Western fashion for the design of personal plots with the help of a system of paths has come down to us. Now many homeowners are trying to decorate the surface of the earth with tiles that imitate masonry or wooden walkways. Innovative inventions and methods come to the rescue in such a difficult process, which allow you to make and install tiles with your own hands.
Scope of paving slabs
Tiles for organizing sidewalks in Russia began to be used everywhere in the 70-80s. XX century. Until that time, massive concrete slabs were used to pave sidewalks, which can still be found in many settlements.
Currently, sidewalk paths are made not only in cities, but also in household plots, for landscape design. Paths made of tiles make it possible to create an aesthetically comfortablespace, especially in spring and autumn, when excess moisture forms mud and puddles.
Paving slabs can even lay out a parking space for a heavy car. The density of the material from which the tile is cast can create a very durable surface.
Properties of paving slabs
Paving slabs are in harsh environmental conditions. Here and excessive moisture, and winter frost, and summer heat. To transfer these differences while maintaining the original characteristics, paving slabs must have a number of properties:
- High level of wear resistance.
- Minimum percentage of water absorption.
- High strength and frost resistance.
From an aesthetic point of view, pavement tiles should come in a variety of shapes and colors so that you can choose the right path design for a particular style of site decoration.
Tools for making and laying tiles
Make and lay paving slabs within the power of one person without outside help. To organize the workflow, you should prepare some materials and tools. To prepare the solution, you will need sand, cement, superplasticizer and gravel. Prepare everything you need to make paving slabs:
- Tile molds.
- Mix container, bucket.
- Bayonet shovel.
- Drill with mixing attachment.
- Level, roulette.
Types of molds for casting paving slabs
As part of the classification of forms for paving slabs, we will not consider the options that are used for its industrial production. We are interested in the types of molds that can be used for self-production.
- Wooden form in the form of formwork. The most primitive version of the mold for making tiles. Presented in the form of bars fastened together. For pouring cement, this design is installed on a flat metal or polyethylene surface. We fill the form halfway, lay the reinforcement, fill it to the end. Using this type of template gives only one kind of form. Wooden blocks must be detached to remove the finished tile.
- Silicone mold. Easy to use due to its elasticity. This form does not need to be treated with lubricating fluids to facilitate the removal of the finished tile. It must be used on a solid, perfectly smooth surface, otherwise distortion and distortion of the mold during casting is possible. To make tiles, you will need several molds, otherwise the casting process will drag on for a long time. The silicone mold is durable and wear-resistant. You can give concrete tiles any texture with this mold.
- Polyurethane form. Very similar in properties to silicone, but more durable and less flexible. The disadvantages include the high cost of this form.
- ABS plastic. Differs in high resistance to blows and durability. Such forms are used for multiple use,wall thickness can reach 1.5-2mm.
- PVC plastic. Less durable and brittle material. The cost of these forms is low, so you should buy several pieces at once with a margin, in case of damage to the forms.
- Metal. Suitable for making molds without texture. The metal frame has a collapsible appearance, which makes it easier to remove the finished tile from the mold.
- Form in the form of a frame. This type is designed for casting tiles directly at the location of the masonry. The method is convenient, the speed of the construction of the sidewalk through the use of this technology is significantly increased.
DIY wooden mold
Making your own mold can save you a lot of money. If you decide to make the simplest tile without texture and pattern, then ordinary boards are quite suitable for this purpose. It is enough to decide on the size and make several identical blanks to increase the casting speed.
The form beam must be sanded and leveled. The thickness of the timber will correspond to the thickness of the future tile. The most suitable thickness for tiles will be 3-5 cm. To extend the period of use, it is better to treat the boards with a moisture-proof coating. The simplest shape is a square or triangle. Carry out the cutting of the beam, fix the corners with self-tapping screws. The form is ready to use.
DIY silicone mold
To make a silicone mold with a texture, we need three-phase silicone. It consists of a base, hardener and catalyst, which are mixed in certain proportions. For imprinttextures, you can use structural plasticine. Manufacturing technology is as follows:
- The three-phase silicone mixture is kneaded according to the manufacturer's requirements.
- The form into which the silicone will be poured is set. We lay out structural plasticine along the edges of the joints in order to fill all the small cracks.
- Elements are set on the surface of the form to create an impression.
- Elements are lubricated with vegetable oil or other lubricant.
- The silicone mixture is poured.
The resulting form will serve you for a very long time, but its cost will be much higher than other homemade options.
To prepare the solution from which the tiles will be cast, you must select the recipe you like. Methods for making paving slabs are similar, but there are some nuances.
