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Laying paving slabs - DIY instructions and prices for concrete slabs

  • The planning
  • Material and tools
    • paving slabs
    • Gravel and sand layer
    • Tool
  • Lay sidewalk slabs
    • Stake out sidewalk
    • First part of the substructure
    • deckle
    • Second part of the substructure
    • Lay the panels
    • sand stop by
  • Prices for sidewalk slabs
  • Tips for quick readers

Walking in the garden is nice, but the lawn color is quickly damaged by the constant shoe kick. What follows are unsightly patches of earth, where once was a beautiful green field. The solution is pavement slabs, which on the one hand protect the lawn, on the other hand, even on rainy days do not allow the garden visit to a mudflat hike.

Pavement slabs come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Dug some soil, laid the plates, but after a few months or even weeks, the lovingly laid path looks crooked and crooked. Although it makes sense to build sidewalks, some knowledge is needed. There are tricks and tricks that make working easier and more efficient.

The proper laying of paving slabs is explained in this DIY, so that the walkway for a long time pleases in the same way as it was laid.

The planning

Before the actual laying of the paving slabs good planning is necessary. So some important points have to be clarified in advance.

  • If the way is only intended as a simple access route, for example to a greenhouse ">

    If the path is to be part of a driveway or otherwise driven by a car, the substrate of the sidewalk slabs must be imperatively thicker, also curbs in this case are essential to prevent dislocation of the plates by the weight of the car. It should be noted that in this case, paving slabs thicker than 8 cm must be used.

    Material and tools

    paving slabs

    In the planning phase, it should be finally decided which paving slabs are used. Important for pavement slabs is first and foremost the anti-slip class. Especially in the rain or in winter, paving slabs that have a low slip resistance class can quickly become a danger zone. The slip resistance classes are classified in R9 to R13, if they exist. For sidewalk slabs models with anti-slip class should be chosen. If the path has a slope of more than 10%, R10 should be selected, with an R11 gradient above 19%.

    The second important point is the dimension. The standard sizes are 30 x 30 cm, 40 x 40 cm and 50 x 50 cm . The strengths of the pavement slabs are 4.5 cm, 5 cm, 6 cm and 8 cm . In addition to the standard formats, there are also unbalanced and rectangular formats. Which format you use is just as much a matter of taste as the color and texture of the stones.

    For decades, the classic sidewalk tile has been concrete slabs in a variety of shades of gray and anthracite, and has also been available in other colors for several years, such as brown or terracotta. The concrete slabs are differentiated into shot-blasted and concrete-smooth surfaces. Shot blasted surfaces have a higher slip resistance, as they have a coarser surface. When concrete walkway slabs are used, this has many advantages. On the one hand, they are weather-resistant for decades, fit seamlessly and not dominantly into the existing ambience and are also cheaper than many natural stone slabs.
    A disadvantage of concrete slabs, however, is the fact that both oils and fats can leave no more removable traces on the concrete.

    Gravel and sand layer

    Coming back to the point of planning, the use of paving slabs determines the materials needed. In addition to the sidewalk slabs themselves, a sidewalk must be used on a walkway that can also be used by a passenger car. In our example, boundary boundary stones are installed. In normal ways this is advisable from dimensional stability of the plates and optical reasons to have a way even after years whose bottom plates do not move.

    Once the issue of deckle clearance has been clarified, determine the thickness of the pavement slabs' substrate.

    • Pavement slabs have a 5 cm thick layer of sand underneath and another max. 20 cm thick gravel layer. This is used for a sandy bottom.
    • If the soil is heavily clay or clay-containing, a 30 to 40 cm thick gravel layer must be used.
    • In navigable sidewalks, a gravel layer thickness of 30 to 40 cm is needed.
    • If the soil is clay or clay, a 50 cm thick gravel layer must be used.

    The gravel layer should consist of gravel, antifreeze gravel or concrete recycling and have a grain size of 0/32.

    The gravel layer and sand layer are necessary to provide the pavement slabs with a straight and secure foundation. The gravel with its partly coarse and sometimes small grain size has the task in the winter of frozen water (water has 10% more volume in the frozen state) in the ground to provide enough space to expand, so that the paving slabs can neither move nor raise and lower,

    Thus, after calculating and counting the footpath plates that are best made on graph paper, the calculation of the ballast and the sand is done. Gravel and sand are usually given in kilograms or tons, so the volume has to be converted.

