Everything you need to know about paving work


Paving, or the art of laying cobblestones, usually cubes of stone that can be walked or rolled on, is a decorative element that is mainly found outdoors. The paving is very decorative and requires a perfect mastery of installation techniques. It is used to create walkways, public roads, terraces or even swimming pools. To succeed in your paving job, you not only have to choose the type of paving stone, but also decide on the most appropriate laying technique.  

Which paving stone to choose?

The classic paver is a cube but there are all kinds of shapes: rectangle, rosette-shaped or even rounded for certain curves. As for the colors, there are different shades on the market ranging from gray to red tones and manufacturers have even created pavers with signs of wear to give them an already aged look.

To help you in your selection, the ideal is to make a plan of its paving, called a layout. You will not only visualize the result and the final geometric aspect, but you will also know the exact amount of material to buy. 

The last thing to consider is the thickness of the paver. This characteristic depends on the use for which the driveway or paved area is intended. For a driveway you will need a paving stone of at least 6 cm which will therefore be able to withstand the weight whereas if the path is only pedestrian a thickness of 3 cm will be sufficient. Also take an interest in interlocking paving stones, which have many advantages, including ease of installation since they do not require any joints and impressive resistance with a longevity of up to 50 years.

Finally, for advice, it is recommended that you call on a professional near you, such as a paving company in Boisbriand. He will also know the style of what is being done in your region, and will surely have carried out construction sites nearby that you can go and see in order to appreciate the quality of his work.

The different paving techniques

There are mainly two types of installation: on sand bed or on mortar. The first technique is often used to install pavers more than 6 cm thick and in walkways. The first step is to lower the laying area to a depth of about 15 to 20 cm and place the sand there. Do not forget to tamp it in order to stabilize it and above all do not forget to create a slight slope to allow the rainwater to run off.

Then comes the placement of the pavers respecting the plan of layout and while leaving sufficient space between them for the joints. For this, we use shims of the same size that are inserted between each paving stone. Then comes the tamping step to properly wedge the pavers and press them on the sand bed to ensure stability and obtain a flat surface. You can then install the gaskets.

Regarding paving on a mortar screed, it is advisable to clean the concrete surface with a high-pressure machine then to prepare its mortar (mixture of sand, cement and water) and to deposit it in the area to be paved on a thickness of 2 cm. This technique is mainly used for the creation of a terrace or a swimming pool. 

Whatever technique is used, the most important is the regularity in the installation of the laying surface.