Sand for dry set brick pavers


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Old 07-18-06, 12:07 PM
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Sand for dry set brick pavers

Hello, I've searched for the answer to this question but haven't found it.

I am in the process of building a brick paver patio, approx 12'x20' in size. I am at the stage where I need to bring in the sand, so far I have compacted road base and landscape fabric in place, and barrier edging going in. I've ordered 4x8x2" brick pavers which will be delivered Friday.

The place that delivered the road base has "coarse paver" sand available, that is their suggestion when I asked for masons sand. They said it's similar but is not as finely screened and will have some larger particles up to 1/4" in size.

Would this material be suitable for my sand under the pavers or should I keep looking for something better? Another option is to get a pallet of 50lb bags of paver sand delivered with the brick. If it is suitable, is it also suitable for placing on top of the pavers after install to be vibrated in with the compactor, or will the larger grit damage the pavers?

Thanks for your help, this board looks like it has a lot of good info.

Steve
 
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Old 07-18-06, 12:20 PM
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That sand is what you want for under the pavers, but a finer sand is prefered on top. I use concrete sand under, masonry sand over.
 
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Old 07-18-06, 12:27 PM
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Sand for dry set brick pavers

The type of sand depends on the type of pavers used. Narrower joints require finer sand (it all must be clean sand).

Interlocking concrete pavers are thicker ( 2 3/8" to 4") and can carry very heavy loads if necessary. This system uses sand as a structural element to fill the tight joints, so it should be finer. If you are using this type of paver, I could find or steer you to the ASTM standard that is used. For a patio, 60 mm (2 3/8") units are usually used.

Clay pavers usually do not carry the same heavy loads and the gradation of the sand is not as critical, and coarser sand is usually acceptable, depending on the installation method.

Most pavers used are concrete, but the sand suppliers usually just lump all into the same class and are really not aware of the different gradation requirements.

The best thing to do is to check with your paver supplier to see what sand is recommended for the installation method (procedure, joint width, etc.) you are using. Because you are building a patio, the sand type is not as critical as it would be for an airport.

Dick
 
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Old 07-18-06, 02:38 PM
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Thanks for the help.

I went to the yard and actually got a sample of what they recommend, it looks like it'll work just fine. I'm probably overthinking this and yes it's not a runway but a mere patio. Just want to do it right the first time and not cut corners or use the wrong materials.

I'm using 4x8x2 true pavers, non interlocking.

http://interstatebrick.paccoast.com/default.jsp?InstRegionProdLineID=65&ProductID=364

The pavers are mfg. by Interstate Brick... in their online literature they suggest ASTM C33 sand for bedding sand. I called them directly (their plant is <1 mile away from my desk) and the rep suggested masons sand for bedding. Sounds like he was a bit off.

Seems like there's a lot of opinions and more than one way to skin this cat... a guy at the gravel yard that claimed to have knowledge of building paver patios said it's not a good idea to use a plate compactor after setting the bricks. Yet many sources (like here) say it's a good idea. I'll just try to stick with the consensus majority opinion (if there is one) and hope for the best.

Thanks again!

Steve
 
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Old 07-18-06, 03:16 PM
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Sand for dry set brick pavers

The ASTM C33 standard is a very broad standard for the quality of sand. It contains many different finenesses of aggregate from rock to sand. It mainly has to do with soundness, purity and durability and allows a wide range of gradations. Some people like to quote ASTM to impress others.

The local rep may be correct if you are not using wide joints. Interstate is a good producer of clay products.

Apparently your man at the gravel yard has a knowledge of the local practices with the local materials installed.

The plate vibrator is required for high strength paver pavement and is normally used for all interlocking concrete pavements. The vibration of the sand increases the stength of the pavement, but could injure the surface of a clay paver.

Dick
 
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Old 07-18-06, 07:35 PM
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Those are non-chamfered clay pavers and are designed to be mortar set. Doing them with a sand set is workable, but it will be difficult to get them perfectly flat and aligned. If it were me, I would lay them with a 1/4" joint and use stabilized sand from the top, concrete sand at the bottom, no tamper.
 
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Old 07-18-06, 08:29 PM
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Bedding sand should be washed, well graded, angular, concrete
sand conforming to ASTM C33 with a 3/16 in. maximum
aggregate size
That is Interstate Brick's recommendation, didn't realize that the ASTM spec was not specific to that size, I'm not familiar with the spec.

For best
results, “true pavers” should be used for flexible
pavements. These brick are designed to be installed
without mortar joints. The 4 x 8 true paver is the most
versatile and allows for the largest variety of patterns.
That's from Interstate Brick's website and seems to contradict Tscarborough's post. Oh well. Like I mentioned earlier I often get contradicting information, but I'm just planning on going with the majority consensus.

Thanks for the info everyone.

Steve

EDIT: Why no quote? Meh, I'm going to bed, it's late.
 

Last edited by outback; 07-18-06 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 07-19-06, 04:00 AM
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Do they have "spacers" molded on the sides?
 
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Old 07-19-06, 08:50 AM
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No, no spacers, just six (mostly) flat surfaces on the bricks.

Sand was delivered this morning, my wife says in her estimation they brought about 2x what we ordered, at least I won't run short!

Steve
 
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Old 07-19-06, 04:00 PM
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With non-chamfered, non-spacered clay brick, you will have 2 issues:

1) You will have a hard time keeping your joints consistant. With pavers that have spacers, you slam them in place and go. Without, you will have to spend some time with a screwdriver getting consistant joints and straight lines.

2) With no chamfer, the levelness of your sand bed is critical, and any deviations are very noticable and will cause edge chipping.

