How To Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Using Block Paving

Beginner’s Guide: 5 Block Paving Mistakes to Avoid

 You have two options with DIY block paving installations. The first is a rush job, ignoring the best practice tips, which leaves you with an uneven surface and years of frustration. The second option takes longer but ensures that you have a level surface, neat layouts and don’t have to redo the job. The second option is obviously the better one. To help you get started, we look at some of the common mistakes to avoid.

1. Using Dirt as the Backfill Material

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can save money by using in-situ material from elsewhere in your garden as a backfill. Dirt backfill will shrink considerably, leaving gaps in the block paving in addition to incorrect compaction.

You want a surface that will stay even and stable without the risk of considerable settling. To achieve this, backfill with gravel, ensuring you create a sturdy, level base that won’t settle, as is the case with conventional dirt. Don’t skimp on the thickness of the gravel base either. Take out enough dirt for a gravel base of at least 10 cm for areas where foot traffic will be anticipated. If the paved area must carry vehicle traffic, such as in your driveway, remove enough dirt to allow for a gravel base depth of 25 cm. If the pavers are to be laid on weak sand soil, you’ll need to add about 2-5 cm to the above depth.

2. Laying the Paving Blocks Without Compacting the Base

Block Paving

The gravel base forms the foundation. For it to be a solid and even foundation, you need to compact it. Make sure there are no bumps and valleys after compaction. This is the hard work part, best done with a compactor that you can rent from a tool hire supplier. It must be sufficiently compacted before you lay the sand bedding. If you compromise on this part, your paving blocks will eventually sag. For an even paved area, start with the right backfill and compact the gravel properly.

3. Not Paying Attention to Levelling the Sand Bedding

Before you install the block paving, you need to add a layer of sand. This must be level and spread out equally. The bedding sand helps to cover any uneven spots after compacting and ensures proper setting of the pavers without gaps, hills and valleys. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a thick sand bed is better. Instead, the layer must be very thin, almost paper-thin. Use the screed approach to level and spread out the sand evenly. Use a strike board, or as it is also known, a levelling plank, to screed over the sand, creating a level, compact and neat area for paver placement.

4. Not Installing the Pavers Correctly

You have just levelled the sand bed, so you don’t want to undo the hard work. If you simply drop the pavers and then push firm, you can expect issues. Don’t force pavers in either. Follow the slight drop and lock in place method to ensure even laying.

5. Going the Linear Route for Installation

It’s easy to think laying pavers in a linear fashion will work. The problem is that you compromise the stability of the pavers as interlocking will be more difficult. You can expect the pavers to move if you do this. Rather ask our consultants about the best patterns for paving stability. You can also view a few video tutorials. Other than that, if it’s a larger area, rather get the experts in to handle the installation.

As far as materials are concerned, get your quality block paving from us delivered to your site in Gauteng. Reach out for a quote or help in choosing the best block pavers for your particular application needs.