How To: Lava Stone Driveway
1. Site prep: Determine layout of entire paver area. Remove 8” of soil inside all SF of new paver area. Keep in mind the finished elevation of concrete against all grades, including walkways and the garage.
2. Install 4” minimum of road-mix (or other local subgrade material for compaction) over the desired concrete paver area. Compact with a plate compactor every 2” of lift to ensure proper compaction. Lightly mist the road-mix with water on each lift before compaction.
3. Spray out the paver forms with marking paint. In the paver layout, mix in large and small pavers to avoid repetition in form and size. Change up the shapes, and how they intersect into each other.
Tip#1: Run 1×4’s along the outer perimeter of the entire driveway location, to establish grade before you start placing your forms for pavers. This will give a constant guide to run string lines, ensuring your pavers are flowing from surface to surface. You can now pull string lines between the forms.
4. Install the individual forms, ensuring stability with plenty of form pins. Recycled 1×4″ plastic edging, or 1/8” thick Masonite for extreme curves are common material to form pavers.
Tip #2: Short pieces of 2×4’s placed between the pavers provide support, while providing consistency of spacing. These are the “kickers”, so when the concrete is placed inside, the forms cannot give.
5. For strength, aggregate is important in the mix. A reinforcing stealth fiber in the mix is also wise for strength. Initiate the first pour. Screed off the concrete, and float to “knock down” the aggregate.
Tip #4: If wheel barrowing the concrete, you may have to leave a few pavers unformed for the first pour, to allow this access.
6. Pour as many pavers in the first pour as you are comfortable with, depending on experience and man-power. After screeding, floating, and troweling the edge, hit the surface with a RockMolds Pool Trowel to prepare for stamping.
7. Instead of edging, trowel down the edges at a 45 degree angle, 1″ below the form. This will give a more organic edge to your pavers as a natural stone would look, and allow to stamp this area.
8. Dust a Rockmolds Stone Accent Release Powder onto the surface of the “pancakes”, to allow the stamps to leave an impression, without sticking to the concrete. Choose a Rockmolds Stone Accent Release Powder, which will compliment the Rockmolds Integral Color, such as a brown with a gray, a black with a brown. In this case we used Rockmolds Stone Accent Release Powder, Adobe Brown.
Tip #6: Do the thumb test to determine if the stones are ready to stamp. Press your thumb onto the “pancakes” if they are firm enough to keep your thumb from breaking the surface, but soft enough to take your thumb’s impression, they are ready to stamp.
Tip #7: Make sure the releasing agent is shaken up and powdery before grabbing a small handful. Then apply it like you are skipping a rock across the water.
9. Firmly press a RockMolds.com floppy stamp onto the surface and sides of concrete, transferring the natural rock impression into the concrete. For stones larger than your stamp, overlap as necessary, while feathering onto the previous impression. Using multiple stamps in different patterns is preferable to avoid repetition of texture on the stones. LS301F, LS302F, LS303F, LS304F, and LS305F are stamps we commonly use for driveway pavers.
Tip #8: Remember to mix and match your RockMolds stamps to avoid repetition.
10. Let cure 24 hours. If required, form up any remaining pavers for the second pour. Repeat steps #5-8. Take care not to damage the surface from the previous day pour.
11. After 24 hours, remove all forms, hose down the paver’s surface to remove all remaining powdered release agent, and allow to dry.
Tip #9: A sawzaw is useful for removing forms that are tight between pavers.
12. Color the pavers with RockMolds Stone Color Stain. Start with lighter colors, and layer in the darker colors until a certain look is obtained. For this project, we used RockMolds Stone Color, “Black” and “Expresso”.
Tip #10: Predetermine the final color scheme on a test piece of cured concrete.
13. Seal the pavers with RockMolds Stone Sealer. This will give the most natural appearance to the pavers, without the sheen. Stones are not shiny in nature, only in Vegas.
Tip #11: Seal every 2 years to refresh the color and protect your investment!
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Lava Stone Driveway