Anyone can learn about Interlocking Stone Installation, but you wouldn't trust just anyone with your home. That's why DuraLock professionals are passionate about perfection. We're dedicated to ensuring that every stone is laid with precision and care. Here's how the process works:
The interlocking area is mapped out and leveled, with special note to any surrounding elements (such as fences, landscaping, sidewalks etc).
After ensuring that no utility lines will be affected in excavation, an area approximately 12" larger than the area to be paved is sectioned off. The slope of the paving is then directed away from the building in the direction of normal drainage.
All corners are formed at 90° angles using the 3-4-5 Triangle Method. From the corner stake, this triangle measures 3 feet across the base and 4 feet high. The diagonal line joining these two points should be exactly 5 feet.
For pedestrian traffic (i.e. walkways), a base of 4-6 inches of processed gravel is recommended. However, a total of 7-9 inches are excavated to allow for base material, sand and pavers in the layering.
For vehicular traffic (driveways) or around pools, a base of 6-8 inches of processed gravel is recommended. To achieve this, a total of 9-11 inches are excavated.
4. Base Installation
The surface is compacted with a plate compactor (or in small areas, a hand tamper). The area is then filled with a layer of 3/4" Minus Crushed Stone or aggregate, approximately 5 inches thick. The layer is compacted with the plate compactor (wetting the gravel lightly with water will help with the compacting).
When the surface can be walked on without causing indentation, the next layer is added and compacted. The gravel is added in 5-inch layers until the base reaches approximately 3 to 3-1/2 inches from the desired level of the finished grade.
Using a level, the surface is sloped for water drainage with a decline of 3/16 of an inch for every foot of pavement.
5. Restraint Installation
Edge restraints should always be used to prevent materials from moving. They may be PVC, aluminum, concrete or pressure-treated wood, though precast concrete curbs are optimal as they are easy to install, are very durable, and will accent paving stone. All corners are made to measure exactly 90° using the 3-4-5 Triangle Method once more.
6. Screening Bedding Sand
Before the stone is laid, a bed of sand must be prepared beneath it. Using a 1-inch marker (outdoor galvanized electrical conduit, strips of wood etc), markers are placed 6-8 feet apart down the area to be paved. The sand is hand-packed around the markers to hold them in place, and 1 inch of sand is spread between them until it is slightly higher than the markers themselves. A 2 x 4 inch board is then dragged across the top to smooth and level the surface. The markers are removed and their indentations filled with sand and troweled smooth. After screening, the sand should not be stepped on, compacted or dampened.
7. Laying Pavers (Stone)
Starting at a 90° corner, the stone is laid in the desired pattern, assembled outwards to keep all joint lines straight (with the help of string or chalk lines). Between stones, a 1/8-inch gap is left while the alignment of the rows is checked periodically.
If adjustments are necessary, small-scale tools are used to move individual stones into place. Work is built off of stones that have already been installed, and the edges are avoided so that the sand bed remains undisturbed. Remaining edge restraints are installed, and stones are cut (never turned) to fit along the edge restraints.
8. Cutting Pavers (Stone)
Stones are measured and marked for cutting with a marking crayon. A diamond blade wet saw, paver splitter, or a hammer and chisel may be used to cut the stone.
9. Compacting & Setting
The project surface is swept to remove any debris. Masonry sand is spread over the surface and swept into the joints, leaving surplus sand on the surface. The stone is then tapped down using the plate compactor, allowing the excess sand to cushion the stone and fill the joints. (This is repeated 2-3 more times at alternate angles to fill all gaps.)
Any excess sand is swept over the surface to fill the joints over the next few days as the sand settles and is compacted by rain.