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Belgium Block Apron

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DignDirt23, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. DignDirt23

    DignDirt23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hello guys this site is great. I was wondering since there is a wealth of information on this site as far as installation procedures, what is the correct way to install a Belgium block driveway apron. I have seen guys do them in many way from laying like 6inches of concrete and setting the blocks wet, to setting them in a very rich drypack. What is the correct method? Also when laying a belgium block border what is your sand to portland ratio. Ex 15 shovels per bag of portland ? Also how deep of a footing do you use? Is 6- 8 inches enough? Thanks
  2. Captains Landscape

    Captains Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    We use 10" of dense grade / reprocessed asphalt compacted in 3" lifts for base. We run lines and set each block individually with a dead blow hammer. The edging is set in concrete and the back lip (when it meets a crushed stone driveway) of the apron also gets concrete. Fill joints with stone dust, wet, and refill.

  3. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    We usually dig a trench 8 inches wide, by 3 inches deep. (on grade), Or.. if the final grade needs to be elevated, we'll frame it out with furring strips, and aggregate. Next, we lay the blocks in a row nearby, where they can be easily placed. We'll mix concrete using small aggregrate stone- usually in a ratio of 1 Portland, 2 stone, 3 sand. A little more sand is easier to level with. We mix the cement stiff (important!). The cement is placed in the trench and each block is placed-best side up/out. We leave a 1" space between each block. After about 10-15 blocks are set, We'll use a string line (straight run) or laser (curve) to line them up. A good dead blow will set the blocks to the right level.

    Afterward, we'll run a piece of 3/8 rebar behind the blocks and add more concrete, depending if it's a driveway or just decorative curbing.

    Joint Secret: I've seen many ways to do this. This usually works best for us:
    Get two pieces of rubber pond liner and cut them to 4"x10" Have an assistant hold one piece over the front joint and once piece over the back joint. Fill the joint with mortar and poke it down with a small trowel. Slide the pieces up carefully and DONT TOUCH IT!. After about 1/2 hour, you can go back and smooth it out/or put joint lines in it. We only use mortar mix for the joints- very careful mix with the right amount of water. Just have to feel it out.
  4. Digdirt23

    Digdirt23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thank you for the replys. As far as doing a 20 x 4 foot apron at the base of the driveway would 4 inches of RCA compacted with say 4 to 6 inches of concrete to set the blocks in be sufficient? As far as jointing what looks better light or dark mortar? Thanks again :clapping:
  5. Digdirt23

    Digdirt23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Just to clear up ... I found my other log in info.... Thats why the names are different.
  6. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    That will work. I wouldn't bury the blocks in 6" of mortar, there will be nothing left (if your putting pavers up against the curb)

    Mortar dries light. If you want dark or colored mortar, you can buy concrete color almost anywhere (big box store) You need to dilute the color WITH WATER FIRST!.. DO NOT try to mix it right into the cement. I would suggest you dont put ANY mortar up against the face of the block, when setting them. If your going to do the form method, keep the blocks up against the form (facing front). This way you can place your pavers up to the face and not interfere with too much concrete.

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