Inspection- Before any work starts have the utility company check for
underground pipes and wires. Stake out location and depth of pipes and
Removal of the existing pavement, turf, or existing soil to the proper
depth. The proper depth will be finish surface, less paver thickness,
setting bed depth, and base material. The amount of base material is often
determined by a soil engineer and depends on the propensity of the soil to
expand, saturate, or hold water. (Which would then cause the pavers to
move.) Base thickness normally ranges from 6-inches to 12-inches. A base
for vehicular traffic is typically 10-inches to 12-inches. In extreme soil
or other conditions, the base can be up to 18-inches deep.
Note: Conditions are
substantially different on the East Coast versus the West Coast. On the
West many jobs are done with 4-6" base material. It is critical you learn
what works best in your area. Soils engineers can provide guidance in this
After the grade is
down to the proper level (see "Excavation" above), and before the
geotextile fabric is installed, the subgrade must be compacted.
If the subgrade is
clay, compaction must be done with a roller or rammer so the subgrade is
fully compacted. If sandy soils, a vibraplate is often sufficient for subgrade compaction.
Fabric"- In moist or wet areas, and where the soil is expansive,
geotextile fabric should be installed to separate (and keep separated)
virgin soil from the base.
Material- Base material is installed in "lifts" no more than 4-inches
at a time. A compactor is used to compact the material. The base material
itself should be a granular type that compacts easily
Restraints- The border "edge restraints" are now laid on the base
material and secured with steel spikes which hold the edge restraints in
place. Edge restraints are an important part of interlocking concrete
pavements. By providing lateral resistance to loads, they maintain
continuity and interlock among the paving units.
Spread the Setting
Bed- A 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch setting bed is spread on top of the
compacted base material. Concrete sand, coarse washed concrete sand, or
granite stone dust can be used.
Pavers- Pavers are installed in the desired pattern.
Pavers should be taken from
several pallets or bundles at a time to assure an even color
Sweeping- Spread and sweep sand over the top of the pavers. Then the
compactor is used over the top of the pavers. The sand will vibrate from
below and above into the joints. Add more sand on top and continue the
process - which will make for a solid paver surface.
Sealing will accentuate the paver colors and help protect them from
staining. Sealing does require reapplication periodically.