Paving Slabs Laying Guide


Below is a simple guide to laying a your Primethope Paving slabs. If you are unsure in any way we highly recommend you consult a professional.

Paving Laying Guide – Block Paving Slabs

As when undertaking any DIY or manual work, whether you are block paving or building a shelf in your living room, it is important for you to look after yourself and be safe. Part of this includes ensuring you have good quality equipment to do the job at hand.

If your plan is particularly large, or if, after reading this guide, you feel it is a little too much for you to carry out yourself – there are a range of affordable professionals that would be more than happy to help with the task. Just get in touch and we will be able to point you in the right direction.

Equipment Needed for Block Paving

  • As a rough guide the following equipment list is a great benchmark if you are looking to lay paving:
  • Shovel
  • Safety Gloves/Hat/Goggles/Ear protection
  • Sensible Clothing/Knee protection/ Steel Toe Caps
  • Trowel
  • Rake
  • Spirit Level
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Knife
  • String line/Plumb line
  • Wheel Barrow
  • Cement Mixer
  • Circular Saw/Disc Cutter
  • Vibrating plate
  • Smoothing Tool or Pipe

Step 1 – Paving Preparation Guide

So what will the finished area look like?

Whether you are working on a driveway, patio or path, having initial blueprints and designs carefully measured is essential to ensure a successful job.

Figure out what ground you need to cover and order your stone accordingly. For larger areas take into consideration perhaps hiring a mini excavator to prepare the site for laying.

It costs extra to do this but can save a lot of man hours of back breaking digging!

Next, you need to mark out your area using a pencil and tape measure. You could even be a bit more innovative and use string threaded through old tent anchors to map out your area more clearly while working.

Once you have done this, excavate the area to a depth of 150mm below your desired finish level. If you are doing this with a spade and shovel be mindful of your technique to avoid straining the back muscles.

Another thing to consider; How is water going to drain off the paving when it rains? If necessary it may be useful to create a small slope in your work to make sure there is sufficient drainage for surface water.

Step 2 -The Sub-Base

The next stage is to apply a sub-base of MOT Type 1 crushed concrete. This can be spread across the area with a rake initially, and then thoroughly compacted using a vibrating plate machine.

You want to aim for a minimum thickness of 75mm whilst doing this. When using a vibrating plate please follow all manufacturer’s guidelines and in particular make sure your ears are protected from the noise.

Step 3 – Preparing A Cement Mix

Safety gloves are essential for this part to protect your skin from cement. You can make the mix by using the cement mixer or, if you don’t have one, a simple wheelbarrow and shovel:

  • Start off by making a mix of 5 parts building sand, 1 part cement and water to create an even consistency.
  • Then, from the furthest point away, apply a perimeter course of mortar that is approximately 50mm thick to the sub-base where you want your first slabs to go.

Now comes the fun part; laying your paving stones.

Step 4 – Laying the Paving Slabs

So you’ve prepared the site and now it’s time to turn it into a paved paradise. What’s next?

Always lift from your legs, not your back. It’s important to only attempt to carry loads that you are comfortable with and not over exert yourself here, as this part is hard, but satisfying work.

Get help where needed to carry the heavier stones, and mind your fingers and toes! Steel toe capped boots are always recommended in these situations.

Guide your stone over the laid mortar and gently position it flat on top. Use a rubber mallet and tap the centre of the stone to move it to the required finish level and slope for surface water drainage.

You want to make sure that throughout this process your stones are guided in evenly and smoothly, so take your time. Keep an eye on gaps between paving stones throughout, are they consistent? Use your hand to check edge levels.

Once you are satisfied that you have finished laying your area and it looks clean, you will want to allow it to set in place for 24-48 hours.

Step 5 – Final Touches and Sealing

When the paving stones are set, pointing them makes a good job look that little bit better. Use a jointing compound like Geo Fix to brush into your joints and make them look even smoother.

Wear safety gloves as you work on this. Spread the jointing compound out with a trowel and brush into your joints with a small hand brush.

Once in the joints, you can use your trowel to smooth the compound across the joint; a smoothing tool or small piece of pipe comes in handy for a professional looking finish.

You can also choose to apply a sealer to the area which will further weatherproof the paving. Always read the manufacturers guides or labels on any product you choose.

There you have it! A wonderfully paved job.

Download our Free laying & advice guide here

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