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base material for concrete paved walkway


What You Need to Know about Paver Base Material

September 7, 2016

When talking about outdoor paved area, such as driveway, patio, walkway, and some others, there are so many topics we can also talk about, including the one we are going to discuss a bit here, which is paver base material.

For those who have knowledge about constructing exterior paved area or even have the ability to do the construction on their own, certainly the material is not a strange thing. On the contrary, for those who know nothing about all those everything could be different.

What about you? Do you know about what paver base material is? If you have not known quite much about that and have interest in knowing further, here is the information you need to read related to the base material and some other related topic like paver base installation.

What Is Paver Base Material?

paved patio area - paver base material


First of all, let us talk about what actually the material is. In simple words, the material can be explained as something basically needed to build paver base for outdoor area no matter whether it is a walkway, a patio, or a driveway.

Just like the name attached to it, the material is usually installed under the pavers in order to support its construction and create an even and flat paved surface. So in other words, it can simply be called as material needed to build the foundation of paved area.

The Main Types of Material You Can Find Nowadays

crushed limestone as example of base material


The fact you need to know first is; there are so many choices of materials available right now for paver base. However, those materials can mainly be differentiated into two, which are base material and sand material.

Base material is installed under the pavers and is usually not visible from outside since the pavers will block its look. Although so, this non-visible base holds a very important role, especially in making the construction stronger, stable, and more durable without forgetting the fact that strength and durability also depend on the types of material chosen.

crushed concrete for paver base


The base material is commonly made of crushed stones or concrete. For the crushed stones, there are some choices available to pick, including gravel and limestone.

sand base for concrete pavers


On the other hand, even sand material is also a part of the paver base it can sometimes still be seen from the surface of the paving.

This may also be the reason why aesthetic value is often considered when choosing sand material for paver base. The purpose it to make sure that the sand has matching look with the paving that is about to be installed in the outdoor paved area.

Therefore, if by any chance there is a type of pavers you love to pick, no matter whether it is brick, concrete, stone, or any other, you need to consider about the sand base if really want the paved area to look totally beautiful at the end of the construction process.

For instance, you can combine concrete pavers with black or grey sand material in order to create a modern and contemporary look on the outdoor paved area.

As for the type, of course not all sand types are suitable to use in building paved area. Fine-grained sand is mentioned to be a suitable one.

Even though, sand type with too subtle characteristic is considered a bad choice, especially for the pavement surface, since this can possibly create damages to the construction.

Where Can You Find the Material?

find paver base material


Now that you got about basics information related to paver base material, you need to know where to find the material before starting the construction.

At this point of time, certainly there is no need for you to put too much effort in finding all materials you need in order to build the paving base you want for the exterior of your residence. You do not also need to hunt for the stones and sand in the wild just because you need those materials.

This type of material is available in many building material stores, including the ones located in your neighborhood. The thing you need to do then is finding the right store where you can obtain the material needed to build the base.

This can be even better if you also provide time to compare a store to another in relation to the materials for paver base they provide. The purpose is not only about finding the right material but also to find the right store offering a better price to pay. This way, you can spend less money without reducing the quality of base material itself.

The Right Ways to Install the Material for Quality Paving

example of paver base layers


When you already know about the basics of the base material, it is time for you to know something even more complex. It is none other but the proper installation of the base materials.

Knowing about this is not only about knowledge but is also about how you can save a lot of cash later since you will gain the ability to install the base materials and build the paved area without any help from local building and constructing service.

In order to be able to install the materials mentioned earlier rightly when building paved area, the most important thing you need to study is nothing else but the base layers to follow on the installation of pavers and base materials.

Yes, in building paved surface you will need several types of materials at once and you will make layers from those.

Layering of base material for paver can be various. The simplest type of layering most people know consists of two layers only. The first layer located below is none other but the flat-surfaced ground prepared for the outdoor paved area. The second one is the surface on which pavers are placed and then bonded by using sand.

Even it is totally fine for you to use the simplest layering technique told previously, you need to know that better layering consists of five layers, as usually found in public paved areas, may result to a better quality and, of course, more durable paved area.

