A paver is a paving stone, tile or brick used in landscaping to not only define space, but to create contrast that can really make your lawn or flower beds pop. Although pavers have been used for thousands of years, the Romans built roads with them that still stand today, it wasn’t until the 1940’s that they began to be used for patios, walkways, and driveways. A big advantage to pavers is that they are incredibly durable, making them preferable to materials like gravel, wood chips or asphalt for landscaping features.
Pavers are considered part of our masonry division. Pavers can be anything from bricks to manufactured products like Unilock and Cambridge. They are typically a manmade manufactured type of material. Not a quarried stone. There is a proper way to install a paver; most people can get it wrong and they’ll cut corners to save money and save money on their estimates.
The way to properly install pavers:
1) Excavate carefully down 10-12 inches.
2) Install 6 to 8 inches of compacted material as a base and about 1 to 2 inches of stone dust would be placed on top.
3) The paver needs to be set into your layers of compacted material and stone dust. Once the paver has been set you can pack the paver into the compacted tile and stone dust, aggregate or a sand aggregate will be poured over the top to fill joints and lock it together.
A homeowner should question the cost of the base materials you are putting in, if it is being properly compacted, and what type of materials are being put down for the setting course. Some other good questions to ask would be, if the edges of the actual patio or the surface for paving need to be locked in or kept secure.
Recently, I had a homeowner recontact me about doing work on his stone stairway. It was was a typical stone stairway with blue stone treads. It had begun falling apart after the Winter season which, is very common. The freeze and thaw cycle of the Winter will cause the stairway to crack and fall apart. The joints will also begin to fall apart and the whole structure of the integral walkway becomes questionable. He came to me and asked for a price quote.
After the man received the quote, there was some skepticism and unsureness and ultimately, we were not hired for the job. He hired someone for a cheaper price. The following Winter came and went, and I was contacted that Spring by the man to let me know the stairway fell apart again and that he wanted me to fix it. He informed me that he wanted to go with be us because he felt confident in our ability to get to the root of the problem. And that’s what we did.
When we opened the stairway, we learned that it was was on an aggregate base- which is improper installation. It was supposed to be set in concrete. The stairway was reinstalled correctly and I can proudly say that he is just as confident as I am that the stairway will last this upcoming Winter and there will not be further problems.