cracked pavers while tampering


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Old 07-04-07, 07:18 AM
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cracked pavers while tampering

I finished installing a 13' X 24' brick paver patio. I laid 6" of base material (recycled concrete) tampered every 2" and 1" of torpedo sand which was screeded using 1" conduit. The pavers are 4" X 8" X 2" with spacers. (Bought at Menards) Everything went together nicely until I set the pavers with the vibrating tamper. I only did two passes and cracked 25 bricks. I didn't go any further until I can figure out avoid this. I know I can expect a few cracked pavers but 25 in just two passes is way too many. Did I miss a step or something? Also is the torpedo sand ok to sweep into the joints?

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Art
 
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Old 07-04-07, 08:10 AM
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I've never used a tamper for this job. I use water to compact everything. Put in the base, cover with sand, hose it down to settle it into all the voids, add more if needed, hose again, repeat until no more settling, install pavers, cover w/sand, broom into joints, hose off to settle sand into joints, repeat until joints accept no more sand. No cracked pavers and all well bedded.
 
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Old 07-04-07, 09:10 AM
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All the pavers are already in...about 1500 of them so unfortunatly that's not an option for me. I did wet down the sand during the screeding process. I didn't saturate it but lightly wet it down. I'm thinking of laying an old piece of carpet over the pavers and tampering over that.
 
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Old 07-04-07, 09:56 AM
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cracked pavers while tampering

That amount of cracking is entirely unacceptable.

Call Menards and find out if the pavers meet the specifications for solid interlocking paving units (ASTM C936) - They should be over 8000 psi. They should be able to supply you with a test report. Some retailers sell pavers that are made in non-dedicated plants that make other products. Where are you located?

When you to talk to Menards show photos of the cracking and provide information on the vibrator used.

Did the installation instructions come from Menards?

Here is a short summary of the standard installation method -
Pavers should be laid in a 4" - 6" layer of level compacted base. Then a 1" thick layer of sand (concrete sand) is used as a setting bed and leveled. After that, the pavers are set, edge restraints should be installed. Fine sand should then be spread over the pavers and vibrated to get the fine sand between the pavers to provide an interlock. For detailed installation and design specifications, look at the Interlocking Concrete Paving Institute (ICPI) site. I believe it is icpi.org. This is best site U.S. there is for paver information.

You should not "wash" sand into in paver joints since that method does not provide the interlock. I know of no reputable group that recommends this method. The sand for the joint filling has its own specification, but usually a mason's sand or a fine concrete sand is adequate.

A vibrating plate compactor is usually use to vibrate the joint sand in.

Dick
 
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Old 07-04-07, 10:58 AM
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I live in Chicago. I will have to check Menards for more specific information. They had a "how to" video & step by step directions right there where the pavers are displayed. I thought it said to vibrat/tamper the pavers before I cover them & sweep the sand in the joints. Are you saying that I should sweep the fine sand into the joints BEFORE I tamper the pavers? I started tampering the pavers right after I set them & installed the edging. Thanks for the quick response.

Art
 
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Old 07-04-07, 12:36 PM
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I do the following: 4-6" of 2A modfied stone, masons sand screeded out on conduit to a depth of 1", set the pavers, install the edging, get the sand on the pavers and then vibrate.

I usually use polymeric sand for the the final step since it helps keep weeds and bugs out of the pavers. But that add another process to the job.
 
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Old 07-04-07, 01:34 PM
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cracked pavers while tampering

Hellrazor -

That will certainly fly for a patio.

For something with heavier loads like a driveway, street, airport taxiway, etc., you should not use masons sand for the setting bed. All specifications for setting bed sand give size limits (gradations) and usually specifically say no masons sand for the setting bed. Masons sand does not drain as well.

For the joints sand, there is a different gradation. Masons sand will meet that and a very fine concrete sand may also qualify.

The specs say to screed (and not compact) the setting bed since the compacted base gives you the level you need for a uniform setting bed.

I have never seen polymeric sand on a real heavy duty paving job, but it is OK for a patio, even though weeds will germinate if you do not use the patio enough.

