A very Aussie thing to do is relax in your backyard and have a good time with family and friends. To enhance your outdoor area, you should consider laying pavers. Pavers make your outdoor area easier to maintain and also transform it into a luxurious space, a place you love being.
Options for Pavers
In Sydney, there are many available options for pavers. Clay and concrete pavers are the most common types of pavers. They are practical but lack authenticity and originality. That’s why here at TFO, we recommend natural stone pavers. At TFO, the natural stone pavers available include varying sizes of sandstone pavers and travertine pavers. We have incredibly low prices at TFO, so much so that the prices of natural stone pavers at TFO are generally no more expensive than many clay and concrete pavers available at other tile stores. Natural stone pavers are full of character and allow you to create an outdoor area that you’ll love more and more as the pavers age gracefully over time.
It’s not as difficult as some may think to lay pavers. Therefore, some people choose to do it as a DIY project. If you are planning on laying your own pavers, here are some pointers.
1. Planning and Preparation
Calculate the size of the area you want to pave. It’s vital to know the size so that you can order the correct amount of materials needed.
Next, mark out the four corners with stakes. Tie and stretch a string between the stakes at the level you want your paving to be. If the paved area will be attached to the house, be sure to make the area slope away from the house to allow rain water to drain properly. Use a spirit level to make it completely level first but then adjust the height of the string to create a small slope if necessary. For every 1 metre, a 4mm slope is usually sufficient to let rain water drain away.
Remove the topsoil in order to lay a bed of sand before laying the pavers. A bed of sand 25mm thick should suffice for normal residential use. However, a thicker base is required for heavy traffic and driveways. It’s important at this stage to make sure that the ground is well compacted, firm and level. Therefore, be sure to remove all plants and roots. Also remove soft spots which can be filled with gravel.
Around the area to be paved, put a timber formwork and support it with stakes inserted behind the boards. Be sure to make the tops of the boards level for the next step, screeding.
Lay a bed of sand 25mm thick. To achieve a levelled screeded surface, use a board which is notched to fit inside the surrounding boards and run the board along the top of the surrounding boards. The board should have a depth 10mm less than the thickness of the pavers as this allows for compacting sand. Do not screed the entire area at once.
3. Laying the pavers
Start laying your pavers from the corner of the area. Place each paver piece flush against the other with narrow gaps of 2-4mm in between. To control the final position of the pavers, it’s best to use tools such as a trowel. After laying an area of about 1 square meter, use a rubber mallet and a long timber board and level the tops of the pavers.
If you need to cut any pavers, an angle grinder with a diamond blade cutting disk may be used. But if you need to cut many pavers, it may be faster if you hire a wet saw.
After covering the whole area with pavers, spread a mixture of 4 parts clean dry sand and 1 part dry cement over the pavers and sweep it into the joints. After removing all excess sand and cement, sprinkle water over the whole area allowing the pavers to set.
You can choose to leave the timber formwork boards in place, provided they are treated, so as to stop the pavers from moving away from their original position. Or you can choose to put invisible concrete boarders around the paved area just under the surface.
These are just a few guidelines to help you on your way to making your outdoor area into a beautiful masterpiece. For further advice and helpful hints, visit TFO.