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Old 05-13-2011, 01:00 PM   #1
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Tips for screeding sand for patio


Some people may have seen a related post of mine in one of the other forums. I just out down a patio using 12"x12"x1-3/4" patio blocks. They look like porous concrete like cinder blocks. Well they aren't as collectively flat as I would like. I think it is because the sand was damp and clumping and I didn't get it packed well so it had "soft" spots that I think collapsed a little once dried or pressure was applied. I am looking for tips on getting the sand well prepared and flat. I have seen instructions that say to keep the sand dry ( which may be difficult this time of year) and a few sites say to moisten the sand and pack it well using a tamper. Anyone have experience and can tell me some pros and cons of each way and some tips?

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Old 05-13-2011, 03:13 PM   #2
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Tips for screeding sand for patio


Did you use substrate/gravel under the sand, or just dump sand on the ground?

If you did the latter, you'll have a heckuva hard time keeping pavers level. You need a firm base.

If you did the former, you should be able to pick up individual pavers, pour in some sand under it and level it, then replace the paver.

Either way, rent a vibrating packer plate. It can make your life a whole lot better.

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Old 05-13-2011, 03:20 PM   #3
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Tips for screeding sand for patio


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Originally Posted by DrHicks View Post
Did you use substrate/gravel under the sand, or just dump sand on the ground?

If you did the latter, you'll have a heckuva hard time keeping pavers level. You need a firm base.

If you did the former, you should be able to pick up individual pavers, pour in some sand under it and level it, then replace the paver.

Either way, rent a vibrating packer plate. It can make your life a whole lot better.
Yes I have a gravel base that I packed down using a hand tamper. These are the smaller bricks that can be picked up easier, they are nearly perfectly square and sit rather tightly packed and may require removing a whole row up to the one that is not quite level. There are enough unlevel that it is jsut better to pull them up and rescreed, so I am trying to figure out whether to do this with the sand damp or try to dry it out so it doesnt leave the sand "soft" and unpacked. I had another post recently in here about renting a plate compactor, and most of the people felt it would break the type of patio blocks I have since they are large and thin.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:47 PM   #4
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Tips for screeding sand for patio


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Yes I have a gravel base that I packed down using a hand tamper. These are the smaller bricks that can be picked up easier, they are nearly perfectly square and sit rather tightly packed and may require removing a whole row up to the one that is not quite level. There are enough unlevel that it is jsut better to pull them up and rescreed, so I am trying to figure out whether to do this with the sand damp or try to dry it out so it doesnt leave the sand "soft" and unpacked. I had another post recently in here about renting a plate compactor, and most of the people felt it would break the type of patio blocks I have since they are large and thin.
I just put down a patio using 4x8 Holland Pavers. Dumb as it sounds, I spent quite a bit of time tapping pavers with a rubber mallet. I'm not talking major shifts, but some tweaking. Worked pretty well.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:01 PM   #5
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Tips for screeding sand for patio


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Originally Posted by DrHicks View Post
I just put down a patio using 4x8 Holland Pavers. Dumb as it sounds, I spent quite a bit of time tapping pavers with a rubber mallet. I'm not talking major shifts, but some tweaking. Worked pretty well.
My plan right now is similar. I think I make some extra effort in compacting the sand before I put the block down, especially after I take out the "screeding rails" and fill back in, then hit it a bit with a rubber mallet. I also wonder what sort of flatness is reasonable, I can sometimes be a bit of a perfectionist and set expectations a bit high. Any other tips or tricks are appreciated.
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