Block Paving is the process of laying concrete blocks or kiln-fired clay bricks together to create a hard surface. The paving technique is most commonly used to create driveways, patios, paths, town squares and road surfaces. Block paving is not only decorative, but easy to do and cost effective. Most do it yourself projects will cost around £30-50 per meter squared and can be done by anyone willing to learn the basic technique to laying the blocks. Individuals choosing to hire someone will pay around £80-100 per meter squared.
Probably the biggest benefit to block paving is the longevity that it provides. Asphalt or concrete paved surfaces that crack or break down will need full replacement. A block paved surface the breaks can simply be pulled up and replaced with a new block. Another great benefit to block paving is the flexibility in its design. Pattern ideas and colors are only limited by the imagination of the individual. Some of the more common patterns that people use are the 45 and 90 degree Herringbone pattern or the Stretcher Bond pattern.
In order to successfully install a block paved hard surface, it is essential to follow five basic steps that apply to any size or type of block paving project.
Prepare The Site
Site preparation is the key to a successful project. Dig the area with a shovel or excavator to the appropriate depth specified by the type of blocks. Remember to remove all debris from the site and pick up rocks or sticks that can cause an un-level surface.
Prepare The Edging
Edging is needed to prevent the blocks from moving out of place and losing the sand filler that keeps them packed together. Without proper edging the block paved surface will slowly lose its form and strength over time.
The sub-base is a layer of sand that the blocks or bricks will be placed on. The sand allows the installer to shape and level the surface. It also provides a uniform surface for installation.
Install the blocks by simply laying them in the sub-base. Make sure to follow the desired pattern and use a block splitter to fill in areas to fill in areas that cannot accommodate a full block.
Finally, spread Kiln Dried Sand over the block paved surface and sweep it into all of the cracks and joints. The sand strengthens the surface and prevents the blocks from shifting.
Block paving is an amazing alternative to the traditional method of asphalt or concrete paving. Block paved surfaces are decorative, low maintenance, and durable over a life time. Anyone who needs a new patio, pathway, or driveway should thoroughly consider a block paved surface.