An Introduction to Interlocking Pavers

The 1st segmental roadways were built through the Minoans about 5,000 years ago. The Romans built the 1st segmental interstate system, that was over the current U.S. interstate highway system. Most would agree that paving stones produce an "Old World" beauty and charm, but the strength and longevity of interlocking pavers is often overlooked in North America. This information will explain the basics of interlocking pavers, and it will address common misconceptions about pavers.

You should recognize that a paving stone installation is definitely an engineered system; pavers are only an integral part of this system. The parts of the paving stone installation, through the bottom up, are: compacted sub-grade (or soil layer), Geotextile fabric, compacted aggregate base, bedding sand, edge restraint, pavers, and joint sand. Unlike cast set up concrete, interlocking pavers are a flexible pavement. It's this flexibility which allows point load coming from a truck or car tire being transferred and distributed over the base layer to the sub-grade. When the stress has reached the sub-grade, the stress has become spread over the large area, and the sub-grade will not deform.

Concrete, however, is a rigid pavement. Its function is actually to bridge soft spots inside the soil. Poured concrete will crack and break due to loads, shrinkage, soil expansion, and frost heaving in the sub-grade. Concrete is probably the most essential materials in construction, but poured available concrete constitutes a poor paving surface. The reason is , its relative lack of ability to flex and it is low tensile strength. Fiber reinforcement and rebar can increase the tensile strength of concrete, but cracking and breaking are inevitable.


Modular paving stones are normally created from hardened precast concrete or kiln-fired clay. Properly installed pavers are interlocked, so a large quanity one paver is spread among several pavers and ultimately transferred from the first layer. Factors affecting interlock are paver thickness, paver shape, paver size, joint widths, laying pattern, and edge restraint. Most paver manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty when many are installed by a professional. Piece of rock like Flagstone and Bluestone just isn't suitable for flexible paving, and they are typically mortar-set on a concrete slab. Because interlocking pavers are put together with sand (instead of mortar), they could be uplifted and replaced inexpensively. For example pavers may be uplifted to access underground utilities and reinstated when tasks are complete.
Paving system designs provide variables which include soil make-up, anticipated load stress, climate, water table, and rainfall. The materials employed for aggregate base and bedding sand vary geographically. Soils that are full of clay and loam are unsuitable for compaction and can't be utilized for base material; in these cases a graded crushed stone is substituted. Proper compaction in the sub-grade and base material is important to the long-term performance of an paving system, along with vehicular applications the compacted base depth may be over One foot. The edges of a paver installation has to be restrained to ensure interlock and prevent lateral creep. The most frequent types of edge restraint are staked-in plastic edge restraint, precast concrete curb, and cast-in-place concrete. Bedding sand materials include angular sand, manufactured sand, and polymeric sand.

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