Pavers come in all shapes and sizes as well as varying materials. They can be made of stones, bricks, or concrete blocks. They can be formal shapes such as rectangles or squares, or irregular shapes, like fieldstone and flagstone. You can use pavers for your patio, walkway or even driveway. The common thing about pavers is that they must be laid on a base made of compacted rocks and gravel, usually topped with a filler such as a layer of sand in between the pavers to secure them. A common question among homeowners is: Should I leave a gap between concrete pavers?
Should I Leave a Gap Between Concrete Pavers?
In this post, we’ll discuss whether or not you should leave a gap between concrete pavers. And if so, how much space should one leave and what should be used to fill the gap.
Matching the Gap to the Paving
As to whether one should leave a gap between concrete pavers, the short answer is yes. However, the size of the gap will depend on the type of paver as well as the type of paving. For instance, if you’re laying concrete pavers for a patio, make sure they’re close together with edges touching. When it comes to flagstones or bricks, space them with wide gaps or arrange them with smaller seams in a decorative pattern such as a herringbone pattern. In general, concrete pavers need to be set closer than other materials.
If you’re using bricks or stones as paving for a walkway, leave wider gaps. Stone walkways look great when they’re made in stepping stone fashion, filling the wide gaps between each stone with sod or gravel. For fieldstone or gravel, you can make them especially attractive by filling the gaps with colorful pea gravel. So, unless you’re laying pavers in stepping stone fashion, keep the spaces to about 1/2 -inch.
Gaps as Accents
You can create a decorative wall-like look with brick pavers by filling the spaces between them with dry cement or stone dust. The color contrast between the white seams and red brick will add character to the pattern on brick pavers. You can try to create a similar effect with concrete blocks in varying colors, using contrasting colors of cement or gravel fillers between the pavers. Using pea gravel in the space between stone paver gaps creates a similar effect.
When you’re using filler mainly to solidity pavers and not for aesthetic reasons, then sand works best to seal the gaps between pavers. This is especially the case when the pavers are set close to each other, as is usually the case when using concrete pavers. For a stronger bond between pavers, use polymeric sand as the ingredients harden when dampened to create a stronger joint. Although when your pavers do get loosened over time, you should know how to fix loose pavers to ensure that everything is still in tact.
So, the answer to the question, “Should I leave a gap between concrete pavers?” is a simple yes. What’s important to note is that when you’re using concrete pavers, you want to keep the pavers close together. If you’re still unsure of how to install pavers yourself, the professionals at San Diego Pavers can help take the headache out of the process for you and provide you with beautifully installed concrete pavers.