Paving Installation Advice

These are very basic, yet essential pointers on the installation of SmartStone paving products. Read through SmartStone’s Paving Installation Advice and become more aware of what an installer should and should not do when installing your SmartStone paving.

We do not recommend that plastic sheeting be installed beneath paving

Weeds do not grow from beneath paving. They grow from seeds that enter the paving from the top, via bird droppings, the wind, etc. Plastic sheeting underneath paving creates serious structural problems, among others.

The sub-base, or earth beneath the paving, should be very well compacted

We recommend the use of a mechanical roller for this purpose, rather than just a plate compactor. While we know that this seldom actually happens, if installation is done at a new home, where a lot of digging has been done, you must insist that soil compaction be done using a roller, like a Bomag 90.

Prior to starting installation, determine the laying patterns

The installer should discuss with you the lines and directions in which the pavers will be packed, as well as possible laying patterns. Make sure you find it aesthetically pleasing and practical.

Ensure the contractor allows for levels and water run-off

Ask about the plans for drainage and look at the surrounding natural slopes.

The base of flagstones and tiles should be wet before they are seated

Dry pavers will absorb the moisture in the bedding material, causing it to dry out too quickly.

Grouting should be done according to this method

The grouting of SmartStone cobbles and flagstones should be done with SmartStone-approved grouting. We do not recommend using cement grouting, as cement staining is nearly impossible to prevent with this grouting method.  We recommend using a resin bound mortar, like Romex, which is supplied by our sister company, Cretesol. Unlike cement grouting, there is no chance of staining with this method. It is incredibly strong and long-lasting. Most importantly, Romex allows for a flexible joint between your pavers, unlike cement grouting – which eventually breaks and pops out.

The Romex mix should be swept into all the gaps between your cobbles or flagstones, until they are full, to penetrate both large and small joint gaps, and swept off after the application with a stiff broom. Leave overnight to dry and notice the benefits with time.

Please take note: The grouting of flagstones should be “pointed”, and the tiles and flagstones should be moist when grouted.

Wash grout and cement off immediately

Ensure grouting and cement are washed off immediately to avoid cement staining on pavers. A hand sponge should be used for this purpose, rather than brooms, etc.

The contractor should work in sections

If the contractor tries to work over too big an area, it could result in complete site failure. All work should therefore be done systematically, in small sections and completed per section, before moving on to the next phase of installation.

Do not transport SmartStone products in wheelbarrows

SmartStone products should not be dumped and transported in wheelbarrows, like normal bricks. The product will get damaged.  SmartStone is made by hand and should also be packed and unpacked by hand.

SmartStone’s sister company, Cretesol, supplies a Paving Transport Cart, imported from Germany. It was designed to transport bound or loose pavers effortlessly, to work more productively.

Browse Cretesol’s Probst range here. Cretesol supplies tailor-made tools for paving installers to enable them to do their jobs more effectively, through making the installation of paving safer, easier and more accurate. Probst tools are known for their quality and durability. Tools available include: Kerb Laying Clamps, Universal Clamps, Block Cutters, Paving Transport Carts, Paving Block Extractors, Paving Slab Handles, Brick Handles and Alignment Bars.

Driving and walking on SmartStone

Do not drive on a new SmartStone driveway for seven days or walk on any SmartStone paving for five days after installation. For this reason, you need to make prior alternative arrangements regarding car parking, etc. When trafficked prematurely, grouting can be seriously affected. This, in turn, will impact the structural integrity of the paved area.

Paving curing

Paving should be allowed to cure thoroughly before sealing. We recommend that you wait six months before sealing paving.

We do not recommend washing SmartStone with acid, or chemicals which contain acid

Regular hosing and sweeping will not only keep your paving looking clean, but it will also prevent weeds from taking root as they usually grow when seeds are left undisturbed to germinate in the debris that collects in between the pavers.

To remove general dirt and detritus, regularly hose down your paving and sweep with a hard-bristled outdoor broom or use a mechanical sweeper.

When the paving is soiled, we recommend the use of a specialised cleaner like GuardWash® Express available from Cretesol; or a similar specialised cleaner.

Choose the right material

Practical decisions about paving material need to be guided by the application or purpose. You need to consider factors such as size, thickness and texture.

Size:

The size of paving will depend on the size of the total area, as well as the type and frequency of traffic. Large, flat pavers are a good choice for patios, as cobblestones may cause unsteady tables and chairs. On driveways, smaller cobbles distribute weight better and are less likely to crack.

Thickness:

The thickness of paving will depend largely on the type of traffic – if there is only foot traffic, paving does not have to be as thick. Driveways, on the other hand, require pavers that are at least 50 mm thick to withstand the weight of vehicles.

Texture:

Concrete paving has a porous surface, so it is inherently non-slip. Textured concrete paving offers added grip and this is a distinct advantage in pool areas, where surfaces are often wet and slippery.

SmartStone offers an objective guide to the most commonly used paving materials.

For more objective paving advice, please refer to the following information: