Carpentry, Home, Repairs

How to lay paving stones in a driveway or terrace

Paving stones

Cracked or broken paving stones in the driveway or on the terrace do not make a good impression. Our guide will show you how to lay paving stones in a driveway or for a terrace. It is not difficult to pave a surface again. With this guide, you simply lay the paving stones yourself.

Heavy concrete slabs in dimensions of 50 x 50 cm are now being replaced by the handy variant: Concrete slabs with a size of 25 x 25 cm are easy to lay. With eight centimeters thick and the right substructure, the pavement is sturdy.

Lay paving stones in a driveway: What should I pay attention to when paving?

If you only replace the covering when you lay paving stones in a driveway, you do not need to additionally repair the substructure. Just attach a matching leveling bed.

Do not forget: The leveling bed and the laid paving should later have at least a slope of two percent. This must also be adhered to when laying the panels.

In order to achieve the necessary gradient of two percent and to maintain this consistently, it is necessary to work with guidelines: Determine the later approach height, calculate the plate thickness and then tension, starting from the garage or house, to the left and right of the Area an exactly horizontal line.

Then lower the guide line away from the house every meter by two centimeters. This way, you reliably receive a 2% gradient!

Paving: Prepare the substructure

Distribute leveling layer

Coarsely distribute the 3 to 7 cm thick leveling layer with a grain size of 0/2 or 0/4 on the surface.

Set the string line with a gradient of at least 2%.

A metal angle helps to stake out the area to be covered at a right angle. Such a right-angled giant angle can also be quickly made by yourself. With a wooden triangle made of straight timber, the aspect ratio must be exactly 3 to 4 to 5 (according to Pythagoras a² + b² = c²).

Water lightly to prevent dust.

Compact the surface with a vibration plate.

Stretching the guide line (string line)

  • First, the nylon cord is knotted into a loop.
  • So now form a loop and lay around the string.
  • The string is now drawn to tension and wrapped three times from bottom to top as in the drawing for the next line.
  • Now with your left hand lift the tensioned string and pull the end of the string under with your right hand.
  • If you now pull the left side down again, the cord clamps itself firmly.

Level the ground

To the left and right of the surface, a round bar is placed in the ground to level the ground above. Between rod and guide you have to measure the thickness of the concrete paving stones.

If the two iron bars (here in the drawing) are aligned with the respective slope, the sand surface is withdrawn with a straightening or a long spirit level so that a homogeneous surface is formed.

Laying the paving stones

lay paving stones in a driveway

You have already defined the position of the paving surface by means of the straightening cords, so that now the pavement can be laid straight and perpendicular along these cords.

lay paving stones in a driveway

In order to create a staggered pattern and to wedge the plates with each other under load and not tilt up, the second row is placed starting with a half plate.

lay paving stones in a driveway

The plates are placed together with a joint of about 3 mm. Some manufacturers provide their products with small spacers that provide a minimum distance.

Cutting the paving stones

lay paving stones in a driveway

Some manufacturers also have half stones in their program, and if not, you can cut them yourself. Often, however, you have to cut other formats and so you draw the cut with a piece of chalk.

lay paving stones in a driveway

When dealing with an angle grinder with a cutting disc or even a stone cutter, proceed with care!

lay paving stones in a driveway

Consider tree growth and cut the plates accordingly.

lay paving stones in a driveway

TIP: In order to help collect the stone dust during cutting and not to distribute it in the garden, professionals like to set up a wheelbarrow as a dust catcher.

Laying pattern for paving stones

The staggered pattern with equal and square plates or stones is the simplest variant for a paved area. If you want something more inventive, you can use a variation of different plate dimensions and colors and combine them when you lay paving stones in a driveway. Some examples are shown below:

lay paving stones in a driveway
lay paving stones in a driveway
lay paving stones in a driveway

How to clean the paving stones

Moss and weeds often accumulate between the paved cracks. It is therefore important to thoroughly clean the plaster once a year. Here’s how to do it:

Remove moss and weeds from the cracks: After you have swept the driveway thoroughly, scratch the tufts of grass and the moss from the gaps. For a small rake, an old knife or a special joint scraper is suitable. Chemical weed killers should keep their hands off as the toxic ingredients seep directly into the groundwater.

  • Cleaning plates with a high-pressure cleaner: If you want to remove stubborn dirt such as mosses and lichens or even bird droppings on the paving stones with a high-pressure cleaner, you should take care not to undermine the plates. In addition, too much water pressure can damage the plates. Therefore, the high-pressure cleaner should only be used for hard rocks such as granite or basalt.
  • Clean concrete blocks with soda water: For concrete, you can use a mixture of soda and water, but you should refrain from using sensitive natural stones. Mix 10 liters of water with 100 grams of soda from the drugstore and spread it evenly on the plaster. After a contact time of around 5 hours, rinse the plates with clean water. Soon, the plates shine like new again!
  • Clean natural stones with water and mild detergent: For sensitive limestone or marble, it is best to use lukewarm water and pH-neutral detergent without surfactants. Brush the stones well, then they are dried with a rag.

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gerhardt-richter Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.