September 21st, 2016
There is a specific type of gravel that works best for paver base. When installed correctly, this type of gravel turns into hard surface similar to concrete. Most DIY installations don’t use this type of gravel. I’m guessing because they just don’t know about it. In my guide, I’ll share with you the exact gravel that we use for all of our paver installations. Gravel is named by numbers at the quarry. However, these numbers are different from one quarry to the next. I’ll share with you exactly what to ask for to make sure you’re getting the right stuff. Once you have the right gravel, you’ll have to know how to install it. However, before you install and compact the gravel base, you’ll have to compact the soil that you’re going to put your gravel base on to. Without doing this step, you’re patio could quickly settle more than 1/2″ in 90 days or less. Most DIY guides do not mention how to compact the soil. I’ll share with you a trick to compact the soil using a little bit of your gravel base and a plate compactor. Now that your soil, aka subgrade, is solid and compacted, you’ll need to begin installing your paver base. You’ll need to rent a vibratory plate compactor to properly install the paver base. Without it, your pavers could easily settle more than 1/2″ in 30 days or less. Every tool rental store across america rents these for about $50 per day. In my guide, I’ll show you how to properly use the plate compactor to achieve the best results. We recommend that a typical paver patio base be 6″ thick or deep. However, most plate compactors can’t compact 6″ at a time. I’ll share with you exactly how often you need to compact and also a trick to make sure that every inch of your patio has received proper compaction. I’m sure if you’ve been doing some research on how to install pavers, you probably already were aware that you had to compact the gravel base. However, 9 out of 10 DIY paver patio installations don’t do this crucial step during the installation of the paver base. In order to achieve near complete compaction (if not your pavers will settle), you paver base must have the correct moisture content. This means that you must add water to the base during compaction. Water lubricates the particles in your gravel base making it easier for the gravel to consolidate and become compact. Adding to much water and you may have to remove all your gravel and start over. I’ll share with you an easy trick to know when your paver base has the proper amount of water in it to achieve optimum compaction.