Dry laying on sand/gravel

Installation of porcelain pavers over a sand or gravel bed

Dry laying Archatrak porcelain pavers on a sand and gravel bed is recommended for applications such as landscape paving, large patios, courtyards, walkways and terraces subject to moderate levels of foot traffic.

A brief outline of the procedure for installation of our porcelain paving slabs on a gravel/sand bed follows.

  • Firstly 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.
  • 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.


dry laying of pavers