Ever admire the design of a driveway or patio floor? Have you found yourself staring at an artistically designed walk way? What you are admiring is the artist created using interlocking concrete pavers.
What are concrete Pavers exactly?
Concrete pavers are a mixture of pre-cast piece of concrete that interlock and are used in pavement applications such as patios, walkways, pool decks and driveways. They are also used in commercial settings such as corporate buildings, airports and loading docks. Because pavers come in different shapes, sizes and colors, professionals are free to create literal forms of art with them.
How are Pavers manufactured?
According to Wikipedia, Pavers are “manufactured by machinery in factories. They consist of both fine and coarsely grained aggregate, along with cement compounds. The ingredients are put through pressure and vibration courses, which produce a strong, durable concrete that can then be molded into various shapes and designs.”
How are Pavers installed?
Step 1: Creating the sub base.
After deciding and marking where the patio will be constructed, excavate the entire area to a depth of 8″. The first layer is a compacted stone (gravel) base, followed by a 1″ inch layer of sand. The final 3″ layers are the pavers themselves. Once you lay down the gravel base, use a rake to smooth it out. Once that is completed, tamp down to a level surface.
Step 2: Adding the sand
Pour sand over the entire area making sure it spread evenly, at a depth of 1″. Use a rake to spread and smooth the sand. Once the sand has been smoothed and leveled you are ready to begin laying the pavers.
Step 3: Laying the pavers
Starting at one end, begin laying down pavers. Please note that you can place pavers down to create different decorative patterns. Continue laying down pavers until the entire area is complete. For irregular spaces, you will need to cut them with a chisel or masonry saw blade.
Step 4: Edge restraint
If there is not a hard edge restraint such as the side of the house, you will need to install a plastic concrete restraint. These should be installed once all the pavers have been laid down.
Step 5: Filling the joints
Spread a thin layer of sand over the pavers and use a broom to work them in to the gaps between pavers. The sand acts as a stabilizer while allowing some flexibility. The advantage of interlocking pavers over asphalt or poured concrete is their ability to absorb stress such as, small earthquakes and freezing temperatures. Once done, spray some water to help settle the sand.
Gila Tools carries an assortment of blades designed to cut Pavers as well as other materials that any professionals can count on. Click here to see our full assortment of Paver Blades.