Building a Block Paving or Natural Stone Patio

Building a block paving or natural stone patio…or a walkway.. can be a functional and beautiful addition to your backyard landscape, and with proper planning, attention to detail and a little hard work, you can achieve a long-lasting result, regardless of your skill level and experience. Begin by marking the outside dimensions of the project area. Then, excavate to a depth of four to seven inches, with a shovel. Allow for two to four inches of a compactible underlayment base, 1 to 2 inches of block paving sand for leveling and the width of the paver. Then install edge restraints. Edge restraints are required to stabilize the block paving and prevent settling and shifting over top. Edges should be set to allow for proper drainage, away from structures, and should slope evenly away from structures. One-quarter inch for every twelve feet is sufficient to allow for rain run-off. Evenly spread 2 to 4 inches of QUIKRETE All-Purpose Gravel into the excavated area.

Preparing the Block Paving Base

Then, level the gravel. Using a tamper, compact the gravel base. Spread 1 to 2 inches of QUIKRETE Patio block paving Sand over the compacted base. The block paving Sand will act as a leveling bed that the block paving will rest in. Use a two by four and a one by one to construct a screed to level the paver sand to a consistent depth, equal to the width of the paver. Then, screed the sand smooth, removing the excess sand in front of the screen and adding additional sand, behind the screed, as necessary. This will take several passes. Once your base is level, use stakes and a string for a straight edge, to align the paver rows. Starting in a corner, lay the pavers outward, maintaining a consistent joint width between each paver. Then, tap and level the pavers in place with a rubber mallet. Check to make sure your pavers are square and level, on a regular basis. Now that the pavers are in position, the joints must be filled with sand to hold the pavers in place. Jointing Sand and  Polymeric Jointing Sand are formulated with special dry polymer resin binders and are designed to lock pavers in place. Powerloc Jointing Sand can be used for paver joint widths up to 1/2 inch. For larger joints, up to two inches wide, and for use with natural stone, HardScapes Polymeric Sand is recommended. Simply sweep the polymeric sand into the joints with a broom and remove any excess sand from the paver’s surface.

Finishing the Block Paving Project

Make sure the pavers are clean and dry, before application. Then, apply a general fine water mist to the fill joints, flooding the surfaces of the pavers and allowing the water to saturate the sand filled joints. Dampen hourly, at regular intervals, for three hours after placement. Be sure to avoid flooding the sand onto the block paving surface. The joints will harden as they dry, usually over a period of several days, depending on temperature and humidity, creating a firm, durable block paving joint. Once hardened, Polymeric Jointing Sand will prevent errosion insects and weed growth. The amount of jointing sand you will need varies based on the joint width and paver thickness. A 1/2 inch joint will typically require about five bags per 100 square feet of paver area and two-inch joints will require up to 13 bags per 100 square feet.  Polymer resins are temperature-sensitive so temperatures should remain over 35 degrees F for a 12 hour period, after application.

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