Paving slabs are stones, brick or concrete used as exterior flooring. In most homes, paving slabs are used to create driveways, walkways, outdoor platforms, and patios. Laying paving slabs is by no means an easy task. Creating a simple walkway using pavers is time-consuming and labor intensive. So before taking on this project, you need to be patient to achieve a professional-looking result. We’re giving you a step-by-step guide on how to lay paving slabs for the home:
Step 1: Prepping the Base
Start by mapping out what kind of structure you want. If it’s a driveway, figure out the length of the space for paving. Then, dig the ground using a wacker to create the foundation for the paving slabs. You can use a pattern or a border to determine how you will fit every paver into the ground. When leveling the ground, make sure to consider the height of the slab and the hardcore rubble for the foundation.
Step 2: Creating the Foundation
After you’re done mapping out the base, you need hardcore rubble as the foundation for the paving slabs. Hardcore rubble is a mix of crushed rocks. You can get this from your local DIY or hardware store. Spread the hardcore rubble into the dug area evenly. If there’s any bump, rake it to re-distribute the rocks.
Then, use the wacker to squeeze the rocks tighter together, making it more compact. This way, the rubble won’t move around as you step on the paving slab. 3 to 4 inches of rubble is enough for walkways. But for driveways, you’ll need to add a layer of cement to boost the strength of the base. If you’re creating a patio, make sure to install a drainage. This way, the rainwater won’t soak into the ground and weaken the foundation.
Step 3: Installing the Paving Slabs
Hammer wooden pegs into the area using a spirit level. The pegs will mark the surface level needed to be paved. Take into account any raised areas or manhole and make the necessary adjustments. Then, prepare five parts building sand and one part cement. You can use a wheelbarrow or a cement mixer to mix the mortar.
Start applying a layer of mortar, around two to three inches deep. Then, apply the paving slab. Press the slab firmly or use a rubber mallet to tap it into place. Leave at least an inch between every slab. Don’t get any mortar on the surface of the slab.
Step 4(Optional): Applying the Border
After you’re done laying all the paving slabs, you can start applying a border to the paved area. Borders are smaller edging blocks that give a paved pathway a professional look.
Step 5: Filling the Gaps
Now fill the gaps between the slabs with the same mortar you used for the foundation. Apply the mortar evenly. If you accidentally left mortar on the slabs, remove it right away to prevent staining.
After you’re done filling the gaps, leave the mortar to dry for a week. Once the mortar is set, then you can add any furnishing to dress up the new pathway!