Those layers include; subgrade, sub-base, base course, paver base, and lastly pavers plus sand.

preparing subgrade for outdoor patio


Subgrade is the lowest layer. It is nothing else but the native material on the location where you are about to build the paved area. Even it is the original material still it needs to be compacted first in order to increase the durability and quality of the construction later.

The next layer above subgrade is named sub-base. This layer is commonly needed if the final pavement will be function as vehicle traffic. Thus, the materials used in this layer can be either unbound granular or cement bound.

The quality of this layer must be good because of its important function that is to make the above and below layer stay at fix and stable position.

The next layer above sub-base is known as base course. This layer is, in accordance with the sub-base layer, function especially for the road or ground which function as the vehicle traffic and it is good actually for the paving which is used as the floor of garage at home.

This layer consists of, normally, any kind of construction aggregate around 4 to 6 inches of thickness range.

The layer above the base course is the paver base that is the layer which consists of coarse sand or construction aggregate. However, the construction aggregate used here is more subtle than the one used in the base course, which means the thickness range is way smaller.

arranging pavers above the base layers


The last but not least is the surface layer. Here is where pavers are located and bonded by using sand. The type of sand use if is commonly even more subtle, such as fine-grained sand. As told earlier, the sand used here can possibly have better and more aesthetic look so the final result of the pavement construction will be more decorative.

When the paved area you are about to build is only a residential paved area like patio, outdoor porch, and so on, you do not always need to follow the five layering technique since this may be too complicated and, obviously, will cost you a lot more cash. However, if you think cost is not a problem, considering it may end to a better result.

Things You Must Do in Installing the Base Material

installing paver base material


The last but not least stuff you need to know in relation to paver base material as well as the installation of pavers and its base is nothing else but the things you must and must not do during the installation, including also the preparation. For the things you must do, these are really simple as a matter of fact.

Here, you only need to take your time in creating the paver base construction since this is the key of best grade pavement you will get in the end of the process.

You should not do everything in a rush since time is needed to think about the right amount of base materials needed, calculation of size of the paved area, distance between one paver to another, and some other related stuff.

When you take your time, everything will be more accurate. You will also be avoided from getting bad quality or even sloppy pavement that will only upset you after going through the long installation process.

Whenever you feel unsure about the calculation of everything needed in the installation process, you must not hesitate to consult a more professional party, such as local dealer for paving materials or even local paving constructing service provider.

Things You Must Not Do in Installing the Base Material

compacting base material before pavers are placed on it


When there is only one main thing you must do in preparing and installing the base materials for pavement, especially residential pavement, there are several things you must not do on the contrary. The first one is that you must not do is guessing about the amount of base material required in the installation.

In this case you cannot really guess, especially when the ground surface is not really flat or even worse it is sloppy. The best solution to choose is consulting about the case to local dealer since they surely know better about it.

Planning for the pavement construction, perhaps you think about a related matter; weed growth. This may make you consider about placing plastic under the paving application so you can prevent the growth of weeds in the future.

If you take this decision, you should know that you factually take the wrong decision. Placing plastic under the application of pavers is something you must not do because it will only entrap water under pavers and cause problem that is way more serious than weed growth.

Instead of doing so, it would be better to consider good quality polymeric sand on the pavement surface in order to prevent weeds from growing.

Next, you really need to know about the right type of sand to use for the paver bedding. Here you may think that using the finest grained sand would be great. As a matter of fact, it is not really a good choice.

sand added to pavement surface layer


Choosing finest grained sand material, such as limestone or stone dust screenings, is not suggested. The reason is because this type of material has too much dust. The dust will only entrap water in the construction and will easily create failure.

In a glance, it seems the failure will only result to bad-looking pavement. However, the cause is even worse because damages may be resulted too. It means you will need to prepare more cash in the near future if you want all damaged to be fixed.

Besides, it also means you will need to prepare more time and energy to redo the installation process, which may include re-leveling the whole paved area.

By remembering all things you must do in the pavers and base installation, hopefully you will not only be able to do the installation on your own. Instead, you will also be able to make sure that the paved area you are about to create will definitely be good or even excellent in quality.

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