The simplest option is a mixture of water, cement and sand. Water must be clean, free of impurities. If you want to get a light tile, then take white quartz sand. Whatever sand you choose, it must be uniform and clean, without impurities of clay and stones. The cement for the mixture must be M400 or M500. The proportions of cement and sand are 1:3. These components are mixed until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. After that, gradually introduce water, stirring constantly. The mixture should resemble the consistency of sour cream.
A mixture with the addition of a plasticizer is possible.It is diluted in hot water, then mixed with cement. Then add sand to the composition and mix the mixture. Gradually add water until the mixture begins to flow smoothly from the mixer nozzle. The plasticizer will improve the characteristics of the mixture, significantly reduce the risk of cracks, delamination, increase the flexibility and strength of the product. As a plasticizer, you can use a soap base, washing powder, chicken protein, or buy a ready-made mixture at a hardware store.
You can add crushed stone to the solution, it will give the tile surface additional strength and increase the level of frost resistance of the coating. Crushed stone should be clean, with a fraction of 5-10 mm. In the process of making mortar for paving slabs, it is important to observe proportions. Otherwise, the final product may turn out to be of poor quality.
Paving slab manufacturing process
Prepare the desired version of the silicone mold of a suitable structure. It is advisable to take several identical forms. Pour the finished solution into the mold and wait until the mixture dries. Do not immediately prepare a large amount of the solution, when it starts to dry out, the mass will no longer be homogeneous. In factory production, a press is used to make paving slabs. This technology allows to achieve the best strength indicators.
The finished tile is laid on a leveled surface, which consists of layers of gravel and sand.
If you use a frame shape, then the process of creating a sidewalk path will be accelerated. Masonry technology willconsist of several stages. Step-by-step instructions for making paving slabs with your own hands are given below.
- Clear the surface of the earth from debris, remove the top layer.
- Lay a layer of gravel and sand. Level the surface.
- Set the frame shape in the right place.
- Fill the mold halfway with cement.
- Sprinkle a small amount of fine gravel.
- Fill out the form to the end, paying attention to hard-to-reach places.
- When the cement has set, remove the mold and move on to the next section.
In the process of this type of tile laying, it is not necessary to wait for the cement to completely harden, it is enough for the top layer to be fixed in the desired shape.
Painting paving slabs
Dyes are able to give paving slabs the desired color, corresponding to the structure and individual preferences. The ability to produce colored paving slabs will give you various design options for the backyard territory.
There are three ways to paint paving slabs:
- Coloring solution. The coloring pigment is introduced into the solution gradually. When stirring for 5-8 minutes, the mixture becomes homogeneous.
- Finishing the finished surface. The tile is covered with a layer of paint or varnish to give a certain color and gloss to the surface. This method is more budgetary compared to painting the entire cement mass.The resulting layer will give not only the desired color to the coating, but also protect the cement from environmental influences and extend its service life. The negative side of the surface method of painting is the gradual abrasion in areas of high traffic.
- Using two mortars for casting tiles. This method consists of applying colored cement to color the face of the tile, and filling the rest of the mold with a non-colored mortar. This method reduces the required amount of dye, which means it saves your finances. Due to the content of the dye in the thickness of the surface layer, such a coating will not be subject to abrasion and will last a long time.
Which dye to choose?
The dyes themselves can be liquid, in the form of loose mixtures. According to the chemical composition, dyes are:
- Polyurethane. They serve more for protection than for improving external characteristics. Creates a surface layer that increases wear resistance, protects against chemical and atmospheric influences.
- Alkyd. Very similar to the previous version in terms of the ability to increase the operational properties of tiles. The negative feature is the presence of a pungent odor that lasts a long time on the treated surface.
- Rubber. An excellent coating option that has all the positive properties of alkyd and polyurethane mixtures, while practically odorless, but the cost of such dyes is much higher than the cost of analogues, and it is not always possible to buy such a material due to its low prevalence on the market.market.
- Lucky. Able to create a glossy elite surface, affordable and harmless to he alth.
- Organic pigments. They are introduced into the composition of the mixture, they consist of small elements of rocks.
- Chemical dyes. Also intended for mixing. They differ in their fragility in terms of maintaining the original properties. The cost of such bulk mixes is much lower compared to organic ones.
Each type of dye has its pros and cons, before buying, decide which option will be convenient for you.
Vibrating table for casting paving slabs
At specialized enterprises, a vibrating table is used for the manufacture of paving slabs. The vibrocompression technology assumes a uniform distribution of the solution over the matrix, while air bubbles that are in the thickness of the hardening mass are removed. As a result of the compaction of the mixture, a very strong and wear-resistant product is obtained.
The use of such equipment for the production of paving slabs becomes appropriate if you plan to cover a large area of the site, including making a parking area.
Self-made tiles will save you a significant amount of money. And the process itself will be exciting and interesting.