Belgian block is a quarried stone that is generally cut into rectangular shapes, although it can also be cut into cube-sized shapes as well. The stones are gray in color and can add interest and depth to a variety of outdoor landscaping projects. In addition to enhancing the look of hardscape designs, the blocks can also be used to set off a space in order to differentiate it from the surrounding landscape.
One of the most common uses for Belgian blocks is as an edging on driveways. This is a relatively easy DIY project that provides an appealing look to finish off a driveway and also prevents cars and other automotive vehicles from veering off the paved surface onto the surrounding grassy areas or flower beds. While the blocks can be installed to be roughly the same height as pavers or other driveway materials, many homeowners opt to have the blocks installed on their side so that they are slightly raised above the surface of the surrounding paving to set off the edge more clearly.
In addition to driveways, another common use for Belgium blocks is as an edging to roadways. This is typically a project completed by a developer or the municipality rather than an individual homeowner, since the blocks serve as curbing, setting off the road from the adjacent property. In many cases, jumbo Belgian blocks are used for this purpose, which are 10” x 7”, rather than regularly sized blocks, which more commonly are sized at 9” in length x 5” in width.
Another common use for Belgian block is to set off planting and flower beds throughout a property. This not only provides an interesting visual enhancement to the landscaping, but also helps to prevent grass from penetrating into the beds from the surrounding lawn. For this reason, many homeowners prefer to install the blocks with the long sides touching one another, rather than lining them up width-wise. This provides a larger area over which grass would have to cross to infiltrate the beds. Although these blocks can be installed to provide a raised edge, some people opt to set the blocks level with the grade of the surrounding soil so that the blocks do not interfere with mowing the grass. The only difference in installation between a raised edge and flat edge design is how deeply the blocks are set into the ground.
Installation of Belgian blocks is relatively easy and is a project that can be tackled by homeowners on their own if they’re willing to use a bit of elbow grease. In a nutshell, a trench will need to be dug that is a few inches wider and deeper than the blocks themselves. The bottom of the trench will have to be leveled and prepared with a base layer of crushed stone or gravel, followed by a layer of sand. The base layer must be tamped down to create a more compact surface and should be leveled before the blocks are set on top. Once a level row of blocks has been installed, the soil should be filled around the side edges of the blocks and packed tightly so the blocks don’t shift. It is typically recommended that at least one half of the Belgian block remain below the surface for maximum stability.
For more information about the varieties of Belgian block available for delivery in NJ and Staten Island by ATAK Trucking, call 917-912-2900.