Monthly Archives: March 2010

  • Easter Special Offers from Simply Paving

    Posted on March 26, 2010 by Simply Paving

    Offers Now Ended

    It's that time of year we all love at Simply Paving, but it's not all about bouncing bunnies and chocolate eggs. For us, it's that mad rush, orders pouring in and deliveries flying out all in time for Easter weekend.

    This is our busiest time of the year as people’s thoughts turn to their outdoor space. Often, this will be the first opportunity people will have to enjoy sitting out in their garden, inevitably looking at their patio. Easter seems to be the time where people choose to think about a landscaping project in preparation and expectancy of the "glorious" summer ahead.

    We’re expecting this Easter to be no different, in fact we’re expecting it to be busier than ever given the snowy winter we’ve just had. People just can’t wait for the summer and they plan to enjoy it on their patios.

    We thought these special offers would help you with some ideas for over the Easter weekend.

    StoneFlair Purestone Slate Paving Blue Black

    £165.55 per pack including VAT and free delivery* OFFER NOW ENDED

    The natural beauty of slate is becoming increasingly popular whether used externally or internally. StoneFlair Purestone Slate Paving Blue Black offers a smooth and light riven surface with clean-cut edges. This patio pack covers 5.5m2 and comes as a pack of mixed sizes to give a varied pattern.

    StoneFlair Purestone Granite Paving Arctic Grey

    £372.54 per pack including VAT and free delivery* OFFER NOW ENDED

    StoneFlair Purestone Granite Paving Arctic Grey is hard-wearing with a textured surface especially suited to contemporary settings. It has machine cut edges and an even surface which sparkles in the sun, perfect for stylish applications. This pack of 40 slabs covers 14.4m2. Each slab measures 600 x 600 mm.

    Bradstone Tile Paving Mellow Terracotta

    £350.80 per pack including VAT and free delivery* OFFER NOW ENDED

    Bradstone Tile Paving Mellow Terracotta will leave you reminiscing of those enchanting courtyards and rooftop terraces found at picturesque villas and apartments throughout the Mediterranean; bring those lazy sun-soaked days home. Available as a pack of 96, 300 x 300 mm slabs covering 9.2m2.

    Why not get your patio ready for summer!

    If you’d like more information on these or any of our other products, check out our website or contact the office on 0800 032 6306.

    *Delivery is free on orders with full packs except for deliveries to the postcodes AB, DD, IV, HS, KW, PA and PH

    This post was posted in Simply Paving, Special Offers and was tagged with Arctic Grey, Blue Black, Bradstone, Easter, Granite, Landscaping, Mellow Terracotta, Natural, Patio, Patios, Paving, Purestone Granite, Purestone Slate, Simply Paving, Slate, Stoneflair, Tile Paving

  • Laying Flag Paving

    Posted on March 25, 2010 by Simply Paving

    Next in our Simply Do It Yourself series, we look at laying patio paving.

    Site Preparation

    All paving should be laid on a firm, level and well-drained base, ensuring the paving performs as it was designed to. This will ensure your patio will remain in top condition for years to come.

    Bradstone Milldale Paving Weathered Cotswold.

    Vegetation and top soil should be removed to an approximate depth of 200mm across the area to be paved. Mark out this area with pegs or retaining boards and adjust their height to the required finished surface levels, ensuring that you allow the recommended fall away from any buildings and walls for water drainage. Also make sure that the finished paving surface level is at least 150mm below the level of any damp proof course. After excavation, rake level to ensure an even depth and compact the whole area using a garden roller or tamper.

    Preparing the foundation.

    It is always preferable to start with full flags laid adjacent to a fixed point such as the house or boundary wall and to work towards an edge which may be adjustable. Alternatively, start from a corner on the longest straight edge.

    If you are laying more than one size of paving, particularly if in a random pattern, or if you are laying a circle or other feature, it is recommended that you dry lay the flags first to check the fit and make sure you are happy with the pattern. It is also advised that you take the paving from a number of open packs at once, even if you are just using one size, to ensure a consistent appearance to the finished patio.

    Natural Stone Paving

    The area to be paved should first of all be dug out to a depth of at least 200mm. The area should then be back filled with 150mm of MoT/crusher run, compacted to 100mm.

    Laying the paving.

    Once the area is prepared, the laying of each flag can commence. The actual mortar bed is prepared individually for each and every flag dependent on its thickness. The bed will consist of a semi-dry mortar mix, using 4 parts sharp sand to 1 part cement. Spot bedding should never be used for natural stone paving, as the flag will not be sufficiently supported.

