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KUIPORNG 09-11-2007 02:12 PM

interlocking at the back yard
I finally got all my gear ready to start digging.... my first step has to find the shape of the area I want to interlock.... I found books and usually other set them up as rectangular shape or rectangular shape with round corner... I wonder is this a reason for that or I can go with free style, like curve shape from one end to the other end .. the area I want to interlock is about 30' x 16'.... do I just build a boring rectangle 30'x16' or I can do a curve edge... is there post and con or there isn't any....

concretemasonry 09-11-2007 02:47 PM

I assume you are talking about interlocking concrete pavers.

Any patio shape is possible. Curves are more costly in terms of planning, layout, waste and labor of sawing or splitting units. They also take more skill and time.

Rectangular patios are the easiest and have the least waste if you are dealing with rectangular and semi-rectangular units. Curved and fish-scale units will have the most waste. Random patterns can actually have more waste.

Curved patios are more costly. Depending on the curvature, you may be limited in the type of edging you can use. You can cut or split the pavers as you lay them. I have seen contractors lay the pavers first, mark them and free-hand cut the outline with a gas powered saw. - Takes skill.

For rectangular and semi-rectangular pavers, herringbone is probably the strongest and most stable pattern. Stacked and running bond is not as stable.

Cobblestone and fish-scale patterns are weaker if you have high loads (driveway, etc.). They have variable, wider joints that can lose sand.

Make sure you have a good compacted (plate compactor) base (4"-6") that is sloped to the grade you desire. Put in a uniform 1" sand setting bed (concrete sand - not compacted) on the sloped base. Lay pavers and install edge restraints. Spread fine or masons sand and vibrate with a plate compactor. Sweep off excess sand.


KUIPORNG 09-11-2007 02:56 PM

Considering this is my first time... so looks like curving is not a wise choice for me then... my wife is going to be sad...

After searching the web... no kidding...cutting paver is not like cutting tiles... so I guess I just use the shape to make me cut almost nothing instead... need to go back home to read that book again see how to achieve that...

KUIPORNG 09-12-2007 10:21 AM

Going to stick with curve shape
After reviewing the book, I want to go back to curve shape... want to build somthing that we like... going to use random pattern and better quality stones.. as I am going to spend my own effort on it... why not make it the best way we like it...

Can I use the cheap table wet marble cutting saw I already have to cut concrete pavers? the saw blade is kind of spinning quite slow as I used it to cut marble and it works perfect ... would it work for pavers?

I hope I don't need to spend $$ to purchase/rent a stone wet saw... but if I have to I will...

I am getting excited about this project... find the feeling I had for the basement back....... looks like found one of the meanings in life..... wonder what can I do when I am too old and cannot do no more renovation...

concretemasonry 09-12-2007 10:39 AM

What is "the book"? There are good books and bad books and all are written just to sell them and make a buck.

Random patterns can be difficult, especially without experience. Even though they appear random, there are recurring patterns of paver groups that should be followed just as with tile.

Why do you think you have to saw cut the pavers? - Especially with a radom pattern and/or rumbled, tumbled, rounded or non-square pavers. You can buy or rent a hand splitter.

Splitting pavers has been used for centuries and can be done while laying, eliminating the running back and forth to a saw.

KUIPORNG 09-12-2007 10:44 AM

What I meant reandom is use a few fixed sized stones to lay them random... I know even random pattern requires planning as you don't want to move the rock around at the field... I am thinking about asking a site who infact design the pattern for you if you provide them the area and how many different size and its dimension....

the book I borrow from library is "Outdoor Living, the Ultimate Project Guide" by a number of authors... but it has those color pictures and detail steps make it very easy to understand.... find the link

I know also there are different ways to cut stones... but looks like wet saw is the easiest... but I may be wrong... whatever... I am determine to give it a try....

this is the site I found:

concretemasonry 09-12-2007 01:01 PM

interlocking at the back yard
The U.K site you found is very good technically. Europe is many years ahead of the U.S. in paving technology. Just a hint - many of the practices are based on tradition and are geared for local habits, preferences and materials.

If you go out and try to buy selected sizes of pavers to create your random patterns, you may have problems finding what you want. Usually, pavers are manufactured in groups of about 1 square meter that already have the proper proportions of sizes and shapes. The selection is probably limited in the U.S.

In many countries, pavers are laid in increments of 1 square meter by machine, so there are usually more patterns available, especially if you are trying to change colors at the same time. There are few large uses (roads, airport taxiways, industrial facilities) of pavers in the U.S.

Deal with a recognized paver sales outlet that sells pavers meeting the ASTM standards (and can prove it). Avoid using some of the larger sizes that are just colored stepping stones and do not have the strength or durability. There are outlets (and one large retailer) that make pavers and similar products and do not meet the strict standards and offer them off as acceptable.

The Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute (ICPI) has a very good site for applications and technical information. The National Concrete Masonry Association ( also also has some good information.

KUIPORNG 09-12-2007 02:53 PM

Thanks a lot of spending time to explan.... I will start the digging first... once I get that going... like many other projects... idea may change depends on availability or change of mind..etc.... but the digging part is unavoidable......strangely, I even looking forward to do the digging which suppose to be boring and hardship.

KUIPORNG 09-13-2007 12:31 PM

What is the best way to reuse the grasses coming off
I start digging... one dilema: I imagine I will set up some flower bed along one wall which is a bit below grade (so perfect for flower bed)... so I am thinking whatever I dig up I dump them along that wall for top soils... this seems work but what about those grasses... can I dump them there as the first layer then soil on top of them....

Would this work? Or I need to put the grasses to other dump site in order to setup flower bed there? or should I lay a layer of fabric on top of the grasses before dumpping real soil on top of it...

please advice....

this process is going slow but fun, and it can be a family event(another reason not to subcontract out) what I did so far is cleaning up the site (moving a large playset from one location to another) and did a bit digging...

concretemasonry 09-13-2007 04:28 PM

interlocking at the back yard
Whatever you dig up from the yard, not matter what you call it - dirt, soil, grasses, etc., is not suitable to go under your pavers. It is waste and you get rid of it where you can. - That is a gardening and landscape problem.

You also do not put fabric under the pavers either.

The compacted base for the pavers should be what is used locally under asphalt, concrete and garages. This should be compacted.

KUIPORNG 09-14-2007 08:24 AM

not for under pavers ...

Originally Posted by concretemasonry (Post 62828)
Whatever you dig up from the yard, not matter what you call it - dirt, soil, grasses, etc., is not suitable to go under your pavers. It is waste and you get rid of it where you can. - That is a gardening and landscape problem.

You also do not put fabric under the pavers either.

The compacted base for the pavers should be what is used locally under asphalt, concrete and garages. This should be compacted.

I meant use the soil/grasses mixtures to paint flowers along the edge of a wall ... not put it under any pavers....

ok I got some info from somewhere else... the advice is to dig up the grasses on the flower bed location first to make the grasses all dead over there... then I can start dumping thing over there just ensure all grassses be dry dead by the sun... this sounds logical and that is what I am going to do...

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