Interlocking concrete pavers: drains and base

Titan7

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2015
654
Fullerton, CA
#1
So we are having our entire 2 month old concrete deck tore out and going with concrete pavers. For those in the know how important is the geotextile membrane? From what I can find it needs to be on the top of the native soil. Reason I ask is we will need to remove 4.5-5" of base gravel and the entire drainage system to do this. If it's a must I will. If I recall the original excavation was 8-9" below the top of the coping. So I should have adequate base @ 4-5", I figure I may need to add another inch of base. If I need more I could go with the thinner pavers.

So drainage system. Currently I gave about 20 round spot drains astound the pool, looking at photos of pool decks it appears my guys put way too many drains in. Are there any challenges with round spot drains? Would I be better off with something like the deco drains, on the perimeter?

Thanks
 

ColdAirGuy

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 25, 2010
85
California
#2
I just saw this post and started reading through your build post, beautiful yard/pool. We had the company doing our re-plaster/plumbing etc. install concrete pavers. Our old concrete was a mess.

Initially, they weren't going to put down the membrane but I insisted on it, because we have a lot of grass and trees and the potential for growth between the joints. Even with that membrane we still have the occasional weed pop up here and there. I will say however its probably from the sand being blown out of the joints and dirt filling it in.

The other issue with our Pavers we've had is a little settling in some spots which is not too big of a deal as its repairable, but the sand they used wasn't polymeric sand and it's washed out in many spots. In fact I was just sweeping in Polymeric last week around the pool.
Pros and cons to everything I guess, but Fullerton is only 5 minutes away, your free to come see ours...or check my post history!:cheers:
 

Titan7

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2015
654
Fullerton, CA
#3
Thx, do you recall the amount of base they put down? Number of drains and type? I am running blind here, I don't trust that they are going to do this correctly since this will be a do over for them, I will still need to pay out another 12k to do the pavers. We tried to go wit ha spray deck option, but 3 different companies who also do concrete said they will only warranty it for a year do the short cuts taken on installing my deck.

When I really started looking into this stuff I noticed that I had more spot drains in my pool deck than any photos I saw here and on line, by a factor of 3-5x more. Not sure why to was done and if it's okay for pavers.

Thanks for your response, how deep and wide was the settling? Did they compact the base to 95%?
 

ColdAirGuy

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 25, 2010
85
California
#4
I wasn't here when the base went in, only saw it after it was compacted (pretty sure it was compacted to 95% of what they thought was "good"). The settling I think has only been noticed by me. Not very much at all, but slightly around the poured in place coping, skimmer box.

Pool deck is not "locked in" by any masonry in three directions and drains off into soil. I had two drains put in near the house which were tied into my backwash line (when backwashing at anything over 1000rpm my backwashing comes up through the drains):brickwall:
The type of drain is just 2" PVC stubbed up with a Drain "Cup" and brass cover. Think it's from HD. The hardest and messiest part of doing pavers is cutting radius's (very dusty)

Question: if it's a do over for them and it's still costing you 12k, why not get some other companies to come out?
 

Titan7

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2015
654
Fullerton, CA
#5
Long story, here is the short version.

I have 2100 SF of decking. A lot of mistakes made, I had experts out, I have as valid problem but there is always risks in litigation. Also we are talking a lot of time to conclusion. I am in the insurance construction industry, dealing with claims/litigation. Estimates to demo my steel reinforced deck will run $2-4 per SF, that's $4-6,000. Then pavers are $12 per SF = $24k. So going elsewhere I drop about $30k, new money, and try to get $17k back via litigation.

I figure if I spend another $12k it's done. It's a compromise on both sides. I just need to ensure its done right. Trust me I have learned a lot more since we got into this neverending nightmare. Just can't figure a better way out and nobody else seems to know either or is just sick of hearing about this mess, however not as much as me.
 

