how to lay cropped granite setts for driveways

How to lay cropped granite setts for driveways

Marshalls plc ammonite logo Darius Negahbani Thursday 19th October, 2017

Laying cropped granite setts can give your driveway long-lasting quality and stand-out kerb appeal. As well as providing a rugged but attractive look that’s entirely unique, granite setts and cobbles are a great match for just about any type of property – whether classic or contemporary. To find out how to lay cropped granite setts, take a look at our guide.


  1. Select an area that’s firm, level and well drained
  2. Remove about 230mm of top soil/vegetation
  3. Create adequate falls for drainage
  4. Install edge restraints, these should be sufficiently robust
  5. Lay a minimum of 150mm sub base (in two layers of 75mm thick)
  6. Thoroughly compact each layer with a plate vibrator
  7. Add a mortar base layer of 3:1 sand to cement between 15-30mm
  8. Lay cropped granite setts in the bed, 8-15mm apart
  9. Fill in the joints with 4:1 sand to cement mix and leave to set

What tools do I need?

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Sprit level
  • Rubber mallet
  • Tape measure
  • Protective gloves
  • Spade
  • Rake
  • String line
  • Plate compactor
  • Pointing tool
  • Trowel
  • Mixer

 What materials do I need?

  • Granite setts
  • Sand
  • Cement
  • Water
  • Spray paint
  • Sub-base material (MOT Type 1)



Make your selection

Choose the area where you want to lay your granite setts, making sure it’s firm, level and well-drained. Mark out the area with spray paint.

Get digging

Dig the spray-painted area to an even 230mm depth, removing all vegetation and top soil (finished level should be a minimum 150mm below damp proof course of house).

Level playing field

Use string lines to measure falls and rake area to create levels, then compact the whole area using a plate compactor.

Space for base

Fill the and compact (with the plate compactor) a 75mm layer of sub-base material (MOT Type 1), repeat this process again so the sub-base has an overall depth of 150mm.  Ensure the area has falls that are adequate surface water runoff.

Mixing it up

Create a mortar mix of three parts sand to one part cement and water. The mix should be of a “wet” workable consistency.

Spread it on thick

Add enough mortar to the area so that, when compacted, it allows enough room for the depth of your granite setts (15-30mm).

 All sett

Lay your cropped granite setts in the mortar bed, placing them 8 to 15mm apart. Bed the setts down firmly into the mortar by tapping them lightly with a rubber mallet.

Case in joint

Use a trowel to fill the joints with of four parts sand to one part cement. The mix should be of a “wet” workable consistency. Compress mortar mix into the joints with pointing tool.

Setting your setts

Leave your cropped granite sett driveway to set for at least 24 hours before walking on it – allow longer in wet weather.
Prefer your cropped granite sett driveway to be installed by an expert? Click here to find your nearest Marshalls-accredited installer.

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