How to lay paving on concrete

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Installing paving bricks over an existing concrete slab spruces up the area and enhances the landscape. The concrete serves as the stable foundation or subsurface necessary to keep paving bricks in place and prevent any shifts that occur as they settle or are exposed to traffic. Select pavers that match the exterior of your house to highlight the colours and heighten visual appeal. Clean the concrete thoroughly before laying the pavers of your choice.

Measure the length and width of the concrete you want to pave, using a tape measure. Multiply the dimensions to determine the square footage. You'll need 10 per cent more pavers than the calculated number to make allowances for breakages and damage.

Design the arrangement of pavers on graph paper. Although some people prefer installing the same coloured pavers throughout the area, other opt for artistic designs such as dark borders, zigzag patterns or two alternating colours throughout the area. Create your desired design so you know how many pavers you need to work with.

Add 1 cup dish detergent to 1 gallon of water and mix thoroughly. Pour the soapy solution on the concrete surface and scrub with a brush to remove stubborn stains and spills over it. Wash away the soap residue with a steady stream of water from a garden hose and leave it to dry.

Mix mortar and water in a 5-gallon bucket to the consistency of peanut butter. Spread enough mortar for three to four pavers on an edge of the cement surface, using a trowel. Spread the mortar, using the notched edge of the trowel to spread it 3/4 to 1 inch thick while creating grooves that fall parallel to the concrete edge.

Lower a paver over the mortar at one corner of the concrete and tap it gently, using a rubber mallet. Place another paver 1/8 inch apart from the previous paver and set it into the mortar with a mallet. Repeat the process of laying pavers over the mortared section and inspect the top with a carpenter's level. Add or remove mortar from under a paver immediately to adjust the height.

Spread mortar over the concrete next to the previous section and continue laying three to four pavers each time, until you reach the end of the concrete flooring. Cut pavers to size with a wet saw. Leave the mortar to cure for 24 hours.

Spread polymeric sand over the paved surface and run a broom slowly over the surface. The broom forces the sand into the gaps between pavers. Wet the surface with a low-pressure hose to solidify the sand between spaces and wash away any excess.

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