Making paving paths


Paved paths have an undeniable advantage over continuous concreting: this is a more environmentally friendly coating not only in relation to the ground, but also for humans.

It does not violate the natural heat transfer, and therefore contributes to a lower temperature background in the hot season.

In addition, such a track can be moved to another location with minimal losses when the site layout changes.

Paving stones and solid ceramic bricks are used as paving materials.

Tiles and natural stone (sandstone) are suitable if they are at least 6 cm thick.

All options for such coverage can be done independently. But keep in mind that paving stones and bricks require more painstaking laying.

The option of creating concrete tiles with your own hands seems to some to be more attractive, so I will dwell on it in more detail.


In this case, it is important for any «homemade» to know the mandatory requirements for the paving material.

A tile that has at least one size larger than 60 cm must have a thickness of at least 6 cm so that it does not crack during operation.

If the tile will be subjected to more intense loads, for example, automotive, then in addition to observing the above thickness, it is additionally reinforced (with parameters greater than 30 cm).

Small tiles (within 50 cm) and 4 cm thick will easily cope with pedestrian loads.

And paving from tiles of small sizes, even with a thickness of 3.5-4.5 cm, can easily withstand the weight of a car up to 3 tons. The main thing is to follow the laying technology and properly prepare the base.


The best option is to use ready-made plastic molds. Thankfully there is a choice. Here, the relation size : thickness. The question is, rather, in the required quantity.

Let’s try to calculate:

  • 12 hours for initial drying,
  • it makes no sense to knead the solution on one form.

It makes sense to take at least four forms. In this case, your productivity will be about 8 tiles per day (4 at 8.00 + 4 at 20.00). Sparsely, but if the final volume is small or you want to save money and are not in a hurry, it is quite acceptable.

Homemade form can be made from a piece of plywood and boards, or even from only one frame. The inner walls are treated with used machine oil so that the tiles can be easily removed. But in this case, you can only make rectangular options.

To get a different configuration, you can cheat and look for a suitable one in departments that sell plastic household goods. This may well be a pallet for a large flower pot with a depth of 4 cm.

Also, from an old plastic basin (bucket), you can cut off the bottom so that from the rim to the cut, keep the size of 6 cm. You get a round frame.


Let’s start with the choice of cement.

PC 500 (D0) comes without slag additions, therefore it has a large margin of safety in freeze-thaw cycles (more than 50).

PC 400 should be selected based on the amount of slag (not more than 35%) marked II. Its frost resistance is half that of five hundredth.

The amount of solution depends on the size of the form and is calculated empirically. The ratio of sand: cement = 2: 1. Everything is mixed and water is gradually added until a homogeneous mass of the consistency of very thick sour cream is obtained.

A liquid solution will not give sufficient strength to the finished product, a thick pasty solution contains a lot of air bubbles, which also does not add strength to the product.

Pigment can be added to the solution, but this is best done with baboutlarge volumes, since it is difficult to measure the exact amount for a small batch, and the intensity of the color depends on this.


The form is pre-lubricated with a fatty substance (oil) or coated with silicone grease.

After the solution is poured into the mold, small gravel or reinforcement can be added to it.

Next, the mold is shaken several times (slightly lifted by the edges and released) so that the solution becomes denser and the reinforcing material sinks into the concrete. This is a kind of replacement for the vibrating table used in production. You can put the form on a wooden shield and tap it with a hammer — the same effect.

Next, the filled form is sent for drying, preferably in the shade, so that the drying is uniform and without cracks. At high air temperatures, the form is covered with a film and periodically the surface of the concrete is sprayed with water.

The ideal temperature for high-quality setting is 15-25 degrees Celsius.

After 12-18 (depending on the drying temperature) hours, the tiles are carefully removed and sent to dry. A uniform effect is easier to achieve when placed on a metal mesh or pallet.

In two weeks the tile will be ready for laying.

What if there is no form? Then just the frame. The cut of plywood treated with oil is taken as a basis. A frame with a wall height of 4-6 cm is placed on it, filled with mortar, the top is leveled, plywood is tapped with a hammer.

The surface of the tile can be decorated with pebbles, a mosaic of fragments of ceramic tiles, squeeze out a relief.

The stones are buried in a concrete-filled form by at least 2/3.

The mosaic is laid immediately after leveling the top layer and do it quickly enough, literally in 5-7 minutes, otherwise the mortar will set and the adhesion will be weak. They laid it out, put a wide plank on top, pressed it in to fill the seams.

A more practical and reliable way is to first lay out the pattern on a flat surface (strictly within the dimensions). After that, they cover with a sticky film (stencils for advertising are made from it). The mosaic film is carefully turned over, placed on plywood, a rim shape is placed on top, and the solution is poured. Further on technology.

You can take any embossed texture and press it on a still damp surface. A rubber mat or just a large leaf of a plant with convex veins will do. Pressed, waited a few minutes (otherwise the solution will reach for the texture), removed, sent to dry.

In the photo on the right, the form (tray for a flower pot) initially had a bottom, so a chestnut leaf was first laid out on it (with veins up, and then filled with a solution.

From a solution of the same composition, you can make outdoor flowerpots. Then your landscape composition will get a complete look.


The basis of the paved coating is a drainage layer of sand and gravel. For stone and slab covering, you can only stop on a sand cushion.

First, excavation is carried out to the thickness of the coating cake (10 cm of crushed stone + 5 cm of sand + the height of the paving material).

The edges of the trench frame:

  • stationary concrete sides (for pavers) — it is recommended to «concrete» them with a cement-sand mixture (lean cement),
  • board or bricks; the board is fixed with pegs, and the brick is laid vertically or at an angle, fastened together with cement.

The bottom of the trench is leveled, covered with geotextiles (if laying is carried out only on sand, this component cannot be excluded!) So that weeds do not germinate and the sand does not “leave” into the ground over time.

The first layer is crushed stone (fraction 10-20), the layer thickness is 10 cm — it is tightly rammed. From above they cover with a layer of wet sand (5 cm), level and ram.

Brick and paving stones are laid with a gap of no more than 3 mm, for stone and slabs it can be increased. Each element is adjusted with a rubber mallet, periodically checking its horizontalness.

The finished coating is sprinkled with dry sand to fill the gaps and spilled with water. Excess sand is removed with a broom.

The gaps between the stone and the slabs are filled with crushed stone screenings or a soil-sand mixture (for sprouting lawn grass).

In order to grow grass between the stones, the crevices filled with soil are thoroughly moistened with a hose, sown with seeds and sprinkled with a thin layer of sand (literally 2 mm).

In the following days, watering is carried out through a fine sprayer so that the drops do not wash the crops, or before watering, the path is covered with a layer of geotextile.

And so for two weeks, until the seedlings are strengthened in the ground. All this time you can’t walk along the rocky path.


Red solid brick looks great against the background of greenery and has been used as a paving material for more than one century.

Do not tempt yourself with the opportunity to lay out a path from its hollow counterparts — the brick will simply collapse after the winter.

Definitely, the clinker option will be the most reliable, durable and beautiful.

However, an ordinary ordinary solid brick looks more «soulful».


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