Simply Do It Yourself

  • General Information and After Care

    Posted on November 24, 2010 by Simply Paving

    In the final part of our Simply Do It Yourself series we highlight some important information regarding the products we supply.

    Colours

    It's the natural colour variations in Bradstone Natural Sandstone Fossil Buff that make it so covetable.

    The colours depicted on our website are as accurate as modern technology allows. Tonal variations are evident in all manufactured and natural stone products; we therefore recommend that colours are judged from actual materials.

    This is of significant importance when selecting a natural stone product which, by its very nature, will exhibit considerable deviations from slab to slab. It is important to view a range of samples to acknowledge the authentic diversity in colours, texture and markings.

    Manufactured products are designed to simulate natural stone and naturally occurring aggregates are utilised, therefore variation between batches can occur. To produce an overall natural appearance when using two or more packs of product we suggest that individual products are drawn from each pack and mixed on site at the onset of the project.

    Reconstructed stone products will weather in a similar way to natural stone, therefore the effect of the elements and site conditions may cause some colour change dependent on the degree of exposure.

    Manufactured paving is designed to reflect the tonal variations present in natural stone.

    After laying, some natural stone products may exhibit a brown colouration when oxidation of any iron content occurs.

    Maintenance/Cleaning

    Sealants such as Signo Flexiguard can help protect porous products against ingrained soiling from dirt, staining from oil and water based contaminants and even moss and algae growth.

    Regular maintenance is required to keep the overall appearance of the product in pristine condition. We recommend thoroughly washing paved areas with warm soapy water and brushing off with a stiff broom three or four times a year.

    High pressure washers are not recommended for use on wet cast manufactured paving.

    Simply Paving cannot be held responsible for the possible effects or damage caused by the contamination or application of some chemically based products which come into contact with a concrete surface e.g. some weed killers and acid or alkaline based cleaners.

    Common salt should not be used to de-ice wet cast paving. To prevent possible surface damage always use a proprietary brand of de-icing product expressly formulated for use on concrete.

    Drainage

    When laying a patio or path close to a house or dwelling it is essential that the finished paving surface level is at least 150mm below damp course level and should slope away from the building. A fall of 1:60 is generally sufficient). All paved areas should be gently sloping to allow excess water to be directed away and should always be laid on well drained ground. Any base preparation should also allow for drainage. Poor drainage may result in water retention and may affect the weathering characteristics of the materials.

    Pointing

    Please check the recommended joint widths for your chosen product. Many product dimensions allow for a 10-15mm joint width.

    For best results a strong semi-dry mortar mix is recommended (with sufficient water content to bind but not so much as to stain the paving when introduced). Pointing is best completed as laying work progresses and should be carried out during dry spells of weather and sufficient pointing mortar should be mixed to be used within 30-45 minutes (less in hot weather conditions). After this time it may become too dry to bond. If spaces between paving are filled with sand, modified sand or decorative stone, moisture may be held in the joints and water may penetrate the sub-base for excessive periods of time, resulting in the possible occurrence of dark staining on the top surface or around the edges of the paving.

    Suitability

    Manufactured products are reconstructed stone and the paving range is primarily intended for domestic landscape use. Simply Paving cannot accept any liability in respect of products being used for an inappropriate purpose.

    In the unlikely event of products reaching you in less than satisfactory condition, please contact us immediately. Simply Paving cannot accept responsibility once the product has been laid.

    Efflorescence

    Efflorescence emerges from pores through capillaries.

    Simply Paving cannot be held responsible for this naturally occurring phenomenon, which can be characteristic in quality concrete products containing a high cement content. In their early life concrete products may exhibit an apparent loss of colour and efflorescence may appear in the form of a bloom or stain on the face of the product. This is a result of an interaction between the cement used to manufacture the paving and the natural environment

    Natural stone flags can also exhibit the effects of efflorescence when laid on a mortar bed. When water is drawn up from the mortar bedding to the surface of the stone, "salts" are transported with it. Although the water will evaporate over time, the "salt" deposits will be left behind on the surface of the stone. These too will disappear over time, but can take a number of months.

    Efflorescence can be a characteristic of all good quality products with a high cement content.

    The effect generally disappears with the combination of the natural weathering process and the passage of time and its appearance is not detrimental to the performance of the material.

    Health and Safety

    Always wear suitable safety equipment when handling our products.

    Many products within our range are heavy. It is recommended that items over 25kg or those that are awkward in shape should be handled by more than one person, or suitable lifting equipment is used. It is suggested that work gloves are used to prevent abrasion to hands and lime burns from wet mortar.

    Eye protection (safety goggles) should also be used when cutting with either chisels or rotary disc cutters, also respiratory protection (dust mask) should be used to avoid dust inhalation with using high speed cutters.