    When laying flags that will have mortar joints, the receiving edges of the already laid flags are buttered with mortar into which the new flag is pressed, forming a well filled joint, that can be topped up when pointing. Buttering will also aid consistency of joint width. Once in place, each flag can be consolidated by tapping them down, either with a rubber mallet or by keeping a piece of softwood between a hammer or mallet and the flag. Continually check levels and falls during the laying process across the top surface profile of a number of flags at a time.

    Sandstone and Limestone Taper

    Lay sandstone / limestone paving onto the full bed of semi-dry mortar, with the chamfered side down, therefore leaving the side with the largest surface area facing upwards.

    The hand-dressed edge detail on sandstone and limestone paving exhibits a taper or undercut running towards the back face of the flag. When laid with suitable pointing gaps the edges of the adjacent paving will provide dovetail or reverse wedge-shaped gaps which will considerably assist the keying in of the pointing mortar thereby increasing the durability of the finished joints.Leave the mortar mix to go off for at least 24 hours before pointing.

    Point with a wet mortar mix of 4:1 (building sand will be more workable), ensuring the gaps between the flags are completely filled. The strength of the pointing is extremely important, as if done incorrectly, the joints will be the weakest part of the paved area. It is important to take care not to stain the paving surface with any excess mortar as this will be difficult to remove.

    Checking the levels.

    A plasticiser can be added to the mortar mix to improve its workability and also ensure all air pockets are eliminated. Cement dyes may also be added to the mix to change the final colouration of your pointing mortar. Simply Paving can offer a jointing compound suitable for use with natural stone flags, please contact us directly for more information.

    Manufactured Paving

    When laying manufactured paving, the preparation of the site should be carried out using the same methods as when laying natural stone. As manufactured paviors are produced in man-made moulds, variation in thickness is not generally an issue, and the undersides of the slabs are more consistent. Therefore, for light use patios, a screed bed of a sharp sand and cement mix (a ratio of 6:1 is more than adequate) can be used as oppose to creating a mortar bed.

    If preferred, manufactured paving can also be laid on a mortar bed, but it is not always necessary.

    Manufactured paving can also be pointed with a wet mortar mix, however great care must be taken to ensure it is not left on the surface of the flag as this will be almost impossible to remove when set. Many people choose to point manufactured paving with either a dry mix of sharp sand and cement brushed into the joints or a specifically designed jointing compound.


    If pointing with a dry mix, a ratio of 6 parts sharp sand to 1 part cement is recommended. The dry mix should then be indirectly watered, i.e. lightly water the surface of the flags rather than the pointed joint itself. The water will then trickle into the joints and hydrate the cement, rather than splash the dry mix over the surface of the flag.

    If you require any help, please give the Simply Paving office a call on 0800 032 6306 and we will try to assist you in all aspects of your landscaping project.

    This post was posted in How to..., Simply Do It Yourself and was tagged with Bradstone, Building Materials, DIY, Landscaping, Milldale, Natural, Patio, Patios, Paving, Sandstone, Simply Paving, Weathered Cotswold

  • Preparing the Area to be Paved

    Posted on March 22, 2010 by Simply Paving

    For the second part in our Simply Do It Yourself series, we're looking at how you should go about preparing the area you are planning to pave.

    Tools of the Trade

    Here are the items that you may need in order to carry out most landscaping projects:

    • Site preparation: sledge hammer, spade, shovel, pick, rake and wheel barrow, string line, tape measure;
    • Bed preparation: trowel, float, cement mixer;
    • Laying and flag/block preparation: lump hammer, chisel, bolster, rubber mallet, spirit level, circular saw (with diamond blade for tougher materials), block splitter (for block paving jobs), plate compactor, brush.

    Site Preparation

    All types of paving need to be laid on a structure built up of a number of layers of different materials. Each layer builds on the strength of the previous.


    Firstly, it is necessary to remove existing vegetation and existing topsoil, back to the layer of more stable sub soil beneath (often referred to as the sub-grade). The excavation must remove all vegetation such as grass, weeds and roots as this material will decompose over time, which can result in settlement of the paving laid on top.


    The next layer to be formed is the most important layer, structurally speaking, in the formation of your project. This layer is the sub-base. Sub-bases may not always be required for patio projects but are vital when laying a block paved driveway, in order to prevent settlement.

    There are various materials that can be used for the sub-base, and your selection will generally depend on the project being carried out.

    The highest grade of sub-base is generally known as Type 1 MoT (Ministry of Transport) and is the preferred material for use under driveways or areas with heavy traffic. It is a specific mix of solids and fines that when compacted ensures there are no voids in the sub-base, but is sufficiently free draining to allow ground water to dissipate.

    There are a number of other materials which are supplied for use as a sub-base, including ballast and crusher run; however, there is often little control over the balance of solids and fines. These therefore, would be unsuitable for use under areas of very heavy traffic and commercial projects, but should be perfectly suitable for patios and standard driveways.

    Bedding or Laying Course

    The bedding or the laying course is basically the layer onto which your chosen paving is laid. This layer supports the paving, allowing for variations in thickness and any peaks or undulations to be accommodated without affecting the levels of the finished project.

    The material used for this layer is determined by the type of paving to be laid. For example, for concrete block paving, unbound (without cement) sharp sand is used. This is compacted in order to prevent movement and provides a perfectly solid bed for a block pavior. Whereas for natural sandstone, a moist sharp sand and cement mix is preferred. This mortar mix allows the slabs to be bedded in and accommodates the varying thicknesses of the stone.

    Generally, building sand is unsuitable for use as a bedding material; as it is not free-draining enough, also sharp sand will produce a much stiffer, more stable mortar mix. Building sand can be used for pointing, as it produces a more pliable, workable mortar.

    Paving Layer

    The final layer is that of your chosen paving. The following guides, to be posted over the next few weeks, aim to provide assistance in the actual laying of various types of paving we have available.

    If you require any help, please give the Simply Paving office a call on 0800 032 6306 and we will try to assist you in all aspects of your landscaping project.

    This post was posted in How to..., Simply Do It Yourself and was tagged with Aggregates, Block Paving, Building Materials, Circle, DIY, Driveway, Driveways, Landscaping, Natural, Patio, Patios, Paving, Pebbles, Sandstone, Simply Paving

  • Planning Your Project

    Posted on March 15, 2010 by Simply Paving

    The first guide in the Simply Do It Yourself series and the first step in any patio or driveway project should involve the planning of the proposed area.

    Create a stunning Mediterranean style dining area using Bradstone Tile Paving Mellow Terracotta.

    Your Initial Considerations

    The first key consideration in the planning process is to define the use of the area to be landscaped. Different areas provide different functions and the required function is essential in determining which materials to use.

    Bradstone Peak Paving Buff - look no further for cost effective utility paving.

    Defining the function of the area is absolutely essential to narrow down your search for a suitable product.

    The next step is to view the products which are designed to match the criteria you have. This will enable you to select the products that suit your tastes (including considerations over contemporary and traditional styles), products that blend or contrast with existing features (house colour, existing walls and landscape features) and fit within your budget.

    We can supply products that will enable you to be as extravagant or as conservative as you please, without breaking the bank.


    It's not necessary that you limit your landscaping project to only one type of product, or even colour. A large area consisting of randomly laid flagstones may not have the same overall impact as an area of randomly laid flagstones, combined with a circle feature or interspersed with setts.

    Try mixing sandstone flags with sandstone setts, even in two contrasting colours, to define areas or borders. The same can be true when using concrete block paving for driveway areas. Often, instead of or in addition to a raised kerb, people like to border the drive area with a contrasting block either in the same style or a standard 200×100 block.

    Bradstone Woburn Rumbled Autumn laid with a soldier course of Bradstone Driveway Charcoal.

    Decorative aggregates may also be a consideration to effectively break areas up. Why not try aggregates in certain areas of your patio, planted with perennials, herbs, grasses and alpines? This can enliven the senses to not only sight, but touch, smell and sound too.

    StoneFlair Purestone Slate Paving Blue-Black looks stunning laid alongside decorative aggregates planted with grasses.

    Planning the Area

    Firstly, the area to be landscaped will have to be carefully surveyed, measuring the area, noting existing features (including any obstacles, trees or manhole covers etc) and determining the levels.

    Calculation of the levels or gradient is essential to any paving project, to ensure the area allows water to drain away as quickly as possible. Standing water can easily be a slip hazard and it may also deteriorate the surface and the structure of the paved area.

    The amount of fall required largely depends on the type of paving to be used. Smooth surface flags are quicker to drain than riven flags, due to their surface profile and therefore can be laid with less of a gradient. Products with a smooth surface require a minimum fall of 1:60 whereas a product with a riven profile will require a minimum fall of 1:50.

    StoneFlair Purestone Polished Rosemount Spinning Circle equally impressive in traditional or contemporary spaces.

    To calculate the gradient, you will need two take two measurements, the depth or vertical height and the horizontal distance of the paved area.

    Example Calculation

    You are laying an area of sandstone flags, 5 metres in length x 3 metres wide. At the end of the 5 metre length, there is a drainage gully into which you would like the water to run. You decide that the minimum fall of 1:60 is sufficient for draining the patio area:

    1:60 = 1/60 = 0.0167
    Length = 5000 × 0.0167 = 83.5mm
    Patio to fall 83.5mm towards drainage gully.

