Pavers – Frequently Asked Questions – Part 2

by Pavestone on March 15, 2010

What type of sand do I need to use between my pavers?

Paver Sand and Plate CompactorUse a sharp course river washed sand or sharp sand with multi-sized grains. The course sand will bind together when you go over the pavers with the compactor. This will make the joints between the paver solid and prevent moisture from getting under the pavers. The problem with using fine sand is that it will wash out easily and not create a locking friction joint between the pavers. Look for PAVESTONE brand paver sand at your retailers since it will work for all your landscape needs.

Why do you recommend that I till in dry Portland cement into the ground before putting my one inch bed of sand down on a paver project?

By tilling dry Portland into the ground 4 to 5 inches, compacting and moistening it, you are creating a strong sub-base that will resist ground movement and keep your project looking great for years to come. This process is only recommended if you have sandy type soils. If you have the clay type of soils it is recommended that you excavate enough material out to put down 4 to 6 inches of crushed limestone or road base material and compact it before you screed your 1 inch of bedding sand. On paver projects, the base preparation is the most important part, so take a little extra time and effort on your base to make your project look great.

Can you use these pavers for a driveway?

Yes, however a 4 to 6 inch foundation of roadbase is required in order to handle the weight of the load. Also, we recommend that instead of using the Brickstop edging restraint you use a concrete toe with a piece of #3 rebar.

Is there special sand I should use?

We recommend a sharp course granular sand. Because of the sharp course granules, the sand binds together than most any other kind of sand available. Play sand and all-purpose sand are too fine, and can be washed out of the joints of the pavers. To assure that you are purchasing the correct sand, ask your retailer for Pavestone Paver Sand.

Can you make curves with pavers for round designs?

This is possible with Pavestone products. The best way to handle curves is to outline your curve with a border stone like Holland. Then place as many whole pavers as you need up to the border stone. Next, cut the pavers to fill in the leftover gaps, using a guillotine splitter or diamond blade wet saw, which are both relatively inexpensive to rent. For more precision cuts the diamond blade wet saw is preferred.

Would the patio be stronger if I added cement into the cracks?

Actually, one of the benefits of using sand is that it allows the patio to flex with ground movement. When you place cement between the cracks of anything it becomes a single ridge slab that will crack due to ground movement. Also, if you had spilled cement over onto your pavers and did not clean it off right away, it could permanently stain your pavers. So you would be sacrificing the flexibility and longevity of a mortarless system by placing cement between the pavers plus the possibility of staining them.

Can you place concrete pavers over an existing concrete patio?

Yes you can, in fact your existing concrete slab will be an excellent base, provided it is in good condition. You still need an edge restraint to keep the pavers from spreading or you can mortar a soldier course border of Holland Stone around the perimeter of your existing slab. Then set the main field of pavers on a regular sand bed.

What about water drainage off my patio?

Water actually runs off the surface of the pavers as if it were a solid slab, so very little water drains into the sand. It is important to consider slope when planning your patio. A 1 inch drop for every 8 ft. to 12 ft. of runoff should be sufficient.

How do I control weeds and grass from coming up in my paver patio and walkways?

For the most part, if the pavers were installed properly and a compactor was used on the pavers to lock them into place, you have cut off much of the growing environment. There will still be times when seeds can blow in and start growing in the sand between the cracks. When this happens you can usually pull them out very easily or spray them with a weed killer and then remove them.

Do concrete pavers stain?

There is no way that we can prevent oil from dripping on concrete pavers but because of the fact that they are more dense than regular poured concrete they will be easier to clean if the stain is cleaned soon after it happens. If you are working around your paver patio, walkway, or driveway with paint, cement, or mortar and should accidentally spill this on your paver surface, you should clean it off right away before it has a chance to dry or it will stain your pavers. If cleaning of stained pavers is not possible, you will be able to remove the pieces that are stained and replace them without needing to sawcut and leave a scar in your paving.

How do I replace a paver?

One of the benefits of a project built with Pavestone pavers is the ability to replace a paver should it become permanently stained. Simply take a flat head screwdriver and insert it between stones and pry the soiled stone out. If the installation is mature, it may be necessary to break the stone and then pry it out.

We will be posting more F.A.Q.’s in future posts.

Related posts:

  1. Pavers – Frequently Asked Questions – Part 1
  2. Pavers – Frequently Asked Questions – Part 3
  3. Retaining Walls – Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Cleaning Stained Pavers – Sealing Pavers – Maintenance
  5. Paver Estimator Tool – Pavers, Patio Stones, Edgers & Retaining Walls

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