How Much Base Material Do I Need for Walkways, Patios and Driveways

base material amountBrick pavers, when properly installed add considerable beauty to your home and are very functional as well. Without the proper walkway base material laid beneath the pavers you will run the risk of them sinking or settling unevenly.

When installing pavers it is essential to install a layer of the correct walkway base material at the right thickness. This base material serves a multiple purposes, like stability and drainage as well as a level surface to install your pavers on.

 How Much Base Material Do I Need?

Deciding the correct amount of walkway base material is actually quite simple. For sidewalks and patios or any other light duty areas you will only need a 4 inch base of 3/4 inch quarry process or RCA beneath a 1 inch layer of concrete sand.

To correctly figure out how much base material that you will need you will first need to know how each material is measured. Crushed stone, which is what is recommended as a base material for a paver base is measured in cubic yards.

First measure the square footage of the project area. This is achieved by simply multiplying the width times the length. Next, multiply your square footage by .01235. This equation will give you the amount of stone that you will need for your base in cubic yards. Another way of figuring this out is that 1 yard of crushed stone will get you 80 square feet at 4-inches thick.

Figuring out how much sand that you will need is done much the same way. Since you only need a 1-inch bed of sand to set your pavers on just take your square footage measurement from the stone and this time multiply by .00309.

How to Install Walkway Base Material for Driveways, Patios and Walkways

Before you begin any project that involves digging, it is highly recommended that you contact your local utility companies so they can mark off where there are any underground lines. This is most often a free service.

First, you will need to prepare the area to be paved by removing any old pavement as well as enough soil to lay your stone base (4 inches), then sand bed (1 inch) and finally your pavers. Be sure to add the thickness of the pavers that you will be laying to the depth that you dig. Also, remove an extra 8 inches of soil beyond the planned edge of your pavers.

Once you have removed the soil you will now need to run the “sub-base” with a plate compactor overlapping each pass by 4 inches. Now evenly spread the stone over the the entire area at an approximate thickness of 2 inches and go over it with the plate compactor again overlapping the previous pass by 4 inches, lightly wetting the stone with a garden hose between layers.

Wetting the stone will make it compact faster and make it easier to rake. Repeat the last step with another 2 inch layer of stone. Next you are ready to lay the bed of sand.

The easiest way to do this is by laying down parallel 1 inch diameter pieces of conduit four to six feet apart and using a 6 to 8-foot screed board, run it along the length of the conduit. This will give you an exact 1 inch depth of sand. Any voids left by the conduit can just be filled in once you remove them.

When done correctly a paver walkway will bring you and your family years of worry free enjoyment while adding beauty and character to your home. Plus you get the satisfaction of knowing that you have accomplished this task yourself (and the bragging rights that come with it).