Pavers 101

On this page you’ll find the following information:

  • Pavers – Definition and general Information
  • Pavers do it yourself
  • 10 things to know before hiring a pavers contractor
  • How to choose a contractor to do my pavers project
  • About pavers and ground compaction
  • Our 10 list gurus in the paver industry, pavers in phoenix
  • Where to choose pavers

Definition and general Information

Pavers AZ – Individual brick concrete paver pieces are used to pave driveways, patios, walkways, pool decks, and loading decks. Pavers will usually be used as an exterior pavement solution replacing other methods of pavement or ground covers. Pavers will be installed on a compacted sub base and concrete sand with a minimum of 90% compaction. Cement parameter will hold everything in place and sand will be swept on the top surface to interlock and prevent movement.

DSC_0145 - CopyOther materials exist in the market, like rubber pavers, glass pavers, plastic and clay. Clay pavers, also called brick pavers, provide an advantage of color resistance since they are made from natural materials and are oven baked.

Interlocking pavers were brought to the U.S. from Europe in the early 70’s and were commonly used with natural stone pavers in streets and houses. Today, most projects use concrete pavers due to the many advantages they hold over other pavement methods, for example: Interlocking pavers support heavier weights and are manufactured as individual pieces with a high compression process (min 8000 psi).

Pavers don’t crack since the joints absorb pressure differences over the top surface. Pavers are low in maintenance and do not require any future treatment compared to asphalt and stamped concrete. Another big advantage in using pavers is that they are easy and inexpensive to repair. Dealing with repairs and stains will be faster and cheaper than with any other method and since repairs are made to individual pavers, it will not look like a patch.

Pavers are available in a wide range of colors and designs. Today, pavers are commonly chosen for residential and commercial projects for their elegant and/or rustic look as well as for their low maintenance and results that last a life time.


Pavers do it yourself

Necessary tools:

Shovel, wheelbarrow, pick, rake, rubber mallet, 2×4, level, paver saw, marker,
Hand/power compactor, broom, marking paint, string.

1 ton of fill (ABC and/or sand) will cover 240 sq ft of 1” depth
1 bag of Portland cement will be enough for 25 rf (Running Feet) of border 4” depth.
If using glue (for veneer pavers) 1 tube will cover 10 rf. (Running Feet)


  • Using marking paint, mark the parameter of the area you want to pave.
  • Using string and a level, stretch the string across the longest line creating more than ¼” slope away from the house foundation.
  • Using a rake, a pick, and 2×4 – level the marked area following the string making it smooth and even.
  • Using a compactor, compact the area marked at least a couple of times… once for each 1” of fill.
  • Again using the string, find the longest straight line and stretch the string across it. Start laying the pavers against it in a straight line.
  • Using the marker, mark the final shape and make all of your cuts.
  • Dig a trench around the entire parameter to a depth of 4”-6”.
  • Fill a wheelbarrow with sand (3/4 full) and combine it with ½ of a bag of cement, add water and mix.
  • Using a shovel and rubber mallet, fill the parameter trench with concrete and set the paver border as you go.
  • Sweep sand on the top surface area of your newly laid pavers.

Different projects will have different requirements and a few changes in the installation process are not surprising. Feel free to call and ask any questions about your pavers installation project.

_mg_5203 - CopyThe installation of pavers is hard, time consuming work. While it is true that anyone with some time and knowledge can do the work, we are often hired to repair or replace the work that has been performed by non-professionals at a greater cost to the owner of the property and project. A poorly performed pavers job can decrease the value of the home during resale, or at least come up as a negative aspect until or unless the homeowner decides to have the project re-done the correct way by professional pavers. Very often, the entire project has to be reinstalled.

With years of experience under our belt, our crews deliver professional results in minimum amount of time. We make sure that all of our results meet your expectation and that you are completely satisfied before leaving the job site as clean and as neat as it was when we first arrived.

We know how hard it is to have a construction project on your property. That is why we do everything in our power to keep your property and project clean and organized. Regardless of the weather… be it windy and rainy or 115 degrees in the shade, we will keep the project site clean and organized and complete the project on time.

