laying paving stones 12" X 12" ?


I am going to be alying down about 200 of these stones in the next couple of weeks. My question is how important is it to have about 5 inches of packed gravel for a base beneath the sand. If a person was to tamp the soil ( using a plate tamper) would this be ok or should a person still use the gravel base?
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bdeditch wrote:

VERY important. Make sure you spend enough time to prep properly unless you spend more time on endless leveling job. Base is depending on soil condition.
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need gravel then sand then paver, otherwise the pavers will be endlessely uneven and a real trip hazard,
if your not willing to do it right your better off with a muddy path.
its a lot of work and you must have a place to dump the leftover dirt.............
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I agree about the importance of a sub-base. When I did this, though, I used all sand instead of gravel and sand. I was thinking that if I put down gravel, then sand, the sand would gradually sift down into the gaps between the gravel stones, leading to unevenness. Wouldn't that happen? Anyway with all sand on top of my clay subsoil, it worked out fine for me (still even several years later). -- H
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We had this question about 2 months ago. Lots of answers then.
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writes:

You young whippersnapper. I remember the paving stone discussion from the spring of ought three. That was a good un.
If you can't give an answer, STFU.
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My soil is several feet of 'gumbo' - heavy thick clay. It moves with every change in moisture. Cracked foundations were the norm until home builders learned just how much steel they had to use to hold the house together as it moves up and down.
So stone paths and patios don't last long here without substantial investment in the base. Your area may be different.
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Here in the sandbox (Florida) they don't do much of anything special beyond compaction. They do try to compact the sand a couple times with a rainy day in between then they take a lot of care to get a flat compacted surface before laying the pavers. Big ones are less forgiving than small ones.
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It all depends on your soil, as someone else said. Check with local landscapers and suppliers to see what's available and used in your area. The guys that did mine used a roller filled with water, and they got it smooth as glass. I don't see how you'd get it that consistent with a tamper no matter how good you were. Bottom line, the job's either right or wrong before you lay the first paver.
The rollers are cheap to rent. Put string lines where you want the final grade, and roll over the dirt and strings until you get it to string level. They made it look easy.
If you do NOT get it all flat and packed tight, you'll end up with a wavy surface or rocking stones that you will NEVER be able to get flat without pulling it all out and getting it right.
Steve
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The people that write the instructions spend a lot of time and money doing research. Do you want to trust them or a bunch us that never put down more than four stones at a time? Yep, I have about a dozen of them lining my garden with no base and they hardly moved at all. Just a little. But as part of a 200 stone patio, they'd look like crap that way.
Do the job right.
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