How to Install a Belgian Block Along a Driveway
The edge of the lawn around your driveway often suffers from being run over by cars, high temperatures from the driveway absorbing heat from the sun or salt being spread on the driveway in the winter, which winds up in the grass. You can improve the appearance of the driveway by installing Belgian block edging. This edging consists of raised granite blocks installed in concrete along the edges of the driveway. The Belgian blocks form a clear border along the edge of the driveway, and you can install flower beds along the edges of the blocks, which protect the beds from being run over.
Lay a chalk line along one edge of the driveway and drive nails into the driveway next to the chalk line every 5 feet. Hook the end of the chalk line to the first nail, then wrap it around the rest of the nails, keeping the chalk line along the ground. Snap the chalk line between each pair of nails to create a guide to follow when cutting the driveway's edges. Repeat this step on the other side of the driveway.
Cut the edges of the driveway away along the chalk line with a concrete saw. Pry the cut edges of the driveway away with an edging shovel.
Chip away any rough edges left along the driveway with a hammer and maul, and use the hammer and maul to cut the bottom of the driveway in towards the center at a slight angle to help provide a better grip for the concrete.
- Lay a chalk line along one edge of the driveway and drive nails into the driveway next to the chalk line every 5 feet.
Dig a trench along each edge of the driveway. Make the depth of the trench half the height of the Belgian blocks plus 1 inch, and 3 to 4 inches wider than the blocks.
Drive a wooden stake into each end of the trench on both sides of the driveway. Tie a mason's line tightly between the stakes in each trench, and set the line so that it's the height you want the blocks to be.
Lay 10 blocks on the driveway along the trench.
Mix a batch of concrete, following the manufacturer's instructions.
Pour a 1-inch layer of concrete into the trench to cover the approximate length of the 10 blocks.
- Dig a trench along each edge of the driveway.
- Drive a wooden stake into each end of the trench on both sides of the driveway.
Place the first block into the concrete, pushing it up against the edge of the driveway and tapping on it with a rubber mallet until the top is even with the mason's line.
Install the rest of the blocks in the first 10-block section, using the same method.
Fill the gap in the trench behind the blocks with concrete until it's about as high as the driveway. Smooth the surface of the concrete with a mason's trowel to cover the back of the blocks until you're about 2 inches beneath the top of the blocks.
Install the rest of the blocks along both sides of the driveway.
Sweep paver base into the gap between the blocks and the edge of the driveway. Cover the concrete along the back edge of the trench with soil.
- Place the first block into the concrete, pushing it up against the edge of the driveway and tapping on it with a rubber mallet until the top is even with the mason's line.
- Fill the gap in the trench behind the blocks with concrete until it's about as high as the driveway.
Plant the plants of your choice along the back edge of the Belgian blocks to provide a more attractive border.
- Keep dust down when using the concrete saw by running water through the saw or having an assistant spray the driveway in front of the saw.
- When disposing of the strips of asphalt from the driveway, cut it into 1-foot sections with a hammer and maul; contact an asphalt producer, as they may recycle it.
- Wear safety goggles, ear protection and a mask when using the concrete saw.
Carson Barrett began writing professionally in 2009. He has been published on various websites. Barrett is currently attending Bucks County Community College, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in sports management.