How to Lay Block Paving

Our ‘how to lay block paving’ guide will tell you how to lay block paving correctly. You can either give it a go yourself – if you have the time on your hands, or you will have the knowledge to assess whether your contractor is doing a thorough job that will last for years to come.

Step 1 Design and site survey

With so many different suppliers and different block paving designs it can be hard to decide on what to go for. Most contractors will have ‘terms’ set up with various suppliers and may be able to get good discounts – if your organising this yourself you should try a few different suppliers as they usually have very similar block paving but can be very different in price. A good contractor should be able to offer some good ideas on designs with different blocks, borders and edging stones to match up.

Once you have chosen your block, you then have to work out how many are needed for the job. Using pegs, string lines and survey spray, set out the area and mark it on the ground. Taking measurements from the area you have marked out you can calculate the overall area in square meters. If you are using a different colour border also calculate the overall perimeter length that will have a border. You can then give these calculations to your builders merchants and they will work out your total number of blocks. (Ask them to add five percent to order for wastage.)

Have your merchant have the delivery organised in advance of delivery date as to try and avoid any delays. Confirm your hardcore quantity once you have excavated the site.


Step 2 Excavation

Depending on the area of the job and also what is to be excavated you will need to assess whether a mechanical digger will be needed on the job and also ‘Is there sufficient access and room to have a digger on site?’.

When excavating you want to be typically going to a depth of 225mm, unless you hit really solid clay first – but I would advise on a minimum of 175mm. If the ground conditions are really bad you may have to go further, especially if you are going to be driving vehicles on the area.

When excavating you need to take into consideration ground slopes for your drainage so that when you cover with stone it will have an even thickness.
Step 3 Hardcore sub-base

Using a type 2 aggregate cover your ‘soon to be paved’ area to an even thickness. Do this in two layers and compact each time to avoid any weak spots. This should be done to a thickness of 100-150mm assuming the ground conditions are acceptable. (If any manhole inspection covers, drains or edging strips are on job – have these concreted into place at least 24 hours before putting in sub-base so that you can compact right to the edges.)

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Step 4 Screed and Lay

Once your sub base is prepared you then next spread your shard sand. Lay piles around the site (wheel barrow full), once covered spread with a rake. Compact your sharp sand using a vibrating plate, then setting your levels using a set of ‘screeding rails’ screed the sharp sand level with a length of timber.


Once your area is levelled you then lay your block paving to the desired pattern, first laying all your full blocks and doing your cuts afterwards. On completion the job will need to be swept over with kiln dried sand, filling all gabs between blocks and compacted over to finish.

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Hopefully this information can be of some help, if you are still unsure and think your project may be best left to the professionals feel free to call Capital Construction on 0800 6890 623, our team can help you from design to completion.


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