I am putting a patio in my yard and one contractor told me it's better
to lay pavers on sand instead of concrete, and another guy told me the
exact opposite. Can someone help? What are the pros and cons of each?
Even if you use sand, you will need a good base (rock) under it. Sand
is nice because you can level out quickly and its not pricey.
Concrete is strong and won't settle but is costly. If it is very high
traffic and needs to be visually perfect, use concrete. If you want
just a decent walkway, use sand.
Laying pavers on sand will be easier to level and slope away from your
house but in time could shift due to changing weather conditions.
Laying pavers on concrete is more stable but the concrete better be
level (or the way you want it) because there will be no way of changing
the slope. Limestone is best used for leveling stones but if you lay it
on concrete it will soon wash away.
If you have concrete already then use it but if you don't, stay away
from the extra cost.
If your patio will be subject to frost heave, then go with a compacted
#2 gravel base for drainage, cover with landscape cloth- then 2" of
sand [or findings].
If you live in the south where there is no frost *and* the ground can
be compacted well enough to make a good base, then put concrete down.
If I was going to go to the expense of a concrete base I'd look for a
concrete *craftsman* who could do a stamped concrete patio.
Can't tell you the pros and cons, but I can say that I put full-size
brick pavers over a concrete patio in 1993 and have had zero problems.
I live in the Mid-Atlantic. I usually try and keep the snow shovelled
off in the wintertime which probably helps prevent cracks.
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