Laying Natural Stone
To get the best finish that’ll last the distance, we’ve put together a guide for the best method of installing your natural stone pavers.
FOUNDATION / BASE
Natural stone is recommended to be fixed with the use of mortar or adhesive on a reinforced concrete slab.
The base should be approx 75mm deep for pedestrian traffic and approx 75-100mm for driveways, both depending on the sub base and requirements for the job.
If calibrated 30mm or greater paver is to be used, a suitable crush rock base can be used for pedestrian traffic, however, we recommend that the pavers be installed using a mortar bed rather than sand to give better stability to the finished product.
The paving stone should be laid on a minimum of 15-20mm mortar bed of 4:1 sand and cement mixture consisting of 2 parts brick sand, 2 parts washed sand and 1 part cement. The sand cement mix should be mixed to a fine consistency and should be made slightly wetter than a bricklayers mix. Whilst it is not our recommended laying method, Stone can be laid on a sand bed, (preferably using a minimum 30mm calibrated product) although the pavers will be susceptible to breakage, mould growth and movement over time. If laying using a tile adhesive, it is recommended a calibrated tile be used to assist in creating a better end result. Care should be taken to follow appropriate Australian Standards for tiling depending on the tile adhesive used.
Prior to laying, ensure the back of paver is clean. Lack of adhesion of paver to the mortar bed, commonly known as the paver being drummy, does not mean that the paver has failed. If you wish to increase adhering qualities we recommend applying a bonding agent to the underside of the stones or similarly you can apply a wet paste of pure cement and water to the back of the paver to assist in the adhering to the mortar mixture.
The paver should be bed in well, usually done by tapping with a rubber mallet, ensuring that there are no air pockets left under slabs. There is a possibility the stones might be adversely affected if the mortar bed is uneven or if there are air pockets left between the pavers and the mortar bed.
Stone pavers should be kept as clean as possible whilst laying and mortar spills on the pavers and site dirt should be sponged off immediately to prevent staining. Once laid and prior to sealing, it is advisable to give the stone a wash using the appropriate cleaners for that product (please refer to our cleaning and sealing guide for more details). We recommend that after an area is laid it should be protected until sealed and not loaded for a period of time to enable the mortar bed to strengthen, Pedestrian traffic 3-4 days, Vehicle traffic 1-2 weeks.
As Stone is a natural product and not manufactured, the colour and properties will vary from piece to piece. We recommend the installer select pavers proportionately from each pallet during the laying process to achieve a mix of stone throughout the job.
Particular attention should be paid to expansion joints in both their location and installation. Expansion joints should be used at every change in coping direction, at intervals no greater than 3.5 metres, between paving and any walls, wherever there is existing cracking in the foundation or bedding material and wherever there are existing expansion joints being covered over. Expansion joints should also extend through any bedding material and into the foundation, care should be taken so that there is no mortar or glue squeezed up into the expansion joint which would render the joint ineffective. For the specific location and installation of expansion joints please refer to the latest version of Australian Standard AS 3958.1.
CLEANING AND SEALING
Most of our stone is salt tolerant but we recommend the application of sealers especially if being used in the vicinity of salt water as we cannot guarantee all stone as the makeup of stone can vary in its density from piece to piece. We also recommend sealing natural stone to facilitate easy cleaning and maintenance. Please refer to our cleaning and sealing guide for more details.
This laying guide is a recommendation only. Conditions will vary from site to site (e.g. soil condition, pool surrounds, driveways etc) and therefore the contractor should decide whether these applications are adequate or whether further adjustments need to be made. There are no express or implied guarantees or warranties given in the supply of this product. The manufacturer liability is limited to replacement of product only and does not include application or removal costs. All products should be inspected before installation. The supplier does not except any responsibility of the product once installed. Please consult one of our experienced sales team for further recommendations on the use of Natural Stone.