There is nothing new to having paved driveways and parking areas in either residential or commercial areas. But the popularity of paver bricks, with their array of textures and colours, requires laying them with a certain amount of expertise. In particular, the range of layouts and designs requires cutting the pavers to fit around curves is a common requirement.
The technique applied when cutting pavers depends on the radius of the curve itself. The larger the radius will be, the slower the curve. Curves with greater than 1800mm radii, it is possible to cut clearly in one smooth arc. This is because the blade can be adjusted gently to match the curve line. This is ideal when laying pavers for a larger circular space, just like at the end of a driveway where cars may be parked.
But when the arc is fast (meaning the radius is small and the arc is severe), then several cuts will be needed. An example is a curved garden path through a lawn area or around flower beds. It could also be a laneway along the side of the home, linking the front and the rear of the property. Handling these faster curves is where the skill and experience of the saw operator comes into play, as they can be the trickiest to negotiate.
Types of Curves
When dealing with the tricky fast curves, there are 2 things to consider. These are the convex (external curve) and the concave (internal curve). With each, the pavers need to be laid first so that the curve can be mapped onto them.
When creating a large open space, the curve is going to be mostly convex, unless the design dictates otherwise. Where pathways are concerned, both types of curves apply as the opposite side of the paved pathway will be the opposite curve type. For instance, convex on the left side will juxtapose concave on the right.
Cutting Convex Curves
If the arc line projects outward, the task of cutting pavers convexly is easier than cutting concave curves. When laying the pavers down, mark the curve lines on them. But with a straight cutter blade, you may need to draw 3 or 4 straight lines to follow, using the curve as the guide. The angle change between lines should be less than 10 degrees to create a neat curved look.
Cutting Concave Curves
To cut a concave curve, a considerable amount of care should be taken. Again, the curve must be mapped onto the pavers and then a series of lines must be drawn also to complement it. Generally, just 2 lines are needed with one end of each line beginning on a free edge of the paver, intersecting inside it. What is important is that the arc or section of the arc is aligned accurately.
But while the geometry involved might seem a little confusing to those unaccustomed to working on such projects, the whole procedure can actually be broken down to just 5 simple steps. Here is a quick guide to cutting pavers to fit curves.
5 Steps in Cutting Pavers around Curve Edges
1. Map out the area
The area where the pavement should be placed needs to be clearly marked. Then, dig out and level the surface by spreading sand. If the area is to have some straight lines, use an edge restraint to clearly mark them. Doing this leaves spaces where the curved areas can be accommodated. On circular areas and winding pathways, the straight lines can be used to frame the curves.
2. Lay out the curves
This can be tricky but there are a few ways to make it a little simpler. Firstly, for large slow curves, use some garden hose instead of twine and pegs. This is because hoses curve smoothly. Then, sketch the curves on the ground using a piece of chalk. The garden hose technique suits the winding pathway too. However, the curves will be faster and the hose would need to have greater flexibility. Use pegs to fix the hose in place, then, mark the curves using the chalk.
3. Lay on the pavers
The next step is the easiest. Lay on the pavers as though filling a square or rectangle. The pavement can be practically completed without having to worry about cutting pavers to complement the curves. Just be sure that the pavers are properly laid, are flat and extend adequately over the curve lines. As you lay the furthest pavers, etch the curves over them. That way, you can easily follow the chalk markings beneath.
4. Spray pavers with lacquer
Spraying the pavers with lacquer can protect the guide line while cutting. Pavers can produce a lot of dust when they are being cut. These dusts fall back down onto the paver surface, hiding the lines. It is important to have a clear view of the guide line at all times. When you cut slow curves pavers, simply follow the line as drawn. But when the curve is fast, then it may be necessary to lift the pavers and cut before replacing them. Again, this depends on the desired design.
5. Install a flexible restraint
The final step would be to secure the shape of the paving. The narrow gaps between the pavers should be filled with sand and then compacted using a power tamper. But the tremors caused by tampering can easily shake the pavers out of place, unless they are properly secured. You need to fix flexible restraints using a mallet and metal pegs. To finish the job, cover the restraints with soil or grass sods whichever is appropriate for you.
Trust the Experts
Clearly, cutting pavers around curves is something that a novice is going to struggle to complete well. Hence, you need the help of the expert in paver cutting services. At MegaSaw, we have been providing excellent quality paver cutting services to clients throughout Melbourne for almost 40 years.
We apply a number of different techniques and use specialised saws as well as grinders equipped with diamond blades. We are fully prepared to deal with the specifics of the project and create cuts that are smooth and accurate.