Compacting Pavers

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Old 09-14-12, 05:34 AM
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Compacting Pavers

After you finish laying the pavers on a bed of sand, you are supposed to run a compactor over them...

What do you do in the smaller areas where a compactor won't fit? Use a hand tamper?
 
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Old 09-14-12, 08:45 AM
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If you are using the common interlocking concrete pavers (about 4"x8" in different shapes and either 60mm or 80 mm thick) the normal recommendations are to set the pavers over a 1" uncompacted sand setting bed and then spread a thin layer of mason's sand over the pavers and vibrate with a plate compactor to even out the surface and get the sand from the surface into the tight joints, which creates an interlock for strength and stability that is aided by proper edge restraints. Then, sweep the area clean. - This is classic method that has been used for decades.

Usually, a vibrating plate compactor will fit into most areas and can be run over the edge restraints if necessary.

The vibration is not done to compact the pavers since the base is already compacted. The vibration is done to even the surface and to vibrate sand into to joints and crate interlock and stability.

If you are using larger pavers or precast concrete stepping stones, the properties are highly variable, since there are usually no established standards and methods.

Dick
 
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Old 09-14-12, 09:56 AM
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Thanks for the reply...

The method you describe is the one I have used on this and previous projects.

The unique problem I have on this project is I have several areas that are about 32" x 60" bordered by walls and steps (they form a connecting walkway from one patio to another). In these small connecting "areas" there are also round ~12" foundation footers sticking up from an overhead deck. It's kind a tight walkway, but fits the design layout of what I need.

Anyway, I plan to use a compactor as you describe in the larger areas. However, manuevering a compactor in these small areas will be near to impossible... plus will be very difficult to lift it into the area in the first place.

I'm am looking for suggestions and ideas. My thoughts were to tamp lightly with a hand tamper... or, maybe vibrate with my random orbital sander (with NO paper).... or both. Thoughts? Ideas?

Thanks,
Steve
 
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Old 09-14-12, 12:01 PM
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I use a hand tamper in the areas where the plate compactor can not reach. When it's too tight even for a hand tamper I'll use a rubber mallet.

It's funny how a few minutes driving a hand tamper can really make you appreciate power tools.
 
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Old 09-14-12, 12:32 PM
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For a tough to fit into situation, a short section of a 2x4 on the flat with a heavy hammer also does a good job of spreading the impact load out and evening out the surface for smaller areas. You do not need a lot of force and let the vibration do the work for you.

Dick
 
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Old 09-14-12, 03:13 PM
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Thanks for the tips guys... I'll try it tomorrow.

I tried the sander idea... and didn't work. Needs a lot more vibration that what it put out.
 
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