Frequently Asked Questions
No. Natural Paving Path Grade and Vehicle Grade pavers have a nonwoven strong geotextile welded to the base. This stops weeds growing through but still allows even the heaviest rain to soak away. If seeds drop into the pebbles they will be easily removed or wither and die because there is no water retained in the pebbles and the roots cannot go through the geotextile.
With Natural Paving Grass Grade, weeds are still able to grow as they would on a normal lawn.
Yes. Each type of Natural Paving has a maximum recommended slope the pavers can be installed on. If an irregular shaped pebble or stone chip is used, the Path and Vehicle Grade pavers can be laid on a slightly steeper slope compared to when filling with a regular shaped pebble.
The steepest slope for Path Grade with a round pebble is 1 in 5, or 11 degrees, and similarly for Vehicle Grade it is 1 in 6 or 9.5 degrees. Grass Grade can be used for slops of 8 degrees.
The maximum recommended slopes, along with other parameters, can be found on the respective grade page.
Natural Paving pavers can be laid on top of cracked concrete surfaces, depending on the situation. For example:
- New concrete slabs shrink, and the installer may not have sawn appropriate crack starters to control the position and appearance of cracks.
- The foundation was not strong enough to carry a heavier than expected load.
- The foundation design may not allow for the wet strength of the foundation (e.g., very low for clay) and the base is simply not adequate, or a geotextile was not used between the clay and the subbase.
In situations like 1 and 2, specific design to cope with water drainage may allow Natural Paving to be laid over cracked concrete. For 3, concrete must be removed, and the problems treated appropriately to provide a suitable base for Natural Paving.
Natural Paving challenges all the disadvantages of pebbles and transforms them into a stable, safe, and flat surface. With Natural Paving, pebbles are as practical as a hard paved surface for handling narrow wheels, high heels, walking sticks and cars etc.
In comparison, concrete can crack when stressed or overloaded. Concrete is impermeable so puddles form on the surface often creating hazards.
River pebbles, decorative stones or gravel chips measuring between 8mm to 15mm are to be used with Natural Paving. All pebbles/decorative stones should be washed, free of dust and of strong composition. For sloped surfaces an irregular pebble or stone chip is recommended.
If the pebbles are larger than the preferred size, the pebbles will not pack appropriately into the paver and potentially could result in an unstable surface. If the pebbles are too small, they are prone to move within the honeycomb cells.
It is very important to use the right size pebbles so as to get the best performance from Natural Paving.
Yes – any competent DIY’er can install Natural Paving, providing the installation guidelines are followed.
Laying Natural Paving directly on grass is not recommended. Please refer to the installation guidelines for instructions on how to install our Grass Grade to achieve a grassed surface.
Please refer to our calculator for an estimated cost of materials required.
Natural Paving is exceptionally stable. It maintains a continuous surface with no cracks, copes well with movements in the ground, copes with tree roots and does not puddle. When it is laid on inclines it remains stable on up to 15° slopes, if a crushed or irregular stone is used. Round pebbles are okay up to 5° slopes.
Little maintenance is required. Leaves and other debris can be lightly raked or swept off. In shady areas, the pebbles may need a moss and mildew spray and any settling of the stones or foundation can be smoothed by raking or sweeping.
As Natural Paving is permeable, rain and surface water can pass directly through, soaking into the ground below.
Crushed shell fill can be used with Natural Paving. This is not recommended as this type of fill does not provide a long-term solution. The shell is weak and can turn into powder resulting in the compaction of the surface due to ongoing traffic use, and over time can expose the top of the pavers.
In contrast, when you use 8 to 14mm pebbles, the stones that overlay the grid are stabilised because they sit in what are effectively ‘nests’ formed by the gaps between the pebbles below. Those pebbles are held in place by the Natural Paving grid. This grid is covered in pebbles and is hidden by the next two layers of pebbles, which is the recommended coverage. The resulting surface is a stable pathway, because the pebbles are nested like eggs in a crate. The surface looks completely natural but is so stable that even stiletto heels or the skinny tyres of a racing bicycle can traverse it without displacing the pebbles. With shells, you lose all the stabilising influence of the ‘nests’ if the shells have disintegrated and are compacted into the grid. If you sprinkle fresh shells on top it would be like sprinkling shells on a hard flat surface.
If it is the colour you want, then you could consider using white quartz pebbles which are smooth and nice to walk on, but expensive. You could also consider using lime chips that are the colour of shells. This is economical, but are not so comfortable to walk on in bare feet. If you really want the shell finish you could use Natural Paving to hold the shells in place, but accept that in the longer term maintenance will be required if the shells become crushed and compacted. This would entail lifting each mat, tipping out the powdered shells and filling the mats with fresh shells.