Patio installation

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  #1  
Old 08-18-06, 12:22 PM
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Patio installation

Hi,

Have two questions regarding redo a patio.

1. Lots of people suggest to use sand on top of the base. We went to the landscaping store and just see something called "blend" that are bigger pieces than sand. What's the best material under the paver patio and on top of the base stone?

2. Is landscaping fabic necessary in order to block the weed?


Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 08-18-06, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Patio installation

Do not use "blend" whatever it is. Use concrete sand. Use a 1" thickness (no more) on top of the base as a settingleveling bed for pavers.

After stting the pavers, sprinkle with sand and vibrate into the tight joints and then sweep the surface clean.

You do not need fabric. Weeds come from seeds that may lay in or on the joints and then take root. Weeds do not come from below. Spray the patio once a year to kill anyweeds that may germinate.

Dick
 
  #3  
Old 08-18-06, 07:02 PM
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Thanks, Concretemasonry!

But where can I purchase concret sand you talked about? I only saw different kind of base stone and blend at the landscaping store. Do I need to look for other places?

Thanks!
 
  #4  
Old 08-18-06, 08:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Patio installation

You can get concrete sand anywhere they sell sand and gravel for construction. It is the same stuff that concrete companies use when making concrete. Some local areas and businesses may have adopted their own names for materials, but concrete sand is the actual name in the specifications used by construction materials companies.

If you need extra sand for covering and vibrating, you could use what is referred to as "masons sand", the same sand used by bricklayers for making mortar. It is actually a little finer than the concrete sand and works very well for this purpose. A different material that concrete sand is not really necessary, but can be convenient in smaller quantities since it can be found in bags at many outlets.

Dick
 
  #5  
Old 08-19-06, 04:06 PM
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Fabric.

I used fabric to separate the hard fill from the soil, and keep the drainage path away from the house. The stuff is so cheap, I didn't really worry if it was necessary.

You will get plenty of weeds between the cracks; consider planting 'stepables' between the stones to keep them out.
 
  #6  
Old 08-19-06, 04:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Patio installation

Plantings are fine for a flagstone/stepping stone application where you have large gaps and want to hold the fill in place.

If you have a tight paving stone patio or driveway, never introduce vegitation. The onlt exception is for "Grasspavers" where a portion of a grid carries the load (up to truck-sized) and there are cavities to permit water infiltarion and vegetation growth.

Dick
 
  #7  
Old 08-22-06, 06:52 AM
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Thanks!

We just found out that under the existing patio paver is a thick layer (maybe 5 to 6 inches) of sand. I can't tell whether it is concret sand. Is there anyway I can tell?

Can we reuse these sand again over the filling stone?

For the fabric question, a lot of patio installation instruction mentioned to use fabric under the base stone. what's the adventage, disadvantage of not using it?
 
  #8  
Old 08-22-06, 08:26 PM
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That's what I did.

Why? Because 'they' told me to. I don't think anyone gave me a reason.

I think that I reasoned that the fabric would keep the soil from rising up and clogging the spaces in the fill that the water should drain through.

I knew there is some disagreement as to whether it is necessary, but no-one could give me a reason to NOT do it, so I decided it was worth the very minor cost.
 
  #9  
Old 08-22-06, 08:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Patio installation

There is no real disadvantage to using fabric except the trouble and cost.

If you have a good compacted base material, you do not have to worry about the migration of fines into the sand or the migration of the sand into the fines.

If you have a poor base (fine grained, uncompacted, etc.) a filter can help.

If you are building a patio, you can get away with a lesser quality base because of the casual use and loads. If you are building a driveway, street or airport taxiway, you better have an appropriate base material, thicknes and compaction.

Dick
 
  #10  
Old 08-28-06, 05:46 AM
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Thank you for the comments.

For my second question, can I reuse the sand that are under the existing patio? There are a thick layer of them, about 5 to 7 inches! But I don't see any base stones (maybe I should dig more). Is this the reason why the patio is not leveled anymore?
 
  #11  
Old 08-31-06, 05:58 PM
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Time and weather? Poor packing?

I let my patio base sit over three seasons, including the winter [I'm in New England], and I still chose to dry set it, so that when the pavers started to heave I could just lift them, re-scree, and re-set them on the right slope.
 
  #12  
Old 08-31-06, 07:06 PM
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I regret all the times I tilled beds and kissed the sun and never installed landscaping cloth in rentals, but I had more time and $$ to commit to combat weeds in the past. My last adventure at my most recent rental because I have $0 cash flow is an example. I dug & tilled with my little hand trowel and sifted every bit that looked like a bit of plant life when I did this in early spring and planted annuals and perrenials. I am embarrassed about after dark results/

I am in an out of town and in and out of my rental long past dark. Daylight observations are an embarrassment to a Master Gardner who never used landscaping cloth. But, hey, I live in a rental and never get home until after dark.

You ask questions about sand? Is this suppose to be a soil amendment? (This is not usually recommended.) If you have questions about soil test, soil type, amendments, appropriate plant species or turf for your area, you need to befriend you local Cooperative Extension Agent. If the number is not evident in you local phone book, contact your local Dept of Agriculture.

I had lunch today with our local Cooperative Extension Agent and I approached her about the need for the average homeowner about turf and other issues.

If installing patio and turf and weed invasion is an issue, landscape material as a weed barrier is important. If not using concrete grout between patio pavers (such as sand) you will need to use nonselective herbicide regularly).
 
  #13  
Old 08-31-06, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Patio installation

bigsoldier -

I will attempt to answer your original questions.

Since you are interested in building a patio, the use of sand as a soil ammendment is unimportant since that is for gardeners and people that like to talk to county agents.

The sand you have can probably be used as a base. A patio is not subjected to heavy loads and does not require over-engineering. The important thing is to have a solid base, not have organic material (anything dark, not ammended or organic looking), provide drainage and try to restrain the edges somewhat so the gaps between stones cannot grow and permit rocking.

Use a fabric if you choose (minor $'s), but since weed seeds come from above, spray it a couple of times a year. You never did mention grout so the question of grout is confusing and immaterial especially since it was like another answer preceeded by a meaningless "If".

Dick
 
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