Up until now we have been discussing interior tiles pretty exclusively. As a result, I figured it might be time to move this outside and talk about natural stone pavers. Stone pavers can add an impressive effect to your outdoor settings as you can see above. People often say, “Yea that looks great, but are they hard to install?” In short, no more difficult than concrete or brick. The most common method of installation is as follows:
1. Excavate the area where the pavers are to be installed. Be sure to call your utilities to ensure the area is safe to dig. The last thing you need is to knock out cable for the neighbourhood.
2. Fill in the area with a base material. A gravel material will work best and allow for drainage. Make sure to lay the base with a slight slope away from the house. You will have to compact the base using either a machine or hand tamp. This will ensure a long life for your project.
3. Spread a layer of coarse sand over the compacted base. About an inch will do and in this case, more is not better. It is in this layer of sand that you will lay the paving stones.
4. Lay the pavers in the desired pattern into the sand leaving a small space (about 1/8″ or so) between the stones. The sand will work its way into these grooves and act like a grout.
5. Once the stones are in place, sweep off the excess sand and compact the stones into the sand. You may start to see sand make its way up the gaps. Don’t worry, this is OK. If the amount is excessive, just sweep it away and continue compacting. You can also work sand down into those gaps to help secure them into place.
You will want to make sure that you edge your project. There is nothing more frustrating than all of your hard work sliding apart.
For some more general information regarding natural stone pavers, check out this LINK.