Gardening and Landscaping

Subgrade Material for Paver Installation

With the numerous styles and types of pavers available today, it’s easy to incorporate them in a variety of hardscapes around your home. No paver setup will last, however, without the appropriate subgrade preparation. Pavers put on a bed of sand and gravelthat gives them their equilibrium. Using the proper subgrade material helps produce a long lasting paver patio or driveway.


Pavers remainder on a bed of gravel and sand that has to be firmly compacted. Compaction increases the load-bearing ability of the ground. It reduces changes in the ground caused by seasonal temperature changes. Compaction also keeps the surface level by preventing settlement of the ground. A plate compactor, which you are able to rent, helps to settle the subgrade material into place to provide a good base for your paver setup.


The soil at the base of the paver setup is the lowest degree of the subgrade. To offer a solid surface, the soil layer ought to be undisturbed soil. If you must add fill dirt, then you might have to add more gravel to offer extra support. To compact properly, the soil must not be too wet or dry. You can check for the proper moisture content by producing a tennis-ball-sized clump and dropping it from a height of 2 feet onto a flat surface. If the clump breaks into three or four pieces, it is just right. If it breaks into smaller bits, you have to add water into the ground before compacting it. A clump that does not break indicates you will need to allow the subsoil dry before compacting it.

Geotextile Fabric

This tier of subgrade material is discretionary. Its objective is to inhibit the growth of weeds and grass throughout the subgrade and involving the paver joints. A layer of geotextile fabric also functions to separate the subsoil from the gravel layer above it. This consequently increases the firmness of the gravel.


Crushed gravel provides the power required to encourage weight on pavers. The quantity of gravel necessary depends on the intention behind the hardscape. A driveway requires a heavier gravel base in relation to a sidewalk or patio does. Follow the recommendations of the paver manufacturer to put down the proper size and thickness of gravel. As you install the gravel layer, take care not to disturb the compacted soil and the cloth. A garden rake can help you spread the gravel into position. Once you’ve approximately 2 inches in place, compact it down. The rough edges of crushed gravel together as they are compacted, which makes a solid surface. Compacting the gravel base in a series of lifts makes the base more stable than if you attempt to compact the whole base at once.


The uppermost layer is a bed of coarse concrete bedding sand. This 1- to 1 1/2- inch layer provides the cushion for the pavers to rest on. Like the soil and gravel, the sand has to be compacted in place before you put the pavers on it. While the gravel lifts ought to be quite even, the bedding sand layer should be as flat as possible. As you set the pavers, you must make an effort not to disturb the sand any more than necessary.

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