My neighbor and I did my patio paver job this past weekend. 400sqft of
Interlock 12" pavers on 3" of pulverized gravel and then sand. The first
layer of sand, 3", was spread with an 8ft 2x4 and leveled throughout with
string grids and eyesight. I then use a plate compactor and packed
everything real good, then 2" of sand and the compactor again. After that,
we through out maybe a 1/4' of loose sand and started laying the pavers.
Afterwards, I went through it with the plate compactor again and spread
sand. Maybe the last loose layer was my mistake, but I now have some hills
and valleys. They are very minor and you can hardly see them, but *I* can
see them and it is bugging the heck out of me. The wife says once the
landscaping goes in, the grass grows and the furniture is placed, you will
never see it. Maybe so, but it is still annoying me. What would you do?
1. Pull some of the pavers back up and redistribute the sand?
2. Rent the pate compactor again and go at it on the hills, fill some sand
under the few valleys?
3. Leave it alone, the wife is right.
- Nehmo -
I don't know the answer to the technical question as I've never done
that type of job. Regarding the philosophical question, however, I
wouldn't settle for the imperfections. Find out what you did wrong and
correct it. The wife's opinion is irrelevant - unless you need somebody
to provide you with an excuse to be a quitter.
Huh?! 1/4' or 1/4"? Sounds like the loose sand was not screeded to a
uniform thickness. How do you expect the pavers to be level?
Yes, it was.
You've already compacted once.
> fill some sand under the few valleys?
Better than compacting the hills.
Even though I'm an engineer, and normally like everything to be precise,
lately I find minor irregularities to be appealing. That's why I don't
like vinyl siding, compared to cedar shakes, for example.
If you read the installation instructions from EP Henry, Cambridge,
Anchor, and other paver manufacturers, you'll see that:
1. The underlying soil should be compacted. (If the soil is clay, next
add a separation fabric over it.)
2. The gravel over the soil (or fabric) should be compacted.
3. The sand over the gravel should be 1" (or at most 1.5") thick and
screeded level, but NOT compacted.
4. The pavers are laid and compacted.
5. Sand is swept into the joints.
Who told you to lay 2" sand, compact it, and lay another 1/4" (or
1/4')over it? That's wrong. Did you truly use sand, which is what the
manuacturers recommend? Most installers use stone dust under the notion
that they are smarter than all the paver manufacturers?
What did you do for edge restraints?
Check this out:
I had same issue with brick pavers. I pulled up the bricks, added some
sand, pulled out some sand. Now I am satisfied.
Used a neat trick I saw in a home improvement magazine. Take a wire coat
hanger cut it about a foot long make a right angle bend at about 2 inches
from each end. Make two. Put the hanger in the crack between the bricks,
make a quarter turn and lift the brick out of place.
And yes, the wife is right, but won't she be impressed when she sees how you
are trying to make it perfect. For her of course.
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