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Old 08-05-2013, 10:31 AM   #1
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Tamping concrete pavers

I am setting pavers in an area that is too confined to use a plate compactor/vibrator. I have a 10" x 10" hand tamper that I used to compact the base/gravel. How do I protect the pavers from damage if I use this for the final compaction?


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Old 08-05-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
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I had to do the same thing several years ago. I folded a couple of old bath towels, set the tamper on it and folded the edges of the towels over the top and taped them in place. Was able to do all of the tight areas with no problems.


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Old 08-05-2013, 01:36 PM   #3
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It really depends on the type of pavers.

If you use the large (over 10"), then they are just "stepping stones" and rely on the strength of the base, then "tamper" with some force and weight will be adequate.

If they are the common smaller pavers set on a 1" sand bed that rely on an interlock (usually a thin amount of sand between the butted pavers) between units for strength and stability. A vibratory plate compactor will give the truest surface and the most strength and stability, just as they do on driveways and streets, etc.

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Old 10-24-2013, 10:37 PM   #4
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I've just completed building a 7'x7' sitting area and a 15' walkway to it, using left over pavers from a patio reconstruction years ago. I used a hand tamper to compact the base, screed the result to get the drainage grade I wanted, and gently tamped the result.

Then I placed the pavers on the base, and used a short 2x4 and a dead blow hammer to insure there were no high spots. Then, before cementing the edges, I poured polymetric sand over the pavers, swept it into all the cracks, and gently tapped each paver several times with the dead blow hammer to insure the sand had settled. Finally, wet the sand, let it dry, and used Portland cement on all edges.

Using a hand tamper and a dead blow hammer was a pain the in butt, even for a small job, but the results are rock solid.
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