Many home owners have patios, driveways and walkways which are made of concrete. Those who find these grey slabs rather bland may desire to replace the concrete with pavers. Some paver companies suggest tearing out the old concrete to create a sand/gravel base for the new pavers. However, it is possible to install pavers over concrete if the right procedure is followed. All sorts of pavers are available, including cobblestone, brick, flagstone and concrete. Learn what to expect when installing pavers over concrete:
Paver installation should only be done on concrete surfaces which are in excellent condition. Any irregularities on the concrete foundation can cause problems later down the road. The concrete slab should be inspected for cracks large and small. Smaller cracks can be repaired with special concrete putty. Large cracks may need more extensive work, and may not be able to be properly repaired. The concrete should be properly cleaned with scouring chemicals and a brush. These chemicals are potent, but are ideal for removing stuck-on residue.
There are several different ways of installing pavers over concrete, all of which start with surface preparation. The first step is to decide if you want to put a layer of sand on the concrete before laying the pavers. Unless your concrete surface is extremely flat and uniform, mason’s sand should be placed in a thin layer over the concrete. This counteracts irregularities on the concrete surface and ensures level pavers.
The process for laying the pavers is quite simple. Start at one edge closest to the home and work your way outward. The pavers should be laid flat up against the home. It is very likely that you will need to cut some of the pavers to fit properly in the edges and corners. This can be done with a paver cutter rented from a tool supply store. Each paver should be pressed tightly to the next to form a tight and solid structure. Later, sand will be brushed in between the pavers.
Pavers over concrete must be “locked” into place by placing mortar under the edge pavers. Each and every paver which borders the edge must be locked into the concrete using mortar. It is relatively easy to mix and apply mortar to the concrete surface using a special spatula.
The final step is to sweep mason’s sand into the cracks between the pavers. This is important in preventing water from seeping in between and under the pavers. In cold environments, water can freeze under the pavers and cause them to shift. Simply sweep this fine sand into the cracks to form a tight seal. Finish off by washing your newly paved surface.