Do you want your pavements to have an old-fashioned flare? Would you like to be transported back to the ancient Roman period or the beginning of England’s industrialization? Utilizing cobblestone, or what is now more popularly known as Belgian blocks, is a splendid way to bring a taste of these olden times in your home. These rocks, typically bound together by mortar or set in sand, will also create a sense of sturdiness since they w\\\\ill remain pristine even after decades. If this has made you seriously consider upgrading your pavement to feature Belgian blocks, read on to know more about this material before starting your project:
Why use Belgian blocks
Belgian blocks are considered as one of the most durable materials to be used on roads before. In the olden days, they were chosen because they provide better traction for horse-drawn carriages than asphalt or tarmac. However, due to many road innovations, builders started foregoing them because they are not smooth enough.
Nowadays, they are utilized in home pavements due to their unique design. Incorporating them adds an earthy tone in the place. It complements very well with the environment, so you would have no problem with palette mismatch.
Builders also prefer them because they assist in draining water that might cause a flood in the area. They are also environmentally helpful since they shift according to the applied pressure, instead of cracking under it. Additionally, they are very dense, so you need not worry about cracks and splits on their surface. Furthermore, they are stain-resistant, thus, freeing your weekends to do other things aside from cleaning your driveway.
The most common type of Belgian blocks used in home pavements and driveways is granite cobblestone. This material is naturally-occurring in many quarries and riverbeds, so it is not that expensive compared to others.
If you would like your pavement to have a darker color, you can opt for a flamed basalt cobblestone. However, your design might be limited since it only features square designs.
For a more vibrant look, you can check out silver travertine cobblestones that offer varying hues from brownish-grey to white marble.
Preparing the base is the first step in installing cobblestone. You have to remove all the vegetation in the area, as this might cause cracks in the future. Preparing the base also includes making a compact bed and installing kerbstones on the side to prevent lateral shifts.
After ground preparation, you can now work on the mix, as indicated by the manufacturer. When you are done, you can pour the mix on the base and comb it so that it will be smooth.
The next thing to do is to place the stones starting from a corner. You may use a rubber mallet to level them. Once the spaces have been filled with stones, you can let it dry for a couple of days before waterproofing the surface.
Quality cobblestones typically last for centuries. If they crumble or crack, it is mostly because of the incorrect construction of its bases. If the stones are set on sand, this problem can easily be remedied by setting gravel on the affected joints. However, if your Belgian rocks are set on mortar, you have to conduct yearly regrouting to ensure those cracks would not lead to major problems. It is also advisable to clean them from time to time to remove weeds that might have made their way through it to maintain its integrity and ancient look.
Installing Belgian blocks will add significant value to your home. They are both durable and aesthetically-pleasing. If you would like to incorporate a taste of the past in your place, utilizing these naturally-occurring stones is the way to go.