Self-locking concrete for exterior use

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Talking about self-locking paving slabs, I suggest you start by reading this article: self-locking system for outdoors: types and formats

External paving stones made in Vicenza

To see more photos and discover the materials used in this exterior in Vicenza click here:

self-locking paving with decoration

Self-locking paving blocks for outdoor use 

Interlocking paving is a type of outdoor paving made by dry laying concrete elements of one or more shapes. Self-locking paving stones are mainly chosen for large outdoor areas because of their low cost and speed of installation. 
This product was developed for industrial areas and the loading yards of warehouses, where it is preferred over asphalt and cement for its low cost and high permeability.

Laying concrete in Vicenza, private house

Interlocking paving stones originated as industrial flooring

In an outdoor pavement, in fact, non-permeability implies the management of rainwater by means of collection grids and drainage pipes/channels. Torrential rainfall and the lack of permeability of industrial areas have the consequence of conveying a very large quantity of water directly into channels and then into rivers, without it being absorbed by the ground. The result is an absurd situation in which the subsoil is "dry" and there is a shortage of water in the aquifers and, at the same time, rivers are in flood. 

Self-locking paving slabs are proposed as a solution to this need as they allow water to penetrate through the pavement and reach the subsoil. As this feature is increasingly demanded by public administrations in the outdoor spaces of new industrial buildings, pavers have become very popular. 

But pavers also offer other advantages. For example, it is very easy to lay new pipes by raising and resting the floor. Unlike in the case of concrete or asphalt floors, there are no cuts or repairs

External paving stones in Vicenza

Interlocking paving and the external paving of houses

In recent years, pavers have evolved aesthetically in terms of both format geometry and colour. Today, the models available imitate natural materials and are able to satisfy both those who require a traditional taste and those who prefer a modern product. In short, thanks to their renewed aesthetics, they are now a product that can also be used in homes.

Self-locking paving stones are a valid alternative, especially because of their cost, to other flooring materials such as porphyry and stone. The cost of a paved concrete floor is at least half that of a porphyry or stone floor. In some cases it can be as much as a third or a quarter of the cost. 

Find out more about the installation of external self-locking paving: LAYING OF SELF-LOCKING PAVING SLABS

Defects of self-locking units

But self-locking units also have problems. These include, in particular 

  • Weeds growth in the gaps between one paver and another;
  • Damage to the paving stones, especially on the edges, caused by heavy vehicles with stones embedded in their wheels;
  • Colours fade over time;
  • Corrosion of the surface layer (aggravated by the spreading of de-icing salt);
  • Movement of the floor (sagging and sinking) caused by subsidence of the subfloor


Find out how to get rid of weeds:

self-locks in cement: removing weeds


Price of a self-locking concrete pavement

The price of a self-locking concrete floor, including the risetta (finely crushed stone) and non-woven fabric, is around 30/35 euros per square metre. It can reach 40 euros in the case of concrete with special surface finishes, such as those with quartz or porphyry powder. But it can also be less than 30 euros in the case of inexpensive, plain-coloured pavers with simple geometries.

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