Things to consider before you start:
There are two main types of bedding systems - flexible and rigid. In a flexible system the blocks / paving are laid on a bed of cement-free aggregate, and are not bonded to the blocks. Only the blocks around the edge are fixed down to form a rigid perimeter and hold the rest of the blocks in place. This enables the system to flex allowing it to tolerate loading and vibration. If a rigid jointing material is used, whether that is cementitious, resin-based or other, it will crack and break as the bedding still allows the paving to flex and the jointing will be trying to prevent this. Instead, loose silica sand should be brushed into the joints between paviours / blocks, allowing the joint to flex as well. This is the traditional way to bed blocks and it works well as long as the perimeter blocks keep the whole system in place. If blocks on the perimeter come loose the sand jointing can escape, blocks can slide out of place, bedding can be washed out, progressively loosening more and more paving.
Sometimes paviours and stone flags can be seen laid 'dot and dabbed' where cement mortar is dotted on the underside of slabs and placed down. This is not a good way to lay paving because it leaves voids between the mortar dots where the slabs are unsupported. If a load is applied to the paving, for example a heavy planter is placed down or vehicle drives over it, it is likely to crack break off the unsupported paving, particularly on corners or edges of slabs. Furthermore, when it comes to filling the joints between blocks, unless you are using a very stiff mortar mix, the majority of your jointing material will escape into the voids instead of filling the joint.
When the paviours are fully bedded on a cementitious bedding mortar which bonds them in place, they are part of a rigid system. The bond between the can be strengthened by applying a slurry primer to the block or slabs before placing them on the mortar bed. As long as the slabs are fully bedded, a brush-in/ wash-in/ squeegee-ed/ pumped-in jointing material can be used.
If your paving is likely to be trafficked by vehicles, whether it be parking a single vehicle on a driveway, occasionally crossed for access or on a busy highway, the sub base and jointing system will need to be designed for this. The heavier the traffic in terms of both volume and vehicle size the more robust and in general thicker the sub based build-up needs to be. You will also need to check that the jointing material can withstand the amount of loading / traffic anticipated.
If your patio or paved area is going to rely on water soaking away through the paving joints then the jointing material must be permeable, as should the bedding mortar, which is even more important the larger the paved area is. Designing the paving so there is a gradient so water can run-off to drainage runs connected either to mains surface water drains or a soak-away should be considered.
For domestic patios and drives an ideal paving / stone set joint filling material is EasyJoint. It is extremely easy to use and can be used in all weathers including heavy rain and freezing conditions. It is an environmentally friendly material derived from plant oils, silica sand and hardening agents; it does not contain cements or resins, it is non-harmful and non-toxic. Once complete, the joint material has the appearance of sand hardened solid in which the sand particles are about the size of granulated sugar grains. There are no loose grains, it does not stain and a strong rigid bond is created between the paving. The EasyJoint filled hardened paving joint is permeable, allowing water to soak away.
EasyJoint is used by professional trades people, landscapers, home owners and DIY-ers alike; all achieving great results quickly and simply.
EasyJoint is suitable for use with most common types of paving such as concrete paviours, brick blocks, clay, terracotta and natural stone, including granite setts, indian stone, limestone flags, cobbles, sandstone slabs, slate paving stones; it should not be used with interlocking block paving. Joint widths from 3mm upwards can be achieved, as long as the minimum joint depth of 25mm is achieved. Five colours are available to give your paved / flagged area the overall appearance and feel you are looking for. Colours
EasyJoint provides a strong, durable, long-lasting hard joint that can resist jet-washing / power-washing and significantly reduces the likelihood of weeds taking root or growing through the joints.
For more information, pricing, samples or to buy EasyJoint please contact us on 01925852225 or email email@example.com
Although EasyJoint can be installed using a dry method, is more difficult to install in this way, see detailed instructions. An easier to use alternative is Geofix Original, a dry brush-in paving jointing material. It creates the appearance of a sand filled joint but it is in fact a rigid bound compound creating a strong bond between the blocks / slabs / setts / flags. Good for installations where there is limited water, e.g. where there is no connection to water on site or there is a hose pipe ban in place. However, it should not be used in wet conditions or if rain is forecast either during laying or before it cures. Geofix Original is available in Buff and Grey colours.
As with the EasyJoint described above, Geofix offers the benefits of a labour saving quick installation, non-staining, provides a rigid joint that will not washout and is weatherproof (after it has cured), resists weed growth and is water permeable. It can be used on drives, pathways, patios and other paved areas that have either pedestrian footfall or very light vehicular use including indoor paved areas. It can be used to fill joints 5mm wide or above on most common paving materials including concrete flags, blocks, setts, clay, terracotta, brick and natural stone. Minimum joint depth for pedestrian areas is 25mm and 40mm if there is likely to be light vehicular traffic.
For more information, pricing or to buy Geofix please contact us on 01925852225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Flowpoint is a slurry-applied squeegee-in cementitous paving joint filler ideal for large paved areas, civic spaces, roads, shared surfaces, public spaces, town squares and commercial landscapping projects. It is slightly more difficult to apply than the domestic brush-in systems described above, but offers a first class highly durable rigid paved surface. If used with the correct sub base build-up it can withstand heavy duty vehicular traffic and conforms to BS 7533. For a demonstration of how to use Flowpoint paving jointing mortar see this VIDEO.
It can be used to fill joints in paving schemes of 5mm-50mm and up to 200mm in depth.
A major advantage for commercial and public schemes is that paved surfaces can be trafficked by pedestrians just 1 hour and by vehicles just 4 hours after installation, meaning progress on site isn't held up or highways can be re-opened rapidily limiting congestion due to road works.
For more information, pricing or to buy Flowpoint please contact us on 01925852225 or email email@example.com
Granatech and Granatech Eco are alternative slurry applied paving jointing materials that will also conform to BS 7533 when installed with the recommended build-up. Call Arcon on 01925 852225 for pricing and quotations.