Over the years, we have seen many paver walkways, patios and driveways that have been improperly installed. A properly installed paver system should have very little settling with even grout joints even after several years after installation. However, some companies skimp and don’t use the proper paver installation techniques which can leave homeowners with an uneven, broken, sloping paver nightmare. Installing pavers is more complicated that just trying to go a few inches deep and setting the pavers in some form of gravel base. So, how should pavers be installed?
First, it is best to have pavers installed by a ICPI-certified professional paver installer. ICPI, (www.icpi.org), is the leading industry association for paver installation. Installers have to take installation courses and have a minimum level of experience working with pavers to qualify for certification.
For those of you who wish to tackle paver installation on your own, here are some basic guidelines to use for installation.
- First, excavate down to the hard subsoil. For patio and walkway installation, this should be 8-10” inches deep. For driveways, allow at least 12”. Once you have excavated down to the proper depth, level and grade and install geomat.
- Once the geomat is installed, add ABC stone in 2-inch lifts to proper proctor (2000 psi) until the screening level (about 3.5 inches from desired finished grade). The ABC stone should be compacted using a vibrating tamp.
- After tamping the ABC stone, install screenings 1-1.5 inches thick and compact. Lay pavers on top of screenings using an edge restraint. If you need to cut pavers for your layout and design, be sure to use a diamond blade wet saw (tile saw) for all cuts.
- When all pavers are installed, brush in polymeric sand into paver joints and re-tamp. Then brush in polymeric sand in again into the joints and wet pavers to activate the polymers in the polymeric sand for better adhesion to the paver.
Next up, how much do pavers cost to install