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Bringing Paving To Life

When planning a new patio or driveway it is surprising just how important your choice of landscaping materials is. Get it right and the whole garden will enhance your home. Get it wrong and you could have a mismatched mistake for years to come. Here are a few tips to help you bring your paving ideas to life.

Picture of paving


Consider the colour of your home and existing hard landscaping. Make sure your new paving or walling complements it. Don't try to match paving materials exactly with the walls of your home - instead harmonise or contrast. If you have a dark wall, choose a lighter colour and vice versa.

Blend the colour to the architectural style of your home. A traditional style house would probably benefit from subtly coloured materials while contrasting, brighter colours may be better suited to modern homes.

Visit your local Keyline branch and ask for examples to lay against existing materials before you make your final decision.


Selecting the pattern of your paving is also an important choice. For details of the paving patterns available for particular pavings pick up a copy of the latest Marshalls catalogue from your local Keyline branch.


Sub-base material is used in areas subject to heavy use - for example driveways. Its main aim is to strengthen weak ground. Ask at your local Keyline branch for advice on suitable material from stock. A mix of small stone and finer material is normally required, which can be laid without leaving voids. Broken rubble is not suitable unless it has been blinded with sand to fill all voids.

Sand Laying Course

All paving except Heritage, Chancery and Firenza can be laid on a layer of sharp sand - 35mm thick in the case of flags and 50mm thick, after compaction, for block paving. The sand is best laid out by screeding. Timber rails equal in thickness to the required depth of sand are set out. Sand is simply tipped within them and spread with a spade, shovel or rake. A board is then drawn along the rails to strike off the sand level.

Mortar Laying

Chancery, Heritage and Firenza should, for normal garden use, be laid on 5 large mortar dabs on 35mm sand. For heavy use lay on a full mortar bed. All other paving slabs can also be laid on mortar. As an alternative to mortared joints, some pavings can be laid with a 3-4mm joint which can be sand filled.


Blocks - for normal garden use lay on 50mm sand total compacted thickness. Install a sub-base where necessary, typically from 50mm for garden use up to 200mm for vehicular use or on poor ground.

How To Cut Paving Materials

Picture of paving

All paving materials can be cut by using a bolster chisel, a flag/block splitter or a disc cutter. The Bolster Method is ideal for smaller quantities of flags or blocks. Placing a flag on a mound of sand, score a cut line along both faces and sides with a hammer and chisel. A few sharp blows in each position should be sufficient. Turn the flag face down and tap firmly with the club hammer along the cut line to split. This can also be used for blocks but after scoring, keep the chisel in one position and strike a blow two or three times with the club hammer. Flag/block splitters are most suited where there is a great deal of cutting. They are simple to use and give a clean cut. Both hydraulic and manual block splitters are available from Keyline Hire, ask at your local branch for details.


Different Paving Sizes Give Different Paving Patterns

Mixed Paving
3-Ring Circle
3-Ring Circle Squaring Off Set