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Paver Laying Steps

Feb 15, 2022

Whether you plan to install interlocking pavers, concrete, retaining walls, synthetic turf, or something else…. the following installation steps will help you understand the process. We are happy to go into more detail at your initial design consultation as well.

Step 1 – Demo and Excavation

Excavate all the existing concrete and or topsoil off the area where the project will be installed. Demo should be approximately 7 inches for non vehicular installs and 9 or more for vehicular installs. Compact native soil if needed it with a large walk-behind compactor before adding class 2 road base.

When calculating the depth of the excavation, you will need to add the thickness of the paver itself, 1” of bedding sand, and the necessary gravel recommended for the type of project you are installing.

Step 2 – Install Aggregate Base Layer

The material used for this aggregate base that will vary in size from 3/4” down to dust. This is known as class 2 road base or recycled concrete. For walkways and patios, you will need to add 4” of this material. For driveways, you will add 6” or more”. If you have clay soil, it’s also a good idea to add a geotextile fabric over the native soil. This woven layer of fabric will prevent aggregate from mixing with the soil below. This is especially important in driveway installations.

Step 3 – Set Elevations

Setting of the elevations is next. Crews will use string lines, levels, and lasers to ensure the final grade is away from the house to allow for water runoff. Typically, that slope will be between 1/8” and 1/4” of drop per linear foot (depending on the location).

Step 4 – Compaction

A plate compactor with a minimum of 5,000 lbs. of force is used to ensure proper compaction. The class 2 base is raked out with the proper amount, then hosed off to get wet. Wetting the base will ensure the best compaction. Ideally you will want to compact in lifts (layers of gravel) no greater than 4”-6” at a time. When compaction is done this should look like a smooth concrete road.

Step 5 – Bedding Layer

Next, you will add and level 1” of bedding sand material to the paver base. Crews will to level the sand with two pieces of 1” metal pipe conduit. Place the two pieces of conduit down, and using a 2 x 4 board, screed the sand smooth. Keep moving the tubes down as you go, making sure to fill the voids where the tubes were by smoothing the surface.

Step 6 – Laying Pavers

Lay pavers in pattern(s) shown on drawings. This will be agreed prior to the job start by the owner and the contractor. Place hand tight without using hammers. Make horizontal adjustments to placement of laid pavers with rubber mallets. Cut pavers as needed along the edge with a masonry saw.

Step 7 – Install Border

Install proper paver size, and or color per drawing. This is set against a concrete foundation or in a concrete bond beam. This ensures the edging will lock in the pavers from any movement.

Step 8 – Install Joint Sand

Use a low-amplitude plate compactor with a minimum of 5,000 compaction force to vibrate the pavers into the sand. Remove any cracked or damaged pavers and replace with new units. Simultaneously spread, sweep and compact dry joint sand into joints continuously until full. Remove excess sand from surface when installation is complete. Surface shall be broom clean after removal of excess joint sand.

Step 9 – Install Sealer and Joint Stabilization

Spray paver sealer with joint stabilization over pavers. Let dry for 24 hours

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