In terms of the totality of its qualities, paving slabs for summer cottages deserve to be considered one of the best materials for paving. The variety of colors, sizes and shapes allows you to create artistic compositions that add sophistication to even the most ordinary landscape. The presence of various manufacturing technologies – vibrocasting and vibrocompression – makes it possible to choose the best option for operating conditions, price and durability. All this provides paving slabs with a high and stable demand among consumers of different levels of income.
Selecting tiles per track
The first question that has to be solved when buying is – which street tiles for paths best meets your needs, injection molded or pressed? The vibrocompression technology provides a higher quality – increased strength and wear resistance, low moisture absorption and the resulting high frost resistance. Plus – anti-slip surface. If you’re willing to pay a premium price for all of these benefits, Vibratory Tile is a good choice.
On the other hand, given the fact that usually paving slabs for garden paths are not subjected to high loads, the quality of the molding material is quite sufficient to ensure its long-term operation. In addition, it has the best design qualities, which, coupled with its reasonable price, is a good argument in favor of buying.
Plan dimensions and thickness
Large tiles fit faster, but small-sized plates better retain their integrity, and from a design point of view they look preferable.
The required thickness is determined by the planned load. For pedestrian zones, 3-4 cm is quite enough.For places where cars will pass, it is necessary to have a thickness of at least 5-6 cm.
What should you look for during a visual inspection?
The correct geometric shapes and the same dimensions indicate good quality. If the shape is distorted, and the plates differ in size, it is better to refuse to purchase such material.
Quality tile for paths has a homogeneous structure without cracks, air pockets and inclusions. There should be no yellow spots on the reverse side, which indicate that clay sand was used in the manufacture, which negatively affects the strength of the product.
Coloration should be uniform – not only on the surface, but also in thickness.
Smoothness of the top layer and too bright color do not necessarily mean high quality, rather the opposite. Increased smoothness is achieved by adding excess water to the solution or special additives, which can adversely affect strength.
You need to check the material “for sound” – lightly knock them against each other.
Good quality dacha tile produces a subtle sound. A dull sound indicates an excess of water in the solution.
What can replace paving slabs?
Along with paving slabs, there are many other paving materials.
Natural stone in the form of flagstone or paving stone is in great demand – an elite material with a magnificent appearance and durability.
If the stone is not suitable for financial reasons, you can resort to the cheapest option – the device of the path using ordinary sand-cement mortar. To make the concrete surface look more aesthetically pleasing, it can be painted in any desired color. Or print a beautiful texture on it using special forms and dyes, i.e. convert ordinary concrete into printed concrete. To add shine and increase protection, the surface can be impregnated with liquid glass or other special compound.
Concrete tiles for paths in the country can be made by pouring sand-cement mortar into plastic molds, which give the surface the appearance of masonry.
In general, there are many options for making tracks, differing in cost, appearance and performance. You just need to correctly formulate the task – what exactly and at what cost you want to get – and get down to business.
Laying paving slabs
The technology for laying paving slabs does not differ significantly from paving with other materials. And as far as preparatory operations are concerned, they are practically the same. In a simplified form, the work sequence is as follows.
- With the help of a cord and pegs, the contours of the track are marked.
- Soil is extracted to a depth of 25-30 cm, the bottom of the trench is compacted.
- A curb is installed on the cement mortar, geotextiles are laid on the bottom of the trench.
- A layer of rubble 10-15 cm thick is poured, leveled and rammed.
- The sand is laid with a layer of 5-10 cm, leveled with a rake, watered and compacted.
- A sand-cement mixture is prepared in a ratio of 8: 1, poured onto the sand and leveled. The thickness of the substrate layer from the dry mix should be 3-4 cm. Sometimes this operation is abandoned by paving directly on the sand.
- Lay the tiles, adjusting their position with a rubber mallet. The thickness of the seams is maintained within 3-5 mm.
- The gaps between the tiles are filled with fine sieved sand.
Important. The base must be sealed very well. Failure to comply with this requirement is the main reason that the paving slabs for the summer cottage warp over time in a horizontal plane or even crack. When laying, a slope must be ensured towards the edges of the surface. This will eliminate the formation of puddles on the track.
The choice of material for paving a summer cottage path and the method of laying it is determined by the operating conditions. If it is assumed that some kind of equipment will move along it – a car, a walk-behind tractor or something similar, you need to choose stone paving stones, vibro-pressed thick tiles or flagstones laid on a concrete base. Or, as a last resort, pour simple concrete with reinforcement.
If the path will only perceive the weight of a person, then beautiful and inexpensive injection molded paving slabs can easily cope with this.