Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question about our products, services or recommendations? Chances are others would like to know the same things! Take a look through our Frequently Asked Questions for some helpful and in-depth answers from our highly experienced sales staff. If you don't find the answer you're looking for, feel free to contact us via email, phone or in-store at our Melbourne showroom located in Ringwood.
How do you install pavers on a concrete base?On a concrete base, natural stone, porcelain and concrete pavers should be laid using a suitable flexible tile adhesive such as Mapei Keraflex Maxi and grouted using Mapei Ultracolor Plus. Prior to install, ensure that the reinforced concrete slab (80-100mm thick) is level and free from any cracks on the surface. Apply a full coverage of tile adhesive both the slab and the back of the paver using a notched trowel (size of notches dependent on how much you're planning to build up the adhesive underneath). It's very important to apply a full coverage as failure to do this can result in 'drummy' pavers and issues with your pavers moving and popping over time. Once you have laid your pavers, allow 24 hours for the adhesive to cure before starting the grouting process. Using Mapei Ultracolor Plus, grout down the joints using a rubber pointed trowel and make sure the grout is pushed all the way to the bottom of the paver. Make sure to have a sponge and bucket of water with you to clean the area as you go, as this will help with the final cleaning process at the end. It is also recommended to allow for expansion joints every 3-4m2 using a suitable silicone/caulking product such as Mapei Mapesil AC. At the conclusion of the grouting job and once the grout has cured after 24-48 hours, you will likely be left with grout haze which can be cleaned using a combination of Miteq 304 & 301 (or Lithofin Cement Residue Remover if laying black granite or porcelain).
How do you install pavers on a crushed rock base?Natural stone, concrete and clay pavers can be laid on a crushed rock & sand or crushed rock & mortar base providing the pavers are at least 30mm thick to avoid cracking over time. The crushed rock base should be approximately 80mm thick with a further 20mm layer of either washed sand or a mortar bed. Pavers can then be laid directly on top of either of those substrates and butt-joined to leave a small 1-2mm gap between each paver. Once laid, haunch the surrounds of the whole paving area with mortar to hold everything in place. To finish off, sweep a silicone sand (such as Boral Pavelok) in between the joints, being careful not to leave any remaining on the surface, and hose down the pavers to allow the silicone sand to set and act as a grout.
What are cats paws in bluestone?Cats paws are natural air bubbles that appear on the surface of bluestone which are developed from the heat and gas of volcanoes when the stone is forming in the ground. They are a unique feature of the stone and are considered a feature as opposed to a flaw.
How do I measure my paving area?For square and rectangular areas, area is calculated using length x width. Example: 4m x 5m = 20m2. For triangular areas, this can be worked out by calculating length x width ÷ 2. Example: 4m x 5m ÷ 2 = 10m2. For circular areas, this can be worked out using π r² when the radius is known. Example: where there is a 5m radius - 3.14 x 5² = 78.5m2
What thickness do my pavers need to be?For paving on a concrete base, you can be flexible with the thickness of the paver being laid, however different stones will have different standard thicknesses. For instance, bluestone is typically available in a 20mm thickness for laying on a concrete base, whereas the standard thickness for travertine is 13mm. For paving on a crushed rock base, natural stone pavers must be at least 30mm thick, and concrete pavers must be at least 40mm thick. This is because a crushed rock base is not as stable and can move over time. Thinner pavers will eventually crack if laid on crushed rock.
How do you seal pavers?All natural stone paving products should be sealed using an appropriate penetrating sealer, and can be applied using a lambswool applicator along with a clean rag. Give the sealer a shake or stir prior to use, and pour into a paint tray. Dip your lambswool applicator into the tray and begin to push the sealer across the paving area. Apply very thin coats across a 2-3m2 area before buffing any excess off the pavers with your clean rag to even out the coat and prevent pooling on the surface. (Tip: If your sealer begins to appear foamy, it is likely you have applied a bit too much and it just needs to be evened out more with your applicator or rag). Once completed, wait approximately one hour, or until the surface is touch-dry, and apply a second coat using the same method. IMPORTANT: Your paving area should be completely clean (or clean to a point where you're happy with it) and completely dry the whole way through the paver. Generally, you should only seal paving when there is three consecutive sunny days with no chance of rain (day 1 to clean and dry, day 2 to seal, day 3 to dry and cure). Do not walk on your sealed paving for at last 24 hours following application. Pavers Plus recommends Lithofin, Dry Treat and Miteq sealers, each of which will have different benefits for different paving products. Speak to our sales team for more info about which of our sealers is right for your area.
