How to know when the installation is being done right
As a conscientious owner, you want assurance that the contractor you hire will do a quality job. Asking questions can help. Several are listed below for your convenience in our Concrete Paver Consumer Guide. It is important that you take time to ask questions about all aspects of your project with a qualified contractor.
Will the base be aggregate, ranging in size from approximately 3/4″ (20 mm) to sand?
Answer: Yes, this facilitates compaction to a required density while allowing proper water drainage.
How will the aggregate base be compacted?
Answer: In 4″ (200 mm) layers to achieve the maximum density and load bearing capacity. Each layer will require several passes of a compactor to achieve this.
Will the bedding sand be loosely screeded to a depth of 1″ (25 mm), but no thicker than 1 1/2″ (40 mm) thick?
Answer: Yes, the loosely placed, even layer of washed, coarse sand provides a setting bed for the pavers. When the pavers are placed on the sand and compacted, the sand moves up into the joints. This causes the pavers to interlock and become level after compaction. Note: limestone screenings and stone dust should not be used for bedding sand.
How will the contractor assure an even color mix of the pavers?
Answer: By taking pavers from several bundles or pallets at a time.
Will an edge restraint be installed?
Answer: Yes, an edge restraint around the perimeter of the pavers is essential for eliminating horizontal creeping of the pavers and loss of bedding sand.
Are the joints filled between the pavers?
Answer: Yes, with clean, fine sand. The sand should be dry sand so it will flow freely into the joints. The pavers are compacted during and after filling to begin interlock of the units and prevent sand from washing from the joints.
Should there be inspection of the pavers after their compaction?
Answer: Yes, the owner and the contractor should inspect the pavement together and confirm the owner’s satisfaction.
Do I need to seal the pavers?
Answer: No, pavers are extremely durable. Sealing, however, may enhance the colors and may prevent staining. Allow a minimum of 60-90 days after completion of the installation before sealing. Consult your supplier for recommendations on cleaning and sealing.
Will the excavated area be a minimum of 6″ (150 mm) wider than the actual paved area?
Answer: Yes, when the aggregate base isplaced in the excavated area, the extra width will help ensure stability of the base at the edges, and provide space for the required edge restraints.
How will the contractor grade the paver installation for drainage?
Answer: By sloping the paved area away from the house at a minimum of 2%.
Will the aggregate base absorb or hold water?
Answer: No, when compacted properly, its density will minimize deformation and/or heaving of the paved surface during freezing or thawing.