Removing an existing concrete or asphalt driveway is no simple task. It requires hours of backbreaking labor with jackhammers, sledgehammers and pry bars. Depending on the size of the driveway, it might make sense to farm out the work to a contractor. Another option is to rent an excavator from the local tool rental shop.
Measure and mark the outside edges of the new driveway. Use the excavator or shovels and dig down approximately 7” below grade. Spread crushed limestone across the entire area and compact well with a power tamper to form a level surface 4 ½” thick. Spread and level coarse sand over the gravel base and smooth with a rake. Use the power tamper to compact the sand.
Run a line along the outside edges of the driveway by tying a piece of string between pieces of rebar. For the border segments, cut 16” cobble mats in half lengthwise. Begin laying the border pieces by the garage and work all the way down the driveway, making sure to follow the string guideline. Repeat for opposite side of the driveway.
Begin laying the field cobble between the borders, starting at the garage. Line up the mats so that a consistent joint size is maintained. Adjust the placement of the mats by tapping with a rubber mallet. If you have curves, flares or decorative elements it may be necessary to cut the cobble. Options include a stone splitter, hammer and chisel or diamond blade-equipped saw.
When all of the tile is in place, wet the driveway down and use a power tamper to compact the tile into the base approximately 3/8”. Work in straight lines to ensure even compaction across the entire driveway. Finish by cleaning out the joints with a leaf blower.
In this project, the joints are filled in with epoxy grout, but they also can be filled with coarse sand. Lightly spray the inside of a concrete mixer with water. Prepare the grout mixture according to manufacturer’s instructions. Only mix up as much as can be used within 15 minutes. When ready, pour into a slightly wet wheelbarrow.
Lightly spray cobblestone and foam squeegees with water before beginning the grouting process. Begin grouting at one end of the driveway. Draw the squeegees diagonally across the cobble to work the grout mixture into the joints. Work in manageable sections one at a time. When the joints are filled, run the squeegee across the stones to remove excess grout. Rinse the squeegees frequently to keep them in good working condition.
Avoid walking on newly grouted areas for about five hours. Depending on weather conditions, the cobbles should be ready to drive on after 24 hours.