Let the professionals do the work. We do pavers projects nearly every day of the year. It is what we do best. When you hire AE Interlock Pavers Design, you hire a licensed, bonded, and insured company that has one goal… to finish the projects before us on time and to ensure that you are 100% satisfied with the work. We are proud members of both the Interlock Concrete Paver Institute and the Better Business Bureau. Our record speaks for itself. In fact, we will even set our customers up with a flexible payment plan that is interest free for 180 days.

We highly recommend hiring a pavers company to do the work if you have more than 150 sq ft in a single project.


10 things you should know before hiring a pavers contractor.

Hiring a licensed pavement contractor doesn’t necessarily mean that he has a specific K-05 brick paver license. Today block, landscape, and general masonry contractors also install pavers. Some of them do a great job, but still they are not trained to do pavers as their main specialty and those that do work in pavers have been doing so for a short time only.

_MG_5297 - CopyMost contractors will give lower rates for a higher square footage project. With that in mind, if you have a project that you need installed and plans to extend that project in a year or less, you will save money if you wait and do the job all at once.

Spending time researching contractors online is well worth the time it takes. This will enable you to compare only those BBB, ROC, ICPI licensing and sealed approvals. Reading the company’s on-line reviews will give you a better picture of who the contractor is and what type of work they have under their belts.

Testimonials and references are a great way to measure customer satisfaction. Most contractors will have a list of them.

Consulting local paver suppliers is a great way to collect more information on your contractor.

Delaying a project after it started because of a misunderstanding or a conflict will discourage the contractor from finding a solution because of lost work days. Do good research before and in case of any problem during the project. Try to solve problems that arise on the spot.

It usually pays to speak to your contractor before signing a contract for labor and material. If your contractor gets discounts on materials, you can save a ton of money. Most contractors have better rates and negotiated discounts with the supply companies in the area, usually based on quantity, for all kind of materials. You can still ask your contractor to provide the price list summary of the material costs for your records and tax purposes.

If you have a landscape/hardscape combined project, it will save you time and money if you hire one contractor for both jobs. However, make sure your contractor excels at both or the results from one may be less than desirable. Hiring a contractor for each is more difficult to manage but may be the best way to go if you cannot find a contractor/company that specializes in both.

Negotiation is a good thing. It is one of the great things about living in America. However, too much negotiation could cause you to shoot yourself in the foot if it digs into the quality of your material. Ask you contractor to be candid with you up front and you will usually be pleasantly surprised by getting the best price without sacrificing quality.

Compaction and paver base are the most important aspects of paver projects. When questioning candidates, set colors and design talk aside and focus your question about the paver base to ensure that the contractor knows what they are doing. Once you know you have a pro, then let go and let your creative ideas flow.


How to choose a contractor to do my pavers project.

Ask for testimonials and references. Try to contact previous customers and ask as many questions as possible. Be specific, most customers won’t remember small details unless everything went wrong., Of course, the contractor will not put those types of projects on his reference list.
Never be afraid to challenge the contractor’s knowledge in order to find out how active he has been in the pavement industry. Make sure the contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured. Also check the website for stamps or seals of approval from the BBB and ICPI. The affiliation with such organizations adds creditability.
_MG_5381 - CopyIt is always better to hire a paver’s contractor and not a landscaper. In doing this, you are all but guaranteed to hire a contractor with enough experience and knowledge to do the work.
Ask to see a portfolio, look at pictures, and take note of the type and size of the projects.
Getting a first impression over the phone is important and will save you a ton of valuable time. Try to get a ball park price and ask questions to eliminate the pertinent options.
Refer to local suppliers and conduct an on-line research project. This is a vital part of narrowing the number of contractors you will need to interview.
Make sure your contractor doesn’t sub-contract your project to another company. It will reduce the chances for complications and problems.
Ask how long your project will take, it shouldn’t be more that one day for each 500 sq ft for an average project, otherwise the contractor may put you in between other projects or stretch it out, leaving you in a mess until he finishes. Make sure to get a firm completion date.
Take note of the contractor’s presentation and the way in which he or she explains the project to you. Write down the pertinent information such as the estimate. This will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect and of the contractor’s management skills. Do not forget to ask what type of warranty he or she offers and what that warranty includes.