    Please Note

    All dimensions quoted on our website are nominal and are subject to manufacturing tolerances and actual sizes will vary as products are designed to replicate natural stone which features riven profiles and irregular fettled edges. Our suppliers policy is one of continuous improvement, innovation and development and as such we reserve the right to change specification without notice.

    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, Cleaning, DIY, Driveway, Driveways, Efflorescence, Landscaping, Natural, Patio, Patios, Paving, Pebbles, Sandstone, Sealant, Sealing, Simply Paving

  • Finishing Touches

    Posted on November 23, 2010 by Simply Paving

    As we near the end of our Simply Do It Yourself series, we look at those little touches that not only keep your garden looking attractive, neat and well cared for but also add that extra bit of flair and pizzazz.

    Create stunning garden features that really add that extra something to your outdoor space.

    Installing Edging

    Bradstone Old Town Edging Weathered Limestone with Bradstone Decorative Aggregate Celtic Plum.

    Whilst some edgings can be laid directly into the ground, to increase stability, a more permanent method of fixing is recommended.

    This is achieved by digging a small foundation trench to the required length, approximately 100mm deep and 150mm wide. Lay concrete foundations using 6 parts ballast to 1 part cement (or 4 parts coarse aggregate to 2 parts building sand to 1 part cement).

    Once the foundation mix has cured, bed the edging by gently tapping the top edge with a rubber mallet into a mortar bed of 4 parts building sand to 1 part cement, ensuring each unit is aligned and level. Back fill the reverse face of the edging with the same mortar mix "haunched" with a 45 degree wedge of mortar to a height that will be concealed by the finished surface.

    Laying Stepping Stones

    If your lawns or herbaceous beds are showing signs of wear from frequent use, Bradstone Log Stepping Stones keep grass and plants safe from damage as well as adding a striking pathway.

    Evenly lay the stepping stones across the lawn or border. The recommended method for measuring the spacing of the stones is to use the length of a comfortable stride.

    Using the stepping stone as a template, cut away and remove the surrounding turf and soil to a depth of approximately 75mm. Backfill to a depth of 30-35mm with a semi dry mix of 5 parts grit sand to 1 part cement. Place the stepping stone and gently tap down with a rubber mallet so that it sits just below the level of the lawn.

    Using Pebbles & Gravel

    Clear the required area, removing all loose material and vegetation (use weed killer if necessary on any deep rooted weeds). Lay a semi permeable membrane over the whole area, with a minimum of 50mm overlap between sheets. Lay the decorative aggregate to the required depth (50mm is sufficient for most applications but please check for any instructions specific to your product). Rake to achieve the required surface level.

    Although decorative aggregates can be laid directly onto soil it is recommended to use a membrane to minimise weed growth.

    It's the little details that make a big difference in the garden. Take time selecting the decorative aggregates which will add the perfect finishing touch to your design.

    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

  • Building Walls

    Posted on November 23, 2010 by Simply Paving

    As part of our Simply Do It Yourself series, we next look at building walls.

    When building a wall, start by building up the ends of the wall over the level foundations to approximately three or four courses.

    Using traditional dressing methods to reveal the natural decorative aggregate chippings, Bradstone Pitched Walling provides a more economical alternative to natural stone.

    If you plan to build a retaining wall higher than 600mm or for any wall over 900mm, we recommend that you seek expert advice on its structure. As a general rule, the depth of the foundations should be between 1/4 and 1/3 of the walls height and the foundation width should be two or three times the walls width.

    Remove topsoil and dig to firm ground and lay concrete foundations using 6 parts ballast to 1 part cement (or 4 parts coarse aggregate to 2 parts building sand to 1 part cement).

    A building line should then be stretched from one end of the foundations to another. Build one course at a time, using a spirit level to check for accuracy, vertically, diagonally and horizontally.

    Checking levels.

    Using a trowel, spread mortar (4 parts building sand to 1 part cement) evenly over the foundations and then over the blocks of each course as you lay them. The mortar should slightly exude from between the joints and any surplus should be removed with the trowel. Fill vertical joints as you go by applying mortar to one end of the block before positioning it adjacent to the previously laid block.

    Laying walling block.

    The blocks should be laid in a stretcher bond using half blocks at the end of each alternate course. It is recommended that no more than 6 to 8 courses are built at a time, allowing for the mortar to set before beginning building again.

    Using a pointing trowel, smooth and finish the mortar joints. Top the wall with a matching coping.

    Walling blocks are perfect for creating many garden features including raised beds, planters and steps. If you are building a raised planter, barbecue or similar small garden feature on an existing concrete base or well laid patio, foundations may not be required.

    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 Blocks, Bradstone, Bricks, Building Materials, Concrete, DIY, Landscaping, Natural, Patio, Patios, Paving, Sandstone, Simply Paving, Walling, Walls

  • Laying Carpet Stones and Setts

    Posted on November 22, 2010 by Simply Paving

    Next in our Simply Do It Yourself series, we look at laying carpet stones and setts.

    Bradstone Carpet Stones are a unique paving solution that makes laying a pathway or patio much easier than you might imagine.

    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 or driveway will remain in top condition for years to come.

    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 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.

    Laying Carpet Stones

    Bradstone Carpet Stones are easy to interlock making them ideal when your garden has an awkward or intricate shape.

    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. Then back fill with a sharp sand and cement mix (6:1 ratio for patios and paths and 5:1 ratio for driveways) allowing enough room (when compacted) for the depth of the matt of carpet stones.

    Lay the carpet stones onto the bed, ensuring the joints are evenly spaced, and then use a rubber mallet to ensure the stones are well bedded in.

    After 24 hours, brush in a dry mix of 4 parts sharp sand to 1 part cement (3:1 ratio for driveways) into the joints. It is recommended that the mix is as dry as possible when being brushed into the joints, to ensure the surface of the product is not stained.

    Laying Natural Stone Setts

    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.

    Bradstone Natural Sandstone Setts Autumn Green

    Once the area is prepared, the laying of each sett can commence. The actual mortar bed is prepared individually for each and every sett dependent on its thickness. The bed will consist of a moist mortar mix, using 4 parts sharp sand to 1 part cement. Allow a joint width of 15-20mm for setts. The setts can be bedded down with a rubber mallet. The joints can then be filled with a moist mortar mix (4:1 ratio), or using a specifically designed jointing compound.

    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, Carpet Stones, DIY, Driveway, Driveways, Granite, Landscaping, Natural, Patio, Patios, Paving, Sandstone, Setts, Simply Paving

  • Laying Bradstone Infilta Permeable Block Paving

    Posted on November 22, 2010 by Simply Paving

    Bradstone Woburn Rumbled Infilta Permeable Block Paving Graphite

    Concrete Block Permeable Paving (CBPP) differs from conventional block paving because it allows rainwater to filter through gaps between the blocks into a stone sub-base below.

    Bradstone Woburn Rumbled Infilta Permeable Block Paving Graphite

    The sub-base should have enough space to store the water for a short period of time to allow it to soak into the ground naturally, discharge in a controlled manner to a surface water drainage system or connect to a rainwater harvesting system to collect the water for re-use.

    The installation of Bradstone's Infilta range varies from standard block paving and here we are looking to offer basic guidance and advice on the differences.

    Design Consideration

    When assessing the design of a permeable paved driveway, considerations should be given to levels, soil permeability and soil strength.

    Sub-base

    Conventional MOT Type 1 is not used for the sub-base as it is not free draining, the open graded Bradstone 20mm Drainage Aggregate is used instead.

    In free draining applications, a suitable geotextile should be placed at formation level (overlapping joints by 300mm), below the 20mm Drainage Aggregate sub-base. When the sub-base is designed to hold water an impermeable membrane lining should be used.

    Laying geotextile.

    Laying sub-base with Bradstone 20mm Drainage Aggregate.

    The depth of the sub-base will be governed by the strength and type of the underlying ground, but typically you will need to be around 200mm deep on soils of good strength and 500mm in areas of poor soil strength.

    It is best to prevent vehicles running on the sub-base during construction if possible, as they will cause rutting in the loose surface. The blocks are restrained in the conventional way with a kerb or edging and provide more than adequate support to traffic.

    Laying Course

    The laying course uses Bradstone Bedding Aggregate, a 6mm angular, open graded material.

    Levelling the laying course of Bradstone 6mm Bedding Aggregate.

    Laying blocks.

    Unlike normal bedding sand, it is free draining and therefore it does not require any control on moisture content.

    The laying course should be 50mm thick, rather than 30mm for conventional paving and it is not compacted before the blocks are laid. Once laid, and prior to jointing, a light pass over with a whacker plate with a rubber mat is required.

    The preparation and levelling of the bedding surface is critical as an aggregate bedding layer will not be compacted as with conventional block paving.

    Jointing

    Brushing in the Bradstone 3mm Jointing Aggregate.

    Bradstone Infilta blocks have a nominal joint width of 5mm which is greater than a normal block paving. Therefore, the Bradstone 3mm Jointing Aggregate should be used for joint filling.

    Brush in and after ensuring there is not loose aggregate on the surface that could mark the blocks, another pass with the whacker is required. Finally, brush in more aggregate to fill voids as required.

    Compacting blocks with a whacker plate.

    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.