How do I clean my paving area?Cleaning pavers is an easy process if you know exactly what stain you're trying to clean. Below is a list of common stains along with the associated recommended product and cleaning method. Cleaning mould or timber stains: Using Miteq 303 cleaner at a dilution ratio of 4:1 with water (water:cleaner), pour solution on the surface of the pavers with a watering can. Leave cleaner to soak the area for 30-60 minutes (no need to scrub!) before using a high-pressure hose to remove the cleaner and stains. For stubborn black mould spots, the cleaner can be applied neat, however only leave on the area for around 10 minutes before removing promptly to avoid bleaching the pavers. Cleaning efflorescence, cement stains or grout haze: When cleaning natural stone (with the exception of black granite), use Miteq 304 cleaner at a dilution rate of 20:1 with water (water:cleaner) and apply solution with a watering can or bucket over a small 3-5m2 area. Scrub the area with a stiff brush for around 2 minutes before throwing a liberal amount of Miteq 301/water solution (dilution 40:1) over the area to neutralise any acids left on the surface before moving on to the next small area using the same method again. For porcelain tiles or black granite, use Lithofin Cement Residue Remover (with Miteq 301 to neutralise) as an alternative. Use the same method as above, but at a dilution of 15:1 with water. Cleaning rust: Using Lithofin Rust Ex cleaner, apply a small amount of the product to the stain and spread it with a brush, which should turn the product a violet colour as part of the reaction. Brush and rinse off after a maximum of 10 minutes. Apply a few drops of Lithofin Power Clean to the area before brushing and rinsing well. Remaining violet discolouration will fade over time. Cleaning oil stains: For cleaning wax layers, oil and grease deposits from natural stone or porcelain, apply Lithofin Wax-Off undiluted to the dry surface and distribute evenly. Allow to work for 5-20 minutes and brush occasionally. When all blemishes are dissolved, add water, brush and remove with a cloth. Rinse twice with clear water. For cleaning small oil spots from natural stone or porcelain, use Lithofin Oil-Ex as an alternative. Add a 2mm layer to dry surface and allow to work for 8-10 hours (can leave on overnight covered with cling wrap), before brushing off the remaining dry powder. Any stubborn residue can be further cleaned with Lithofin Power Clean.
What are these white marks on my pavers?Efflorescence is the leaching of salt and appears as a white, chalky residue on a paving area, retaining wall or any surface where there have been cement-based products used such as concrete pavers, masonry blocks, a concrete slab, grout, mortar or tile adhesive. It is easy to clean with a high pressure hose and an acid-based cleaner such as Miteq 304 (with 301 as a neutraliser) or Lithofin Cement Residue Remover. Unfortunately, there is no way to manually stop efflorescence from presenting itself, however it will eventually stop coming through over time once the salts have dissipated. Efflorescence can be prevented by applying a waterproofing membrane such as Mapei Mapelastic Smart over the concrete slab prior to paving. While it won't stop efflorescence forming through the grout joint or adhesive, it will form a barrier to stop any leaching from the slab itself, which greatly reduces the risk.
What are the dark frames around my pavers?Picture-framing is a relatively common issue on some paving jobs, and generally arises in a few different scenarios. It can occur if the pavers have been sealed while still damp, if the wrong colour adhesive is used and the colour bleeds through the stone, if there is not a full coverage of adhesive under the paver leading to voids where water can sit, or if moisture has been able to make it's way into the joints prior to grouting or caulking. Usually the moisture evaporates over time (can potentially take months), but if you're wanting a quick fix, the issue can usually be fixed by using a heat gun on the affected pavers to try and draw the moisture out.
What is your returns policy?Most of our stocked products are able to be returned for a refund or store credit, including pavers, tiles, pool coping, wall cladding, skimmer lids and drains. All eligible returns are subject to a 20% re-stocking fee to compensate for administration/accounting as well as time involved for our yard staff to unpack the stock, inspect it all, re-pack the stock and place back into storage. We have a strict no returns policy on special order stock (both local and imported) and sale items, along with sealers, cleaners, adhesives, grouts and silicones. This is due to a high chance of issues arising from incorrectly stored containers and bags which can diminish the quality of the products, even for only a short period of time. Unfortunately, this is still the case for products which are un-opened or still sealed.
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Showroom & Yard
389 Maroondah Hwy
Ringwood VIC 3134
Mon - Fri: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 2:00pm
Tel: 03 9870 0900