How to lay pavers? Don’t use pavers!

The 2020 search phase “Coronavirus near me” will undoubtedly dwarf the number of 2019 google searches for “Fires near me”, which came in as the most popular trending phrase of the year on google by Australians at the end of 2019.

What was more interesting for us to learn here at StoneSet – the phrase “how to lay pavers” came in at a whopping no.3 of the highest number of google searches in its “DIY” category of google searches by Australians in 2019.

Top Google Search Trends for 2019 showed some funny trends, Paving being no.3!


How lay pavers..properly?

That’s one of the secret peculiarities of google search trends, not immediately obvious in the data. Those of us researching how to lay paving are actually wanting to understand 1. whats involved in the process and 2. Is this something I can achieve to a high standard, a standard that will last and a look i am wanting to live with.

Even a very crude summary of the paving process (or in industry speak laying “segmental pavers”) shows a much more involved process than most would care to undertake. The process of Paving, how to lay would turn off many of those eager google searchers looking into “how to lay pavers”

  1. Remove existing surface (excavate soil if no current hard surface)
  2. Install and level 100-150mm crushed rock ‘base’ and compact with machinery
  3. Install layers of landscaping ‘geo’ fabric and a sand bed to correct specifications
  4. Form up edges to allow 50mm thick pavers by ‘framing’ the area
  5. Place pavers and cut with machinery in sections to ‘wedge’ all pavers tightly into the frame
  6. Broom a final layer of sand to infill gaps and ‘lock’ pavers in place

The fact remains – Paving contractors exist because “getting the job done right” is much to do with the intricacies of basing and edging correctly. The reality of how to lay paving is a multi stage process that requires skill and special compacting and cutting equipment done reliably to progress the job successful final finish.

Rethink ‘laying pavers’

The below project was by a homeowner in greater Adelaide, who did a fantastic job of diy paving using a bagged stone they sourced locally and mixing with StoneSet polyurethane resin. Again the porous paving natural stone was idea to shape into flowing curves and bends of the pathways, and meeting the corners of existing paved areas and council crossovers, bases of steps and letterboxes. Another incredible diy paving result most ideally suited to an application of StoneSet resin bound paving.

One of the best strategies you can use at the start of taking on any project is to pause and assess your assumptions – in this case, do I even need to use pavers?

If you’re at the stage of pondering how to install pavers in concrete or on that vacant unsightly area around you home – as hundreds of thousands of us did in 2019 – Now is the very best time to re-asses the options and your approach

Driveway paving is almost certainly best left to professional contractors. Your car weighs somewhere around 1 Tonne, but a skip bin or removal van could way closer to 5 tonne. This is where the failure to prepare a base to industry standard pressure loadings of 32MPA or above can destroy your hard work and theoretical labour savings. The costs to remediate damaged sections or worse, pull up and dump pavers and re-do the area (this time paying a licensed contractor!)

Areas of foot traffic are different – whether over an existing hard surface or excavating soil and creating a new sound base with 100mm layer of compacted, crushed stone base. For those looking at paving patios, courtyard areas and how to create a pathway – DIY Paving gives two very significant advantages to StoneSet over Segmental Pavers.

A comparison of the process involved installing StoneSet for footpaths

  1. Remove existing surface (excavate soil if no current hard surface)
  2. Engage a landscaper to level 100-150mm crushed rock ‘base’ and compact with machinery, leaving 25mm recess for the final StoneSet layer at the top
  3. Hand mix a bag of stone and pot of resin 1:1 and trowel flat into position
  4. Work stone into edges and corners – no cutting or correct spacing required!

StoneSet Can be shaped, not cut!

Like for like, StoneSet and Pavers have near identical properties in durability. StoneSet uses natural stone and a hard binding resin that has been trusted by architects for decades, in use at Kirribilli house, Port Arthur Tasmania and thousands of other applications Australia wide.

The granular nature of stone mixed with resin over a pre-shaped segmental block means StoneSet is vastly easier to shape into existing corners, nooks, narrow strips and all manner of pre-existing edging that is a limitation on almost every job. This is a huge advantage that offsets the time, risk and costs of using concrete saws and other cutting equipment, which is typically the investment into ‘tools of the trade’ paving contractors make to get the job done right.

Heres another example of using StoneSet DIY kits. The fact the paths and edges have rounded borders or intricate shapes and corners made it immensely beneficial laying StoneSet. The alternative was cutting scores of segmental pavers to shape and probably days worth of time fitting these in correctly!


StoneSet is permeable paving

Your hard work diy paving may be quickly undone if you find at the next downpour water run off has a serious or knock on effect and you need to install drainage. Or similarly, if you receive a knock at your door after Council has become aware of an un-approved hard surface addition to your property – usually after reviewing monthly areal imagery and typically an issue in more densely populated municipalities.

One might wonder why StoneSet resin bound stone is somewhat of a secret, or as were often told ‘no one knows about it’.

The fact is old habits die hard, and pavers as a technology that has been around for centuries, is far more familiar – especially to the predictable forebrain that wants a speedy, easy answer from google search result.

Without being too harsh (the majority of us that crave instant answer from google) It is fair to say StoneSet resin bound stone is the ‘new kid on the block’ – at the very forefront of paving technology.

Whilst pavers have been widespread in the construction industry for centuries, only in the last decade has the polyurethane technology evolved to rival, and exceed the strength of conventional solid clay and cementitious paving alternatives.

Only more recently still, has that technology been developed and packaged as a DIY paving product – meaning it is one of the least widespread and least familiar alternatives available for those wondering how to lay pavers.

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