Do i need gravel and sand under pavers?

Gravel provides a flexible base that absorbs soil tension to prevent frost from building up. While some people install sandless pavers, they do so at their own risk. Placing pavers without a gravel base or other small stabilizing materials means that the bricks will sink and move over time. When bricks move or sink, they create an uneven surface that poses a risk of tripping.

Yes, you need sand to place the pavers. Sand is easier to level and creates a stronger base than gravel. You don't need 2 layers on top of the gravel, but you need enough to get to the base level. Concrete sand, also known as bed sand, is coarse-grained and does not trap excess moisture below the pavement surface.

For best results, use a dense-grade stone aggregate and concrete sand that meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials. After laying the gravel, you'll need to spread a soft layer of concrete sand so that the pavers settle and stay. Because sand has many degrees of fineness and roughness, not all types are suitable for use as a cobblestone base. As detailed above, the best cobblestone base is a crushed stone subbase processed in a quarry and a washed concrete sand base.

The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute recommends washed concrete sand as the best base sand for pavers. The stability of crushed stone, together with the spreading capacity of sand, form a manageable and durable base duo. Bed sand helps stones sit firmly on the base and stay in place; it also serves as a leveling layer to compensate for any small discrepancy between the gravel base and the manufactured product. Use a garden hose with a sprayer to moisten the gravel and let it settle in the soil.

Use the other side of the garden rake, so that the spikes point upwards, to smooth the top of the sand without altering much of the gravel.

Debbie Eagon
Debbie Eagon

Beer scholar. Award-winning internet ninja. Wannabe coffee trailblazer. Proud zombie specialist. Proud social media expert.

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