Summary: Concrete paver forms allow you to individually mold concrete paver stones that can be used in infinite ways to create walkways, driveways, pool decks, patios, and other floors. Here's a tutorial on how to mold and install concrete pavers.
In Germany, most streets are made of pavers. In fact, in Europe, there are 100 square feet of pavers installed annually per person!
Usually, pavers are made to interlock to form a patterned surface, but sometimes they are deliberately placed with space between them that is filled with grass or moss.
One of the biggest benefits of using concrete pavers is that they can be individually removed and put back, so that repairs don't put the whole surface out of commission.
Conversely, the biggest pain in the a** with pavers is that if your base is not good, they are going to settle differentially over time and look extremely bad.
Guess what... even if your base and sub-base are perfect - they still might look awful due to years of enduring traffic and weather changes.
All in all, with a good base and a bit of luck and maintenance, your concrete patio pavers have the potential to remain ravishing for decades to come.
How to Make Concrete Paver Forms
Anyone with a fair amount of DIY skill and enthusiasm can make concrete pavers, and can make concrete paver forms to suit their needs.
The concrete paver forms are frames made from lumber into which wet concrete is poured to mold individual pavers.
If you want to make a concrete paver form and cast a concrete stone, here are the items you will need to form one concrete paver stone:
- 1 x 3 lumber
- 1.5 inch wood screws
- 25 lbs. Portland cement
- carpenter's square
- concrete mixer
- drill with screwdriver bit
- table saw
- vegetable oil
- work gloves
First, determine how large you want your concrete paver to be. Then add 1.5 inches to that length.
Cut two pieces of 1 x 3 lumber to that length.
Then cut two pieces of 1 x 3 lumber the exact length you want the paver to be.
Cut a piece of wire mesh slightly smaller than the concrete patio paver in both dimensions.
Next, screw the boards together to make a frame whose inside dimension is the exact size of the paver you want to pour.
Use two of the wood screws in each corner.
The extra length on two of the pieces of lumber are to allow for overlap for screwing the frame together.
Your carpenter's square will let you know if the concrete paver forms you're making are true.
Molding & Installing Concrete Paver Stones
At the place you want to put the paver stone, dig a hole that is three inches deep and a little larger than your paver will be.
Using your level, make the floor of the hole level.
Slowly fill the hole at least an inch deep with water and let the water soak in.
Place your form in the hole and make sure it is level in both dimensions.
Using a rag, paper towels, or a paintbrush, coat the inside of the form with vegetable oil. Doing this will get the form to "let go" of the paver easier when it's time to remove the concrete paver forms.
Mix the concrete with a 3:3:1 ratio of sand, gravel, and cement. The concrete should be about the same consistency as cake batter.
Pour the concrete into the wheelbarrow and wheel it next to the concrete paver form.
Using your shovel, put enough concrete into the form to fill it halfway.
Place the wire mesh you cut on top of the concrete you just poured. Then finish filling the concrete paver form to the top.
Using a piece of scrap lumber that's slightly longer than your concrete paver form and run it over the top of the form to make sure the concrete is flat and even on top.
Then use your trowel to smooth the top.
Allow the concrete to set for at least 48 hours undisturbed.
Then remove the screws and tap the lumber so that they pull away from the paver. You shouldn't have to tap too hard to do this.
Keep the paver moist for at least 14 days by gently watering and covering with a tarp.
If possible, wait four weeks before walking on it or putting heavy objects on it, as chemical bonds in concrete continue to be made for 28 days.
After your concrete paver is completely dry, you can
use concrete dye
or stain to make your concrete pavers more artistic.
and dyes are amazingly versatile, and easy to use, too.
The only problem is, you'll have to buy it in a fairly large quantity.
Dyes come in powder form and can be mixed in small batches. Unused stain can be saved for later.
Who knows? You may be so inspired by your success that you'll want to make a whole walkway out of pavers you create from your impressive concrete paver molds.
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