How to lay paving route
The professionals make laying block paving look easy, but with the right materials and some manual work, it is not quite the major undertaking that you may of first thought. Follow this simple step by step example guide to laying a non-permeable driveway.
Before you start …
Draw a simple plan of your home and garden, sketching where you would like areas to be paved. Once your plan has been finalized, layout lengths of string to mark out the dimensions of your purposed patio in position. When you are happy with this, let the digging commence.
Step 1: Site Preparation –
Depending on the size of the area, using the shovel or mini excavator dig out to the advised level. This will depend on your existing surfaces; our Customer Services team will be able to advise as to the appropriate depth.
If you find soft spots in the soil further excavation may be required. These spots can then be filled and consolidated with sub-base material.
Remove all waste materials from the site using a wheelbarrow and skip.
When using excavation machinery please follow all manufacturers’ guidelines including acceptable levels of exposure and in particular use ear protection.
Step 2: Edge Restraints –
When preparing the mix, please avoid direct handling of cement, always cover your skin.
Using the cement mixer, to create a concrete foundation for the edge restraint that is 100mm thick. Ensure that the edge restraint unit that is to be placed on the foundation will sit at the required finished level using the string line and spirit level.
The edge restraint can either be a kerb unit of a thick paving block (at least 60mm). Mortar these units into the foundation using the trowel and rubber mallet and again using the concrete, form a haunch up at least half the block height.
Step 3: The Sub-Base –
Further to your specific requirements, apply the sub-base with the rake and thoroughly compact using the vibrating plate compactor in layers of 50mm until your desired level is reached.
Apply a 50mm level of slightly damp, coarse sharp sand and compact down, again using the vibrating plate compactor, to an approximate depth of 35mm.
A further 20mm layer of sharp sand then needs to be raked on top and using the screeding rails and string line level to the correct falls.
When using vibrating plate machinery please follow all manufacturer’s guidelines including acceptable levels of exposure and in particular use ear protection.
Step 4: Installation –
Remember when lifting and carrying paving units, always consider the weight before attempting to lift. If it is heavy, take care not to trap your fingers whilst handling the paving units.
Ideally starting from a right angle or straight edge, place your blocks on top of the laying course, ensuring that they sit 5mm proud of the finished level.
Following your desired laying pattern ensure that you pick blocks from three or more different packs at any one time in order to minimise the risk of color patching.
Once all of the blocks are laid into a position you will need to cut a number to complete the area. Cutting paving blocks is best done using a block splitter or diamond disc cutter.
Wherever possible, always obtain water suppression cutting equipment.
When using cutting equipment please follow all manufacturer’s guidelines including acceptable levels of exposure and in particular use eye protection.
Step 5: Finishing –
Using the yard broom, brush the kiln dried sand into all of the joints and thoroughly compact, again using the vibrating plate compactor, ensuring that all of the blocks are at the desired finished level.
Subsequently, top the sand and re-compact to ensure that no joints are left unfilled.
Materials and Tools Checklist
The key to starting off this style of project is the equipment, correct tools and materials for the job and having them all close to hand. Quantities of the following materials will vary depending on the size and sub-base requirements of your patio.
- Sharp Sand
- NGM Blocks Concrete Bags and Mortar
- NGM Blocks Dried Sand
- NGM Blocks Paving
- Pointing Tool
- String Line
- Rubber Mallet
- Screeding Rail
- Spirit Level
- Tape Measure
- Yard Broom
- Vibrating Plate Compactor
- Block Splitter or Diamond Disc Cutter
- Mini Excavator (Optional)
- Cement Mixer (Optional)
Please use Personal Protective Equipment when carrying out this work, such as safety shoes and gloves. Gloves, Safety Goggles, Dust Mask, Ear Defenders, Knee Pads.