- grass pavers
- With or without substructure
- Step by step to the lawn grid: instructions
- Care and maintenance of the lawn pavers
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Ideally, we want to make our gardens, front yards and other open spaces as green and natural as possible. But time and time again, this wish has to be reconciled with the requirements of being able to drive on the areas safely and permanently in all weathers - be it as a parking space, as an access road or as a set-up area for the fire brigade in the event of a fire. Grass pavers offer a good and pragmatic solution for optimally combining the desire for a lawn with other requirements. In the following you will find out step by step how to professionally lay the practical and yet natural covering both with and without a substructure.
Before deciding how a lawn grid should be laid, the reasons that lead to its use in the first place must first be considered. If the aim of the laying is known and the foreseeable use is limited, with this knowledge it is easy to decide whether a substructure is required for the grass pavers or whether they can be laid without one.
Of course, there are many individual concerns that can lead to the use of the well-known grass pavers. However, numerous motives appear again and again, so that they can be listed here as "standard" reasons, but without claiming to be exhaustive:
- Permeability of paved areas for rainwater desired to reduce the sewage fee
- Ability to seep is required because the area to be paved cannot be connected to the public sewage system
- Optical requirements, greening with grass desired or attachment of the area should remain as invisible as possible
- Fastening with as little effort as possible, for example if the driveway is only temporary
- Other requirement of a permeable and at the same time resilient covering
With or without substructure
When which version makes sense
Once the decision to lay the grass pavers has been made, the technical implementation of the project begins. First of all, there are two variants that differ fundamentally in terms of their execution, the associated effort, but also in terms of their durability and resilience:
1. Lawn grid without substructure
- Installation situation: after removal of lawn immediately on existing soil
- Resilience: heavily dependent on the existing subsoil, but significantly limited due to lack of frost resistance
- Advantages: low installation effort, inexpensive, easy to dismantle if necessary
- Disadvantages: low resilience, limited durability, high maintenance effort
2. Lawn grid with substructure
- Installation situation: on gravel packing made of frost-proof and load-bearing materials
- Resilience: can be easily implemented for cars and trucks by taking suitable measures on the subsurface
- Advantages: high durability, high resilience
- Disadvantages: high effort to create, high acquisition costs, high effort to dismantle
Step by step to the lawn grid: instructions
Once the benefits and the different options for grass pavers are known, the implementation begins. Both for the variant without and the implementation with substructure, the necessary work is explained step by step in the following instructions.
Laying the stones without first creating a load-bearing and frost-proof substrate is quite simple:
1. Prepare surface
- remove existing surface
- Lawn can either be disposed of or stored on the side so that sections can be installed in the paving stones
2. Create subgrade
- Level the ground with a rake, shovel or lath to lay the lawn grid evenly
- Align the top edge of the prepared substrate with the height of the grid stones
- Stones should be flush with the top edge of the turf after laying
tip: Since creating a subgrade directly on or with the existing soil can be difficult, it is worth applying a few bags of fine chippings. The material can easily be built in by hand and leveled with a rake or lath. In this way, the level surface succeeds perfectly without having to accept enormous additional effort. Depending on the size of the existing stones, an application thickness of 1 to 2 centimeters of the split is already sufficient.
tip: If the ground is particularly soft, it is worth not placing the lawn grid flush with the upper edge of the lawn. Instead, the stones should be shifted one to two centimeters upwards. Under load, these then sink in and do not form any holes in the existing lawn.
- Lay the grass pavers seamlessly on the prepared planum
- Loosely tap stones into the fine subgrade with a rubber mallet to avoid cavities and wobbly supports
tip: Since there is usually no exact edge for laying the stones after the lawn sod has been cut out, it is worth erecting a batter board made of branches, carpenter's nails or other aids over which a string is stretched to form a straight edge.
- Filling the cavities in and between the gratings with soil or soil-gravel mixture for later lawn growth or gravel if only drainage is required
- Covering with the desired lawn growth is possible with lawn sods cut off at the beginning
danger: When backfilling, the materials in the individual compartments do not have to be compacted. However, cavities or incomplete filling should be avoided, as the fillings ultimately help to secure the grid stones in place. If necessary, the compartments should be refilled after a few weeks or periods of rain when the material used has settled.
