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Old 04-29-2010, 01:59 PM   #1
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Ground preparation for laying pavers


Could tamped down pea gravel be used for the underlayment before putting sand in to lay 16" pavers?
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:47 PM   #2
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Ground preparation for laying pavers


I do not know what the "official" guidance is on this, but my opinion is that pee gravel would not make a very stable base. Since it is basically round, the pieces can not interlock, so no matter how much you tamp it, it just keeps rolling around like a bed of ball bearings.

Be interested to see what the real landscape guys think.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:28 AM   #3
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Ground preparation for laying pavers


I agree. I have never used or heard of anyone using pea stone for this purpose.
The drainage would be excellent. However in an effort to compact it the pea stone would squish out the sides. Forever moving.
Any type of sand bed would end up filtering down into the pea stone.
Thus the pavers would have to be laid directly on the stone.
Stick around maybe someone has used it and can elaborate.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:08 AM   #4
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Ground preparation for laying pavers


I used pea stone under the walkway to my basement & to my pool area -4.5" pavers
The basement walkway is fine, I drive my truck across the pool walkway
So that has moved due to grading & weight of truck w/lots of weight (wood, more pvaers for another patio)
Once I'm finished w/construction & grading is corrected I'll redo the walkway

I did not vibrate compact either walkway - small
Not sure how it will work on a larger area w/sand & virbration

Pea stone was from an area that former owners filled
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:16 PM   #5
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Ground preparation for laying pavers


the compaction is more of an issue with different size/mix stone, although angular will compact better than round. You might try adding some screenings/fines to the pea gravel to get better compaction.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:56 PM   #6
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Ground preparation for laying pavers


I just started prepping for a patio with 16 x 16 pavers this weekend. I framed it out and layed crushed gravel, hand tamped it and will be allowing it to settle until I put the sand and pavers on next weekend. The crushed gravel has already become extremely hard and looks to be a great surface to build on. I will let you know how the finished product looks. Just my two cents... crushed gravel seems to be a suitable surface.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:45 PM   #7
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Ground preparation for laying pavers


If you ever build someting with real loads, you will never use "pea stone" because it does not compact unless you have something mixed in with it. For things like driveways, streets, airport taxiways (747 caliber) or harbor facilities (100 ton straddle loaders), the only thing used is a road base with a 1" sand cushion. This is for the small interlocking pavers since the larger (over 9" maximum dimension) pavers will not be stable or carry the same loads.

For large pavers, you need a compacted base plus a thin sand setting bed to eliminate cracks due to stress concentrations or base movement. A large paver has no interlock, so the stability and strength of the surface is less and you can expect some movement and possible loss of the protective sand cushion.

Without a compacted base, the large pavers are almost floating on the base, especially with high moisture contents since the aggregate is not interlocked.

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Old 05-03-2010, 09:06 PM   #8
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Ground preparation for laying pavers


concretemasonry, can you expand a little bit on the specific base needs for 16 x 16 pavers? Thanks.
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Old 05-09-2010, 01:06 AM   #9
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Ground preparation for laying pavers


Road Base is crushed limestone around here and is 3/4" in size down to fines (dust).

When you use a vibrator compactor with water you will see air bubbling up

from the angular rocks sliding together upon compacting ( and expelling the trapped air).

Use plenty of water , you will know when your using to much.

Accepted minimum paver base thickness is 6" around here for sidewalks and

patios because of heavy clay soils. ( compact in layers).

Last edited by High Gear; 05-09-2010 at 11:49 AM.
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