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Tamp sand after screeding??

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Redbear, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. Redbear

    Redbear LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I'm new to the driveway game and am working on just our second one. Done many patios and walks and never tamped concrete sand after screeding. With a driveway does anyone tamp after screeding sand and then top up with a second layer after. I'm guessing it can help to reduce the amount of settling the driveway may do under vehicle pressure but I'm not sure I understand the procedure that is taken to do this. Can anyone elaborate??
  2. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    The ONLY difference between driveways and patios is the base thickness. You should never tamp sand under any conditions.

  3. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 621

    We tamp our sand after the pavers are installed.
    Most guys that pre-tamp the sand, are using it to
    makeup variances in the aggregate. And, the variances are
    usually way more the the allowable + or - 3/8-inch over 10-feet.



  4. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    Chris, Why Not??
  5. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Never tamp sand , look at ICPI standards.
  6. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Messages: 173

    if you tamp the sand it will not be drawn up between the joints when you compact the pavers
  7. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    OK, for pavers, got it, right, sorry:blush:
  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,601


    Lets go a little further.

    Lets talk about the purpose of the bedding sand, and then we can talk about why you never compact the sand.

    The bedding sand is NOT the foundation of the interlocking pavement. Regardless if it is a walk, patio, pool deck, driveway, loading dock, staging area at an airport, etc.

    The bedding sand is just that! It is sand that *beds* the pavers!

    Ok, now the proper name of pavers is: 'Interlocking Concrete Pavers'

    People think the word 'interlocking' derives from the various shapes and sizes that the pavers are offered in.


    That is not the case!

    The term 'interlocking' derives from the construction *system* of the pavement.

    The sand is used ONLY to LOCK the pavers into place. Nothing more. The aggregate base is your foundation, your backbone to the pavement.

    if you compact the bedding sand prior to laying pavers...you will NOT obtain a satisfactory 'interlock'. The pavers will be suspictable to movement, looseness, and so on.

    And, technically you can not use just any 'ol sand as the bedding sand. it must be a washed concrete sand. The sand granuales (sp) are angled, thus they lock together.

    Many folks think the joint sand is used primarily for asthetic purposes. They think the joint sand should look like mortar joints on a brick wall. Joint sand is used only to aid in firming up the pavers to prevent movement. its important to fill the joints completely, as it looks better. But we have many clients say "is there enough sand brushed in?", when there is.

    So I have learned to explain to the client in my initial consultation of why the sands are used. What they do. And I show them pictures of screeded bedding sand. I explain why too little sand can make a poorly built patio. And I explain why too much sand can ruin a patio. I also show pics of paver joints with the proper backfill of sand, so at the end they are not demanding we make the paver joints look like brick wall joints.
  9. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    DVS - Well said!

  10. Redbear

    Redbear LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    Thanks for the responses, very thorough. I am wondering about the washed concrete sand however, my main landscape depot does not term it concrete sand but #2 sand and I'm not sure that it is exactly the same thing. Does concrete sand go by any other name or what should I be looking for in the sand. It does appear to be similar.

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