A gravel driveway is cheaper than concrete
The right flooring for the driveway
The house, yard or garage entrance has to withstand all sorts of stresses in everyday life and should also make a good impression. When choosing the right floor covering, it depends primarily on the respective requirements. In addition to appearance and stability, other criteria can be, for example, easy maintenance or environmental friendliness.
A driveway can be paved in different ways. In addition to crushed stone, gravel or chippings, paving stones, concrete or asphalt are also suitable as flooring. Usually only a little manual skill is required when laying the respective floor covering, so that every layman can try it himself.
Grit, gravel and crushed stone
Bulky goods are probably the easiest way to design the courtyard entrance. The material can be delivered loose or in so-called big bags with a content of 500 to 1,500 kilos. You can apply the substances mentioned without much preparatory work, but it is always advisable to at least remove the topsoil beforehand. Edge reinforcement is not absolutely necessary, but strongly advised, as otherwise the transitions between the driveway and the adjacent meadows and beds will disappear over time. Pavers or lawn edging stones, for example, which are between 15 and 20 centimeters high and can be easily buried, can also be concreted in if necessary. Strips made of strong sheet metal or plastic are also offered in hardware stores. These are practical, but not necessarily beautiful. If you work cleanly and let these stripes disappear almost completely into the earth, you can create clean, but almost invisible edges.
- the materials listed are inexpensive and easy to apply
- Rainwater easily seeps into the ground
- In autumn and winter, the uneven and loosely laid flooring makes it difficult to remove leaves or snow and, above all, ice
- Since the pebbles and fine rubble stones are only loosely on the surface, i.e. they form an unbound surface, fairways and faults are inevitable. Honeycomb panels, which permanently fix gravel, chippings or crushed stone, provide a remedy
- Weeds can also grow easily on loose coverings. This can be prevented with a so-called geotextile. These are rot-proof fabrics that are laid under the bulk material and after the topsoil has been removed
Concrete in the DIY sense is nothing more than fine or coarse gravel mixed with cement and water. Just a few decades ago, it was a preferred building material for driveways.
- Easy to process
- attractively priced
- monotonous, dreary concrete surfaces
- comparatively quick weathering
- the ground is sealed
Concrete lanes or even entire driveways can still impress if their surface is colored and embossed. This procedure is described below.
Significantly, it is also called decorative concrete or. When creating a driveway, the ground is usually removed by 30 to 40 centimeters. Because either only two lanes or entire areas are concreted in the conventional way. This is followed by a capillary-breaking layer of crushed stone, grit or concrete recycling material, which prevents frost damage. This is followed by the actual floor covering, a layer of colored concrete at least ten centimeters thick, which is finally stamped: patterns are imprinted with large matrices, not deep, but clearly visible. After hardening, an acrylic seal ensures that the surface is protected for years. With other techniques such as brushing, wiping, spatula or spraying, almost any surface pattern can be achieved. Paving stones and natural stone slabs can also be imitated in a deceptively real way.
Older, but still stable concrete surfaces can be embellished by applying a thin stamping screed that is only about ten to 25 millimeters thick. This coating, also called overlay, is then also stamped and impregnated. The aged concrete below is still doing its job, but can no longer be seen.
- Compared to the normal concrete driveway, more individual
- more expensive and complex than the simple concrete driveway
Nowadays they are by far the most frequently used material for driveways and paths around the house. Paving stones made of gray or colored concrete are particularly popular. They are available in countless samples and can be delivered on pallets on request. A cut is only necessary if several widths are not available, from which parallel edges can be put together. Each entrance can thus be individually designed in terms of shape and color.
- relatively cheap
- relatively easy to lay
For natural pavement, the harder rock cut to size is preferred for driveways, for example basalt, granite, greywacke or porphyry, but sandstone and limestone are also possible. As the name suggests, they are naturally less dimensionally stable than concrete paving and are usually more lively in color. But this is precisely where the desired effect lies: they appear more varied and usually more elegant.
- lively patterns
- used paving stones can be used
They are also called lawn chamber stones and basically represent a multi-perforated concrete block. The regular, grid-like openings can be filled with topsoil and thus allow turf to be sown, which clearly enhances the view.
A foundation is important for paving stones and turf blocks. In order to achieve the most stable garage entrance possible, after the soil has been excavated, a layer of fine gravel follows a layer of gravel by at least 20 centimeters. Both coverings are compacted separately with a vibrating plate. Only then does the paving begin.
- the joints between the stones ensure that rainwater can drain away
- the maintenance of this floor covering is complex. Grasses and plants can grow in the joints without any problems - a geotextile or so-called "joint sand weed-free" can help
- the joints and partly uneven stones make it difficult to remove snow and leaves
Natural stone slabs and paving clinker
Natural stone slabs can be laid like paving stones. Another option is to apply the panels to a bed of cement mortar. If desired, the joints can be filled with fine sand or special joint sand.
Another type of flooring is paving clinker. They are fired from clay or loam and are extremely robust and resistant. Pavers are laid in a similar way to paving stones. After the excavation, the soil is first compacted with a gravel-sand mixture and then with gravel. The pavers are placed on top.
- more individual design possible
- often a little more expensive than standard concrete pavement
Would you like to pave yourself? In these articles you can read how this works at the house entrance and on the terrace and what you should pay attention to in general.
Asphalt as a floor covering is particularly durable and robust. Asphalt should therefore be chosen, especially for entrances that are often driven. However, the preparatory work is complex:
Several layers of gravel have to be compacted at a depth of just under a meter. In order to achieve the best possible result, the top should be finished with mineral granules. Only then should the ground be paved. However, a drainage channel is required for an asphalt driveway, otherwise rainwater cannot drain away.
The costs are higher for mastic asphalt than for gravel, chippings, crushed stone or cobblestones. The reason for this is simple: special machines are usually required for asphalting. Entrances of this type can be found in commercial areas and in multi-storey buildings, but rarely found in areas with single-family houses.
- particularly durable and robust
- comparatively expensive ...
- ... especially because asphalting is no job for do-it-yourselfers
All floor coverings at a glance
|Easily cleared of snow and leaves||Drainage|
|Concrete slabs||Yes||Yes||no but|
|Natural stone slabs (on gravel bed)||Yes||Yes||No||medium||medium|
|Natural stone slabs (on cement mortar bed)||No||Yes||Yes||high||medium|
|Paving clinker (on gravel bed)||Yes||Yes||No||medium||low|
|Paving stones (on gravel bed)||Yes||Yes||No||medium||low|
|Lawn chamber stones||Yes||No||No||low||low|
|Chippings, gravel, crushed stone||Yes||No||No||low||low|
|Stamp concrete||No||Yes||no but|
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