Frequently Asked Questions

PAVERS

How do I lay my pavers?

We recommend hiring a professional installer to lay your pavers. Please look over the installer’s previous work to see if they’re suitable to your needs.

If you would prefer to lay your own pavers, please research which techniques would work best for your property while also complying with Australian Standards. With careful planning, your project will run smoother.

The following guidelines may be used as a starting point in your research. Every site is unique, so the following guidelines may need to be adjusted to suit the conditions on your property.

Where should I lay my pavers?

The foundation you lay your pavers on is important for securing their lasting quality. The base should protect and support the pavers against rising humidity, as this moisture can carry salts from the bedding layer or soil that will damage or discolour your pavers. Remember to consider waterproofing and drainage issues as well.

Note: If the pavers are being laid as a driveway, the minimum Australian Standard for the sub-base is at least 100mm thick, using 25 Mpa cured concrete with a F72 mesh.

Can I lay my concrete pavers on a crushed rock base?

Yes. If you would like to lay concrete pavers on crushed rock, make sure that the base is a minimum of 75mm-thick base that has been well compacted. You will also need to bed your pavers on a layer of mortar.

What base should I lay my natural stone pavers on?

If your pavers are natural stone, the base should be at least 75mm-thick reinforced concrete.

If the pavers are being laid for a driveway, we recommend you choose pavers that are at least 30mm thick. Make sure that the sub-base is at least 100mm-thick 25 Mpa cured concrete with a F72 mesh.

Should I include expansion and control joints in the concrete base?

Always consult an engineer when designing concrete bases. These foundations should include expansion and/or control joints. These joints should also continue in the mortar bed and in the grout joint, so they absorb movement and changes in temperature. Control joints should be placed in the tile and bedding mix every every 20 m 2. This creates a floor that has technical expansion joints dividing the area into compartments. These expansion joints need to be at least 5mm joints per 5 metres. These control joints reduce the risk of surface cracks appearing.

Is slope and drainage important?

It is always important to have good drainage. A badly designed sub-base can create water retention, which can cause weathering of the pavers. You also don’t want to grout just with prepared sands or else water will penetrate the sub-base and joints, causing the pavers to stain.

Make sure that your outdoor area is designed with rainwater runoff in mind. A good design means that water and moisture are not trapped on the floor surface, which is achieved by making sure the surface is both level and has an effective drainage slope. Without a drainage design that suits your paving, dirt and salt will build up, creating water damage and rings that won’t come out easily.

How should I lay pavers?

Pavers can be laid in a number of different ways. Generally, we recommend using mortar and slurry.

Should I use a mortar bed and/or slurry under my pavers?

Pavers should always be laid on a mortar bed, and secured in place with slurry.

A typical mortar bed is between 15 and 25 mm thick. Please make sure the sand is well graded and washed. Use only enough fresh clean water to make the mix workable. The surface of the mortar should be scored with a pattern or marked lightly. This enhances the bonding of the mortar and the paver.

The mortar should be mixed thoroughly. It should not have any lumps and the material should be blended together completely. Try using a paddle mixer or a barrel cement mixer.

Please make sure your cement is of a good quality. We recommend Off-White cement or General Purpose (GP) cement. Do NOT use blended cements and do not lay your cement when the outside temperature is greater than 30°C. Always follow the directions of the manufacturer of your cement.

Can I use a bonded slurry compound when laying my pavers?

A bonded slurry compound can be made with either cement and water or with cement and a bonding agent. If using a bonding agent, we suggest you use an SBR-based bonding agent. Mix well and with only just enough water to create a paste that is workable.

When laying my pavers, how should I place them?

  1. Work in small controlled areas to make sure that the pavers are laid before the mortar dries.
  2. Make sure that the concrete slab or crushed rock base is free of debris. If laying pavers on a concrete slab, sweep and hose down the area as needed.
  3. Dampen the area where you are about to lay pavers.
  4. Place an even coat of between 1 and 2mm thick of the slurry mix on the concrete slab or crushed rock base. You can also etch and bond the slab to eliminate dust and increase adhesion.
  5. Next, place a 20 to 25mm-thick layer of mortar mix on the concrete and the paste. Make sure that the mortar is evenly spread and that there are no gaps.
  6. Check that the base of the paver is clean. If necessary, clean with a wire brush to remove any dust or scales. Before placing any pavers you have cut, rinse off any residue or sediment thoroughly. Failure to do so may result in staining.
  7. Smear the underside of your paver with the slurry mix before placing it on the mortar bed. This should be a 1 to 2mm-thick even coating. This will help the bonding process between the mortar bed and your paver. You can also apply a bonding agent to the base of the paver to increase adhesion.
  8. Carefully bed down the paver with a good quality rubber mallet. It is vital to make sure that no air gaps exist under the paver as these may mean the paver is not fully supported and may cause the paver to not adhere properly.
  9. Fill any gaps with a trowel. Remove and discard any excess mortar.
  10. Check that each paver is at the same level as the surrounding pavers. Concrete and Reconstituted Granite pavers are hand crafted, and have an acceptable variance of no more than 2 mm. When laying pavers, please take this natural variance into account and check that the surface edges of pavers are uniformly level. Also, when finalising the position of each paver, make sure that the degree of slope of the entire area is appropriate. Gently tap each paver into place. To avoid leaving marks on the paver, use a white mallet for light coloured pavers and a black one for darker colours.
  11. Using clean water and a sponge, wipe the surface of the paver to remove any excess material.

