Laying Block Paving

Posted on September 23, 2010 by Simply Paving There have been 2 comment(s)

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.


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.



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 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

2 Responses to Laying Block Paving

  • Guy says:

    great article thanks
    I really like your carpet cobblestones here
    I am going to go for the rustic bred I think
    one question I have
    I will be doing job myself and have been studying preparing base and laying stones
    however when laying these carpet stones would the joints in between the stones thmeselves be finished with a sand and cement dry mixture and then wetted down? as the gaps are too wide for kiln dried sand to be brushed in, right?

    Posted on March 6, 2012 at 2:22 am

  • Hi,

    The joints are probably best pointed with either a dry sand and cement mix (brushed in) or a specifically designed jointing compound.

    You can then apply a fine mist over the paved area to hydrate the cement. Be careful not to wash the pointing out of the gaps as this can stain the surface of the carpet stones.

    When dry, check the paved area to ensure all joints are fully filled.

    Kiln dried sand is not suitable for use with carpet stones as the joints are too wide and there is no binding agent to ensure the sand is held in place.

    For more information on laying carpet stones please refer to

    Don’t forget if you require any help with your project our friendly and knowledgeable staff are available to take your call from 8am to 8pm everyday on 0800 032 6306.

    Best regards

    Simply Paving

    Posted on March 6, 2012 at 8:12 am