diy garden pavers

poppyWI(z4WI)July 31, 2005

Anybody out there have experience with those Quikcrete walkmaker molds for diy pathways? I saw the product demonstrated on tv recently and thought they looked simple enough, but then everything they do on HGTV looks simple (and only takes a half hour to do!) If you've used them, would you recommend the product or would you use the pre-made pavers available at the home stores? Thanks for any and all opinions on this.

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I have the Cobblestone one and they work real nice. Below is a picture. You can color the concrete with different colors from Lowes, Menards, Home Depot. Remember it is concrete and it is kind of heavy work. For these I used the Odjob Mixer , basically a oversized 5 gallon tub with fins inside to help mix it up. You add your crete mix and water, close and roll on the ground for a few minutes. Now I use a 5 gallon bucket and mix in it. I imbeded stones in the wet crete before I unmolded it to give it a noncrete look. You carve out the pathway about 2" down and then lay in the mold, pour, unmold, wait till the next day and fill in around it. I took several days to do this one but I only worked a 3-4 hours each day.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 3:15PM
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I want to be sure I understand what you used because I'm close to starting a similar project and your walkway looks great. This is regular Quikcrete, right? Not hypertufa?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 4:53PM
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lmieke(NW TN)

Your pathway looks great. A guy I worked with did just two or three each night after work and ended up with a 16 x 24 patio in just a couple weeks. I intend to do the same thing here soon. I think he said he didn't save any money doing it this way as opposed to having a slab poured but the end results were more to his liking with the stone look. I intend to use a dye for a more brownish look rather than the gray

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 9:16PM
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When I made this walkway I used Quickcrete in the 80# bag with aggregate in it. There is a sand mix also in 60# bags. I have seen a brick mold also but nothing else. Seems they could come up with different stlye walkways.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 12:04AM
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Here are two that are rather nice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Paver molds

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 12:15AM
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Thanks for the info! Paws-love your walkway, it has so much more character than boring concrete. I'm thinking of doing the brick pattern shown in the picture tufaenough posted... Do you think it could climb a slope ok or do they need be be layed flat? I like the idea of being able to do this project over time rather than all at once. Must admit, until this weekend I had never heard of hypertufa and such, but am very intrigued by the options after reading what you guys have been up to in the forum!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 1:23PM
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Hi poppy
You bet they can climb a slope.
Just follow tufa instructions and not concrete instructions.
Make your mix dry so it holds it's shape and pack it into the mold rather than pour.
You can always work the stiff concrete with a trowel after removing the mold. There are several fast setting concretes from QUIKRETE that you could use that would set up in minutes allowing you to go as fast as you can mix the cement. You can take a wire brush and even expose a bit of agregate after a few minutes.
Or right after you pour the stones press your aggreagates (little stones or what have you) into the top. wait a while then brush to remove the cement leraving the aggregates exposed.
I've made dark brown stones with white aggregates this way and they look very nice.
White rock from 1/8 inch to 3/8 inch is really cheap. $3 a fifty pound bag.
If you are going to try to do exposed aggregates this way. Pressing into the wet cement after pouring I suggest wetting the aggregates with bonder or admix first. It really bonds them into the stepping stones. If you don't get at them soon enough with the wire brush you can always use a bit od acid later on to expose the aggregates.

You can also pour the concrete and use the mold like a stamp.
I've even seen them used to stamp stucco that was applied to vertical concrete foundations. It looked great.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 1:42PM
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andrea_san_diego(z10 So Cal)

Is there an advantage to using tufa instead of concrete in these paver molds?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 2:18PM
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Hi Andrea
No advantage to using Tufa.
I wasn't suggesting using a Tufa recipe although adding peat does give a nice look.
I was only suggesting mixing the concrete 'Tufa Style'
There is no reason to make concrete runny expect that it makes it easier to level over large areas.
For stepping stones you can mix your concrete very dry so it 'stands up' and doesn't slump so much.

It will also be stronger than the runny concrete and once cured have a harder surface less likely to be damaged by de-icers.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 2:31PM
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If the slope is gradual(sp) sure. The end of this pathway slopes down a bit to some steps on our hill. If it is a hill you are putting them on I would be concerned about slipping on them unless you have some kind of aggregate exposed.
Tufaenough had a picture of a white something with pool filter sand exposed, looked really nice. While the crete is wet you can add so many different things.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 2:59PM
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Hi Paws
Pool filter sand is kinda round and not great for slipage.
But course white 1/8 inch rock works very well and all the course sandblasting sands make great non slip surfaces. It's like standing in a sheet of very course sand paper.
The beauty of sand blasting slags or glass is they glitter in the sun and look very cool.
The best way to expose this kind of aggregate is to use a steel or brass wire brush the first couple days. Then a stiff brushing with strong vinegar will remove the final haze from the slag giving a beautiful sparkle.
No harsh acids needed.
Did you get my coal black slag recipe?
I think you mentioned you were looking for pure black.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 3:48PM
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packrat2(z5 ME)

Two summers ago we did a big project with the same mold as Paws used. About 90' of path and a 12'x12' patio. We needed the path to be wide enough for a wheelchair so had to modify the mold to add another row of "stones". We used portland ,sand and crushed stone instead of Quikrete and figured it cost us about 1/3 the price of buying pavers. This is compared to pavers at the low end of the price range. Of course, if you figure in the value of your time it's a different story. LOL But what a nice feeling of accomplishment when it's done and other people can't believe you did it yourself.
To get some texture. I used rocks like a stamp after it set a bit Wish I'd done it a bit more though. We used the black integral color and made different shade batches then when it was done I moved the "stones" around to mix them up.
As my DH is fond of saying I never do anything simple and I was on my own for this part. It wasn't as easy as i thought cuz as we went along the thickness varied a bit.
As TE said you do need to mix it on the thick side. We used a cement mixer but scooped the concrete out into a bucket. You remove the mold as soon as it's packed in and troweled so it needs to hold it's shape. They probably demonstrated that on HGTV - didn't see that show.
We are happy with how it turned out and would reccomend it. Of course, the memory of my aching back from working on the ground has faded over time. DH wanted to finish it over his vacation so we put in some full days.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 4:36PM
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Tufaenough- I need the receipe. I tried grey portland, black sandblasting sand, black pigment and still got dark grey. Maybe more color?
packrat2- I made a wider path like you said in our back yard. Put down 1 row and then made extras to widen in my garage on plastic then laid them next to the others. Looks good.
Now I want to take them up and replace them with 10" & 16" Paw Prints. My girlfriend grooms Dogs and Cats in our house, built her a Shop in the basement. But I still have to make some more paw prints, maybe by fall!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 1:40AM
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Paws I get coal black using 1 portland 4 copper slag and about a 10% black pigment.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 3:02AM
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