How We Install Concrete Pavers
For many years the norm when it comes to paving is the good old concrete slab. There are several advantages to using concrete, the ability to choose size and shape and the low cost of concrete are chief among them. But concrete has a limited lifespan. It is vulnerable to the shifting of the earth, the weight of vehicles, and can be split by tree roots. But above all, concrete often does not look nearly as good as the alternative; paving stones, or stone pavers.
Paver Installation at a Glance
Step 1: Excavation
Step 2: Installation of Geo Fabric
Step 3: Installation of Road Base
Step 4: Compaction of the Base
Step 5: Installation of Bedding Sand
Step 6: Paving Stone Installation
Step 7: Installation of Polymeric Joint Sand
Step 8: Sealer Application
What Are Pavers?
A paver is a large block of stone or concrete to create a hard and smooth surface. They can be made to create patio decks, paths, driveways. In bygone days, streets made with brick or cobblestones, ancient structures with stone foundations, and the like are all classic examples of stone pavers that have stood up to the rigors of time. Pavers can also be made from concrete which leaves some folks scratching their heads as to what the real difference between a concrete slab and a paver really is.
What Lies Beneath Stone & Concrete Pavers?
While concrete is certainly more brittle than solid stone, all modern pavers feature a protective substructure that is subtly pliant in order to prevent the surface stone from being crushed and a retaining wall that keeps it in place.
The substructure of a modern paver is made up of bedding sand, a class 2 road base, a concrete retaining wall, and geotextile fabric. There is room for variation in this structure to suit the job. For example, concrete beams can be added into the middle portion to add strength, and the geotextile fabric and sealant are optional. These extras are usually done for large areas but can be done on any size job.
The long-term benefits of this substructure are primarily that it makes the slab less likely to crack, which is especially important with a concrete slab. But some experts believe it can improve the earthquake resistance of slabs and the structures built on them. Others believe that over the course of years, it may amount to fewer hip, knee, and back problems for workers, security staff, and others who have to spend a lot of time walking on these pavers.
How to Install Pavers: Our Process
As you can imagine, installing a fully supported concrete or stone paver is complex and must be done by following a specific process that has been discovered over many years of trial and error.
Paving Stone Installation in Depth
Because installing a complete paver properly is a complex process, we have developed a step by step system to ensure that they go in right the first time, with no unexpected surprises down the road.
- Design Planning
Our project planners will work closely with you to ensure that your paver installation delivers the type of paver you want with the performance you expect.
- Locating Utilities
Before the demolition and excavation can begin, we will locate and utility lines or other assets in the earth where your installation is meant to be done. We use Dig Alert and work with state and local authorities to ensure the build will be both safe and legal.
- Site Inspection
As an additional precaution, our pre-site inspection team will survey the location for any potential dangers. We will then report to you and site management before we begin.
- Demolition & Excavation
Using heavy-duty machinery when necessary, we will level the site using industry-standard tools and techniques. We will then use an excavator to dig seven to nine inches from the final grade.
We will then add grading soil to allow for proper drainage after the paver is complete, or remove soil for the same effect.
- Interior Compacting
Industrial grade compactors will then be used to eliminate any air gaps in the soil to avoid instability of the final product.
- Optional GeoTextile Fabric
In locations with problems such as a high water table, a GeoTextile fabric sub-base is recommended for added stability for the final paver product. This is optional when installing pavers, but will add to the stability and longevity of any paver and is usually recommended for concrete pavers.
- Base Compacting
After installing the optional GeoTextile, we will compact the bed a second time in accordance with the 95% ratio recommended by the ICPI.
At this point specialized sand will be layered in, followed by pavers, borders, and beams.
- Beams & Borders
Concrete borders will then be installed to contain the build. Concrete beams will be poured and installed at key structural locations within the build for added stability.
- Polymeric Sand
High tech polymeric sand is then used to fill in any joints to stabilize the installation of interlocking pavers.
- Paving Stone Compacting
After setting the top paver stone in place, using a plate compactor, we will then press the paver stone securely into position.
- Activation of Polymeric Sand
Once the top stone is in place and compressed we will activate the polymeric sand (a high-tech mix of graded sand and binder) and clean the surface of the paver stone.
- Optional Sealant Application
At this point, you have the option of having a sealer applied to the paver. This will help prevent water from seeping into the build.
The Titan Pavers Promise
Here at Titan Pavers, we know that too many paver installers cut corners, leading to preventable problems that only develop years later - long after they have declared the job a success. That’s why our core values include strict adherence to best practices and industry standards. Our mission is to build the paver you want in a way that will last for many years.
To receive your free estimate and start your initial consultation, get in touch with LA’s #1 stone paver installer, Titan Pavers.