Are there any special instructions for laying travertine?

  1. The holes from the back of the pavers should be filled before they are laid with the same glue or material being used to lay the pavers. All holes must be filled.
  2. Avoid any use of black or grey cement as it will permeate through the paver.
  3. Use only the best quality off-white cement or adhesive glue.
  4. Grouting should be done all over the paver, not just the joints.
  5. Joints should be not less than 8 mm (irregularity of the natural stone can vary 2 to 3 mm when smaller or longer – hence the reason for the 8mm).
  6. Do not use acidic agents to clean travertine. There are many non-acidic cleaners for natural stone. Contact our office for advice.
  7. Sealing is very important and we highly recommend you use only the best.
  8. If you’re using Travertine as wall cladding, avoid inspot fixing with the glue, but treat the stone as a whole.
  9. If using brick sand and white cement to lay your pavers, please use an agent such as Planocrete® to avoid water penetration and damage that will come through the paver over time.
  10. If laying travertine around a salt water pool, all copers plus pavers in the splash zone should be consolidated, to protect them from salt attack. We recommend dipping these copers and pavers in consolidator prior to laying them.
  11. If you have any questions, please call us and we will have our stonemason consultant contact you for on-the-spot assistance.

Can I use synthetic adhesives to secure my natural stone pavers?

There are a number of different adhesives that may be suitable for laying natural stone pavers. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

The following suggestions are general advice only. For site-specific advice, we suggest you contact the adhesive manufacturer or a professional landscaper.

  1. Make sure that the surface of the base is clean, clear of all debris and dust, and dry.
  2. Check that the base is perfectly flat.
  3. Work in small sections, so as to stay within the drying time required of the adhesive.
  4. Work quickly, so as not to prolong the exposure of the glue to air. If the glue is exposed to air for too long, it will develop a film and its effectiveness will be reduced.
  5. Prepare the adhesive and lay a uniform layer, 8 to 10mm thick, on the concrete base. Use a notch trowel.
  6. Apply adhesive to the back of the paver as well.
  7. Use a white rubber mallet to evenly compact the pavers so that there is consistent contact between the paver and the adhesive.
  8. Open joints should be incorporated into the design, with a recommended 4 to 6mm spacing.

How do I cut pavers?

Ideally, pavers should be cut with a bench stone saw and a wet diamond blade. You can also use a grinder with a diamond or masonry cutting blade. Wash your paver immediately after cutting to avoid stains from the cutting paste.

How do I stay safe while cutting pavers?

Always wear respiratory, eye and ear protection when cutting pavers. This includes dust masks, safety goggles, and ear muffs.

Are there any special considerations when laying pavers around swimming pools?

It is recommended you lay pavers surrounding swimming pools on concrete slabs. This helps prevent any differential movement that may occur between the pool and the paving. Make sure that there is an expansion joint between the pool coping and the paving, or between the pool and the paving. Use a non-slip and penetrating sealer to cover all areas around pools. This is especially important for areas around salt water pools.

If you have chosen natural stone pavers, bullnoses and/or dropfaces, we recommend that you dip-seal them before you lay them, since they’re subject to continual wetting and drying.

Do I need additional expansion joints around swimming pools?

In addition to the expansion joints around pools mentioned above, there should be an expansion joint approximately every 4 to 5 metres. These should match the existing joints of the underlying concrete slab and should be placed as specified by your local engineer or contractor. The relevant Australian Standards should be adhered to at all times.

Expansion joints should not have any grout or mortar in them. Flexible mastic can be used to fill the joint and keep dirt and debris out. For further information about flexible mastic, we recommend you consult the manufacturer.

How long do I need to wait before walking on pavers after they have been laid?

Do not place any load on paved pedestrian areas for at least 48 hours. Do not place any load on paved areas of where the pavers have been laid with mortar on a concrete base for at least 3 weeks after the job has been completed.