    For this simple mathematical formula is used: V = a * b * c

    An example:

    A 10 m long walkway, 1.20 m wide, with a 5 cm thick layer of sand.

    10 m * 1.20 m * 0.05 m = 0.6 m³

    • One cubic meter of sand weighs about 1.6 tonnes (depending on grain size).
    • One cubic meter of gravel weighs about 1.7 tonnes (depending on the grain size).

    It gives the further calculation:

    1.6 t / m3 * 0.6 m³ = 0.960 t

    Calculating sand requires 6% more because the sand is compacted. The result is a used amount of sand of 1.018 t. The calculation of gravel requires 3% more because the sand is compacted.


    After the materials the following tools have to be provided:

    • Short spirit level
    • Spirit level, min. 2 m in length
    • Big rubber mallet
    • ruler
    • Guideline / Chalk line
    • shovel
    • trowel
    • bucket
    • wheelbarrow
    • Steinsäge
    • perhaps. tile spacers

    Lay sidewalk slabs

    Stake out sidewalk

    The first step is staking the sidewalk. With the help of several glass fiber rods, wooden pegs or other thin rods, the rough course of the path is first marked. For this purpose, the guide cord is tied to a rod and stretched tightly over the ground and attached to another rod. The same thing is being done on the other side of the road. It should be ensured that both strings are parallel to each other. For turns or changes in direction, additional bars must be inserted at the appropriate places until you have reached the shape of your sidewalk.

    The width between the cords corresponds to the width of the way plus 20 cm on each side for the deckle. A 1.20 m walkway would therefore need a staked width of 1.60 m.

    First part of the substructure

    In the next step, the staked area is excavated. This is done with a shovel and a wheelbarrow, faster and easier, but with a mini excavator that can be rented by the hour in the construction equipment shop. The depth of the excavation depends on the nature of the terrain and the way it is used (see: What is needed ">


    Once this work step has been completed, the boundary is used. For this purpose, the previous guideline is removed and re-tensioned on one side of the way. This time, the line indicates the exact course of the outer edge of the walkway. It should be noted that not only the direction, but also the height of the cord must be respected. In order to ensure optimal drainage of rainwater, a gradient of 2% must be used. The gradient always points away from the house. Since all panels have 2% slope, this is also to be included in the deckle, as otherwise unsightly edges arise when the deckle is higher than the other floor panels.

    The first perimeter stone (measures per stone in our example: 25 cm x 100 cm x 5 cm) is set up, to which 3 - 4 trowels are placed on the ground at the beginning and at the end of the curb. In the two resulting heaps, the curb is now set and aligned. Its height should end with the grassy edge, so far wished that the path is at ground level. If the plate is aligned, the plate is fixed with concrete both inside and outside in the lower third.

    Starting from the first edge plate, now on one side of the path all edge plates are set one after the other. The guideline helps to stay in the Lot. A long spirit level helps to maintain a consistent gradient over a long distance and a consistent height.

    When one side is finished, the second side of the curbs is moved the same way as the first one. It is important in the second page, that the correct distance to the first curb side is respected. The distance between the two inner sides of the curbs is the width of the plate plus its joints. A joint has a width of 2 - 3 mm.

    So if four paving slabs, each with a width of 30 cm, are placed side by side, the following picture emerges:

    2mm / 30cm / 2mm / 30cm / 2mm / 30cm / 2mm / 30cm / 2mm
    (4 x 30 cm) + (5 x 2 mm) = 121 cm.

    The distance between the curbs is therefore 121 cm. It must be ensured that not all pavement slabs have 100% equal dimensions. The plates must have tolerances by the manufacturer. The amount of tolerance varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Walkway slabs with large tolerances should take large joint widths to compensate for this. Very dimensionally accurate panels can take a smaller distance. A 2 mm gap should not be undercut to ensure the drainage of rainwater.

    Second part of the substructure

    The concrete takes some time to harden. If one would immediately insert another layer of grit into the resulting frame, the not yet dried concrete would break and the plates would move. So at least 2 - 3 days should be waited until the work is continued.

