level and even.
- A trowel: This is used to spread mortar or concrete over the area where you’ll be laying the paving stones.
- A rubber mallet: Used to tap down paving stones so they stay firmly in place.
- A bucket: Used to mix mortar or concrete and to hold water for cleaning up afterwards.
- Safety goggles and gloves: Always wear safety goggles and gloves when working with mortar or concrete.
Preparing the ground
Before laying a patio or paving slabs, the ground must be properly prepared to ensure that the finished result is both secure and aesthetically pleasing. The first step is to measure the area and mark it out. This can be done with something as basic as string or pegs. Once the area is marked out, it’s then time to dig out the area to a depth of around 15 cm, removing any turf and roots in the process.
To get ready for the pavers to be laid, you must begin by digging out the area you want to pave, going to a depth of 6-8 inches. Once you’ve reached that depth, fill the area with a loose stone such as mot or crusher run, up to about three quarters of the way up. Make sure to compact the base for a stronger foundation for the pavers.
Laying the paving
To ensure you’re happy with the paving product you’ve chosen, start by inspecting it for any potential defects or broken pieces and contact your paving supplier if there are any issues. This is an important step when working with any type of landscaping product.
For each slab, you need to prepare a concrete bed using a semi-dry mortar mix. This should be a 4 part sharp sand to 1 part cement ratio. That means for every part of cement, you need 4 parts of sharp sand. When you lay the stone, always apply the concrete screed to the full paver – never use spot bedding, as it won’t properly support the pavers and may eventually crack due to weight being applied.
Keep in mind that natural stone can be quite heavy, so be sure to use extra caution when handling pavers. We recommend that any paver larger than 600mm x 600mm is to be handled by at least two people.
Once the paving is suitable to walk on and the mortar has dried, you can ‘point up’ the spaces. To do this, create a 2:1 mix and add less water, making it thick enough for easy control when you use a trowel. Smooth out the mortar with a rounded piece of wood or a specialist pointing tool, ensuring the joints are between 8-15mm in width for a waterproof result. But for some, a butt jointing method may be preferred, especially when working with porcelain pavers, resulting in a joint size between 2-5mm. This can be filled with either kiln dried sand or jointing compound.
Laying natural stone paving can be a challenging task, but with the right tools and preparation it is possible for you to achieve a professional-looking result. The main steps include preparing the ground, laying the paving, and properly finishing up. Take the time to do the job properly and you will ensure a long-lasting result.
Easypave offers a range of natural stone and other paving, as well as sealers, aggregates and more. With the right products and knowledge, you can have the outdoor space that you’ve always dreamt of. Please do drop us a line if we can help.