How do I grout between pavers?

Grout joints are usually between 7 to 10mm thick.

  1. Pavers and grout joints should be wet prior to grouting. You can achieve this by dampening them with a sponge. We recommend etching and sealing prior to grouting for an easier cleanup.
  2. Grout your pavers with a stiff mix. You can make this mix with washed sand and cement in a 3:1 ratio or you can use a high-grade grouting compound that is pre-bagged.
  3. This mix can be trowelled into joints or you could use a grout gun or a wet slurry mix. Joints grouted in this way should be between 7 to 10mm thick.
  4. Make sure that the grout has no gaps and extends along the entire depth of the paver.
  5. After using a squeegee to fill the joints, trowel away any excess.
  6. Using clean water and a clean sponge, clean the paver. Remove all excess grout. It is essential that you clean off all excess grout from the paver immediately. This prevents sticking or staining. Please be advised that grouting sands and/or grouts that are polymer-based may leave transparent stains if they are not thoroughly removed when cleaning excess grout from pavers.

The colour of the grout can be adjusted by choosing white or grey cement or adding oxide. We recommend that you always complete a small test area first, to make sure the cured colour of the grout is appropriate.

How do I clean my pavers after I have grouted them?

When you have laid and grouted your pavers, and the grout has cured, we recommend you wash your pavers.

Warning: Do not use hydrochloric acid to clean your pavers.

We recommend you use a cleaner designed for this task and that you test it in a small amount to avoid patchiness or discolourations.

  1. First, dampen the pavers with water.
  2. Dilute the cleaner with water, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Apply the cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Rinse immediately and thoroughly with a high-pressure hose.
  5. Repeat this process as you clean the entire paving area. Work from the highest point and move towards the lowest point of your paved area. Never allow the surface of the pavers to dry out during this acid wash process.
  6. When finished, rinse and neutralise the surface of your pavers.
  7. Neutralisation is generally achieved through the use of a soap and water solution.

We recommend that you work in small areas of no more than 3 or 4 metres at a time. Wash thoroughly as you go.

Always apply the acid cleaner to water and then apply this acid mixture to wet pavers.

For your personal safety, when using acidic or any chemical solutions, wear appropriate protective equipment, including goggles and rubber gloves. Take care with the solution and avoid spilling onto people, grass or gardens. Please ask for and read the technical data sheet and Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) when purchasing and using cleaning products.

SEALING PAVERS

Should I seal my pavers?

At Premier Pavers and Stone, we recommend that you seal all your natural stone and concrete pavers . Sealing pavers is especially important around pools, driveways, barbecues and dining areas. Your pavers are an investment that adds value to your home and enjoyment to your life. If you take good care of them, your pavers should last a lifetime.

Just as Scotchguarding protects carpet, sealing pavers will make cleaning easier and extend the life of your pavers. Sealers should be reapplied periodically as they wear off after an extended period of time.

Why is sealing pavers so important?

Sealing pavers makes cleaning pavers easier. Pavers are porous. When something spills on your pavers, such as red wine or fat from the barbecue, it will seep down into the bottom layers of your pavers. Once a substance reaches these layers, it becomes very difficult to clean. Sealers trap the spill on the surface levels of the paver, allowing you to clean it up.

How do I prepare my pavers before sealing them?

Clean your pavers with a product that targets the stains you need to clean. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. For more information re: sealing please see below

Make sure that all residue from the cleaning process has been removed before sealing.

When sealing pavers, we recommend that you use a high-quality penetrating sealer. If the pavers are around a pool, we recommend a penetrating, non-slip sealer.

Which sealer should I use?

There are 2 types of sealer available: penetrating and surface. For the majority of our customers, we recommend a penetrating sealer.

Why would I choose a penetrating sealer?

We recommend penetrating sealers because they allow the stone to breathe. Also, if there is any moisture in the stone or mortar or grout, it will be able to evaporate through the sealer without compromising the seal in any way.

Why would I choose a surface sealer?

Surface sealers are great if you are after a glossy or wet look. Also, if you would like to slightly darken the colour of your pavers, you would choose a surface sealer.

Some surface sealers increase the anti-slip quality of your pavers, which is recommended if you or your friends or family members are prone to falling.

What do I need to be careful of when using a surface sealer?

When using a surface sealer, you need to make sure that your pavers, their grout and the mortar under the pavers is completely dry. If there is still any moisture there, it will evaporate through the paver and break the seal. Once the seal has been broken, the paver is more vulnerable to staining and you will need to reseal the area.

CLEANING PAVERS

How should I clean my pavers?

