Using a bit more sand with pavers than recommended

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Old 06-13-11, 06:15 AM
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Using a bit more sand with pavers than recommended

I am doing a patio of pavers that is about 600 square feet. This weekend I had it excavated and the exavator went WAY too deep. So, after my initial 8 yards of RCA base was used up I needed another load of 6 more yards.

I finished spreading, leveling and compacting and was still a little short. So, it looks like in some spots I may want to use more than the one inch of sand that is recommended for setting the pavers in. Is it a problem if the sand is deeper - maybe two inches. It would be around the perimiter as this is where the RCA tapers off.

Im not sure if there is more of likeliness for the pavers to sink if the sand is too deep.

Should/can the sand be mixed with portland to strengthen it around the perimiter where the sand may be deeper? In fact, should the sand be mixed with portland all throughout - doesnt this just strengthen everything?

Any help would be appreciated. Im hoping that the only answer isnt to get another yard or two of RCA because then I need to get the load dumped, rent the tamper again, and lose another day. I did the base this weekend and will lay the pavers next weekend, then will do my cuts the following Saturday.
 
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Old 06-13-11, 07:11 AM
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What you do not want is a varying thickness of the uncompacted layer since the thicker sections will compact/settle more than the areas with a thinner layer of loose material giving you low spots in your finished patio. If you think that the 1" thick layer of sand will compact/settle 1/4" then a 2" thick section will probably settle about 1/2"...

The best thing would be to get more base material and properly compact it. Depending on how much you need to fill in you could get by with sand, stone dust/screening and compact it just like you would with the base material. The key though is the compaction of the base layers regardless of the material. If it's a small enough area you could hand tamp it otherwise the vibrating plate compactor probably has to come back.

With a properly compacted base and uniform thickness sand layer I've never had trouble with settling or movement of the pavers so I can't say that adding cement would be any better. I think the biggest problem is if you use cement the clock starts ticking the minute you start mixing in the cement because of the moisture in the sand. I don't know if this has any relevance but I have used mortar (no sand) to stabilize clean stone/gravel areas when I have to dig right next to it and don't want the stones to flow into the excavation. With the stones dry I sprinkle on a thin layer of mortar and vibrate/tamp the area to get the dust to settle down into the stones. I keep repeating until I think there is enough in the stones the I wet the area with repeated gentle mists to slowly soak the mortar without washing it away. Once it hardens the stones are stuck together. It's not as strong as concrete but it does prevent the gravel from shifting.
 
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Old 06-13-11, 08:14 AM
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I don't understand how you can say your base is level yet you have spots where there is an inch deficit in the base
 
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Old 06-13-11, 11:55 AM
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mitch17, when I said "finished spreading, leveling and compacting" I meant the process of doing it - not that I did it well enough. what happened is that I was about a yard short so around the perimeter it tapers down - but I dont want my pavers to taper down so I dont want to follow that contour. As far as water runoff, the base is fine, though. I just dont want my pavers to taper lower in these areas as well since that is not my intended slope.
 
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Old 06-13-11, 01:19 PM
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As Dane said, you want an even amount of sand, which means the contour of the compacted base should be parallel to how you want the pavers. In your case, I believe you need more base material.
 
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Old 06-13-11, 03:12 PM
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By the way rmathome I feel your pain about the overdig. I was running the excavator for my last project without a spotter and ended up going way too deep and unfortunately I had to put it all by by hand. I could use the loader to bring material within 10 feet of the close edge but it was the old fashioned shovel and walking from there. I had about 15 yards of fill to replace the hard way. Funny how things like that really cement in my mind the importance of periodically getting off the equipment and measuring. Yea, it's 5 minutes now but if it saves 4 hours later it's well worth it.
 
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