Paver Walkway & Pation with Concrete Base/Retention

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by klinko2k, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. klinko2k

    klinko2k LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Appreciate this- yes, just a concerned homeowner that likes things done right. Ashboro is about 1.5 hours from me; I assume too far for BrandonV to do the job.

    What I have gleaned from this thread is that concrete is a poor choice and paying a contractor $7/SF = you get what you pay for.

    Does anyone have a contractor recommendation in Charlotte, NC?

  2. Murphy's Law

    Murphy's Law LawnSite Member
    from NH
    Posts: 174

    Klinko, I am always nervous using polysand on clay pavers. Clay has a real hard time being dry enough to eliminate the hazing that Alldayrj is talking about. Concrete pavers like Belgard's Holland stone will not retain the moisture and if PROPERLY installed the hazing is not an issue. Since roughly '08 when I started installing polysand in my pavements, I had only 2 jobs where hazing was an issue and they both were clay pavers. I have subsequently stopped using polysand on clay. Up here in NH we only have about 2 months where the clay pavers get dry enough. Even at that, I had to wait a number of days with hot dry weather before I could polysand clay pavers. Last year my friend had to wait 7 weeks to polysand a clay paver walkway. It it was concrete pavers he could have done it the same day he laid it.

    Alldayrj, what kind of pavers did you use the polysand on? If you need help with polysand, I can answer a lot of questions for you.
  3. klinko2k

    klinko2k LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Thanks! Based on the feedback I will stay away from clay and go concrete. I assume Belgard is a good brand; and superior to Pavestone?

  4. Murphy's Law

    Murphy's Law LawnSite Member
    from NH
    Posts: 174

    I install, Belgard, Techo-Bloc, Unilock, Genest, Cambridge, Nicolock and I used to install Bolduc but I don't like the sales guy at the yard that sells that so they are currently out. Ha!

    They all will hold up just fine.

    I went on a Belgard plant tour last winter and they literally had two sections. One section was pavers going to stone yards like the ones (hopefully) everyone on this forum buys from. The other section was paver going to "Home Centers" (their words not mine.)

    Naturally I asked what the difference was and it boiled down to the two most important aspects of manufacturing pavers. Home center pavers have less color, and a lower density. This is not a good thing when it's maybe (I'm guessing here) 10%, 20% or even 30% more for the pavers at the stone yard.

    So on a project like yours which is an average walkway project we can save a couple hundred dollars. Not even close to being worth it.

    Oh yeah, I'm a Belgard Authorized Contractor but I sell 75% Techo-Bloc. Why? No joke. People like the catalogue. It's funny to watch them gravitate to it.
  5. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,771

    They were name brand concrete pavers. I swept, tamped, swept, blew, realized the fine dust wasnt coming off. Freaked out, kept sweepingg and blowing to no avail. Messaged guys on here, called suppliers and other installers in the area. They all told me it was good and i was doing it right. Wet it down with fine mist a few times. Let it dry and it was all hazed. Never again. Theres just no way to gett hat baby powder dust out of the surface short of a shop vac and thats far from practical. If you have a secret please pm it to me. I thought to seal it first then sand it. When i called the paver supplier he said "why did you use that poly crap". Enough said for me
  6. Murphy's Law

    Murphy's Law LawnSite Member
    from NH
    Posts: 174

    What brand did you use? I use Alliance Gator Supersand or Alliance Gator XP Sand. Different yards carry different product but I have not noticed a difference in quality.

    My guess is that you didn't use enough water. You should be checking your joints to make sure the whole joint gets saturated. Stick a knife in there and wiggle it around and really look. You'll be able to fix the joint with your finger after.

    Here is my method.
    Compact pavers into bedding sand
    sweep polysand into joints
    Compact polysand into joints
    sweep in a forward motion diagonal to joint lines
    Sweep with the back of the broom pulling towards you diagonal to joint lines
    This reverse sweeping keeps joint depth consistent
    blow off excess with blower on idle
    Your pavers will look gray/white at this point - Don't worry

    Here's the secret. Everybody listen up!

    Use the "flat" setting on your nozzle. The mist setting is not enough water.
    You need plenty of water to penetrate deep into the joints.

    Get a dedicated polysand nozzle so the water comes out evenly.

    1st watering is a fairly liberal amount - No puddles but everything will be very wet. - Your pavers will gain their color back

    2nd watering is roughly 75% the amount of water at 1st - There will be small puddles in joints and in undulations of pavers - You will see a very small amount of the polymer reacting creating a white film at the edges of a couple of joints

    Ideally you want to stop watering a fraction of a second before you see the polymer reacting.

    3rd watering - This is to make sure you didn't miss a spot on the 2nd watering - typically about 15%-25% the amount of the 1st watering. Again, you want to stop watering just before you see the polymer react.

    Last step - I just started doing this this year.

    Blow the puddles off the face of the pavers into the joints. This can be tricky because the puddles in the joints want to blow out also but with time you will get the hang of it.


    I don't think I have ever used TOO MUCH water. I know for a fact I used too little water on one job. I didn't check the joint at installation. I checked it the next day out of curiosity and it was dust halfway down. It's too late at that point. That was 4 years ago and it still looks like it did on day 1 so maybe it doesn't matter that much?

    Edit: I know some guys use the 3rd watering kind of like the blower step to essentially blow puddles off but I don't and I only think it will work on a walkway going sideways. On a patio I think you may introduce too much water into the polysand.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    If you like the clay pavers and if you think they will go nicely with your home - do not let the poly sand be a deal breaker.

    I'll explain:

    Polysand is fairly new to the hardscape industry. Some of us contractors ain't so new :)

    The first pic in my previous post - is clay pavers - with NO polysand. Poly Sand WAS NOT around when we did that walk in 1998.

    Polysand is not a do or die ingredient.

    Yes, I previously mentioned using poly sand, but what I really meant was that it takes a contractor time and effort to property apply joint sand to a paver pavement. They can't be in a hurry.

    Before polysand came out we used #2 Silica Sand. It costs around $10 per bag. It's bone dry and spreads quickly and easily. And most likely that's what we used in the pic.

    We did install a clay walk in Dec 2012. We completed the work, but we came back in early April and installed the Poly sand. Everything went smoothly, no issues with moisture.

    So yes, you can install clay pavers. And then you can either:
    a) not use polysand, try to find someone that sells Silica sand. Silica sand is used for sand blasting (sandblasting paint on cars, or masonry walls).
    b) have the work done in late may or june when it's really really hot and dry.

    And yes - you get what you pay for. Please know that good contractors do not charge by the SF. They calculate their production hrs and materials and that's how a price originates. But if we were doing the job for you, it would probably average out to be around $14 -$18 / sf. (Just saying this so if you find more competent contractors you're not shocked when you see the price) The cost of living is also cheaper than where I am, so it could be as low as $12/sf
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  8. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,647

    $8 a square foot, good lord! We get $20-$24 a square foot here.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Murphy's Law

    Murphy's Law LawnSite Member
    from NH
    Posts: 174

    There is also a product from Unilock that I can't remember the name that works like polymeric sand but spreads in "wet." It comes premixed in a bucket and you use a broom to spread it wet. It works better in larger joints and costs about twice as much but my buddy used it on bluestone 2 falls ago when it was misting out. He says it's great!
  10. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    I service the charlotte area and would love to talk with you about some options if you would like. My cell is 704-796-1308
    Posted via Mobile Device

Share This Page