With the do-it-yourselfer market exploding and homeowners looking for innovative products to help them with their projects – Gator Base is a fantastic option for creating that beautiful maintenance-free stone patio.
Let’s discuss how to install Gator Base and you will see how easy it is.
First off – you will be surprised with how little you will have to excavate. Total depth will be determined by adding the following elements together: Geotextile, compacted bedding base’s final height (1/2″), Gator Base (3/4″), and paver’s height.
A little trick in how to install Gator Base is to ensure the total excavation width is 6″ wider on each side than the final paved area. You can use a shovel or excavator to do the excavation, just be sure to check with local utility services to ensure digging does not damage underground pipes or wires, prior to excavating.
Once excavation is completed, you should level the excavated area using a rake or shovel. Ensure a slope of at least 1 degree away from any structure, such as a house.
One of the key elements in how to install gator base is that the native soil needs to be prepared and compacted in the same way that one would prepare a traditional base installation, using a hand tamper or plate compactor. Be sure to compact until the area is as smooth as possible, with no high or low spots greater than about 3/8″. It is recommended to use a string level (stakes and a string line) to get it right. Tie the string to the stakes to establish level by which the final slope will be measured (minimum of 1° to the desired final paver level).
Lay down the Geotextile, being sure to cover the complete excavated area and side.
The next lesson on how to install gator base is to spread an even layer of bedding material to a depth of 3/4″, over the Geotextile. A good trick to obtain a perfect 3/4″ sand layer is to use two 3/4″ pipes with an equal distance of 4 to 6 ft over the Geotextile. Fill the surrounding area with bedding material, and using a straight board, level the bedding material relative to the pipes. Then simply remove the pipes and fill in the empty gaps. Levelling and compacting the bedding material will be the last step prior to installing the Gator Base.
One key thing to know when learning how to install gator base is to make sure the Gator Base covers the extended excavation area (total excavation should be 6″ wider on each side than the final paved area).
Using a staggered pattern, start laying the Gator Base units ensuring locking of the tongue & groove system. This will guarantee the panels’ stability when the pavers or slabs are laid down. You can trim any visible curves or protruding angles using a utility knife.
Lay the pavers directly onto the Gator Base according to the selected pattern. When dealing with irregular stone, it is also common to add a second layer 1/2″ of loose bedding sand on top of the Gator Base. Use a rubber mallet to adjust the pavers, and don’t forget to make sure the Gator base is 6″ wider on each side than the paved surface.
Install Gator Edge on the Gator Base, making sure it rests firmly against the pavers. A Gator Base screw will be driven into every second hole to maximize lateral support of the Gator Edge.
Spread polymeric sand over the tiled surface with a hard-bristle broom. Make sure the polymeric sand completely fills the joints, leaving a layer of polymeric sand on the surface to aid in the vibrating and consolidation of the sand into the joints.
Next, vibrate the sand into the paver joints using a plate compactor with a rubber pad. If you have a slab installation, a roller compactor is best. Joints should be filled up to 1/8″ below the edge or chamfer. It is best to compact in several directions to ensure there are no air gaps or voids in the joints. Repeat these steps to ensure joints are filled and consolidated, and note that narrow joints require more care to completely fill.
Sweep off excess polymeric sand from the paved surface, first with a hard-bristle broom, then a soft- bristle broom. Take care to leave the height of the polymeric sand at least 1/8″ below the edge or chamfer of the paver.
The final step in how to install gator base is to activate the polymeric sand by showering a 30 sq. ft. section for 30 seconds with water, starting at the lowest point. Once all the sections are activated, rinse off any debris that is on the paver surface.
Gator Base has revolutionized the way interlock stone is installed and allows the average homeowner to install like a pro!
Welcome to the Stone Deck Revolution™.