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LANDSCAPE DESIGN SERIES: Paver Integrity


In our last blog of this series we discussed how Ancient Rome set the foundation for modern paver installation 2000 years ago. Of course, with the ability to mine and filter raw materials along with equipment that can measure compaction, we’ve been able fine tune techniques and tailor the installation of pavers to meet all sorts of applications.


Like during Ancient Rome, today the integrity and longevity of a paver surface depends on the quality of the base materials installed along with the workmanship of the installer. In a residential setting, there are four main types of paver bases; dense grade, hybrid or open grade, permeable, and synthetic.


Often people wonder and argue about which is the best base technique to use. On this argument I like to quote my favorite industry expert Paver Pete. His answer is always "Well, it depends…” and it really does depend on a lot of things.


Soil type, freeze/thaw cycle, drainage, site access for moving equipment, under ground springs, bedrock, and slope -just to name a few. Even with the most experienced contractors, it’s not uncommon to start excavating a site intending to use one base technique and the decide to switch to another. The big emphasis here is making sure the team hired knows when the switch is needed and how to execute it.


In residential settings, open base or hybrid base is becoming more and more popular due the increased efficiency of using clean stone verse the traditional base materials used in a dense grade. Not mention, as more and more green communities spring up, permeable base techniques are also on the rise.


Last, but not least, we can't forget to mention that synthetic bases are also growing in popularity too. Alliances’s Gator Base has been making an impact in the industry for over 10 years. It is a fantastic tool to use in areas where heavy machinery can’t access the site. Although it may look like a simple foam board, the technology is actually based on roadway construction techniques from Sweden that have successfully been around for decades!


One of our core values here at Living Spaces is curiosity and we choose that value specifically because of all the new and exciting techniques that are developing in the landscaping industry.


If you missed out on part 1, click here to read about the introduction to pavers and see what materials have stood the method of time!



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