Pavers can add beauty, safety, and functionality to your home, but putting them in place can be difficult, especially if you choose oversized, stone paving blocks. These large, unwieldy slabs are heavy, chip easily, and can cause serious physical harm if dropped on toes or fingers.
Uses for Slab Type Pavers
Pavers can be made of stone, brick, ceramic, or poured and formed concrete. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, and can be placed around your home’s exterior to create an aesthetically pleasing landscape. Pavers can outline flowerbed, build low stone walls, and create outdoor cooking spaces. Walkways created from pavers create a level and attractive path to the front door or across the yard.
Pavers can also be used to create patio areas and pool decking. Made from natural stone or factory-made, they can be manipulated in a variety of ways to create unusual patterns or designs.
Natural stone pavers
Stone pavers come from quarries and are have many variations in shape, size, texture, and color. These huge stones are dug from quarries and cut into slabs with a special wet saw. The slight color differences throughout the stones and the unusual patterns created by mineral deposits create attractive patios and walkways. Additionally, some natural stones are non-slip, making them perfect for patios and pool decks.
Flagstone is the most common natural paver. These thin, golden color rocks come in many unique shapes and colors, allowing the designer to create intricate patterns when laying them. Flagstone is naturally occurring in most locations. It has a unique non-slip surface and people desire it for use around swimming pools. Flagstone can be cut to shapes, but it is more desirable when the natural shapes are fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Many older cities still have cobblestone streets. That’s how long-lasting and strong it is. These naturally occurring rocks are usually found in river beds and often have slightly rounded corners caused by water erosion. Cobblestones come in a variety of brown and red tones and make an attractive walkway or patio. They do require frequent washing, as algae can attract to the surface and cause it to become slippery. Simply wash the walkway with a stiff brush and very mild soap once a week or so. Cobblestones can be mortared together or placed on a sand foundation.
More commonplace among landscapers and homeowners, pavers made from brick, concrete, and plastic are less expensive and more readily available. These are readily available at most large home improvement warehouse stores. The wide variety of applications makes these pavers highly desirable. They can be used to create stunning designs by altering color placement or creating interlocking shapes. Some of these pavers have tongue and groove type edges for easy fitting.
Brick is a man-made product. Clay, sand, silica, and other materials are blended, then formed and baked. The clay material can be tinted any color, so many varieties of bricks are available. Bricks are inexpensive and easy to place. They can be placed in intricate patterns such as herringbone and chevron, or curved. One downfall of using brick is the fragility of the material. Chipping and cracking are common complaints about brick pavers.
Concrete pavers are made by combining sand, crushed stone, cement powder, coloring, and water in large mixers. The material is then placed in a machine that shoots a pre-measured amount into a mold. A press then compacts the mixture, forcing out bubbles and open spaces. This results in a more uniform, long-lasting paver. Because coloring is added, concrete pavers can be created to match the exterior of your home. Many different shapes are also available due to the wide variety of mold shapes being used in factories that make these type of pavers.
How to Create a Patio or Walkway with Pavers
Now that you have chosen the type of pavers you want, you need to prepare the area where you will put them. Mark the outline of the walkway or patio you are creating. Remove all the grass and debris and level the ground. Compact it tight with a weighted roller or a compacting hammer. Then spread a thick layer of fine sand, approximately two to three inches deep. Place the pavers one at a time in the desired location. Use an appropriate tool, like the GRABO Nemo, to put them in place. This suction vacuum lifter will attach to the flat surface of the paver and allow you to lift it and lower it without hurting your back or fingers.
The machine has one-button operation and allows you to easily carry even the heaviest pavers to the desired location. With a lifting capacity of 375 pounds, and the ability to attach securely to rough, porous surfaces, the GRABO is the perfect tool for placing pavers. It is completely battery operated so you can move the pavers over long distances if necessary without worrying about generators or extension cords. The device only weighs 3.3 pounds and has a comfortable, ergonomic handle.
Simply place the GRABO Nemo over the paving stone and push the power button. Then press the button to activate the vacuum pump. When the green light appears, you are safe to lift the paver from the ground. Grasp the GRABO by the handle and carry the paver to the desired location, then detach the suction device by pushing one button.