How to: pebble paving

Written by barbara stanley
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How to: pebble paving
Pebbles will vary in colour, creating a beautiful mosaic. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Pebbles are found at the bottom of riverbeds where the water, over time, has rounded the rough edges of small stones. Pebbles are also found while mining for larger materials. Those used to pave a poolside, path or other decorative surface are the smooth, rounded stones while drives can be paved with crushed rock from mines. A drive would not need an epoxy and hardener, but a pebbled pool-deck would. While it is OK for the pebbles in a drive to shift underfoot, you want stability when paving an area where there will be much foot traffic. The surface must be dry before beginning.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Number 300 resin
  • Number 21 hardener
  • Roller paint brush
  • Concrete mixing tray
  • Pebbles
  • Trowel
  • Wooden board
  • Shovel
  • Vibrating plate
  • Weed fabric
  • Gravel
  • Rake
  • Spirit level

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    Epoxy pebble paving

  1. 1

    Sweep the concrete area of a patio, path or pool deck to remove loose debris.

    How to: pebble paving
    Concrete drives can be pebbled with resin and hardener. ( Images)
  2. 2

    Combine the resin and hardener in a two-to-one ratio to form the epoxy. Mix the epoxy in small batches until you feel comfortable working with it.

  3. 3

    Paint a thin layer of epoxy onto a small area of the substrate.

  4. 4

    Pour the epoxy onto an assortment of pebbles arranged in a tray. Coat the pebbles well; however, you do not want extra glue oozing out when you spread the pebbles.

  5. 5

    Pave a section of the substrate with the epoxy-coated pebbles using a trowel. The pebble layer should be around 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) deep or a little more.

  6. 6

    Prepare another batch of epoxy and add more pebbles.

  7. 7

    Continue laying out the pebbles with the trowel until the entire area has been paved. Smooth and level the pavement as you go. You might find it easier to check for levelness by laying a long board across a section and setting the spirit level on the board.

    Gravel pebble paving

  1. 1

    Prepare the area to be paved by removing enough soil with a shovel to match the new depth of gravel and pebbles. Usually, a base is made around 20 cm (8 inches) deep with the depth of the pebbles set to about 10 cm (4 inches) deep. You may need to shift dirt to fill in low spots and remove small mounds.

  2. 2

    Tamp down the soil with the vibrating plate, then check for levelness. Continue tamping or making adjustments until the drive is level.

  3. 3

    Line the tamped ground with weed/landscape fabric to prevent grass from growing up through the pebbles.

  4. 4

    Dump the gravel base onto the drive or area to be paved.

  5. 5

    Rake the gravel to fill in all areas, then use the vibrating plate to tamp the gravel.

  6. 6

    Cover the gravel with the pebbles and rake them evenly over the entire area.

  7. 7

    Use the spirit level to ensure that the entire area is level.

Tips and warnings

  • Spraying a layer of tar over the gravel then adding the pebbles is another way to keep the pebbles from shifting or moving out of the drive.
  • Give the measurements of the area being paved to a salesman for the location where you buy your pebbles. He can help you figure out how many cubic metres of crushed stone and/or pebbles are needed for the job. For example, a 28 square metre (300 square foot) area would use 27 litres (6 gallons) of epoxy and 272 kg (600 lb) of pebbles.
  • Depending upon wear and tear, the epoxy may need to be reapplied every couple of years.
  • Mix epoxy in a well-ventilated area.
  • It would be extremely difficult physically to mix enough epoxy and pebbles by hand and spread them over the average drive. Renting a cement-mixer would be the best way to mix the glue with the pebbles and pour them out as you spread.

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