About pavers and ground compaction

Ground compaction is the most important stage in the paver’s installation. This is the stage during which you must pay the most attention if you want to avoid problems and expense later. Most problems with pavers are caused by poor compaction.

Depending on the type of soil, you may have to add sub base. Usually, ABC and concrete or coerces sand is what is called for, however; in some cases the ground is too rocky, making it enough to add concrete sand only.

IMG_2884 - CopyGround compaction is necessary to avoid sinking, movement, and to support the weight that the paved area was designed to take. Good ground compaction also eliminates weed growth and erosion, giving your pavers project a solid foundation.

Compaction is needed for every 1” of fill. Compaction that is done towards the end of the project on top of the pavers is not effective due to the thickness of the pavers, and the fact that the vibrations cannot penetrate all the way down. Compaction on the top surface only helps speed up the sweeping process and should not be substituted for compaction before laying the pavers on the ground.

Before installing pavers, 95% of compaction is needed. That goal can be reached only with the right type of soil, the necessary conditions, and tools.

Ground compaction cannot be performed when the soil is soaked with water. (More than 25%), Compaction that takes place on wet soil leaves moisture in the soil. When the soil dries, the water evaporates leaving air pockets that can cause your pavers project to sink and shift, creating major problems. The contractor should either replace soaked soil with ABC or even better… wait for the ground to dry.


Our 10 list gurus in the paver industry, pavers in phoenix.

We are not an advertizing agency and we do not proceed with the intentions of advertizing any company. This list simply brings you the people and the names of those who move the wheels of the pavers industry in the Phoenix area. This list is just another work filled with information, as well as recognition and appreciation of the people in the industry that do great work.
I’m not adding contact information; so you will have to look them up on-line. I have marked in bold their company names. When planning a paver’s project, this list is an excellent reference for achieving a successful completion of that project.

IMG_2981 - CopySay hello to Bart, Jackie, and Carl, from Phoenix Paver – a local paver supplier in phoenix. Contact Jackie for any general questions you may have. Contact Carl for sales and Bart (owner) for any other matter. They offer quality pavers and fast service.
Give a nod to Nathan from Belgard – Nathan is the Dealer/Architectural Sales Representative of Belgard in Arizona. Nathan keeps us updated with all of the new colors and designs, including all other products both old and new that come available.
Larry is from Marvel Building Supplies. They are location on 24th St. and Indian school. With great service and happy, smiling faces, they await you/. It is at Marvel that you will find all the building supplies and all you need for your pavers project.
Christina and Shane are from Hippo Hauling. They provide grading, deliveries, removal, and bobcat work, as well as excellent service and affordable prices.
Roger from ABC Supply where he is a sales representative providing building supplies and everything that you need for the successful completion of your pavers project.

Jack is part of the AZ Block 2000 team and also the treasurer in ICPI. He is very active in the pavers industry and very devoted to his work. Tell him we said hi.
Dan is from Pioneer Landscape. There are many locations over the valley, but the one on 7th St. and Happy Valley offer great deals on ABC, Rip Rap, and some Gravel. This location is one of the biggest that Pioneer Landscape has.
Acme Power Wash – providing paver’s cleaner and stain removal including; oil, grease, paint, hard water stains, and so much more. They are very professional in what they do.
Bill from Anazazi – offers great service and the best veneer stone selection in town. Start here if you are looking for any veneer products.
Wave to Ewing – for hardscape products and a great place to compare prices.


Where to choose pavers.

There are many show rooms in the valley, as well as different suppliers and different brands. Here are two locations that we like to recommend.

Phoenix paver – 515 West Elwood St., phoenix 85041
Marvel – look for the branch closest to your location

We suggest that you request a list of completed jobs from your contractor. It gives you a chance to stop by these locations and see for yourself just how wonderful a completed pavers project done the right way can look after the fact. You can also get a feel for how your project will look as it is very different than looking at a sample board or brochure.

When visiting other projects, pay attention to the surrounding colors and the landscape. Most pavers will be on the scale of earth colors, but a nice match can be a color that gives a nice contrast with your house. Whatever looks nice in one project does not necessarily mean that it will look good in another. You can also get some very creative and interesting ideas by studying the completed projects your contractor has done.