Last edited 16 Feb 2021

Crazy paving

Crazy paving pixabay 640.jpg
Crazy paving made of natural stone and with mortar joints.

[edit] Introduction

Crazy paving is a method of hard landscaping that is usually applied to pathways, patios, gardens and driveways and is believed to have originated in ancient Rome. Being functional, hardwearing and decorative, it has proved popular for many suburban gardens and lends itself to various effects of shape and colour.

The term derives from the final, haphazard appearance which can appear to be slightly 'crazy'. Nevertheless, many homeowners have traditionally preferred its informality over the geometric rigidity of a grid effect.

[edit] Getting the effect

Crazy paving can be achieved using stones or broken concrete paving slabs. The latter usually result in limited colour and textural effects. Using naturally riven stone – 40-50mm thick – is thought to give the most pleasing appearance.

The final visual effect will depend on factors such as:

Making up a crazy-paved surface will involve various shapes and colours of stone or slab laid on sand on a suitable base.

Laying requires a bit more thought than laying rectilinear slabs: a good eye for shape and proportion can be a valuable asset in achieving an attractive finish.

When arranging crazy paving, it is usually considered good practice to try to ensure there is a degree of the stones fitting together in some sort of way that avoids huge unsightly, oddly-shaped gaps in between. Any large gaps between stones can be filled with smaller stones.

It is thought best to try to avoid too many straight, continuous joints and to keep the larger stones for the edges, as smaller ones may get detached, especially under a point load.

Filling the joints is achieved either with sand that is brushed-in from all directions, or with a stiff, almost dry mortar that is pressed in with a trowel. Advice from landscape architects, garden centres and other suppliers should be sought when selecting the type of sand and base.

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