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Concrete or cement?

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New Contributor

Concrete or cement?

I am building a garden bed, making use of some clay pavers that had previously been used as flooring for a tin shed.    I have dug out the 3m x 1.2m wide area, and now have to do some bricklaying.   I intend to have two and a half courses of pavers below ground level and half a paver above ground level.  A man at Bunnings told me that cement should do the job but another man said that I should have a first layer of concrete for strength.   Who is right?

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Trusted Contributor

Re: Concrete or cement?

  • Concrete is what you use for footing as the strength is required for foundation/structure and to take the weight of the bearing load.
  • Cement/mortar is what you use between the bricks (like "grout").
  • You can use cement around the perimeter of the pavers to prevent sideways movement when paving.

Hope this helps @ennoh 

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Handy and helpful
Instagram @projectpete.diy @at.home.rosehill @homeprojectco
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New Contributor

Re: Concrete or cement?

do you think I need concrete as a base with 3 courses of clay pavers - or is this overkill?

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Trusted Contributor

Re: Concrete or cement?

Without the footing you risk the pavers/walls of your garden bed sinking over time.

The earth below changes in moisture and dryness, like timber does, so the pavers will sink, move, etc.

 

Better off doing it right from the beginning, save extra work/rework later on.

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Handy and helpful
Instagram @projectpete.diy @at.home.rosehill @homeprojectco
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Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Concrete or cement?

Hi @ennoh,

 

Sounds like a great project. We are looking forward to seeing you complete it now that the ever-helpful Pete has given you some advice. Feel free to post anytime you need a hand with anything - we have amazing members sharing helpful advice and inspiring creations every day. 

 

Welcome to Workshop,

 

Jason

 

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New Contributor

Re: Concrete or cement?

I had in mind maybe using concrete for the base layer - but should I also use between the pavers that are underground and not cement?   Is it the case that when underground cement will perish more easily?

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Established Contributor

Re: Concrete or cement?

Hi @ennoh,
If it's just a paver edge one course will do, save you a few pavers :smile:
There's a product called Bricktor that will save you here, it is a thin roll of chicken mesh pretty much, about 100mm wide. It acts as reinforcement in your footing and stops it cracking between the pavers.
Use a sand a cement mix, you can buy it from Bunnings already mixed, or just buy plain cement powder and mix one part off-white cement to four parts yellow brickies sand. Dig yourself a trench roughly 80mm deeper than the bottom of your paver needs to be, lay some cement in the bottom then roll the Bricktor in, then more cement over the top, then bed your paver once it has gone off a little (otherwise the paver will sink).
Obviously use a stringline along the top corner of your pavers to keep them all in line perfectly as you go.
Have fun!
Cheers, Roy
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Experienced Contributor

Re: Concrete or cement?

I am a novice at this but FWIW someone with more experience than me can possibly confirm or deny that tamped down road base followed by leveled off paver sand is a good base for pavers. The surrounds are then "haunched" with "mud" (a sand and cement mix). I am only giving this as an alternative because I think for a smaller area concreting would be easier, cheaper, and probably better.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W91lV3w9w_0 (how it's done).
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New Contributor

Re: Concrete or cement?

I would make a concrete base about 4 inches deep and 3 inches either side to lay the first course on, then lay each other course on top with brickies sand and cement between each course.

This is all that Jason on BHG would do.

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Trusted Contributor

Re: Concrete or cement?

My backyard wad done with road base then sand and apart from suffering some from the frangapani it has stood up well. Where I am working today it's good that I don't get sea sick looking at the pavers out the back.
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