Cement pavers can enhance the overall look of a garden or backyard. These beautifully shaped pavers are available in the market in different shapes and sizes. However, the only problem is that they can be quite expensive. What most people do not know is that it is fairly simple to build your own cement pavers. All you need is some basic equipment and concrete, and you are all set to make unique cement pavers that will add to the beauty of your garden.
Molds for cement pavers are available in most large hardware stores. However, if you want, you can even make your own molds out of plywood. Whatever your choice, do ensure that you have lots of molds. Remember, one mold makes only one cement paver, and it will take at least two weeks before your cement paver is ready for use. Do keep the weather in mind when you’re getting ready to work on your cement paver. Freezing winters or cold rains are not the ideal weather conditions for undertaking this task.
Step 1 – Prepare the Mold
Dig holes in the ground that are slightly bigger than the depth of your molds. Ensure that the bottoms of these holes are flat. Fill the holes with about an inch of water. Place the molds in the holes. Apply a thin coat of mold release spray or vegetable oil to the insides of the molds. Do not use motor oils as a release agent. Although these work just as well, they can seep through into the ground and harm the environment.
Step 2 – Mix the Concrete
If you are using a ready-made concrete mix, just follow the instructions on the packet. If you are going to make the mix on your own then the first estimate the volume of the mix that you require to fill your molds. Mix slightly more than that to allow for spills. Your mixture should consist of one part of cement, two parts of sand, and three parts of gravel. If you are using any colorant powder, it is advisable to add it before you pour it in the water. The ideal concrete mix for a cement paver will be not too dry, but significantly harder than the consistency of pancake batter.
Step 3 – Fill the Molds
Scoop the concrete mix into the molds. It is a good idea to shake the molds after pouring in the concrete so that any air pockets are removed. Smooth the top of the mold with a trowel. If you want your cement paver to have a decorative top, now is the time to do it.
Step 4 – Allow the Concrete to Set
Cover the top of the mold with plastic and allow it to harden for 48 hours. After this, you can remove your cement pavers from the mold. Now wrap them in plastic and allow the concrete to cure for at least two weeks. Try to keep the cement pavers slightly damp during the curing process.