Jacksonville Brick Pavers
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 11:26PM

Looking for another patio or driveway option that can ride out ground movement while offering stylistic flair? Pavers--those brick or tile-like stones that are precast from concrete--may be just the answer. They come in all variations, from the basic model you might find at Home Depot to more deluxe versions that resemble weathered-looking tumbled pavers, concrete varieties with pebble and sea shells mixed in, or those cut from stone.

These pieces fit together into puzzles that vary in complexity from a grid pattern to intricate mosaics established by the designer.

Practically speaking, this material offers several benefits. Paver are much less subject to cracking than monolithic slabs.  Problems seem to diminish when the pavers were used in place of [monolithic] concrete.

Brick pavers have built-in joints throughout, so installers don't have to try to predict where cracking will occur.  Unlike concrete, when heavy rain or ground movement inevitably occurs, it can cause a piece or two to move or shift, but they are easily replaced. They also make for speedier installation, which allows you to begin enjoying your new pavers.

When choosing your pavers - first, make sure the selected material is comfortable against the skin in the hot Jacksonville sun.  The lighter the color, the cooler on your feet.

When choosing a paver size, keep the pieces to scale. Small to medium sizes work best for most homes. Reserve the largest pavers for large areas.

Also consider the direction of the grid. If the project will be parallel to the home, you may want to consider a running bond pattern with straight lines running in one direction.  Another option is a random pattern that has pavers going in both directions.  You can also turn patterns 45 degrees to the house.

Installing pavers isn't just a matter of sticking them in the ground. Proper preparation is crucial. "If the job is graded, the soil is prepared correctly, proper limestone underlayment used and compacted adequately,  you won't have a problem” says a lead installer from Moderna Pavers of Jacksonville Beach.  

Excavating and stabilizing the ground is very important. Jacksonville has a few very different soil compositions, ranging from a high clay content soil to very sandy  to a highly organic silt.  A soil test is recommended if you are unsure of what you are up against.

Article originally appeared on Jacksonville Backyard Hardscapes Landscapes Ecoscapes (http://www.jacksonvillebackyard.com/).
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