Once you’ve chosen the type of paver you want, you need to make sure that the paver is installed correctly to guarantee longevity.
Paver manufacturers will have guidelines on how to properly install a paver surface. When installed correctly, concrete pavers are stronger than poured concrete, less prone to weather damage and won’t crack due to the freeze thaw cycle.
The base for any paver patio should be dug to about 6-8 inches deep, depending on conditions. The excavated area should be relatively level. Next, the soil should be compacted.
The excavated area should be covered with a non-woven fabric or geotextile fabric. This step ensures that the gravel installed on top will not migrate down into the soil over time.
Depending on requirements, a crush run or 21A type gravel will be installed and spread out on top of the fabric liner. For patios and walkways, there should be about 4 inches of compacted gravel base material.
4. Bedding Sand
The last material to install is a bedding sand layer. This should only be about 1/2 inch deep, as it is not serving as a base reinforcement as much as a medium to create a smooth surface for the paver units.
5. Paver Installation
The next step is to install the pavers. They should be installed so the sides are touching across the whole surface. A border paver should be used along sides ajoining soft surfaces like lawns and mulch beds. The border paver is used to help stabilize and fragment pavers that need to be cut.
6. Edge Restraint Installation
A heavy plastic or metal edge should be installed along any edges not ajoining a concrete or other pavement. This helps keep perimeter pavers from migrating outwards over time.
7. Polymeric Sand
The final step is to brush a polymeric joint sand into the paver joints. Care should be taken to ensure even coverage. Clean off the excess sand and wet the surface with a shower type hose bib.
When taking proper steps, paver surfaces will last for decades, so make sure your contractor knows the proper techniques before its too late.