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Paver patio with grass in between Sign In/Join 
posted
Hello everyone. I am putting in a patio that consists of 20 inch square concrete pavers with a seam of grass in between (three inch seem). I was recently told by a local contractor that I would not need to excavate down and use roadpack/ gravel under my sand base because the pavers have the three inch seem between them. He directed me to use only a layer of masonry sand. I live in Illinois and we have weather that ranges from severe cold to very hot. Is this information accurate in your opinion? If not, what does the application call for? Thanks for any advice.
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jun 15, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There are really two ways to do this and that contractor was kind of right. Not excavating and putting down a good base might mean these pavers would be subject to frost heave during the winter but that is the easiest way to do that.
If you do excavate and put down material meant to improve drainage and lessen the chance of frost heave then you can fill in the gaps between the pavers with a good soil and seed grass.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8111 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you are talking about the 2 inch thick pavers, be aware you are going to have to adjust them every year to keep them close to a level surface if that is what you are after. And you will need to mow this area and water it to keep the grass/weeds green between the pavers. The thicker interlocking butted pavers with gravel base and grit between, (vibrated down in place) do a much better job of being maintenance free especially in a freeze/thaw climate.
 
Posts: 9428 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Whether those pavers will need to be reset every year or not depends on many factors that have not been included in the original post. I have two areas where I laid 3 inch thick, 18 x 18 square blocks, that have not been frost heaved in 20 years in place, possibly because the soil under them is so well drained (sand).


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8111 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So Kimm Sr, you didn't use road pack in your installation? Just sand? How far down did you excavate? Thanks
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jun 15, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Loonie
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Itch, not to change your plans but you might reconsider growing grass in there and trust the seam to moss.
Moss has fewer problems for walkways than does grass.
 
Posts: 458 | Registered: Mar 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks. Moss is definitely something we have considered! Any particular type? It is a shady area.
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jun 15, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One place I put down a 2 inch layer of Lake Michigan beach sand, washed and screened, over my Lake Michigan beach sand, not washed and screened and the other I put the pavers down just on my sandy soil. Neither place has enough of a gap between pavers for grass to grow although it does anyway and every 3 or 4 years I have to pick up the pavers to clean out the dust and organic matter that does collect between those pavers and allows the grass and "weeds" to grow.
Neither place is moist enough for moss to grow, although there is some moss growing on a concrete sidewalk about 60 feet away, in full sun.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8111 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the reply!
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jun 15, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hello Itch, you initially asked if it was necessary to put gravel under the sand base for pavers. It is not an absolute necessity depending on the soil conditions under the sand layer. It is always a good idea to use a vibrating plate to compact the earth under the sand layer, as to give yourself the smoothest and most level starting grade. If the soil is very dense in Illinois, I would recommend laying down a layer of gravel that is 3/4" or smaller aggregate. This will allow the sand to bite into the gravel and allow for drainage. Drainage might not be an issue where you are located and with a 3 inch gap between pavers there will be adequate room for water to drain into. Water and sand do not mix. Spraying too much water on a paver patio can cause sand to collapse and wash away similar to a sinkhole. When installing pavers, our top layer of sand has polymers that, when sprayed lightly with water, activate to create adhesion and lock in the pavers. Good Luck Itch.
 
Posts: 3 | Location: Las Vegas, NV | Registered: Jun 24, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Spraying too much water on a paver patio can cause sand to collapse and wash away similar to a sinkhole

Maybe, maybe not. If there are moles, or other tunnelers that may well happen, but I have not seen that happen in my gardens here in my Lake Michigan Beach sand in over 40 years of working with it unless there was a tunnel under the soil.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8111 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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