Gator Base is a fantastic option for creating a beautiful maintenance-free stone patio. With the do-it-yourselfer market exploding and homeowners looking for innovative products to help them with their projects, the time is now to get to know this product.
Let’s discuss how to install Gator Base so you can see how easy it is.
The first advantage you will realize is how little you have to excavate. By adding the following elements together, you will be able to determine the total depth: Geotextile, compacted bedding base’s final height (1/2″), Gator Base (3/4″), and paver’s height.
In learning how to install Gator Base remember the total excavation width is 6″ wider on each side than the final paved area. If you opt to use a shovel or excavator to do the excavation be sure to check with local utility services to ensure digging does not damage underground pipes or wires.
Level the excavated area using a rake or shovel once the excavation is complete, ensuring a slope of at least 1° away from any structure, such as a house.
It is important to know, in how to install gator base, that the native soil needs to be prepared and compacted in the same way as a traditional base installation, using a hand tamper or plate compactor. Compact until the area is as smooth as possible, with no high or low spots greater than about 3/8″. It is advisable to use a string level (stakes and a string line) by tying the string to the stakes to establish the level to which the final slope will be measured (minimum of 1° to the desired final paver level).
Once this is done, lay down the Geotextile, covering the complete excavated area and side.
The next step in how to install gator base requires spreading of an even layer of bedding material to a depth of 3/4″, over the Geotextile. Using two 3/4″ pipes with an equal distance of 4 to 6 ft over the Geotextile is a good trick to ensure the depth is adequate. You simply fill the surrounding area with bedding material and use a straight board to level the bedding material in relation to the pipes. Once done, remove the pipes and fill in the empty gaps. Levelling and compacting the bedding material will be the last step prior to installing Gator Base.
An important lesson in how to install gator base is to make sure the Gator Base covers the extended excavation area, which should be 6″ wider on each side than the final paved area.
Use a staggered pattern to start laying the Gator Base units ensuring locking of the tongue & groove system. This guarantees 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. For irregular stone, you can 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.
Installing Gator Edge on the Gator Base will help to ensure it rests firmly against the pavers. A Gator Base screw can be driven into every second hole to maximize lateral support of the Gator Edge.
When ready, you can spread polymeric sand over the tiled surface with a hard-bristle broom. Completely fill the joints with the polymeric sand, leaving a layer on the surface to aid in the vibrating and consolidation of the sand into the joints.
Next step is to 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. 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, paying attention to narrow joints that require more care to completely fill.
Once compacting is done, sweep off excess polymeric sand from the paved surface, first with a hard-bristle broom, then a soft- bristle broom. Be sure to leave the height of the polymeric sand at least 1/8” below the edge or chamfer of the paver.
The final lesson in how to install gator base is to activate the polymeric sand. Starting at the lowest point, shower a 30 sq. ft. section for 30 seconds with water. 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.