For landscape paving, large patios, courtyards, walkways and terraces subject to moderate levels of foot traffic, dry laying on a sand and gravel bed is typically the preferred installation method for porcelain pavers. Learn how to install Archatrak Porcelain Pavers on sand or gravel beds with our installation guidelines.
First ensure there is a min. 2° slope for drainage which must be directed away from any building.
After defining the area to be excavated, mark the perimeter using wooden or steel marker posts connected by a string. Note that the excavated area should be extended on all sides by approx. 6”-8” to ensure stability at the outer edges of the paved area.
Remove the soil inside the marked area using a shovel or excavator. The depth of excavation will depend on several factors including the anticipated loading, the drainage capacity of the soil and the soil conditions in general.
Using a rake or shovel, level the excavated area and ensure there is at least 2% slope for good drainage. Compact the soil with a vibro compactor.
A restraining perimeter wall should be installed prior to laying the gravel/sand bed unless it is in direct contact with a footpath, wall or an existing edge that is sufficiently rigid. The perimeter wall should be fixed to the ground with mechanical fixing devices or constructed as a solid barrier using poured concrete.
Place a sheet of geotextile fabric on top of the compacted soil to prevent the soil from mixing with the gravel. Fill the excavated area with ¾” stone screenings to a thickness of 8” – 12”, depending on the planned loading.
Add a further layer of 3/8” gravel to a thickness between 4”- 8”. Compact the two layers and then level ensuring there is a slope of approx. 2%.
Place a sheet of geotextile fabric on top of the compacted gravel to prevent the gravel from mixing with the sand.
Fill the area with sand to a thickness of between ¾” and 2” and compact with a vibro compactor.
Level the surface by sliding a wood or steel board placed on two parallel runners across the entire area, again ensuring there is a slope of approx. 2%.
Taking care not to disturb the sand bed, lay the paving slabs using 3/16” min. spacers. Preferably use spacers which have a flat base as shown below.
Carefully tap the pavers with a rubber mallet to ensure they are not rocking on the sand bed and that they are level with each other.