    This is followed by another layer of chippings. This must be heaped up to a maximum height. This height is the thickness of the paving slabs plus a 5 cm sand layer. For 6 cm thick pavement slabs, the grit layer must end 11 cm in front of the top edge of the curbs. Since the grit is compacted by the vibrating plate, it is now filled up to 10 cm in front of the upper edge and compacted again. Be careful with the vibrating plate on the curbs. There should always be 1 - 2 cm space between the vibrating plate and the curb. Direct approach with the vibrating plate to the curb, can lead to unsightly flaking on this.

    If the chippings are compacted, the sand is now introduced, which is also compacted. This is now laid with 2% slope, as well as the curbs.

    Lay the panels

    When the underbed is ready, it can go to the laying of the plates. It always starts in a corner, if possible at an initial area, eg a door. Never will be aligned from the middle. The first sidewalk tile is now placed in the corner. If it sits a few millimeters above the edge boundary and does not wobble, this is perfect. With a rubber hammer, the pavement plate is now carefully carved into the sandy soil. A short spirit level determines the vertical position of the paving slab. To one side must show the gradient of 2%.

    If the plate tilts or is too high or too low, remove the plate and remove or add sand. This is done until the plate is in the sand bed without tipping and with the right slope. Joint crosses can be used to help and for better alignment.

    Once this first plate has been made, the guideline is used again and the course of the joints in the row of plates is determined. With a short and a long spirit level row is regularly checked for evenness.

    If the first row is in, start with the next row and align the guideline for the next row. So you continue with the other rows. Row by row.
    Laying boards free or "one plate here, one there" so I do not have to walk much is not advisable. Too fast can create an ugly joint. For this reason, work row by row.

    It is usually favorable to start every other row with half way plates in order to ensure stability with one another.

    Half plates are made using an angle grinder or a stone saw, these are much larger and more powerful than small angle grinders and can be borrowed at many hardware stores. The plates are marked with a highly visible, best colored line, all around. With the angle grinder is now around the entire stone, the mark retraced, deep about 0.5 cm. Only then is the plate completely cut through. This is necessary, since paving slabs like to break themselves from a certain depth of cut. If one scratched the sidewalk slabs, one thus creates a predetermined breaking point.

    sand stop by

    Once all panels have been laid, the last work step, sand-in, takes place. The still open columns are now sealed, to use either sand or colored to the sidewalk slabs matching stone powder.

    The sand or stone dust is spread with a shovel on the surface and then neatly turned. Excess material is simply swept up. Afterwards, it is done with a light stream of water, not with pressure over the surface. The water penetrates through the joint filling and carries away the sand or the stone meal with it into areas, where still no filling is present. If the area is dry again, the sand is repeated again. Excess material is turned away again. This is repeated until all the columns are filled and remain filled despite the action of water.

    Now the earth can be shoveled again to the outer edges of the edge boundary and grass seeds are scattered.

    Prices for sidewalk slabs

    The price of concrete slabs is determined not only by the place of purchase, but also by shape and size. It is, the easier the optics and the smaller and narrower the plate, the cheaper the paving slab.

    Gray Betongehwegplatten 5 cm thick and a size of 30 x 30 cm, there are already from 0.85 EUR. Larger plates of 50 x 50 cm, there are on average for 1.20 EUR.
    Pavement slabs with a sophisticated look, that is, with natural and stone patterns, can reach prices of up to 50.00 EUR with a paving slab of 40 x 40 x 15 cm.

    Tips for quick readers

    • Usual sidewalk width 1.20 m, with little used paths 0.80 m
    • Marginal boundaries are recommended for routes, for drivable areas mandatory
    • Sand surface under the plates 5 cm
    • Gravel surface 20 cm, in clay or clay soil 30 to 40 cm
    • Gravel surface 30 cm for navigable paths, 50 cm for clayey or clay soil
    • Slope of 2% away from the building
    • Decking is fastened in the bottom third with concrete
    • Use guideline and spirit level
    • Use joint crosses
    • Gravel and sand must be compacted with vibrating plate
    • Do not drive with the vibrating plate to the curbs, chipping possible
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