Any successful installation of paving brick starts with a solid understanding of the proper installation process. At Reboy Supply, we understand this and we work hard to help you with your project. From how - to advise to approved contractors we have the desire and knowledge to serve you.
There are two types of installations; vehicle traffic and non-vehicle traffic. The installation process is very similar for both types. We will cover both in these instructions. You will first need to understand the materials and amounts needed before work can begin. Paving brick is installed in layers.
Before you put a shovel into the ground, you should check for underground utilities. You must excavate a minimum of 6 inches. Excavate 1 foot when possible, beyond the finished edge of your brick area on all sides that do not butt up against hard surfaces, such as; asphalt, concrete, or foundations. This is done to allow for the edge restraint to be installed later. When digging, do not dig deeper than necessary. Your goal is to leave the sub-base untouched. If you do disturb the sub-base, run a plate tamper over it before filling with the stone. Your excavation depth will depend on what type of paving brick project you are building. For non-vehicle surfaces, allow 4 inches for the stone base, 1 inch for the sand bed, 2 3/8 inches for your pavers that equals 7 3/8 inches deep. Your sand bed will compress about 1/4 to 5/16 inches after compaction so you will want to dig about 7 1/4 inches deep.
Place the crusher run stone and compact in layers no more than 4 inches deep. The stone base is the layer that determines the contour and slope of the paving brick surface. You do not use the sand bed to determine the grade or slope. The sand bed and pavers will follow the contour that you create in the base. If your base stone surface has valleys and high spots, these will show up later in the brick surface. Allow 1/8 to 1/4 inch slope per foot for drainage. Make sure that you compact the stone base thoroughly, paying special attention to the outside edges. A poorly compacted base will allow the pavers to move and settle. Do not rush through the base installation. This is the foundation of your paving brick surface and the time spent here will reward you with a quality installation.
The bedding sand gets screeded in a layer 1 inch deep. To achieve this, use two pipes that measure 1 inch in outside diameter. I like to use black iron pipe for this, it is rigid and inexpensive to buy at your local hardware store. Lay the two pipes parallel to each other and place bedding sand across them, then pull a straight 2 x 4 across the top of the pipes. You do not need to screed the whole paver area before placing bricks, you can screed in sections. It is best to keep the moisture in the sand by covering your sand pile with a tarp or plastic sheeting when it is delivered to you. If your sand dries out, you can spray it with a garden hose to remoisten it. The bedding sand will get compacted in the last step of installation. Do not walk on the sand bed. After you have screeded across the pipes, lift the pipes out of the sand bed and fill in the groove left by the pipes and smooth over with a cement trowel. Make sure to screed out beyond the finish edge of where the brick will end.
Stretch a mason line or snap a chalk line in the sand bed to start from. Place the pavers along this starting line in the pattern that you choose. Set the pavers on the sand, but don't hammer them into place. There should be a slight gap between the pavers. As you work, stay on top of the pavers, not on the sand. Every 2 or 3 feet, set a string line and check both line and alignment as you go. Use a rubber mallet or dead-blow hammer to adjust the alignment. When you can't place a paver because it needs to be cut, leave it out, only place full pavers for now. After placing all the pavers make the cuts and place them. Now inspect the entire surface for chipped or defective pavers and replace any that you find. Check your lines and adjust using your mallet or a large screw driver.
Use a square point shovel or cement trowel to cut down along the outside edge of the pavers down to the stone base and pull away the excess sand away from the pavers. Being careful not to cut into the stone base. After you have removed the excess sand, place the edge restraint up against the pavers, right on top of the stone base. Drive the anchor pins in 1 foot apart for non-vehicle surfaces and 6 to 8 inches apart for vehicle traffic.
There are two methods to compacting and sanding that you can use. The first one is to spread dry joint sand over the surface and sweep in to fill the joints. Then run the plate compactor over the paver surface first in one direction then perpendicular to the first one. Run the plate tamper over the surface until you have filled the brick joints completely to the top. Wet sand will not vibrate into the joints so make sure the brick surface is dry before attempting to place sand. The other method is to run the plate tamper over the surface before sanding the joints. After running the plate tamper over the surface in two directions, sweep the joint sand into the joints. Run the plate tamper over the surface again. I like to use this method because it does a better job of leveling the brick surface and I also feel it does a better job of locking up the pavers. When you are done compacting, sweep off the excess sand, I like to leave a little sand on the surface to let Mother Nature work in any places that I have missed. You can also mist the surface with a light spray from your garden hose. The goal is to completely fill the sand joints to the top, this is important to the strength of the project and to keeping your brick joints weed free. After the first winter you will find the the sand joints have settled, all you have to do is sweep in more joint sand to fill them back up to the top.
Inspect the surface for bricks that might have been chipped or cracked in the compacting step. If you find any, replace with good ones and re-sand. Back-fill over the edge restraint with soil or mulch. The last thing to do now is sit back and admire your work.