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Paver Patio Questions

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by dustoff77, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. dustoff77

    dustoff77 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 1

    I'm installing a 15 X 37 paver patio and just tamped 4" of 2A modified (which unfortunately had more clean drainage stone [2B] in it than usual). Because of the abundance of 2B in it I tamped the living daylights out of it. I'm worried about the sand bed on top of it. The questions I have are:
    1. Should I cover it with another finer stone dust and tamp again or will it be a good enough base as is.
    2. Because of the relatively large stones in the base it has been a pain to level. I got it pretty darned close but it isn't perfect and has small variations up to a 1/4" here and there in peaks and valleys. Is that good enough for the sand base to take care of the rest or will the pavers show the variation when I tamp them?
    3. I heard one technique to counter this is tamp the sand first before laying the pavers. Then tamp again. Does this sound plausible? ....not to me.
    and finally....
    4. The patio is mostly rectangular with no right angles. I'm installing a circle kit at one end. Should I install that first then work toward it, or install the "I" pattern first and install the circle when I get close to it.

    I know this is a lot. As you've probably surmised I am a DIYer. This project is huge with three stair cases, two landings and five foot retaining walls with a future inground pool at the bottom. I just want to make sure my patio looks as good as the rest has come out. Thanks so much for any help. I'll post pix when done.

  2. mjm7179

    mjm7179 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    first thing is your base will be fine if it is no larger then 2B stone the sand will hold. Second thing is, the better the base the better the patio. minor imperfection are acceptable but a lot of peaks and valleys in the base will make it more difficult to lay your rails across. you may have to dig in or add some stone in some areas if your rails are to far out of whack. third thing Never tamp your sand, only screenings say if your using blue stone or building a retaining wall. number 4, you should measured out where your center of the circle kit is, i would start from there, use plywood pieces with handles to walk on the sand so you wont mess it all up and the handles so you can pick the boards straight up. once the circle is laid , i would start on the other side of your patio and work towards the circle , that way you only have cuts on the circle side and not on the straight edge side.
  3. BOEpavers

    BOEpavers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Sometimes with large voids as you described in the base, your bedding sand will fill those voids when screeded and then the thicker sand will compact differently and you may see the effects in the pavers. Two ways to elimanate the problem, Sweep sand or stone dust over the compacted base to fill the voids and compact again, or as described in another thread, add a layer of geotex over the base and the bedding sand on top of that.

    Never compact the sand.

    You should not have an issue if the gaps under your screeds are 1/4" or less. If large I would recommend adding more base to get it closer. Based on your statement of 1/4" peaks and valleys, I could take that to mean that you could have as much as 1/2" variance, which is way too much.

    As MJM stated, circle kit first, then work up to it.
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,602

    A facit of a well done interlocking patio install is derived from MAINTAINING STRAIGHT joint lines.

    We NEVER install a circle kit "first".

    Install the pavers as if there is NO circle kit. This way you keep ALL the joint lines straight without interuptions.

    Then, after our field is installed, we install the circle kit where so desired and cut field the meet the circle.

  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,602

    I'm in MD and have no clue what 2A or 2B is. Different regions have different names / terms.

    Here we use what's called CR8 for pedestrian use. CR8 is 1-inch gravel down to dust.

    If you are worried about voids and ease of leveling, then I would use a smaller aggregate, such as 1-inch down to dust.

    Also, we use 2 layers of geo-textile fabric. With the 2nd layer between the aggregate base and the bedding sand. This fixes many of the concerns you expressed about screeding sand.

  6. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Not only that but then you can overlay your circle kit and get nice close cuts.
  7. BOEpavers

    BOEpavers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    I agree about the joint lines. On all our jobs we run string lines to keep joint lines straight. We treat circle kits like swimming pools - run the string lines to the other side so you can keep the joint lines aligned on both sides. We leave the last row or two off the circle, run the pavers up, then overlay the last row or two and mark for cutting.
  8. BOEpavers

    BOEpavers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    DVS - Here in PA 2A is basically what you refer to as CR8. 2B is 3/4" Clean stone. 2A here is also known as Crusher run, quarry waste, roadbed, etc. depending on the quarry, etc. Sometimes what happens is you get a batch with more large material than fines and when you lay and compact it leaves voids in the base. I think that is what happened to Dustoff.

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