STEP 1 • Excavation of the Patio Area
- Total excavation depth will be determined by adding the following elements depths: Geo-fabric, compacted bedding sand’s final height (1/2 in), Gator Base (3/4 in), and patio stone height (1.5 in). Total excavation width should be 6 inches (15 cm) wider on each side than the final paved area to allow room for the edge restraints. This excavation can be done using a shovel. Prior to excavating, check with local utility services to ensure digging does not damage underground pipes or wires.
STEP 2 • Leveling and compacting of the sub-grade
- Once excavation is completed, level the excavated area using a rake or shovel. Ensure a slope of at least 1 degree away from any structure, such as a house.
- The native soil needs to be prepared and compacted, using a hand tamper or plate compactor. Tampers are available to purchase/rent from Home Depot, or your nearest too rental facility. This area should be as smooth as possible to get rid of high or low spots. Using a string level (stakes and a string line), tie the string to the stakes to establish level according to which the final slope will be measured (minimum of 1 degree to the desired final paver level). Once the final level is achieved, proceed to step 3.
STEP 3 • Addition of Geo-Fabric, leveling and compacting bedding sand
- Lay down the geo-fabric and cover the complete excavated area
- Spread an even layer of sand to a depth of 3/4 in (19 mm) over the geo-fabric. Using a straight board, level the bedding sand. Using a hand compactor and/or plate compactor, compact the 3/4 in (19 mm) of bedding sand until you obtain a final height of 1?2 in (13 mm) of compacted bedding sand, that should reflect the final paved surface.
STEP 4 • Installation of the Gator Base
- Start laying the Gator Base units according to a staggered pattern while ensuring locking of the tongue & groove system. This will guarantee the panels’ stability when the slabs are laid down. Make sure to install the Gator Base on the extended excavated area (the extra 6 in wider than the final paved area). Trim any visible curves or protruding angles using a utility knife.
STEP 5 • Installation of pavers and Gator Edge
- Lay the patio stones directly onto the Gator Base according to the selected pattern. Use a rubber mallet to adjust the pavers as needed. Make sure the Gator base is 6 in (15 cm) wider on each side than the paved surface. Install Snap Edge on the exposed edges of the Gator Base, making sure it rests firmly against the patio stones. Four 10 inch nails should be driven into every piece of edging, to maximize lateral support of the Snap Edge.
For more details on installing Gator Base, click here