Interstate brick can say what thay want about those being suitable for sand bedding, but I notice that on their website, they only show that paver laid with a mortar joint. These are clay pavers made to be laid in a sand bed:

http://www.wgpaver.com/products.htm

I am not trying to discourage you or dissuade you, just alerting you to what you need to watch out for when you lay them.
 
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Old 07-20-06, 08:02 AM
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Tscarborough:

I appreciate your input and will definitely take the information into consideration as we install.

For *my* project I believe that following the manufacturer's recommended procedures and recommended use of their product will work out fine. This is a low traffic patio area and will not have heavy loads rolling across it. I have seen numerous photos online of this type of brick placed without mortar joints, and have also seen it in person at my wife's workplace.

We will try to be very consistent in leveling the sand bed and placing the pavers, I look forward to completing the project and enjoying our patio.

Steve
 
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Old 07-20-06, 09:46 AM
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Like I said, I wasn't trying to rain on your parade, they will work fine.
 
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Old 07-20-06, 11:25 AM
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No problem, I sincerely appreciate your advice, both in the original question posted and subsequent ones that have come up.

Through this discussion and the questions that have come up I have learned a lot more about pavers than I knew before. If I were installing these things on a regular basis and time were more critical I can definitely see the advantage of molded "spacers" on the sides for a dry set patio. Likewise I now see why chamfered edges would be advantageous in certain applications.

Thanks again, in the unlikely event that anyone reading this is fascinated, I'll follow up with some results later.

Steve
 
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Old 07-27-06, 11:21 PM
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So outback, it's one week later, any updates on your project?

Just like yourself I'm also in the process of doing my first paver project. I wanted to do something smaller like a walkway instead of a patio. One week ago I excavated the area to a reasonable depth, dealing with this clay soil when it's dry is not an easy task. My luck it started to rain the next day so I couldn't continue with the project, and it rained on and off for a week with nore rain predicted in the following days.

I bought all my supplies from HomeDepot, Pavestone pavers, sand (I can't remember with kind) base gravel, pavers, retainers and spikes for pavers. Everything sitting in my driveway, just waiting for a few sunny days in a row.
 
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Old 07-28-06, 05:51 AM
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Sand for dry set brick pavers

Candiman -

Pavestone is one of the largest manufacturers of CONCRETE pavers in the U.S. It sounds like you have INTERLOCKING CONCRETE PAVERS and not CLAY pavers. The recommended methods of installation are slightly different.

When installed, CONCRETE pavers have a much higher pavement strength than CLAY due to the materials and installation methods.

If I recall correctly, Pavestone has a very good instructions, so follow them and not suggestions for clay pavers.

Check out to see what type you have before starting.

Dick
 
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Old 07-28-06, 03:45 PM
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Here's a few pics of my project

The walkway use to go straight from the driveway to the front of the house


I broke up the concrete at both ends of the walkway, in front of the door and by the driveway


I then dug out those section to a decent depth.

The front door
 
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Old 07-28-06, 03:47 PM
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At the driveway I choose to break it off into a Y-pattern instead of straight to the driveway like it use to be.



All my material is here waiting for me


The sand they suggested to sue is a medium coarse sand. I just need a weekend without no rain so I could attempt to lay them. My luck with tomorrow being Saturday there's a 50% chance of rain.
 
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Old 07-28-06, 07:44 PM
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Sand for dry set brick pavers

From your photos, I see you have interlocking concrete pavers with cast spacers. The term "interlocking" does not necessarily refer the the shape of the individual paver. It refers to a paver designed for a system where the combination of laying pattern and the joint filler sand that is vibrated into the joints to produce a solid mat of material the distribute the loads to the compacted base. The thin (1") setting bed is not structural, but provides a smooth setting base.

Most specification show two different gradations or sizes of sands to use when laying pavers. On is a "bedding" sand for the 1" cushion. The specification for this is ASTM C33 and it is also refered to as concrete sand. The second is " a "joint" sand meeting the requirements of ASTM C144 to spread and vibrate between the pavers with a plate vibrator. This is usually referred to a masons sand.

If you look at the specifications of the two sands you will see that they are almost identical and most (80%) sands that meet one specification wil meet the other specification also.

According to the experts that live and eat pavers, the one thing to avoid for the setting bed and the joints is the use of limestone screening or stone dust. The sand can be either natural or manufactured from crushed rock, but cannot contain the fines found in the screenings or dust.

For a patio, it is adequate to use just one type of sand for convenience. If you were to build an airport runway or heavy duty ship unloading facility, you would have to be very careful about the sand and minimize the excess fines.

Your projects look good and I am sure they will come out well.

Dick
 
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Old 07-28-06, 08:03 PM
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Bare with me on this next question, remember I'm a novice.

Could portland cement or decomposed granite be used instead of sand to fill in between the pavers, used with a power compactor. The reason I ask becasue I'm looking to prevent weed seedlings from settling in between the pavers. Weed blocker fabric prevents weeds from growing up, but what about the seedlings that's blown around through the air.

Thanks
Novice
 
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Old 07-29-06, 07:02 AM
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Sand for dry set brick pavers

What you propose is against every qualified recommendation or suggestion. It would serve no practical purpose. There is a place for cement, but this is not it. The specifications are clear about the sand being only natural or manufactured from crushed rock and cannot contain screenings or dust. Granted, this is not a major project, but why not do it correctly.

Portland cement would develop no strength and would open you up to light stains on the surface of your dark pavers.

A little weed killer could take care of the occasional weed.

If you insist on using it, I have a perfectly good square wheel (used very little in the last few centuries) that I will sell you.

Dick
 
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Old 05-16-09, 04:31 PM
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white vinegar

To keep the weeds down, you could also pour white vinegar into the joints. One gallon covers my walkway, is very inexpensive, and has always worked well for me. I just used it Friday night and all the weeds growing the cracks were brown and shrivelled by this morning.
 
 

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