Installation - How do you Lay Natural Stone Pavers?

 

This is a very good question because installing stone pavers can be quite challenging!

On top of that, you may have found there are a lot of different opinions on the “correct” and “best” method of installing natural stone pavers.

As with any industry, there are also many “techniques” (aka shortcuts) that can save time and money which is all well and good until something goes wrong. 

Doing it properly from the beginning would be best, wouldn’t you agree?

This is why it’s important to take advice specifically from those professionals who have a successful track record in the industry and preferably recommended by us.

When you speak to your installers, be sure to make notes and compare to below information. If you find any inconsistencies, make sure to get another opinion.

If you would like additional support, we are happy to chat with you over the phone.

It’s imperative to make sure you have chosen not only quality products but also a quality installer.

This can mean a world of difference once all your hard work is over.

 

There are three methods of installation

Rule Number 1 - Following Australian Building Standards is essential!

The information below should be considered a guideline and may require specific advice in relation to each paver or to the environment in which they will be laid.

The choice of best possible fixing materials, including sealers, should be determined specifically for each project.

 

Method One - The "Wet Lay" Method - recommended as most universal

 

This installation method can only be used on stones that are 30mm thick or 20mm porcelain pavers.

Here's how this method works:

  1. 1. Install a 100mm compacted roadbase footing
  2. 2. Once the roadbase has set the stone can be installed using a mortar-bed installation. The mortar comprises 3 parts washed brush sand, 1 part GP white cement and 1 part warter and/or additive.
  3. 3. Once the mortar mix is made it can be applied over the roadbase. The mortar bed should be no more than 30-40mm thick. Using a bricklayer's trowel the mortar can be spread evenly allowing for no air pockets. Once the mortar is ready the paver can be placed and set into the mortar using your hand or by gentle tapping with a rubber mallet. You should only tap the paver a few times to get it into position. Too much mortar and over-hitting the paver can lead to breakage.
  4. 4. Using a string-line and level is recommended when using this technique to ensure the stone is laid evenly.
  5. 5. Once installed into its desired position, leaving a 3-5mm joint for grout, fill any voids and air pockets around the perimiter of the stone, leaving it completely sealed.
  6. 6. Once this paver is set you can move onto the next stone installation by repeating the same technique.
  7. 7. Once the mortar has set and the paver is solid, you can now walk on the area and proceed to grout.
  8. 8. Once you have finished grouting, you should clean off any excess grout from your pavers.
  9. 9. Now that your pavers look clean you should allow sufficient time for the grout to dry before cleaning once more. Once clean and dry you will be able to seal your pavers.

Wet Lay Method

 

Method Two - The "Over The Concrete" Method - arguably considered the nest method

 

(However this may be considered overkill for some projects)

Here's how this method works:

  1. 1. Pour a concrete slab 90-100mm thick for foot traffic and at least 125mm thick for a driveway. Once poured, allow 28 days for it to cure fully.
  2. 2. Some concrete slabs may require waterproofing and priming prior to paver installation.
  3. 3. Once your concrete pad has been prepared, use a 12mm notch trowel to apply a flexible adhesive. Allow a minimum of 3mm gap between each stone paver for expansion and contraction.
  4. 4. If you are working with highly textured surfaces, be sure to pre-seal them before you start grouting. Otherwise it will be very challenging to remove any grout haze from the textured surface.
  5. 5. Once you have laid the stones you can finally grout your pavers.
  6. 6. After grouting clean off any excess grout from your pavers.
  7. 7. Once clean allow a sufficient amount of time for drying prior to sealing.

Over Concrete Method

 

Method Three - "On Sand or Crusher Dust"

 

This is the most basic, therefore cheapest method. It is not something that we recommend since it is not suitable for all types of pavers.

 

Conclusion

Unless you are in extremely dire circumstances we recommend methods one or two for laying natural stone pavers and avoid method three if you can.

Overall, installing stone pavers requires a certain level of expertise. As such, we stronly recommend finding a professional who can tailor the ideal solution for your unique landscape.

All of the above information is provided as a guide only. If you are looking for an installer, we can recommend one for you.