There are a variety of different concrete paving stones that can be used in sidewalks and patios. To ensure success there are some steps that should be followed when laying any of the paving stones or sidewalk blocks. This will ensure the longevity of your patio and pathways.
- road Crush (¾”)
- sand and a straight board
- paving stones or sidewalk blocks
How many pavers required?
- Outline the project area using stakes and string.
- Calculate the total project surface area by multiplying its length (ft.) by its width (ft.). The result will be in square feet.
- Calculate the number of stones / blocks you will need:
- Determine the total surface area of a stone/block by multiplying the length (inches) of one of the stones/blocks by its width (inches). The result will be in square inches.
- Ensure that all measurements are in the same unit. Convert square inches to square feet by dividing square inches by 144.
- Determine how many stones / blocks you will require by dividing the total project surface area by the total surface area of a stone / block.
- The addition of extra stones / blocks for trimming is recommended. To calculate the recommended number of stones/blocks required, multiply the number of required stones/ blocks by 1.05 or 1.1.
How to Install pavers
- Clear and level the marked area to a depth that will allow for a road crush base of 4-6 inches, a ½-1 inch layer of sand on top of the base, plus the depth of a stone/block.
- Apply a 2 inch layer of road crush to the project area and use the tamper to compact it. Ensure it is level before applying another 2 inch layer. Repeat this process until your base is completed.
- Install the edging material - wood, plastic or metal edging designed for concrete
- Apply the ½-1 inch layer of sand on top of the base.
- Drag a straight board across the area to level out the sand. This process is called “screeding.”
- Lay the stones / blocks over the area. Start at an edge and ensure that the stones’ / blocks’ edges are flush with each other and against the edging material. Step on the stones as you lay them to keep from disturbing the sand layer and check periodically to ensure that the area remains level and the rows remain straight.
- Trim stones / blocks to fit the area.
- Cover the area with sand and use the tamper to set the stones/blocks.
- Sweep the sand into the joints between stones/blocks to lock them into place.
What is efflorescence:
Efflorescence is a white haze that may appear on the surface of concrete pavers after a few weeks or months. Efflorescence is completely natural and will disappear with time.
What causes efflorescence:
It is caused when water in the paver evaporates bringing minerals and salts to the surface. As the water evaporates, it leaves the salt behind, which forms a white, fluffy deposit, that can normally be brushed off.
How to treat efflorescence:
Efflorescence will diminish with time as the soluble salts and mineral with sweat out of the stones. Moisture will draw the salts and minerals out so wetting down the area can help hasten this process. If efflorescence doesn't clear quick enough if can be removed by scrubbing with a dry stiff-bristled brush followed by flushing with clean water. If all else fails there are cleaning products specific formulated for use on concrete paving stones.