From Pebbles to Paving

What you Need

• river sand
• PPC cement
• pebbles (1 x 20kg per ½m2)
• rubber gloves
• plank
• rubber mallet
• trowel
• bucket


1. It is best to work within borders formed by pavers, cobblestones
or kerbing. Dig down to a depth of 5 cm inside these borders and
then make sure the new base is level.

2. Mix the sand and PPC cement and add enough water to form
a fairly dry mix. Use this PPC cement mixture to fill the dug out
area almost to the top then compact the cement, making sure it is
completely level. Draw the design into the cement.

3. Begin placing the pebbles in the cement, starting from the
centre of the design and working outwards. Each pebble must be
embedded in the cement. Round or egg shaped pebbles are
preferable to irregularly shaped ones.

4. To ensure that the surface is level place a wooden plank across
the top of the pebbles and gently tap the plank above any that are
jutting out. Use the mallet for this.

5. For the grouting: mix PPC cement powder and water in a
bucket. You need enough water to form a runny, yoghurt-like consistency.
Pour the cement over the pebbles so that it fills all the spaces
between them. Leave it to set for about an hour then wash the cement
residue of the pebbles, using a hosepipe with an attachment
that emits a soft spray. Take care to avoid washing away any of the
grouting between the pebbles. Cover with plastic overnight.

6. Remove any cement that remains on the pebbles with a scrubbing brush once the grouting is sufficiently dry. When it is completely dry remove any stubborn cement residue with mortar lift or pool acid.

The Gardener