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Laurent Gaillet started laying pavers to dress the driveways, the terrace and the driveway to the garage. The free pavers, which were recovered, was a major advantage. This beautiful achievement requires patience and know-how for a perfect result.

A path in cobblestones

Level: confirmed
Realization: about 40 hours
Cost: paving stones from 30 to 45 euros per square meter. Bed laying and grouting from 5 to 10 euros per square meter
Mini equipment: wheelbarrow, cement mixer, cord, shovel, mallet, diamond grinder

Following a road construction site that gave him ideas and a friend who was getting rid of a large paved driveway, Laurent Gaillet decided to start paving access to his house. The recovery is a boon if we consider that one square meter of new pavers is worth between 30 and 45 euros.
■ After the recovery phase, the unloading begins with the counting and sizing of the various sandstone and granite elements. Two main formats stand out: 14 x 20 cm sandstone; sandstone and granite 10 x 10 cm. Some pavers 13 x 13 cm, road edges 14 x 25 x 25 cm, half-pavers 14 x 10 cm and 13 x 6 cm and endills complete the inventory. This first phase then makes it possible to determine the laying patterns according to the available quantities and the surfaces to be covered.

Three different patterns

The site is divided into three distinct zones: the pedestrian walkways, the terrace in front of the house and the driveway in front of the gate. The diversity of the passages offers a great opportunity to consider different motifs, chosen according to the layout.
■ The pedestrian walkways are 1.30 m wide. This width is sufficient to proceed with an arcuate pose. The radius of curvature depends on the size of the pavers used and the thickness of the joints. In the case presented here, the 10 x 10 cm pavers were used. It is possible to make a full arch, but Laurent Gaillet preferred the half arc centered on the center line of the aisle. The pose requires a little more care but the visual effect is more successful. The realization is carried out in three stages: first the setting up of the borders, then the alignment of the first pavers which are oriented at 45° with respect to the edges of the aisle on the central median, and finally the realization arches themselves by filling the areas thus delimited.
■ The same arc pattern is used for the terrace. Obviously, as the surface is larger (3 x 3 m), the set has two complete arcs and two half-arcs. To respect a certain harmony with the aisle, the half-arches frame the two complete arches.
■ Larger pavers are used for the driveway. Some measure up to 30 cm thick. A pose type Roman opus (in a straight line) and with alternating joints is adopted for simplicity.

A common pose mode

Typically, pavers are simply laid on a bed of groomed sand and leveled. In this case, a lean sealing concrete has been implemented. For pedestrian walkways and the terrace, it is dosed at 150 kg per m3 (17 buckets of gravel, 13 of sand for a 35 kg bag of cement CEM II - 32.5 R). For the vehicular zone, the concrete is dosed at 200 kg per m3 (14 buckets of gravel, 10 of sand for a cement bag CEM II - 32.5 R). The depth of the excavation takes into account the leveling, as well as the thickness of the pavers and laying beds (7 cm for the aisles and 10 cm for the vehicular area).
■ The pavers are sealed in fresh concrete, compacted and then leveled with a hammer. The layout of the patterns is carefully adjusted with several cords. The layout of the aisles is checked every meter. The joints are as small as possible: they measure at least 5 mm for small pavers and 10 mm for larger ones. They are made 24 hours after laying, with bastard mortar dosed at 450 kg of binder per m3 of sand. The binder is composed of white cement, gray cement and NHL lime, all in equal parts. The mortar is tempered liquid, poured into the joints, and then brushed after setting. The veil on the paving stones is etched with acid the following week.

Under the cobblestones, the networks

The installation sealed on a lean mortar provides the pavement with excellent resistance to the various stresses it may undergo (effects of vehicle rolling or bad weather). But it also complicates any subsequent interventions. It is therefore wise to provide for the passage of networks before the construction site. Water and electricity can circulate under the pavement, perfectly protected. However, some rules must be respected. For example, burial at a depth of 60 cm under pedestrian walkways and at least 80 cm below driveways.

Principle of laying pavers

laying narrow aisle pavement

Laying pavers for narrow aisle

The center of the driveway is marked with chalk. Place the first block at 45° on this axis so that the last is parallel to the border, which avoids cuts

Pave paving in arc de cerlce

Laying pavers for terraces

The layout of the terrace (3 x 3m) is made of two arches in the center and two half-arches on the sides. * Headers * cut or not to the grinder, constitute the borders.

* Long pavers used as a border

laying Roman and straight opus pavé

Laying pavers for path

In front of the gate, pavers of different sizes are sealed in Roman opus, parallel line and alternating joints. On the side, paving follows the inclination of the fence wall

Laying pavers

Laying pavers

1. The excavation takes into account the leveling of the ground, the average thickness of the laying bed and the variable thickness of the pavers. The pose is carried out at the stage of advancement. The pavers are leveled with a hammer.

A path in cobblestones: pavers

2. Each motif has been precisely calepinage, reproduced using different cords. Fixed markers are stuck between the joints. For the rows, the cord is wrapped around two pavers.

A path in cobblestones: cobblestones

3. The links between the patterns of the different zones require the use of header or crosscut some elements. These cuts are made by the grinder equipped with a segmented diamond disc.

A path in cobblestones: joints

4. The joint mortar is spread on a squeegee. It will be equalized with the wire brush after it is set.
The veil is pickled, after a week of drying, with 30% hydrochloric acid. Then rinsed with water.

A path in cobblestones: pavers

5. This detail illustrates the pattern of aisles, in nested half-arcs. It is framed by the border stones and aligned on the central axis of the aisle, consisting of a line of pavers oriented at 45°.


Video Instruction: Dean & Derek How to do a Cobblestone Apron