Dick
 
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Old 07-04-07, 09:27 PM
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I appreciate everyons imput, but I think we are getting away from the origional issue. The pavers are already set in the proper sand. (torpedo sand) The problem is the pavers cracking when tampered. Maybe I got a bad skid or something. Will placing masonite, plywood, or an old carpet over the pavers be ok to set them before I add the finer sand to the joints? Should I sweep sand into the joints before I tamper?

Thanks
Art
 
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Old 07-05-07, 09:09 AM
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cracked pavers while tampering

I would take a hard look at the quality of the pavers. If they are bad, other properties like durability could be affected.

You do not get just one bad skid. They are made in batches much larger than just one skid, so there may be more and the seller should know about it.

Were the pavers made by Menards or did they have someone elses pallet under them?

Dick
 
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Old 07-05-07, 10:17 AM
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Are they brick pavers (clay), they do not get compacted.
Paving stones (concrete) get compacted.

They appear to be clay brick pavers which are used for walks and patio's, they are harder than regular brick.
 
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Old 07-05-07, 11:04 AM
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cracked pavers while tampering

"They appear to be clay brick pavers which are used for walks and patio's, they are harder than regular brick."

Did I miss a photo somewhere? I assumed concrete because they normally have spacers cast into the edges.

Dick
 
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Old 07-05-07, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Concretemasonry View Post
Hellrazor -

That will certainly fly for a patio.

For something with heavier loads like a driveway, street, airport taxiway, etc., you should not use masons sand for the setting bed.
I never messed with pavers for a driveway. All the work I've done is with small to medium patios. As far as the masons sand, that's all the local paver place carries. Unless its not... but thats what the consistancy is. They carry one product and sell for pavers to concrete work.

As far as the base. My trick is 2 pieces of conduit and a 10' piece of strut to screed the excess. Not compacting the sand is essential. But you do read where people do this.

Polymeric sand can be nice but the extra steps are a PITA.
 
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Old 07-05-07, 07:49 PM
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Hi Dick

Im guessing their brick pavers and not paving stones (concrete). He mentions using brick pavers. I wonder if he even knows what he has.

Clay bricks will crack like that if you run a plate compactor on them. Ive been doing paving stones for over 20 years and I do not think I cracked that many (25) in all those years.

Hi agiffey1

How big is your plate compactor. I hope its not a jumpin jack tamper which will give those results.

Frank
 
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Old 07-05-07, 10:43 PM
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I would assume that they are concrete pavers since you can see the agregrate (pebles) in the pavers when cracked and they have spacers molded into the sides. I'd have to check the HP on the plate compactor but it's the same type everyone uses for this type of work. I used the same one to compact the gravel base when I poured my concrete driveway. It's not a jumping jack tamper. Yes, I probably should have gained more knowlege about the exact equipment & pavers I used. But the fact of the matter is there was a video loop playing on a monitor and complete directions right there with the pavers when I bought them. It didn't seem like rocket science. If you read my earlier posts you can see I did exactly what I was suppose to do right from the start. The bottom line appears that I got crap pavers. I am heading off to Menards Saturday with pictures of what they sold me and see what they have to say.
 
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Old 07-08-07, 03:12 PM
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Did you spread sand evenly on the pavers before you tamped them? I have never broken a single paver in all of the tens of thousands of Sq Ft laid (other than some small wedge shaped cut pieces).
 
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Old 07-09-07, 11:46 AM
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The problem is/was with the pavers. I ended up with 216 cracked pavers total. I returned the pavers to menards and went with another brand. I installed them over the weekend and aside from a few chipped corners, everything went great.

Art
 
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Old 07-09-07, 12:53 PM
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cracked pavers while tampering

Not surprising from a big box store.

I won't ask what brand failed, but what brand were you able to install without a problem?

You should be able to tell by the labeling on the shrink wrap. If they are just sitting on a pallet, you really do not know what brand they are.

Dick
 
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Old 07-09-07, 05:46 PM
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In the same situation, if you had come to me, I would be very leary of blaming the pavers. Done properly, you can use a plate compactor on handmade mexican clay brick pavers that test at 500-800 PSI and not break any.

Glad that it worked out for you though.
 
 

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