PAVING STONE INSTALLATION TIPS:
Below are step-by-step instructions for installing paving stones. Please note that these instructions are not 100 % comprehensive, so please consult us or your contractor for complete excavating, base preparation, and installation methods to meet your specific requirements. Remember : Safety First and Take your Time. You will most likely cry when you see the end product if you rush.
STEP 1: EXCAVATION & BASE INSTALLATION
Excavate unsuitable, unstable or unconsolidated subgrade material and compact the area which has been cleared with a motorized Vibratory Plate Compactor (we can rent one by the day if you like). Backfill and level with New York State Approved Recycled Concrete (Commonly referred to as R.C.A.). Beware of R.C.A. that looks like dirt blended with brick, tile, glass, wood, old toilets, etc... This stuff will not compact properly and again you will most likely shed a few tears. Cheap R.C.A. is Cheap R.C.A. and nothing more. Install your NYS R.C.A. at the correct thickness for the project at hand (typically four (4) to six (6) inches for walkways and patios and six(6) to twelve (12) inches for driveways) or as otherwise directed by Site Engineer/Architect/Landscape Architect. Edge restraints are another area of concern for every paver job. Some form of restraint is necessary. Many contractors have long used concrete to hold things together but studies are showing that plastic edge restraints are proving superior in the long run. Are they more expensive than concrete? Yes. Do they go in quicker therefore saving labor? ABSOLUTELY! Usually you will install these at the completion of the project when you are happy with the layout of the job.
Note: Install base material (R.C.A.) in maximum two (2) inch lifts when using a typical Vibratory Plate Compactor.
STEP 2: SAND & BED PREPARATION
Place bedding of sand to a maximum uniform depth of 1″ – 1½” (25-38mm) screened to the grade and profile required. Once the sand is screed out STAY OFF IT! Footprints and paw prints will create more problems than your now aching back would like to deal with.
Step 3: Laying Stones
Install pavers by starting at a fixed point (ie.,house foundation, driveway) or a corner. As you lay the pavers you can walk onto the newly paved surface to make progress. Its not a bad idea to set up some string lines at this time to make sure you have straight lines ( I don't care what kind of "eye" you have, you will end up with wavy borders if you go freestyle on this one) The pavers require no compaction or rubber malleting at this stage under normal conditions.
Step 4: Cutting Stones
Where required, cut pavers with an approved cutting device ( Diamond Blade on a table saw or circular saw is most common) to fit accurately, neatly and without damaged edges. Sweet.
Step5: Final Compaction & Joint Sand Installation
At this stage you have the option to install Polymeric Sand . YES YES YES!!!! sweep the Poly sand onto a dry,dry,dry did I mention DRY surface (insert picture of yourself crying HERE if you sweep onto a wet or damp surface). Work Poly Sand into all the joints until they are completely filled. Use Vibratory Plate Compactor to "Tamp" pavers. (NOTE: THIS COMPACTION WILL DAMAGE SOME PAVINGSTONES. please consult us with your type of paver before compacting with a Vibratory Plate Compactor) You will notice that the Poly sand will settle into the joints after this step. Go ahead and use more Poly sand to fill the joints again and follow directions on bag to activate. Congratulate yourself on this very wise decision to use Poly sand as your "weeds in the patio" problems are pretty much gone!