Paving Stones: The best installation method
Many people install paving stones on a 6-8 inch base of crushed compacted gravel and then set on a 1″ plus base of sand. This method was how I installed pavers for years until a paving stone installer from Vancouver showed me another way and explained what made his way superior. His way was to use the usual base of 6-8 inches of crush base but instead of putting it all down and compacting it in layers and setting grades with a laser level. His method was the following:
The Paving Stones Install Process:
1. Install crush base in layers with water and compaction, until you’re approximately the thickness of your screed bars away from the desired height of finished crush base.
2. Once crush base is tamped, set screed bars on crush base and set to final height, slope etc. using extra crush to hold them in position. (you may need to firmly pack crush around screed bars to hold in place, until step 3)
3.Once done, add enough crush so you can use a straight edge to screed the crush as you would if you were screeding sand.
4. With crush now screeded, soak area moderately and tamp (making sure NOT to hit the screed bars which are still set in crush base!!)
5. Repeat step 4 if any areas compacted more than others. Once the crush is compacted properly and evenly, the base should now be approximately 1/4? lower than the top of the screed bars.
6. Add sand and screed once more, and remove screed bars. Trowel in the sand, to fill where screed bars were. Now you have an area ready for laying pavers
7. Once the paving stones are laid and cut in, go around the edge of patio/ driveway etc and use a trowel to cut away any excess sand down to the crush base. Add a bead of concrete all around the area on crush base and smooth. this will setup and keep area tight and prevent any movement in the paving stones.
8. Once the concrete has set, add polymeric sand to fill all gaps and sweep in. Plate tamper the entire area and sweep off any excess sand.
9. Wash paver area as to polymeric sand directions, and let dry.
Paving Stones Area finished!
The paving stone installer from Vancouver explained that installing the paving stones this way, you have less sand and therefore less chance of movement. I have used this method for the last 15 years, and all my patio’s and driveway’s look as good as the day they were installed.
The Answer: Less Sand = longer and stronger patio/driveway lifespan.