- if greening is desired, lawn seeding by spreading the compartments
- regular watering required until germination
- when gravel is added, increased water requirement due to good drainage effect
notice: Even with the most careful installation of the grid surface, you have to reckon with deformation of the covering under constant load. When vehicles drive over it, for example, fairways almost inevitably form, so that alternative construction with suitable subsoil strengthening should be considered.
If a lawn grid is to be created permanently and resiliently, it is worth erecting it on a deep bed of gravel. This subsoil retains the drainage ability, but at the same time ensures stability when subjected to loads from vehicles etc. The structure also prevents the soil from lifting in the event of frost, since the freezing moisture is drained off. This effectively prevents deformation of the covering. The creation works step by step like this:
- Remove and dispose of the topsoil in the area of the planned area, including the turf, as well as approx. 0.5 m on all sides
- If necessary, store the turf on the side for later reuse
- Excavate the area to a depth of at least 80 centimeters and dispose of the excavated material
notice: The minimum excavation depth should be 80 centimetres, as the ground normally no longer freezes at this depth and deformations are thus avoided. In the case of particularly poor, less stable soils, on the other hand, greater depths may be required, especially if a particularly high load-bearing capacity is required. The assessment of these facts should definitely be carried out by competent persons, as the load-bearing capacity is difficult to recognize without specialist knowledge.
2. Installation of load-bearing materials
- Fill the pit with suitable load-bearing materials, e.g. gravel, pre-screen, in the case of high loads KFT (combined frost and base course)
- Install materials in layers up to a maximum of 30 centimeters high and compact after each layer with a vibrating plate or rammer
- Create the upper edge according to the height of the grid stones
3. Create subgrade
- Prepare fine planing of fine chippings or sand on the supporting gravel package
- To do this, apply split and distribute with a rake
- then pull off evenly and evenly using a leveling bar
tip: For larger areas, it is worth borrowing a leveling laser in order to achieve a surface that is as flat as possible. Alternatively, joists can be set up at the edge of the area using a spirit level, which can be used to pull off the batten.
- Lay the latticework on fine planum flush and without gaps
- lightly tap the stones into the fine subgrade with a rubber mallet to ensure a snug fit without cavities.
tip: A batter board made of sticks, metal rods or similar and tensionable cord helps to achieve a straight starting edge for the laying.
- Fill the compartments of the lattice blocks with earth, earth-gravel mixture or gravel
- Soil content depending on the desired greening or just ensuring the seepage ability
- Fill the chambers completely to prevent the fillings from settling later
- in the case of gravel filling, fill this slightly above the top edge of the stone and then shake in with a vibrating plate
- sweep away any remaining material
6. Sowing / Environment
- If you want greening, sow lawn seeds in grid compartments and water well and keep permanently moist, just like normal lawn seed
- Fill the edge strips of the substructure around the grid surface with the previously removed excavation and re-lay the lawn sod that has been stored on the side, press firmly and water well
Care and maintenance of the lawn pavers
Once the lawn grid has been created and - if desired - greened, it can be used as a driveway, entrance or storage area without restrictions. To ensure that it stays that way, some aspects of care and maintenance should be taken into account:
Without a load-bearing substructure, subsidence can occur over time, especially in the area of the lanes
- regular removal of the stones and leveling of the subsoil
- optional change to installation of a load-bearing layer to strengthen the subsoil
Over time it can happen that the vegetation covers the stones with biomass. In the long term, the gratings are no longer recognizable and navigability is made more difficult by the slippery layer of humus.
- regular mowing and removal of grass clippings
- Check for humus formation and, if necessary, remove the humus layer over the stones
tipping or splitting of the stones
Due to an increased load in the edge area, as well as the movement of the stones among themselves when driving on, the stones can tilt sideways or gaps and joints between the stones can arise.
- Formation of a lawn grid in the edge area without direct trafficability
- alternatively, position-secured discounts through lean concrete
- in the case of joints and crevices, removing the stones and leveling the subsoil with subsequent re-laying