Tips On Choosing And Installing Pavers

Posted on: 18 May 2015

Pavers have recently become a popular alternative to basic concrete when installing a patio, fire pit, walkway, or even a driveway.  Pavers come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and materials.  If installed correctly, pavers provide an attractive and unique addition to any home or business. 

Choosing a Paver

It is of vital importance to choose a paver made of material that will stand up to the weather conditions of your area.  For example, slate pavers, because of their soft nature, do not hold up in conditions of constant moisture.  Granite pavers will endure even the most severe weather conditions, but are rather expensive due to the extreme hardness of the stone.  Slate is a beautiful flat stone that can create beauty and distinction but, because of its character, does not perform well in climates that experience extreme rainfall, or multiple cycles of freezing and thawing.  Clay brick pavers are used to create a cottage type look and are functional in most climate conditions.  

Preparing the Base

Do not make the mistake of trying to save time and money by taking shortcuts on preparing the base.  Shifting of the pavers can occur, over time, if proper attention is not given to the base preparation.  Start by excavating the area.  Remove all grass, weeds, and gravel.  The goal is to get the area as flat and level as possible.  Variances in height will cause your pavers to look uneven and unattractive.  A compactor will help to get the ground as level as possible.  

Sand Layer

Once ground is level, a one-inch layer of bedding sand will need to be applied.  This sand layer will help create a tight and secure fit of the pavers after they are compacted.  Course, concrete, washed sand is the best choice for the sand layer.

Installing Paver

Finally, it is time to install the pavers.  This is where you begin to see the benefits of all the hard work.  Begin installing pavers in a predetermined pattern.  Lightly place pavers in the bedding sand, being careful not to disturb the sand.  Remember the goal is to keep everything as level as possible!  The only tools needed in this process are the tools used to cut pavers to the correct size.  The placing of the pavers should just be done with your hands.  If pavers are rough, you may want to wear gloves. 

Compacting Pavers

Using the same type of compactor used when getting the ground level, you can now compact your pavers.  A compactor will gently push the pavers into the sand layer and create and tight, level surface.  

Fill Joints

To keep weeds from growing up through the joints of the pavers, and to keep your surface from moving or warping, you will want to fill the joints with joint sand or mortar.  This is done by simply spreading the sand over the cleaned surface of the pavers and then sweeping it around to get inside each joint.  Once again, the compactor can help insure each joint gets filled, and the surface remains level.  For further assistance, contact professionals, such as those from Central Arizona Block.