Here is a fantastic guide on how to lay and install Natural Stone Pavers
Before we start with our guide to lay your own pavers, it is important to realise the risks and dangers of grabbing a trowel to complete a ‘do-it-yourself’ project. As with a lot of industries, there are many techniques and even shortcuts that will save you time and money. This is a great concept, until something goes wrong, and when this happens you are left with the consequences to your project that will then add additional costs and extra time to repair. Not to mention the extra stress put on your mental health.
It’s important to do it all properly from the beginning, and invest in quality products supplied by reputable companies. They can give you advice specifically to suit your project and can even recommend professional installers to lay the pavers for you.
To create a flawless pavement area, it will involve investing in quality materials and then also having quality workmanship. You cannot have one without the other and have the same end result. To give you a solid foundation about how to lay pavers and how to start your next project, we will go over two of the most popular methods of laying stone pavers, and some tips on how to choose your installer.
2 Methods To Lay Natural Stone Pavers
1. Slab Paving:
This is our preferred method for laying stone pavers. This method might be a bit more costly than other methods, but it is a solid and reliable method which will maintain your paved area over the long term.
1. Pour concrete slab of 90-100mm thick for foot traffic and 125mm thick minimum for a driveway, then allow 14 days for it to cure.
2. Waterproof your concrete slab to avoid efflorescence. Efflorescence is when salts come to the surface of the concrete and create a white foam-like substance in the grout joints. If the concrete slab is not waterproofed, efflorescence can come out of the pores of the stone too.
3. Apply a flexible glue, and make sure you have a minimum of 3mm gap between the stone pavers to allow for expansion and contraction.
4. Pre seal natural stone before you start grouting, as it can be very challenging to remove any grout haze from the textured surface of natural stone.
5. Choose a grouting product that has an in-built sealer. This will help the stones resist efflorescence as well as fighting against mould and stains. term.
6. Clean off excess grout from your pavers, you should revisit the following day, as you might find some pavers still have grout haze still on them. You may need to use a
product that has phosphoric acid in it to help remove the build up. So before application, read the instructions to determine the correct mixing ratio.
7. Finish with a water-based top sealer, as it penetrates well into the pores of the stone and typically lasts up to 15 years. Using nanotechnology and micro-band formulation, will also fights against active mould and is specifically created to have a low VOC rating.
2. Rigid Paving:
This method is more cost effective, and is still considered a quality installation for laying natural stone pavers or porcelain pavers. However, this installation method should only be used on stones that are 30mm above. (Although 20mm porcelains can be used as they are very dense and tough). Any tiles below 20mm must be installed using a tile adhesive on a sand cement tile screed or like the method referred to in method 1.
1. Install 100mm compacted road base footing
2. Using a mortar mix (made from 3 parts washed bush sand, 1 part GP white cement and 1 part water and or/additive installation), trowel out onto the slab/ roadbase footing. The mortar bed should be no more then 30-40mm thick. Spread evenly allowing for no air pockets.
3. Place pavers on the mortar bed and gently hit into place using a rubber mallet. (Using a stringline for correct fall is recommended)
4. Leave 3-5mm joints for grout, and fill any voids and air pockets around the perimeters of the stone leaving it completely sealed.
5. Repeat with other pavers
6. Once the mortar is set and the paver is solid you can now walk on the area and proceed grouting.
As you can see, installing stone pavers will require a certain level of knowledge and experience. Which is why we strongly recommend that you find a professional who can tailor the ideal solution for your project.
Choosing your installer:
When speaking to your potential installer, make sure you are making notes so you can compare them to what is discussed in this article. If you do find contradictions or variations, make sure to get another opinion, and ask their feedback.
1- Interview them and discuss their experience and recommendations
2- Cross-check the information they’ve given you with these points below
3- Check reviews on their business website and social media pages
Working with a valuable asset like your home or workplace means you need to be mindful where you are spending your time and money. This article simply serves you as a guide and blueprint, and we suggest that if you are looking for an installer to reach out to our team at Bonita Stone, we would be happy to assist you further.