Among household outdoor surfaces like patios or walkways, bluestone pavers are a widely preferred option. Laying bluestone pavers is not demanding but it needs some attention to detail and being aware of some typical issues that may arise.
1. Tips for Procuring Bluestone Tiles
Bluestone tiles are found at masonry shops and home improvement stores. Always buy a few more tiles than the number suggested by the measured total surface area of the patio or walkway. This is an effective back-up against miscalculations and tile wasting.
If you are not too sure about the pattern of the patio or walkway area, buy rectangular or squared shaped bluestone pavers only. These are the easiest to work with and will allow you to make last-minute changes without too much effort.
2. Excavation & Slope Preparation Tips
The eventual appearance of the laid bluestone tiles largely depends upon the preparation work done by you in the form of excavation and preparation of the installation site. To ensure that your bluestone paver is free from basic mistakes committed during this stage, take care of the following:
Once you have marked the area that will be covered with the pavers, remove all possible obstructions like garden fountains, stones or any shrub spread. This makes it easier to dig-up the site.
Make sure that the slope of the paver is away from the house. This ensures that the water runoff is not directed towards the basement. It is better to use a mason’s line when preparing the slope of the paper.
There are no rules regarding the depth of the excavated area in which the bluestone tiles are laid but usually, a depth of at least six inches is recommended. Many landscapers recommend that digging up to depth when some degree of color change in the soil becomes apparent. The color change happens because the topsoil varies from the lighter shade of the underlying soil.
3. Paver Base Preparation Tips
Bluestone pavers are laid upon a carefully-prepared surface so the inner surface of the excavated site needs further preparation. There are no preferred materials that should be added to make the paver base. Bluestone can be installed upon beds of sand, gravel, mortar or cement.
The prepared base should be at two inches in thickness and out of the excavated site’s six-inch depth, one-third should be occupied by the paver base. If you have a gravel bed that is dry, use water to spread the gravel. Gravel bases need a bit more effort. Here, you need to tamp down hard upon the gravel after laying down every inch of gravel.
4. Tips for Laying Bluestone Pavers
Lay your bluestone tiles by hand. Ensure that you push each tile against the other to compact its edges. You can use a rubber mallet to secure them into their designated position. After laying three or four tiles, use a level to ensure the uniformity of the tiled surface.
Once all the tiles have been laid, sprinkle some coarse sand on them. Using a broom, sweep the sand into every small crevice or crack of the paver pathway. Now, wash-off the excess sand with a water hose. Repeat the sanding process and again, follow this with the rinsing. The water ensures that sand is secured into the smaller, hard-to-reach corners. You can repeat these two steps as many times until you feel that the paver pathway is compact and sturdy.