Block paving installation

Block paving installation can be as straight forward as laying blocks purchased from a DIY store to complex block paving installations over many levels with a variety of individual designs.

Block paving installation Sandstone Block

Sandstone block with channel drainage

Block paving installation – What look do you want?

How does the area look now? Why don’t you like it?  Grass? An existing driveway? If so what type? Concrete? Blocks? Tarmac?

Is the intention to replace the existing surface or extend?

Is it just the driveway or is there other features such as walls and bedding areas to consider? How does water drain?

Do you require low maintenance? Off road parking? Commercial vehicle parking or just domestic use vehicle/s?

Think about the existing brickwork and style of your house.

This will help you decide which type (size, colour and style) of block to choose for your block paving installation.

Preparation before sub base for block paving installation

If you are simply replacing an existing area, without extending, dig out the area to a depth of 200mm. Pay attention to any areas where puddles have been a problem.

Establish where the damp proof course is and keep in mind that the finish level (top of blocks) should be 150mm below the damp proof course.

The area will either be falling (sloping) off one way or another or be completely flat. If the surface is not falling (sloping) look to level the surface so that it does fall.

If a natural fall for surface water is absent – install a soak away and drainage channels.

The sub base of a block paving installation

Lay and compact Type 1 MOT (aggregate) or use recycled crushed concrete for sub base layer.

Lay 75mm and compact. Then lay another 75mm and compact. Start around the edges and work your way into the middle.

Ensure the sub base is free of bumps and there are no visible dips.

Take time to get the sub base right, everything else relies on it!

Permeable block paving such as Marshall’s Priora range should be installed by a professional as a suitable sub – base for permeable block paving is required.

Complete this form to check suitability.

Edging restraints in a block paving installation

Block paving edging


  • Use edge restraints to provide support for a block paving installation.
  • Set these in by making a strong mix cement and ballast and lay along edges and place edging restraints on top.
  • Ensure the right levels are in place by using a level and a string line. Haunch up either side of the restraints but allow room for block laying.
  • Use a mallet or handle of a club hammer to tap into place, but remember if you tap too hard you may have to resit and add more cement and ballast underneath.

Block paving installation – the blocks

  • Spread damp sand to a depth of 50mm and compact.
  • Add  further 20mm of sand on top. Use a string line and attach to edging stones to ensure the correct falls and levels.
  • If the driveway area is on a slope start from the bottom right hand corner from a straight edge.
  • Blocks should sit approximately 15mm above the desired finish level to enable you to compact them down at the finish.
  • Cut blocks with a diamond saw at the edges to get them to fit.

Once all the blocks are set apply kiln dried sand and sweep across the whole of the drive, making sure that this sand falls down between the joints of the blocks.

The driveway will then need to be compacted, again! Use a rubble sole plate on the compacter to stop the newly laid blocks getting scuffed.

Sweep more kiln dried sand over the drive and compact, again!

Keep doing this until all of the joints are full of sand.

Too difficult?

Contact us and we’ll put you in touch with a professional that can help.