Interlocking concrete pavers do not require any mortar or concrete to install — they are simply installed over a compacted, crushed-rock base topped with one inch of sand. An edge-restraint of concrete, wood, or pvc plastic edging is used around the perimeter of the installation to keep the pavers in place. After the pavers are laid on the sand, they are usually vibrated with a plate compactor (available from most local rental yards) to begin the locking process. Sand is then brushed into the spaces between the pavers and a final pass is made with the plate compactor.
This means of installation results in a “flexible” paving system that is not subject to the cracking frequently seen in poured concrete. Many areas of California have expansive soils that swell when wet and shrink as they dry. This type of soil wreaks havoc with traditional paving methods as evidenced by the numerous visible cracks often seen in poured concrete driveways and patios. In contrast, the concrete pavers are able to accomodate this natural soil movement.
For a detailed discussion of proper installation techniques, please review the Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute’s technical note here:
Our sales office has a wealth of additional installation information available upon request. Please contact our sales office if we can assist you with your project.