Installation steps include job planning, layout, excavating and compacting the soil sub-grade, applying geotextiles (if necessary), spreading and compacting sub-base, constructing edge restraints, placing and screening the bedding sand, and placing granite mesh pavers in a vast array of patterns and designs.
10 easy steps for Do-it-Yourself Installation of Granite Mesh Paver patios, driveways & pool decks.
Step 1 Planning. Start with a good level Measure and draw a diagram of the area you want to pave, noting any existing structures such as buildings, fences and other paved areas. Hardscape.com can help you determine the best stones and the proper amount of supplies you need.
Step 2 Preparing. Contact your local utility companies before you begin excavation. Stake out an area approximately 12 larger than the area to be paved. Plan to slope the paving away from the buildings in the direction of normal drainage. Make sure that you have 90º corners at your starting point. You can do this by using the 3-4-5 triangle method. From the corner stake measure 3' across the base and 4' up the side. The diagonal line joining these two points should be 5'. If it is not, adjust the 4' side until the diagonal is exactly 5'.
Step 3 Excavating. Where there is only pedestrian traffic, a base of 4"-6" of processed gravel is recommended. To achieve this, excavate 7"-9" to allow for base material, sand and granite pavers. Where there will be vehicular traffic or around pools a base of 6"-8" of processed gravel is recommended. To achieve this, excavate 9"-11" deep. Make sure to excavate 12" beyond the area you plan to pave.
Step 4 Installing the Base. Compact the surface of the excavated soil with a plate compactor (you can rent these). In small areas a hand tamper may be sufficient. Fill the area with 3/4" minus crushed stone or aggregate approximately 5" thick. Compact this with the plate compactor. Wetting the gravel lightly with water will help with the compacting. When you can walk on the gravel without causing an indentation you can add the next layer of gravel and compact it. Continue to add gravel in layers until the base is approximately 3" to 3-1/2" from the desired level of the finished grade. Make sure to slope the surface for water drainage. The slope should be 1/8" per foot. Install a level line across the area using a line level. On the stake that is at the end you want to slope towards, move the line down 1/8" for every foot of pavement. For example, if your pavement will be 8' long, move the string down 1". Measure the distance from the line to the base. The distance should be equal all along the line. For example, if your pavement will be 8' long, move the string down 1". Measure the distance from the line to the base. The distance should be equal all along the line.
Step 5 Installing the Restraints. Edge restraints should always be used to prevent the granite mesh pavers from spreading. You can use various types of stones, hardscape.com offers various types of granite edge restraints to complement your project.
Step 6. Bedding Sand. Before you can lay the granite mesh pavers, a bed of sand must be prepared. You will need to mix fine sand or sugar sand with Portland cement on a ration of 3 to 1 (3 parts sand and 1 50lbs bag of cement).
Make sure the sand bed is dry and all elevations and slopes for drainage are correct, do not compact the bedding sand, you must only achieve the proper grading of the bedding sand.
Step 7 Layering Granite Mesh Pavers. Start laying the granite mesh pavers in the pattern you have chosen. Work outwards keeping all joint lines straight. Use string lines pulled along joint lines and parallel to the edge restraints or, chalk lines snapped on the surface of the sand bed to keep the joint lines straight. Each paver should touch the string. Work off the granite mesh pavers you have already installed but stay away from the edge so you do not disturb the sand bed. Install remaining edge restraints. Do not try to turn the pavers with curves in your laying pattern. Cut pavers to fit along the edge restraints. After all granite mesh pavers have been installed you must sprinkle water on top of them to activate the cement mix on the base that will prevent the granite mesh paver from moving.
Step 8 Cutting Pavers. Measure and mark the granite mesh pavers to be cut with a marking crayon. A diamond blade wet saw should be used to cut the granite mesh pavers. Always wear safety glasses. If possible, keep edge stones to one half paver.
Step 9 Compacting & Setting. Sweep the surface to remove any debris, Spread a mix of 3 to 1 masonry sand with Portland cement over the surface, sweeping it into the joints leaving surplus sand on the pavers. Tamp the pavers down using the plate compactor. The excess sand on the pavers will cushion the surface and the vibration will assist in filling the joints.
Step 10 Finishing. Sweep the remaining excess dry sand over the surface filling the joints, sprinkle water on top of the pavers in order to secure the dry mix cement that was swept on the granite mesh pavers, this will be your grout mix for the granite mesh pavers.