When buying a cleaning product for your pavers, first work out what it is that has soiled your pavers, and then purchase a cleaner that is suited for that stain. Make sure that the cleaner you buy is safe for the type of paver you have (i.e. often, natural stone cannot be cleaned with acidic cleaners).

Always test a new cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area before cleaning all your pavers. If you do spill something on your paver, clean it immediately. Do not wait until the next day or the next week to clean it, or else it may be very difficult to remove.

Always do a test patch in an inconspicuous area to determine a cleaning product’s suitability for a particular application before applying the cleaning solution to all your pavers.

How should I care for my natural stone?

In order to keep your paving in perfect condition, it should be kept clean. The most common way to maintain stone is to brush away dust. Stone paving should be washed with a clean, soft cloth and fresh water. A mild pH-neutral detergent can be used periodically to remove any residue that remains embedded.

WARRANTY

Do my pavers come with a warranty?

Warranty claims must be made in writing. Premier Pavers’ liability for any valid warranty claim is to replace the defective paver(s). Premier Pavers will not accept consequential losses claims and/or liability that relate to the delivery, replacement or relaying of pavers.

Please note that, as concrete pavers are made with naturally occurring materials, there may be occasional variations in the surface finish and/or colour. Natural stone pavers will also have variation in colours and, to a lesser degree, surface finish. It is the buyer’s responsibility to inspect all of the pavers after delivery. Discrepancies must be reported within 2 working days.

Small chipping and minor marks are not considered defects as they are not structural.

Pavers with variations in thickness of more than 3mm, deflection of more than 2mm and/or excessive chipping may be subject to a warranty claim.

What is variance?

Our pavers are made from natural materials. This means that there will be some variance from paver to paver. Variance means that there may be some change in colours, veining, shades and features, like aero marks, between pavers.

We do make reasonable endeavours to make sure that the colours, textures and finishes of the pavers we order match the samples we have in our showroom. However, variations may still occur.

Premier Pavers does not accept claims for liability that relate to the variation of the colours and shades of pavers, as variations are inherent in both natural and manufactured products.

How does Bluestone vary?

Bluestone is generally uniform in colour. There may be some variance in colour, or ‘veins’, but these will be in only the minority of your pavers.

Bluestone does have aero marks (sometimes called ‘cat paw’ marks). These are small holes in the stone that were formed when the lava that creates Bluestone cools from liquid to solid. Any air trapped in the molten rock means that these aero marks will be present when the rock solidifies.

In a crate of Bluestone pavers, approximately 15 to 20% of the pavers will have aero marks. If you love the appearance of these aero marks, please let us know and we will include more of these distinctive pavers in your delivery. If you don’t like aero marks, we can remove the pavers that have these features from your order, within reason.

How does Travertine vary?

There is a lot of variance in the appearance of travertine. In fact, any 2 pieces of travertine are rarely identical. Colours vary distinctively from paver to paver. That being said, all our travertine is cut from the same mine so the general tone of the colours should be similar and blend beautifully together.

The amount of holes in each piece of travertine will also vary from paver to paver. Travertine is cut from a large block of stone, rather like cutting a block of Swiss cheese into slices.

The variance in travertine is part of its charm and, with a talented installer, it will determine the flow of colour shades through your floorspace. Before laying the pavers, your installer will look at the colours and features of your individual pavers, and create a design with those colours that no one else can duplicate.

How does Granite vary?

There is a minimal amount of variance in the appearance of granite. All our granite is cut from the same mine so the colours should be very similar.

Granite is a stone that has ‘flecks’ through it. This speckled look is a feature of granite.

Some of our granites—particularly our mid-grey granite—have quartz naturally occurring in the stone. This will sparkle in the sunshine. The amount of quartz may vary from paver to paver.

How does Sandstone vary?

Sandstone is an incredibly variable stone. In fact, any 2 pieces of sandstone are rarely identical. Colours will vary distinctively from paver to paver. Sandstone colours will range across yellows, oranges, pinks, browns, greens, and purples. The amount of each colour varies from crate to crate.

Some varieties of sandstone may also include ‘fossils’. The number of pavers with fossils will vary from crate to crate.

The variance in sandstone is part of its charm and, with a talented installer, it will determine the flow of colour shades through your floorspace. Before laying the pavers, your installer will look at the colours and features of your individual pavers, and create a design with those colours that no one else can duplicate.

Disclaimer

This guideline is a collation of good installation procedures, however it does not constitute a warranty, nor is it the only method possible for the installation, finish and maintenance of pavers.

We recommend that this guideline is used alongside the relevant Australian Standards. This guideline is provided in good faith and represents our experience and knowledge.

This guideline does not take the place of the services and advice of professional consultants, installers, landscapers and/or contractors.

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