Frank Rizzo

Silver Supporter
Nov 13, 2015
176
Woodland Hills, CA
#6
Im putting in 1800sf of travertine pavers right now.
I did not put down any fabric. None of the subs even mentioned it. I have 4 to 5 inches of base (depending on the elevation of the ground) with 2" of bedding sand on top. My pavers are only 1-1/4" thick. I was originally going with concrete everywhere, but after talking to and seeing pics of Apapaz2's travertine - I changed my mind. That meant they had to come back and lower all my piping in order to make enough room for the base. Not fun, but worth it so far. I paid about $1800 to break and demo about 1000sf of existing patio concrete, but they had to saw cut around 9 existing post columns and my BBQ island and a lot of it had to be done by hand because my pool was now in the way of getting a bobcat into certain areas.

I have 12 drains total including one going to the equipment area (I think I got that idea from you). I ran two 3" lines to the street. I can't stand the idea of round drains, so copying Apapaz2 - I went to hiddendrain.com and got 12 of their square tile-in shower drains. They are 2" on the outlet instead of 3" like regular surface drains, but we know how much it rains in So Cal, so I'm not concerned...you can get a lot of water thru a 2" opening. I tied my pool overflow into the surface drain line, so really how much standing water is going to build up? I had one drain in my yard before building the pool and the downspout gutters dumped water into the yard (now they are tied into the drains) and it was never an issue.
Here is a pic of one set in place before trimming, once installed only the perimeter is visible, the center is filled with tile:


Most of my subs would not go with deco drains for different reasons...clogs, too hard to clean, etc. Not sure mine any better, but the center section lifts out so they should be easy to clean if the need comes up and because they are pavers, it could be fairly painless to change later if need be.
I'd strongly advise you to head over to Sepulveda Building Materials in Gardena to check out their display of pavers. They have more on display than any other place I've seen (locally)
 

djcagle

Bronze Supporter
Apr 4, 2016
26
Brentwood, CA
#7
With my paver installation i used a geotextile (Mirafi 400x) on top of the soil. It is cheap insurance to help reinforce the sub base. The need for it really depends on the native soil. Also it is recommended to keep you sand base between 1/2 to 1inch thick.
 

Titan7

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2015
654
Fullerton, CA
#8
Thanks guys, I like the idea on the drains.

I have very expansive clay soil. What I gave read the best prep is remove 10" of sub base and compact to 98%. Place a geotextile like the mirafi 400 down over the sub base. Then add type 2 CAB fill and compact in lifts no deeper than 4" and again compact to 98%. Then 1" of sand and then place pavers, compact with plate compactor, then sweep in poly sand.

Now finding a contractor that is going to do that, good luck. Everyone want to take shortcuts, like the guy who did my deck, well how did that work out. Tomorrow we meet with the contractor and my lawyer at my house, if this is not going to be done correctly I am not spending another dime and we may end up have to do this the hard way. I do appreciate the comments and suggestions. Good feedback on the deco drains. I thought it would be a lot easier to get the proper slope with a channel drain than spot drain as you pitch the deck 1/8" of fall for every foot of run. Seems like with spot drains you would need to create a lot of funnels on the deck. Will see what tomorrow brings, would like to get this finished since next Monday will mark 6 months since we broke ground. Just 2 more weeks right?

How much was the travertine per square foot? Looks nice
 

Titan7

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2015
654
Fullerton, CA
#9
Question for those of you with pavers, did you place foam around the perimeter of the pool in he expansion joint where it meets the pavers? Did you fill the expansion joint with sand or deco seal?
 

BigEinAZ

Well-known member
Jan 3, 2016
577
Mesa, Az
#10
You don't need an eighth inch per foot for drainage. That's 1% slope. 0.3 to 0.5% is plenty. Maintaining that tight a tolerance with pavers isn't a job for amateurs though.
 

Frank Rizzo

Silver Supporter
Nov 13, 2015
176
Woodland Hills, CA
#12
Question for those of you with pavers, did you place foam around the perimeter of the pool in he expansion joint where it meets the pavers? Did you fill the expansion joint with sand or deco seal?
No, I was going for a more flush look so I kept the coping joints the same as the field. If you think about it, that expansion joint would not look so good. You have all these tight joints in the field and then a big expansion joint around the pool coping? Your eye would be drawn to the joint (methinks). There are a lot of joints in the field so once the pavers are sanded in, there is plenty of room for minor movements.

