Laying paving slabs: preparing the foundation and paving with your own hands (85 photos)
A time—tested solution is paving slabs for the yard, cottage, garden. There is no better coverage for a relatively small area, and there are several reasons for this.
Functionality. The tile is convenient for hiking, it will easily withstand a small car or other type of transport. This is the kind of coating that is not afraid of frost, moisture, sunlight and temperature changes.
Easy to maintain and repair. Replacing a cracked slab is much easier than putting a damaged concrete or asphalt surface in order.
Aesthetic appeal. Any pattern can be laid out of ceramic or concrete products. It will not be difficult to purchase a product of the required shape, size and color.
But the main thing is that laying tracks from such material with your own hands is a task that is feasible even for non–professionals armed with a minimum of skills and a small set of tools.
All work on laying tiles on the site begins with planning. It is necessary to measure all the parameters of the territory where the work will be carried out. Based on the data obtained, it is necessary to calculate the amount of tiles, sand, cement, glue, and other necessary materials.
Tools and accessories should also be prepared. The backbone of the list will look something like this:
- mortar mixing tank or concrete mixer;
- grinder with a disc for cutting tiles;
- shovel and bayonet shovel;
- two buckets;
- rubber hammer;
Thoughts about choosing a tile
If we are talking about size, color, future pattern or composition – there are no universal recipes. Everyone chooses a tile to their liking, according to the design idea and taking into account the features of the yard, cottage or garden.
To lay a tile for a private yard without mistakes, you should think about who and how will move on it. If we are talking only about people, a vibro-cast tile with a thickness of 25 to 40 mm is enough. If you plan to keep a car there, a material created using the same technology, but with a greater thickness, from 40 to 60 mm, will be suitable.
When there is, for example, a small private production on the farmstead and from time to time the arrival of heavy machinery is necessary, part of the area must be laid out with vibropressed tiles up to 80 mm thick. It costs more than a vibrating plate, but is able to withstand significant loads.
Vibro-cast tiles can be made independently. Vibrating table, molds, concrete mixer – this is the main set of equipment for such work. But this makes sense only when the yard is large.
Detailed step-by-step instructions for laying paving slabs begin with the preparation of the territory.
The first thing to do is to clear the soil of debris, turf and other extraneous things.
The second is to dig a recess for half the bayonet of the shovel or more, depending on the type of pillow chosen.
The third is to lay a layer of crushed stone or expanded clay of a large fraction on the bottom.
The fourth is to lay a layer of geotextile. This material freely passes water and air, but does not allow the grass to destroy the path.
The fifth is a layer of sand, a sand–cement screed or a solid concrete base. The more unstable the soil and the higher the groundwater level, the more powerful the foundation should be. And, accordingly, if cars will drive along the track, a concrete base is mandatory. With a solid ground, paving slabs on sand can be laid without hesitation.
For a concrete foundation, cement, sand, water and filler are needed. The solution is prepared according to classical technology, in a ratio of 1:1:3. Crushed stone, broken brick or something similar is used as a filler.
On average, ten centimeters of the pillow will be more than enough. The pillow should be completely dry. On hot days, the concrete should be watered or covered with a film so as not to crack.
The technology of laying paving slabs is extremely simple, but it is necessary to approach the work with a certain pedantry. This is not a process that will forgive the slightest marriage. Sooner or later, sloppy work will affect the appearance or stability of the track.
Even at the stage of preparing the site, it is necessary to determine the width of the tracks very precisely in order to choose the right tile sizes. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the presence of gaps, curbs and other elements, if any.
The surface under the tile should be as smooth as possible.
After everything is ready, it's time to start laying out the tiles. To implement the selected pattern or drawing, it is necessary to prepare its elements, trim as necessary and put it at the place of work.
In the photo of paving slabs, you can find popular patterns and compositions, from geometric to volumetric and artistic. It is also easy to come up with your own version, but you must take care to buy the source material in the right proportion.
The laying process is a step—by-step instruction
Curb. In order for the curb stone to be held more securely, they make a special concrete lock, almost a groove. This is a great solution, although time-consuming. It will precisely ensure the durability and stability of the track.
Tile. It is laid out on a sandy base after watering. The surface is leveled with a rubber hammer, along a rope stretched in advance and under the construction level.
The order of laying is from the bottom point in the direction of elevation and necessarily from yourself. That is, the stacker needs to move forward on a ready-made track. This approach will help to leave the already prepared foundation smooth. The starting point for installation is some kind of border, an entrance door, for example, or something similar.
The gap. It is important in order to have where the water goes, and for the quality of the surface. The pattern should be laid out exactly. It is reasonable to use special plastic spacers for this, which will not allow you to make the gap between the tiles too different.
There is a tile with remote locks, these are small edges that do not allow you to make a gap incorrectly.
Grouting of seams. It is produced in two steps: pure fine sand and sand-cement mixture. A broom acts as a tool for sweeping. In a construction supermarket, you can buy a ready-made mixture for grouting joints, but these are additional costs that are not particularly justified.
Watering with water. It is necessary to pour until small puddles form.
Impregnation. To protect the tile and concrete base from cracking under the influence of temperature changes, impregnation with mixtures called hydrophobizers is used. They fill the pores without letting water through, and also do not allow destruction under the influence of sunlight and mechanical stress.
When the tile is laid, it is necessary to organize the care of it. It consists in constant sweeping and snow removal in winter. It is not recommended to scrape snow with a metal shovel, especially to knock down ice with a crowbar. A plastic tool is enough for such work.
Photos of the paving tile laying process