Cobble setts are a popular choice amongst homeowners, for both driveways and other outdoor spaces, and it’s no wonder why. They are strong and durable as well as aesthetically pleasing, providing you with a lovely looking space that’s guaranteed to last many, many years.
If you’re planning on adding some cobble setts to your own garden or driveway, it’s worthwhile reading up on how to lay them out beforehand. That way, you can ensure a quality finish and one that’s going to last you as long as possible. Continue reading this guide to find out how to lay cobble setts.
First things first – prepare your materials and equipment
Make sure you have the required equipment and materials to hand, before beginning the task of laying out your cobble setts. Materials include enough of the cobble setts to cover the space, as well as enough sand, cement and water too. If you’re not sure how much of each material you will need to fill the space, don’t hesitate to speak to an expert who will be able to give you some estimations based on the size of the space you’re laying the setts in.
You will also need to have spray paint to hand, as well as a sub-base material in the MOT Type 1 category. This makes sure you’re investing in the right consistency of sub-base – MOT Type 1 is a granular sub-base that is commonly used for these types of projects.
The following tools are also recommended for a quick and efficient job of laying of cobble setts:
- A mixer to create a mortar mix
- A trowel
- A wheelbarrow
- A pointing tool
- A spirit level
- A plate compactor
- A rubber mallet
- A tape measure
- Protective gloves
- A rake
- A spade
Determine the space and start preparing the ground
Once you have all the tools and materials you need, you can begin preparing the ground.
Decide where you want the cobble setts to stretch out to within the space, and use the spray paint to mark the area. Make sure the ground is firm and level with plenty of drainage for water, before setting to work on your cobble setts project.
Once the area is marked out, you can begin digging out the ground to a depth of around 230mm. Make sure you remove all weeds and other vegetation during the process, as well as the topsoil, and keep the depth as level as possible throughout. When completed, the space should be at least 150mm below the damp proof course of your house.
Check the levelling and compact the space
Set out string lines across the area, to check for any peaks or troughs in the dug out ground. If there are any unlevel areas, use the rake to create a more level space, before using the plate compactor to firm the ground up.
Add two layers of the MOT Type 1 Sub-Base Material
Once the ground is compacted, begin adding a later of the sub-base material. The first later of the sub-base should also be compacted using the plate compactor, and should sit at around 75mm in depth. Once the first layer is in place, repeat the same process to add a second layer of sub-base on top of the first.
It’s important to make sure that the compacted ground has slight falls for water to run off and to maintain proper drainage.
Create the mortar mix and layer it over the sub-base
Once you’re satisfied with the sub-base layers, it’s time to make up your mortar mix and add it to the space. Your mortar mix should be made using three parts of sand to one part of cement and one part of water. When mixed, you should be left with a wet consistency that’s easy to work with.
When the mortar mix is ready, begin spreading it thickly across the sub-base. Bear in mind that when the mortar is compacted, there should be just enough room across the space to add your cobble setts. This will usually require between 15 and 30mm of space.
Set to work adding your cobble setts to the area
Begin to place your cobble setts into the mortar, around 8 to 15mm spare. Use a rubber mallet to gently tap them into the mortar to secure them and allow them to sit firmly in place.
Mix together one part of sand with one part of cement, to create a smooth, wet consistency that’s easy to work with. Use this mixture in the joints and gaps between the cobble setts, and compress it using your pointing tool.
Once satisfied, leave to set
Once you’re happy with the completed job, leave the space to firm up and set in place for each 24 hours before walking on it or adding heavy items to it. If you’re unlucky to have rainy weather during this time, you should leave the space to set for longer.
There you have it! A simply and easy to use guide to laying cobble setts in your outdoor space. By making sure you invest in quality materials and by following this step by step guide, your brand new outdoor space should last you many years without issues.