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djg 04-07-2010 08:54 PM

I want to put in a sidewalk from my front steps to the driveway using reclaimed pavers. Originally I was just going to place the pavers in the ground after digging out only a couple of inches of dirt. But my ground is still settling and the mole activity doesn't help. I've had landscaping rocks disappear into the ground over time. If I were to do it right, I guess I would have to dig out the area more than a foot deep and then back-fill with some gravel, sand or rock. Lot of fill. I considered pouring a 4" thick concrete base on which to set the pavers. The concrete is free or only cost me a case of beer since it is excess material sent back to the plant for disposal. I'm not talking a lot, maybe half a yard. I would also dig out and pour a couple of 2' deep piers to keep the slab from settling also. I could use some of that masonry landscape caulking or a similar product to ad hear the pavers to the concrete. Or better still would be to set the bricks in a bed of mortar mix. With either method, I'm afraid in the winter I would have freezing and thawing in between the bricks causing them to crack. I don't think I would have this problem if I used a porous base (rock, etc). Any thoughts, options, or comments would be appreciated. Thanks

Nestor_Kelebay 04-08-2010 08:53 PM


Instead of pouring a concrete slab on which to set the pavers, what's commonly done in my area is to pour a concrete curb on each side of the sidewalk and then compacting a base of crushed limestone between the curbs. (This is done with a machine called a "plate compactor). The paving stones are then set on that base of compacted crushed limestone. Then sand is brushed over the paver surface. It falls into the cracks between pavers and wedges all the pavers together so that they don't move in service.

There are several benefits of using crushed limestone as a base. It compacts well and seems to solidify (and become harder) when it gets wet. Also, because it's quite alkaline, only the hardiest of weeds will ever grow in it.

djg 04-09-2010 02:41 AM

Thanks Nestor for responding. I see know my initial idea would have created more problems than I thought. Limestone it is. Thanks

handyguys 04-09-2010 01:31 PM

I would do one of the following
1) Do your pavers with proper installation or
2) concrete, properly installed.

Both will last a long time.

For your pavers, limestone or around here we use "crusher run". At leASt thats what the supplier calls it. Essentially its a compactible gravel, it has fines as well as course aggrigate. Its sold specificly for parer base.

I did a 45 foot by 4 foot curved walk.

I used 4" of the crusher run and one inch of sand.

4"+1"+2.5" brick = 7.5" of excavation. I went 7" because i wanted the surface a little bit proud of grade.

Basic Steps are
1-Excavate, 2-compact soil, 3-put in half of base material, 4-compact, 5-rest of base, 6-compact, 7-edge material, 8-sand, 9-pavers, 10-compact 10-sand between pavers, 11-compact. Some people may switch steps #7 and #9. (install edging after pavers are in place but before compaction of pavers) As you can see, renting a plate compactor is beneficial on all but the smallest of jobs. If this is a driveway you would use 6"-8" of base and compact in three or four layers.
Great instructions here
Grinnell Pavers - Pavingstone Installation Guide

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