Builders Paving Tips

Natural stone or fired-clay pavers or tiles are the perfect solution for homeowners wanting a permanent, stylish and hard-wearing covering for outdoor areas that will outlive the homeowner.

Ideal for patios and paths, natural stone or fired-clay tiles offer a classy permanency that no other product can match, while the patterns, textures and colours of pavers make them perfect for laying around swimming pools, patios or as a driveway.

While herringbone peel and stick backsplash tile tiles are generally laid on a bed of cement, pavers, being much thicker, are generally laid on a bed of sand atop screenings, though often a bed of cement will also be used.

Like everything, home renovators will find proper planning and attention to detail when choosing which material you intend to use, designing the layout pattern, and preparation for laying is of prime importance if the finished job is going to match your expectations, and stay the same over the years.

If laid correctly a natural stone or fired-clay paver or tile floor will last for generations, with stone paved streets dating back to 4,000BC in Ur, site of modern-day Tell el-Muqayyar, in Iraq’s Dhi Qar Governorate.

By far regular square or oblong shapes are easier to lay than irregular shapes, though tumbled and rounded edge natural stone or fired-clay pavers, or even fancy cut tiles for that matter, can ad spots of feature to large areas if used appropriately, and with discretion.

Brisbane homeowners will find that these days there are a large number of suppliers offering natural stone and fired-clay pavers across the Brisbane metropolitan area, with homeowners in major Queensland rural centres also well catered for.

While many people chose new products for their Brisbane stone or clay paved or tiled floor, the allure, and charm of used pavers and bricks often provide a more natural looking accompaniment to established Brisbane homes, or those built to the architecture of a certain period in time.

Once you’ve decided on the style of paver or tile you want, spend a bit of time sketching or drafting on a computer a top-down view of how you expect the finished paving or tiling to look.

Once you’re satisfied, it’s either time to call in a professional paver, or head off to the stonemasons to organise your supplies. One source of buying pavers not to be overlooked is online shopping websites such as ebay, but remember that if you get less than the required quantity it may be almost impossible to match what you buy, so ensure to get at least five percent more than what you require, and 10 percent more if you have lots of curved areas.

For pavers or tiles being laid under a covered area, drainage is not such a concern, however, for those laid outside adequate drainage is necessary, as is a gentle slope to ensure rainwater flows to drains.

Failure to install adequate drainage under pavers or tiles exposed to the elements will result in the base beneath your pavers eroding and destabilizing, resulting in movement in your design, possibly requiring re-laying.

For a standard patio paver floor create a good base using good quality quarry rubble or bluestone approximately 50mm deep and compact it well, followed by a 30mm layer of clean, screened brick-sand.

Sprinkle a layer cement powder on top and then carefully run out string lines as a guide for the pavers or tiles to butt against. Be sure to use a spirit level to confirm fall, thought a 25mm piece of clear plastic tubing filled with water with an air bubble will work just as well.

Carefully lay the pavers or tiles in the pattern desired, with herringbone, basket weave or stretcher bond the most common.

Once the pavers are laid, spread clean, dry sand over the top and brush it between the edges of the pavers. For tiles a mortar mix can be applied if a larger gap between each tile is desired.

Note that for the next few days homeowners laying a natural stone or fired-clay paver or tile floor will need to spread more dry sand over the pavers – with particular emphasis on dry – until the sand fills the gaps between the blocks.

Unless you are extremely fortunate or the area being covered is a perfect size, tiles or pavers are going to need cutting to fit the space available. The best method of doing this is with either a diamond blade saw or angle grinder, being sure to wear protective gloves and masks while cutting.

If a natural stone or fired-clay paver or tile floor is being installed as part of other home renovation work, homeowners will find that the majority of home renovation companies can perform the work at the same time, ensuring a higher quality and faster finish than most home do-it-yourselfers.

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