    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, CBPP, DIY, Driveway, Driveways, Graphite, Infilta, Landscaping, Permeable, Simply Paving, Woburn Rumbled

  • Permeable Solutions for Driveways

    Posted on November 22, 2010 by Simply Paving

    Your Questions Answered

    There is a certain amount of confusion regarding the relatively recent changes in rules and regulations concerning paving the front of your home. Here, we look at answering some of your questions.

    Bradstone Driveway Infilta Charcoal - an example of Concrete Block Permeable Paving (CBPP).

    What are the changes to planning laws?

    From 1 October 2008 new rules and regulations were introduced for householders wanting to hard landscape their front gardens. If the surface to be covered is more than five square metres, you will need planning permission for laying traditional, impermeable driveways that do not control rainwater running off onto roads. This will apply to new driveways, drive extensions or drive replacements.

    You will NOT need planning permission if the surface to be covered is less than five square metres or if the new surface is permeable or porous or if a traditional surface is laid and the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally or if it is directed to a soakaway via a drainage channel. An estimated 70% of existing driveways already drain in a sustainable way.

    What about existing drives and products?

    No retrospective planning consent is needed for existing driveways and hard surfaces.

    What solutions are there which avoid the need for planning permission?

    A wide range of solutions are available, in five main groups:

    • Permeable paving
    • Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) or Rainwater Harvesting Systems (RWH)
    • Porous asphalt
    • Gravel or a mainly green, vegetated area, such as wheel tracks in traditional materials with a surrounding permeable area
    • Traditional hard surfaces with controlled run-off to your garden or lawn or to a purpose-built rain garden or soakaway

    Tell me more about permeable or porous surfaces.

    The simplest solution is a surface layer of loose gravel over a driveway sub-base.

    Decorative aggregates - a simple yet effective solution.

    Hard surfacing which allows water to soak into it can be laid with concrete permeable paving or porous asphalt. The material allows water to soak through. They must be laid on top of a sub-base which allows water to be stored and pass through unlike traditional hardcore. You can use Bradstone Drainage, Bedding and Jointing Aggregates as a sub base for permeable paving. Further laying instructions can be found here.

    Bradstone's Infilta range allows rainwater to filter through the blocks into a stone sub-base below.

    What about natural drainage solutions?

    Where appropriate it may be possible simply to allow run-off into lawns and flower beds. Alternatively, you can direct run-off from your driveway to a depression in your garden to collect, store and slowly allow rainwater to soak into the ground or to flow to the drains.

    Soakaways are a similar idea except that water is piped into a gravel-filled trench or special container and allowed to soak into the ground. They are more suitable for houses with larger front gardens as they require space and need to be located a suitable distance from buildings.

    And how about rainwater harvesting?

    One way of reducing the risk of flooding, overcoming the need for planning consent, reducing water demand by about a third and saving money on metered water supplies is to collect and reuse rainwater, a technique known as rainwater harvesting, to provide non-drinkable water for garden irrigation, car washing and toilet flushing. Bradstone’s system uses hard and soft surfaces to collect rainwater from your driveway - and your roof or patio too - filters out leaves and debris, then stores it in a holding tank beneath the drive or patio. Water can then be drawn off via a pump as needed.

    Bradstone Rainwater Harvester: Water recycling and harvesting system.

    What other factors need to be considered?

    Slopes. The driveway should be sloped away from the house wherever possible towards the road. Do not direct water into rain gardens or soakaways close to buildings. If the driveway slopes towards the house use a drainage channel to collect any excess water and connect it to the drains that take the roof water.

    Underground services. Make sure there are no underground services close to the ground surface where you are paving (eg water pipes, cable TV, electricity cables, etc).

    Contaminated sites. If you live on a site that was contaminated by previous uses the shallow soils may have been specifically designed to prevent water soaking into the ground. If this is the case you will have to connect the paved area to the drains.

    Soil type. The soil below the driveway must be sandy or gravelly (not clay) otherwise a connection to the drains may be required. This can be checked by a simple test.

    Connection to drains. The new regulations acknowledge circumstances and houses where it may be necessary to allow run-off to drains, but this should be the last option considered, may need planning consent and therefore might not be allowed.

    Where can I get more advice?

    For further advice, please give the Simply Paving office a call on 0800 032 6306 or call the Bradstone helpline on 01335 372 289.

    This is for use only as an introductory guide and is not a definitive source of legal information. This guidance relates to planning in England only, policy throughout the rest of the UK may differ. Please contact your Local Planning Authority for further information.

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

  • Laying Block Paving

    Posted on September 23, 2010 by Simply Paving

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

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

    Site Preparation

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Screeding

    Laying

    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 - 45 degree herringbone pattern

    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.

    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

    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

  • 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.

    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

  • 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.

    Sub-grade

    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.

    Sub-base

    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.

    Combinations

    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

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