Block Pave Paths, Patios and Drives
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- Compacting Plate (Available to hire from most plant hire companies)
- Block Cutting Tool (Available to hire from most plant hire companies)
- Long Straight Edge for levelling sand and adjusting falls (Long straight edge timber plank or scaffold pole)
- Rubber Mallet
- String Lines and Setting Out Pegs
- Soft Broom
- Protective Gloves & Goggles
- Trowel for Kerb and Edging laying
- Spirit Level
- Plastic Float
- Knee Pads
Block Paving, also known as Paviours or Pavers, can be used in almost all paving applications be it large commercial projects, such as car parks and docks, right down to a simple garden path or patio. It is a good alternative to traditional concrete and tarmac as offers greater flexibility in design and is aesthetically more pleasing. Being interlocking in their design makes them extremely strong for use in trafficked areas.
Concrete is the main material used in the manufacture of block paving and thicknesses of 50mm, 60mm and 80mm are most common. Many designs and colours are available which include smooth finish, textured top, tumbled or rustic to give that worn appearance and top-mix or face-mix blocks which offer a cost effective solution if you are looking for a natural stone effect.
Clay is the other material pavers can be made from and generally come on either 50mm or 65mm in thickness and are mostly 200mm x 100mm in size although other sizes are available. The advantage of clay pavers is that the material does not fade with age so will always keep that fresh look as long as maintained by regular cleaning.
SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems). This is block paving with larger spacing lugs which are filled with a grit, once laid, and therefore allows water to permeate straight through to the specially constructed sub-base and then into the water table, or an attenuation system, thus helping to improve the environment. The main reason for this requirement is that it deals with the run-off at source rather than it draining into a sewage system or water course which helps alleviate flooding. Check with your local building control to see whether this system is required for your particular application.
How many will I require?
This will vary on the size and shape of the blocks you choose but if using the most popular size of 200 x 100mm there are 50 per square metre. Make sure you allow between 2 and 5 percent for wastage as edge blocks will generally require cutting. For coverage of other sizes you would need to check the manufacturer’s literature or contact your nearest Lawsons branch.
The most important part of any paving project is in the preparation of the area. A solid sub-base must be constructed which will generally be of a well compacted Type 1 material at least 100mm deep depending on loading required and type of system. Then a 50mm layer of levelled Sharp Sand to cover the entire area. Depending on ground conditions and application a Geotextile layer may be required between the sub-base and sub-soil for stabilisation purposes. Make sure you have a solid edging around the entire perimeter which should be constructed with either Block Paving Kerbs or Concrete Path Edgings laid and haunched with a C20 concrete.
Laying the Pavers
Once the Sharp Sand base is prepared and levelled the blocks can be laid, by hand, in the desired design and pattern. Always lay from an edge and avoid treading on the sand base. Another important point is to select blocks from at least 3 different packs which will help with any colour variation which may occur from different packs.
Once all the blocks are laid sweep in Kiln Dried Jointing Sand to all the joints (Joint Grit in a SUDS system) and run over the whole area with a vibrating compacting plate to bed the blocks in firmly. It is often necessary to repeat the Jointing Sand process to ensure all joints are completely filled.
Paving blocks can be sealed, once laid, with a proprietary sealer, this will help to maintain colour and as well as supressing weed growth will help prevent staining from such things as oil.
Joints may require additional sanding over the years and certainly will if the area is pressure washed. Other than that the occasional sweep is all that will be required.
The lowest cost blocks are generally the standard rectangular 200 x 100 x 50mm type and the most expensive can be the clay type. But, bear in mind that the most expensive part of the project will be in the preparation and sub-base construction so even going for the more expensive type blocks may only add 10% to the price of the whole project.