Benefits of Porcelain Pavers
Porcelain has multiple benefits over what other pavement surfaces offer. It is scratch resistant so any chair legs or any object dragged over it will not leave scratch marks that cannot be fixed on a typical pavement surface. It resists fading unlike many other pavement surfaces that are affected by UV rays and will fade over time losing their vibrant colour. It is also stain resistant which you cannot get with another pavement surface unless you seal it and continue to keep up with sealing that pavement surface. In addition to all of this, there is a wide variety of porcelain textures and surfaces to choose from including those that mimic the look of natural stone all the way to the look of wood.
The installation of a porcelain project is similar to that of a typical paver project as you will see below.
Cross-Section of a Porcelain Project
Compacting the subsoil ensures we are building on top of a firm foundation that will not settle.1 of 6
Geotextile separates the subsoil from the base material so that there is no contamination between the two and to provide stabilization especially when paired with geogrid.2 of 6
We install and compact 6″ to 8″ of 3/4″ angular crushed clean stone for our base material. This stone has no fines in it allowing water to move freely through the system without being held thus preventing freeze-thaw cycles.3 of 6
On top of the base material is a bedding layer that does not exceed 1.5″ to level the base material and allow the pavers to be set into the base material.4 of 6
A jointing compound is installed in between the pavers to apply vertical interlock to the system.5 of 6
Pavers are laid on top of the bedding layer and later compacted into the bedding layer along with the jointing compound to lock the system in place.6 of 6
After the excavation, we compact the subsoil so that we are building our base on a foundation that is not going to settle.
Geotextile is laid to separate the subsoil from the base material to ensure no contamination and reinforce the base material. Geogrid is also used to help stabilize our base material.
The base material is installed and compacted. The depth depends on the project. For patios and walkways we install a 6″ to 8″ base and for driveways we install a 12″ to 14″ base.
The bedding layer is screeded at no greater than 1.5″. This allows us to lay our pavers on a finer grade material than the base material.
Pavers are laid on the bedding layer and a vibratory compactor is used to seat them into the bedding layer.
A jointing compound is installed to ensure vertical interlock. A vibratory compactor helps consolidate the material to the bottom of the joint.
How We Install a Porcelain Project
Step #1: Preparation
Our procedure commences by conducting a comprehensive property survey, examining the suitability of placing pavers on the existing terrain. We assess the need for a retaining wall or raised patio to create a practical space if required. After this evaluation, we outline the specified area to determine the elevation of the patio or walkway in relation to the current ground level.
Step #2: Excavation
The depth of our excavation is dictated by the benchmarks established during our preparatory stage. We compute the excavation depth by summing the height of the porcelain, the bedding layer, and the appropriate base depth for the project. We underscore the significance of maintaining a consistent excavation depth that aligns with the intended slope for the patio’s top surface, ensuring effective water drainage away from the foundation.
Step #3: Base Preparation
The initial step in preparing the base involves compacting the subsoil, placing geotextile fabric, and layering appropriate aggregate materials in accordance with the selected installation method. If desired, the incorporation of geogrid may also be contemplated during this stage. Following this, a one-inch screed layer is applied to establish a level surface, prepared for the porcelain installation.
Step #4: Laying Porcelain
The porcelain pavers are now set to be placed onto the bedding layer. String lines can be utilized to ensure straight lines are maintained throughout the entire laying process. After laying the porcelain, any necessary cuts can be finalized, allowing us to proceed to the next phase.
Step #5: Edge Restraint
In order to prevent any horizontal shifting of the porcelain, we install the suitable edge restraint according to the selected installation method.
Step #6: Jointing Compound
We apply the correct jointing compound into the porcelain paver joints and use a vibratory compactor to consolidate it to the bottom of the joint. This process also ensures that the porcelain pavers are securely seated into the bedding layer, guaranteeing vertical interlock of the pavement. This step is essential for achieving a flawless final outcome for your project.
Step #7: Finalize
We complete any final touches to the project, ensuring that the area is cleaned, and we add seed and topsoil where needed to enhance the overall appearance of your property. Our goal is to leave your property looking even better than it did when we arrived!
Frequently Asked Questions
For porcelain paver patios and walkways we dig 9″ to 11″. This is the depth of the base, bedding layer, and porcelain paver height. For driveways we dig an additional 6″ to 8″ more for additional base depth.
For porcelain paver patios and walkways we prepare a 6″ to 8″ base. For porcelain paver driveways we prepare a 12″ to 14″ base. This excludes the 1″ bedding layer.
Geotextile is a specialized fabric utilized to create a barrier between the subsoil and the base material, preventing any potential contamination while also providing reinforcement to the base.
Woven geotextile serves the purposes of separation, filtration, and reinforcement, while non-woven geotextile serves the purposes of separation, filtration, and drainage. Therefore, we choose woven geotextile when reinforcement is necessary and opt for non-woven when improved drainage is required.
Geogrid is a grid-like roll made of geosynthetic materials designed to stabilize soil. Uniaxial geogrid provides strength in one direction, typically used for retaining wall applications, while biaxial geogrid offers strength in two directions, commonly employed in paver applications.
Geogrid enhances stability by securely locking the aggregates within the apertures or openings of the grid system.
An Open Graded Base comprises aggregate material devoid of fines, facilitating efficient water flow with minimal friction within the system.
The Dense Graded Base incorporates fines into its composition. While it remains a material with efficient drainage, it has the capacity to retain moisture for extended durations compared to the Open Graded Base.
The Synthetic Base is constructed using polypropylene panels, which are positioned atop a bedding layer. This innovative approach reduces the excavation depth by 50%, resulting in cost and time savings during the excavation phase. Furthermore, these panels serve to insulate the base and distribute the load across a broader surface area.
The choice between base materials depends on the specific application. An open graded base facilitates water drainage due to the absence of fine materials within the aggregate. In contrast, a dense graded base incorporates fine materials into the aggregate mix. A synthetic base, on the other hand, utilizes polypropylene sheets installed above a bedding layer, effectively reducing excavation depth by half.
Choosing the best base material to use depends on the application of the project.
Screeding involves positioning two bars at the desired height within the base material, sandwiching the bedding layer between these bars, and then smoothing the material to create a uniform surface between them.
No, the screed bars are removed from the bedding material after the screeding process, and the space they occupied is filled with the same bedding material.
We make every effort to maintain cleanliness on our job sites. Dust is generated during the cutting phase, but we aim to minimize it by using water or our dustless table saw whenever feasible.
We choose between polymeric sand or a semi-permeable jointing compound based on our selected base material.
Compacting the porcelain pavers to securely embeds them into the bedding layer, effectively consolidating the jointing compound at the base of the joint for vertical interlock. Neglecting this step may result in jointing compound failure, as it won’t properly meet the bedding layer and may erode over time due to traffic.
We opt for a concrete edge restraint to guarantee horizontal interlock within the system, preventing any potential issues with plastic edge restraints heaving above the pavers over time. However, for synthetic base installations, we utilize a plastic edge restraint because it securely attaches to the base panels, eliminating concerns of heaving.
We provide comprehensive support throughout the entire process! Normally, during the initial consultation, we bring samples to gauge your preferences. Subsequently, we tailor the project design to your specifications and proceed with the selection of the ideal paver. Additionally, we can arrange a meeting at a nearby supplier to further streamline the selection process, and we’ll even bring samples to your property to help you make the final decision.
Certainly. We do install our porcelain patios and walkways with a slope of 1/8″ (1%) per foot to 1/4″ (2%) per foot. This incline facilitates the drainage of surface water away from your foundation.