Monthly Archives: July 2018

  • How to Lay Flag Paving Slabs – In Steps

    Posted on July 25, 2018 by Simply Paving

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

    Site Preparation

    All flag 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.

    How to lay flag paving for a patio

    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 ground for laying flag paving

    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.

    Laying Natural Stone Flag 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 flag paving for a patio

    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.

    Laying Sandstone and Limestone Taper Flag Paving

    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.

    Ensure ground is level when laying flag paving

    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.

    Laying Manufactured Flag 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.

    Pointing flag paving for a patio

    Pointing.

    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

  • How to Lay Block Paving - In Steps

    Posted on July 23, 2018 by Simply Paving

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

    How to lay block paving

    Add a little character to your home using Bradstone Woburn Rumbled Graphite with its weathered, time worn appearance.

    Preparing ground for the Paver Sand Base

    All paving should be laid on a firm, level and well drained base to ensure long term service and stability - getting the ground work right is essential.

    Vegetation and top soil should be removed to an approximate depth of 200mm-250mm 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 a fall of 1:80 away from any buildings and walls for surface drainage. Also make sure that the finished paving surface level is at least 150mm (two brick courses) below the level of any damp proof course. After excavation, rake level to ensure an even depth and compact the whole area using a plate compactor.

    Paver Edging Restraints

    Paver edging restraints

    Edge restraints

    The next stage is to set up edge restraints around the area to be paved (these may include existing walls) using block kerbs or concrete edging.The kerbs or concrete edgings should be bedded into 100mm of concrete, to the required level, with a 45 degree haunch up the side of at least half the block or kerb height. This is essential to prevent the blocks and the sand on which they are laid from moving.

    Underground drainage, drainage gratings or recessed manhole covers should be installed at this stage if required (we recommend specific product guidance is sought for technical information on drainage).

    The area should then be back filled with 150mm of MoT/crusher run, compacted to 100mm.

    Preparing ground for the Paver Sand Base

    Sub-base

    Onto this, a layer of slightly damp sharp sand (sharp sand is more free draining than building sand and is less prone to being washed out) should be applied, to the depth of 50mm, and then compacted with a plate compactor. A second layer of sharp sand is then applied, to a depth of 20mm. Using the string lines, screeding rails and straight edge, this second layer of sharp sand needs to be levelled to the correct falls.

    Block Paving Screed Rails

    Screeding

    Laying the Block Paving

    laying block paving

    Laying - random stretcher bond pattern

    The laying of concrete block paving should always begin from the bottom of any slope, preferably starting from a right angle or a straight edge. Working from several packs at a time will ensure an even distribution of colours, and is essential when using a mixed size product such as the Woburn Rumbled range.

    Place the blocks on top of the laying course, ensuring they are around 4-5mm above the desired finished level. Once all full blocks are laid, use a mechanical block splitter to cut the blocks required for infill pieces or at the retaining edges. Pieces of concrete block paving smaller than one third of a full block are best avoided. Once completed, sweep the area and compact with two or three passes of the plate compactor.

    laying paving

    Laying - 45 degree herringbone pattern

    Paving Jointing

    Jointing of the block paving is preferably completed in dry periods. Apply kiln dried sand to the block paved area, then brush into the joints using a soft brush, ensuring the joints are filled fully.

    Paving Jointing

    Applying the kiln dried sand

    Use the plate compactor on the paved area again, to push the sand into the joints. Once this has been done, check for any gaps in the jointing and fill where necessary, compacting again afterwards. The sand in the joints may need to be topped up for the first few months after the job is completed.

    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.

    Bradstone Woburn Rumbled Graphite block paving

    Bradstone Woburn Rumbled Graphite

    Please note the above guidance is applicable to domestic driveways for car traffic only.

    This post was posted in How to..., Simply Do It Yourself and was tagged with Block Paving, Bradstone, Building Materials, DIY, Driveway, Driveways, Graphite, Landscaping, Simply Paving, Woburn Rumbled

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