    The area can then be set out as a scale drawing, either on paper or in a software package making note of any features and their relation to each other. If necessary, large areas or those with complicated shapes are often divided into smaller, more manageable sections. The scale drawing will then enable you to calculate the total area you have to be paved.

    Using this area total, Simply Paving will be able to give you an accurate quote for your paving requirements, VAT and delivery (if applicable) inclusive.

    If you require any help, please give the Simply Paving office a call on 0800 032 6306 and we will try to assist you in all aspects of your landscaping project.

    Using a Bradstone Old Riven Circle Autumn Gold with Bradstone Carpet Stones Cobble Charcoal will create a timeless centre piece for any garden.

    This post was posted in How to..., Simply Do It Yourself and was tagged with Aggregates, Block Paving, Building Materials, Circle, DIY, Driveway, Driveways, Landscaping, Natural, Patio, Patios, Paving, Pebbles, Sandstone, Simply Paving

  • Simply Do It Yourself

    Posted on March 12, 2010 by Simply Paving

    No matter how turbulent the economy may be, there is one area where we all strive for improvement and that's our homes.

    However, the cost of hiring somebody to do the work for you may make you think twice. When you think that up to 80% of the cost of installing a new patio or driveway is accounted for by hiring a contractor, you can understand why an ever-increasing number of people are looking to do the work themselves.

    With the Simply Do It Yourself guides to be posted over the coming weeks, Simply Paving will look to walk you through the stages of laying the different types of paving we have available.

    You too can have a patio or driveway to be proud of.

    If you require any help, please give the Simply Paving office a call on 0800 032 6306 and we will try to assist you in all aspects of your landscaping project.

    This post was posted in How to..., Simply Do It Yourself and was tagged with Block Paving, DIY, Driveway, Driveways, Landscaping, Patio, Patios, Paving, Simply Paving

  • Bradstone and StoneFlair 2010 Brochures

    Posted on March 4, 2010 by Simply Paving

    Good news, the Bradstone and StoneFlair 2010 brochures are now available for download.

    Bradstone offer a wide selection of garden and driveway products to help you create the perfect ‘room outside'. From natural to reconstituted stone, paving to walling, edging to coping and decorative stone to gravel and block paving. Their inspirational advice and ideas on landscaping your driveway or garden will provide you with an outside area that will enhance your home.

    Click image to download brochure.

    Whilst with StoneFlair you’ll find a wealth of ideas and inspiration to help bring your garden to life. Offering everything including natural stone paving, reconstituted stone paving, walling, edging and domestic block paving. StoneFlair truly offer the best in individuality, best service, quality and style.

    Click image to download brochure.

    To view these brochures, you'll need Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded here. If however, you'd prefer to receive a brochure through the post, give the office a call on 0800 032 6306 or drop us an email.

    Don't forget, all these products can also be found on our website.

    This post was posted in Our Products, Our Suppliers, Simply Paving and was tagged with Aggregates, Block Paving, Bradstone, Coping, DIY, Driveway, Driveways, Edging, Garden Features, Landscaping, Natural, Patio, Patios, Paving, Pebbles, Sandstone, Simply Paving, Stoneflair, Walling

  • Something a bit thicker...

    Posted on March 3, 2010 by Simply Paving

    Simply Paving are proud to announce the launch of their new website Simply Paving Commercial.

    Whether you're looking for 300 m2 of 80mm block or a pack of blister paving, we're here to help.

    As with our Main Site, Simply Paving Commercial is looking to offer the same great service, low prices and speedy delivery achieved by collecting products directly from the manufacturer (Charcon) and delivering them direct to site.

    Charcon is a leading manufacturer of hard landscaping and construction systems in the UK, providing high quality, cutting edge solutions for almost every aspect of the Construction Industry. As part of Aggregate Industries, Charcon has unrivalled access to the highest quality raw materials, research and technology, enabling their expertise to be channelled into developing new, innovative products.

    Simply Paving Commercial can now supply almost anything from the Charcon range including Flag Paving, Block Paving, Kerbs and Drainage Systems... if there's anything you can't see, just drop us an email or give us a call on 0800 032 6306.

    For further detailed information of the Charcon range, please take a look at the following PDF downloads, taken from their Hard Landscaping Product Portfolio:

    This post was posted in Our Products, Simply Paving and was tagged with Block Paving, Charcon, Commercial, Hard Landscaping, Landscaping, Paving, Simply Paving, Simply Paving Commercial

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