Monthly Archives: February 2013

Why you should use polymeric joint sand

Paving stone installation standards set by the industry have improved dramatically, especially over the last 10 years or so. One of the major components to the improvement is because of the advancement in polymeric joint sand abilities and varieties.

Years ago, polymeric joint sand was more of a niche feature, still with it’s kinks, and to a customer with a more strict budget, often not an option.  Instead, play-box sand, concrete sand or limestone dust were used as a filler for the joints in paving stones. While they served the purpose of filling the joints, these options were temporary at best as they’re prone to being washed out through rain and wind, as well as insect penetration.  As the material would leave the joints, it allowed dirt to take it’s place, which in turn would eventually allow for weeds to spring up, push the stones apart with their root growth and ultimately lead to a terrible looking surface that required unwanted maintenance or repair.

Polymeric sand today has become the only real viable and intelligent option for someone looking to spend their money right the first time. It’s price point has improved, and so has it’s durability. There are various types that are created with the width of joints in mind for the different paving stone styles. The activation of the sand itself has become much easier with less room for error. There are also different colour options so that you can match your stone colour, or contrast it if you choose.

As far as the fundamental benefits compared to the previous joint fillers, it’s a no-brainer. You will not see polymeric sand wash away with winds or rain. This is because when you activate the sand by applying the proper amount of water the first time, it quickly hardens up acting more like grout, while maintaining the appearance of regular sand. This hardening gives additional strength throughout the paved area, and still allows for flexibility during freeze/thaw cycles.  It’s also makes anthills in the middle of your patio a thing of the past due to the difficulty insects have penetrating the hardened sand. Additionally, because there is little to no loss of the sand over time, weeds become a rare occurrence, and can be quickly disposed of with periodic sweeping of the paved area.

If you’re considering a paving stone feature, I strongly urge you to spend the little bit of extra money and get a polymeric sand. The return on the investment will be absolutely worth it

– Rick Dickerson

The Paving Stone Advantage

A common decision homeowners need to make when choosing to have a new walkway, driveway, or patio installed, is whether use poured concrete or interlocking paving stones for their project. Outlined here are a few of the major advantages in using interlocking paving stones as opposed to poured concrete.

Flexibility with Design Changes – Once you begin the concrete pouring process, there’s no turning back, unless you are prepared for some major demolition and the extra expenses along with it. With Interlocking paving stones, it’s very simple to add or expand on an area, change a curve to a straight line, create a step up or down, add/remove different colored pavers, or just about any other alterations you might decide on as the work progresses. You can also make these alterations at anytime, whether it’s next week, next month, or next year. This gives you more say in your ultimate design at less expense, and guarantees you achieve the look you want when it’s finished.

Improved Property Drainage – Concrete pads are not permeable to water, meaning water that would normally filter through the area now has to move to another location, which can often be problematic. Because paving stone projects are segmented, water is able to run, drain and be absorbed evenly across their span, between each paver. This helps prevent water from pooling in grass areas, planting beds or other locations.

Immediate Usage – Poured concrete may take 3-5 days to cure and before this time traffic is not permittable. Pavers require no time to cure, meaning you get to use your patio, driveway, or walkway as soon as construction ends without worry.

Strength & Savings – Most paving stones are rated at 8000psi, which is almost 4x’s stronger than poured concrete, and allow for better weight distribution for the received traffic. A concrete driveway will inevitably crack due to ground shift and freeze/thaw cycles, creating a broken, unattractive appearance and a potential tripping hazard that will not go away without extensive repairs. Pavers will move with the shifting ground, either resettling back in their proper placement, or simply require more aggregate installed to return it to it’s original level. This is substantially cheaper than repairing broken pads of poured concrete, and provides better, longer lasting results. The ability for paving stones to quickly adapt to our extremes in climate make them the stand out choice for your project.

Aesthetic appeal – A well designed, properly installed paving stone driveway or patio can be a cosmetic treat from the surrounding homes that use the standard and often bland look of poured concrete pads. This increases property value, curb appeal and often gives a unique flare that can set you apart from the pack. Combining pavers of different colours can also do wonders to compliment the appearance of your house and its surrounding layout.