Paving slabs — how to choose, do it yourself and lay it correctly?


Paving slabs - features of paving stones, rubber, plastic, clinker and concrete material

About such a variety of building materials as today, a few decades ago, one could only dream of. Now, without problems, you can find numerous products for ennobling the local area. For example, paving slabs are used for paths, presented in several versions.

Types of paving slabs

For the first time in our country, this material began to be produced only in the 70s. At that time, it was a large slab that did not differ in strength. After the advent of a new manufacturing technology — pressing, paving slabs got their usual look. Depending on the production method, the following types are known:

  1. Vibrocast paving slabs. The technology consists in pouring a special composition into a vibroform. Possible air is removed with a slight vibration.
  2. Vibropressed. The concrete mixture is poured into a mold, which is subjected to pressure with vibration. Vibropressed paving slabs are used for roads in public places.
  3. Granite. The most durable natural option, which is also called paving stones. The service life of such material is 25 years.

According to the shape of finished products, paving slabs are divided into:

In addition to the production technology and shape, paving slabs differ depending on the material used in the manufacture. According to this criterion, products are divided into:

  • paving stones with granite chips;
  • tiles with rubber filler;
  • plastic;
  • clinker.

Paving slabs

One of the oldest known species. The advantages of stone tiles include:

  • excellent physical characteristics;
  • attractive appearance;
  • wide possibilities of use;
  • ability to withstand frost;
  • no overheating in the heat;
  • ease of care;
  • environmental friendliness.

Among the shortcomings are:

  • ice formation in winter;
  • may sag if applied incorrectly.

paving slabs

Rubber paving slabs

The new trend in flooring. There are no restrictions on the use, ranging from playgrounds to warehouses. Rubber tiles have the following advantages:

  • safety;
  • frost resistance;
  • sound absorption;
  • comfort;
  • ease of repair;
  • durability;
  • UV protection;
  • variety of decor.

Among the shortcomings are:

  • slippery surface;
  • fire hazard;
  • increased price.

rubber paving slabs

Plastic paving slabs

More recently, a new building material for the improvement of private territories has appeared on the market. Plastic tiles, or as it is also called polymer sand tiles, have recently gained popularity. It is laid on a prepared screed using building glue. Among the advantages are:

  • light weight;
  • small cost;
  • low chance of color loss.

The disadvantages include:

  • slippery surface;
  • poor resistance to cold;
  • fragility to high loads.

plastic paving slabs

Clinker paving slabs

It is a product made of special clay, which was fired. Such clay tiles are made in two ways: by semi-dry pressing or by extrusion technology. The advantages include the following points:

  • environmental friendliness;
  • high strength;
  • ease of care;
  • resistance to ultraviolet;
  • long service life.

Among the shortcomings are:

  • complexity of installation;
  • brittleness of the material;
  • high cost.

clinker paving slabs

Concrete paving slabs

This option has been around for a long time. Modern concrete tiles differ in the manufacturing method, however, the composition is almost the same: cement, crushed stone, plasticizers and dyes. The advantages of this type include:

  • a large selection of options;
  • profitability;
  • non-susceptibility to ultraviolet;
  • ability to withstand heavy loads.

Concrete tile for sidewalks has the following disadvantages:

  • damage due to improper installation;
  • high cost;
  • scratches on contact with metal.

concrete paving slabs

How to choose paving slabs?

Not all manufacturers are worried about the quality of their product, many want to make a big profit while saving on the composition. In order not to purchase a tile that will not last even one year, you need to know how to choose it correctly. When buying, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  1. The composition of the mortar from which paving slabs were made. This information must be provided by the seller, along with the production technology and all quality certificates.
  2. Thickness and size of tiles. For tracks, the best option is 3 cm, for traffic at least 4.5 cm. The size should be small, the smaller, the stronger.
  3. Visually, there should be no streaks or stains on the reverse side.
  4. It is recommended to buy tiles from one batch. Thus, the shade and dimensions will be the same.
  5. You can check the quality of paving slabs from the manufacturer in a simple way: hit two blocks against each other. The sound is deaf — the technology is broken, sonorous — the quality of the tile is good.
  6. You can buy one piece and split it. There should be no pores, cracks or clots of material inside. Their presence indicates poor quality.
  7. The reputation of the manufacturer is also important. You need to read consumer reviews.

Paving slabs — dimensions

The length and width of the product is reflected in the visual picture of the finished coating and its design. Thinking about these indicators before buying, it is useful to get acquainted with the options offered on the market. The thickness of paving slabs depends on the type:

  • pedestrian — 3 cm;
  • universal — 5-6 cm;
  • monolithic — 7-8 cm.

The length and width indicators are needed to calculate the consumption of tiles and laying materials. Today on sale you can find the following product options:

  1. Paving slabs brick. It is produced in the following sizes: 30×30 cm, 35×35 cm, 40×40 cm and even 50×50 cm.
  2. Rectangular shape. The most common option is 20×10 cm or 25×12.5 cm.
  3. Figured pavement tiles. Among all the variety, the following sizes can be distinguished: 29.5×29.5 cm, 20×16.8 cm, 12×18 cm, 12×19 cm.

Luminous paving slabs

Fashionable detail of landscape design. Such paving slabs for giving are often used as lower lighting to illuminate plants or mark the limits of the path. It can withstand temperatures ranging from -30 to +70ºС. Conventionally, such coverage is divided into:

  1. fluorescent. The top layer of the material is impregnated with a special substance.
  2. Luminous paving slabs luminescent

  3. LED. LEDs are mounted in the coating, operating like a capacitor from sunlight or an external source.
  4. luminous paving slab LED

DIY paving slabs

The material can be purchased ready-made or do it yourself. Due to the wide variety of shapes for paving slabs and the play of shades, you can get an exclusive design of the track. For production you will need:

  • silicone or plastic molds;
  • cement with marker 500;
  • sand;
  • water;
  • plasticizer.

The production of paving slabs consists of the following steps:

  1. Solution preparation. Cement and sand are poured into a container or concrete mixer in a ratio of 1: 3. Gradually add water, to obtain a solution, the composition must be constantly stirred. For strength, a plasticizer is added. The correct consistency of the composition should resemble dough without lumps.
  2. Pouring the composition into the mold. The inner surface is treated with any oily substance. Filling is carried out in batches, while vibration is constantly used to get rid of air bubbles in the mixture. This can be done by tapping the trowel handle on the mold shelf.
  3. Drying tiles. The filled forms of paving slabs are covered with polyethylene and left for several days in a dark place. At this time, it is recommended to moisten the concrete with a small amount of water.
  4. Stripping. To separate the tile from the mold, it is immersed in hot water and held for 10 minutes. You can use it only after a week, when it dries completely under a plastic wrap.

Paving slabs

The product is so easy to install that you can implement everything without the help of a specialist. Laying paving slabs with your own hands includes the following steps:

  1. Prepare the site in such a way that the slope of the soil comes from the house.
  2. Next, set the curbs to the selected height.
  3. Level the area with sand, screenings or gravel.
  4. Fill everything with water and seal.
  5. Fix the curbs and prepare the cement-sand mixture in a ratio of 1:4.
  6. It is covered between the curbs and leveled with a rake.
  7. Laying the first row of paving slabs requires special attention. The direction must be accurate and parallel to the planes. Each tile is tapped with a rubber mallet.
  8. Upon completion, the seams are sprinkled with a dry mixture, and the remnants are swept away.


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