What pavers are you going with?
.
 

Titan7

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2015
654
Fullerton, CA
#13
Going with Belgard Catalina slate or Angelus slate stone. Still talking to a couple people about the Sundek, I am really concerned about demoing all that deck without causing other damage. Will make a final decision this week.
 

Frank Rizzo

Silver Supporter
Nov 13, 2015
176
Woodland Hills, CA
#14
Just a suggestion. If you can, head over to Sepulveda Building Materials in Gardena (open Saturday). They have the largest selection of pavers on display Ive seen in the area. They have Belgard and Angelus on display as well as Olsen - to name a few. It really makes a difference if you can see them in person.
Off the 91fwy, so its a hop,skip, jump for you...

Remember, I was going to do concrete and changed to pavers and had to demo existing deck and bury pool piping deeper after it was installed. It can be done.

Maybe you should consider a cash pay out and subcontracting the work yourself?

.
 

Titan7

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2015
654
Fullerton, CA
#15
Thanks for the suggestion Frank, I will check that place out. I think we are sticking with belgard Catalina, just need to decide if the smooth or the textured slate paver would look better.

I hear you on the cash out but I don't think I will be able to have demo and 2400 SF of pavers installed for $12k more. Well actually 12,600, I have to order and pay for the geotextile matting. I will be fine on pool plumbing, we had 8-9" excavated. My biggest fear is coping mortar loosening up but that can be fixed. Will know more later this week, Sundeck is still in play if they want to kick in more $$. As of now we are on the schedule for Monday demo. Will see how it goes.

Hey I am thinking you will have water before me, today was 6 months since we broke ground. Glad your project is going so well, look great!!
 

apapaz2

Well-known member
Sep 5, 2012
99
Los Angeles
#16
I didn't use an expansion joint around the coping. I just like the look better without the thick joint. I know it is better practice to use the joint, but I figured that because I am using pavers, there are joints all over that i can play with if the need ever arises. I guess I will know in 5-10 years if I made a mistake.
 

Flowersga

Gold Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
82
Porter Ranch, CA
#17
Im putting in 1800sf of travertine pavers right now.
I did not put down any fabric. None of the subs even mentioned it. I have 4 to 5 inches of base (depending on the elevation of the ground) with 2" of bedding sand on top. My pavers are only 1-1/4" thick. I was originally going with concrete everywhere, but after talking to and seeing pics of Apapaz2's travertine - I changed my mind. That meant they had to come back and lower all my piping in order to make enough room for the base. Not fun, but worth it so far. I paid about $1800 to break and demo about 1000sf of existing patio concrete, but they had to saw cut around 9 existing post columns and my BBQ island and a lot of it had to be done by hand because my pool was now in the way of getting a bobcat into certain areas.

I have 12 drains total including one going to the equipment area (I think I got that idea from you). I ran two 3" lines to the street. I can't stand the idea of round drains, so copying Apapaz2 - I went to hiddendrain.com and got 12 of their square tile-in shower drains. They are 2" on the outlet instead of 3" like regular surface drains, but we know how much it rains in So Cal, so I'm not concerned...you can get a lot of water thru a 2" opening. I tied my pool overflow into the surface drain line, so really how much standing water is going to build up? I had one drain in my yard before building the pool and the downspout gutters dumped water into the yard (now they are tied into the drains) and it was never an issue.
Here is a pic of one set in place before trimming, once installed only the perimeter is visible, the center is filled with tile:


Most of my subs would not go with deco drains for different reasons...clogs, too hard to clean, etc. Not sure mine any better, but the center section lifts out so they should be easy to clean if the need comes up and because they are pavers, it could be fairly painless to change later if need be.
I'd strongly advise you to head over to Sepulveda Building Materials in Gardena to check out their display of pavers. They have more on display than any other place I've seen (locally)
Hey Frank - I'd love to see what the drain looks like when it's done. I went to hiddendrain.com and their site must be messed up. They're only showing the big wide drains and no other products.