fbpx FAQs on Paver Installation, Maintenance and More | Unilock

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Unilock the best paving product compared to other companies?

North America's most prestigious and trend-setting designers and installers prefer Unilock pavers and retaining walls because of design, quality and innovation and is the main reason for Unilock's unmatched success for over 50 years.

What ingredients go into making a traditional paver?

Our paving stones are made with a number of ingredients; including sharp sand, stone chips, cement powder, water, color pigment, and other additives that assist with curing, de-molding and reducing efflorescence. Our higher-end EnduraColor™ and Elegance™ products incorporate additional “secret sauce” ingredients to produce a product that delivers a visually pleasing and highly durable product.

Are pavers better than stamped concrete?

Yes, pavers are a better investment than stamped concrete. While stamped concrete may present itself as a more cost-friendly option, nothing matches the durability, design flexibility and aesthetic beauty offered through a Unilock paver. In fact, Unilock pavers come with a Transferrable Lifetime Guarantee.

How much do Unilock pavers and walls cost?

Unilock sells its products through a network of landscape dealers. Visit the Unilock "Where to Buy" page for a dealer location near you. If you’re looking to have the work complete by a professional landscape contractor, they will provide you with an all encompassing quote (for both materials install). Connect with a UAC today.

Where can I buy Unilock products?

Unilock paver and wall products are available at over 500 Unilock dealers in Canada and the United States. A Unilock dealer will have our products on display, giving you the opportunity to view them before you make a decision. Unilock dealers can also help with calculating materials. And when you're ready, they can refer you to a trusted landscape contractor for your project.

Where can I see Unilock products on display?

There are two options when wanting to see a Unilock product on display. The first is to visit a Unilock Outdoor Idea Center. To see if there's one near you, click here. Second, you can also visit a Unilock Dealer. Click here for one in your area. In either instance, always call ahead to confirm the hours of operation.

How can I find a Unilock Authorized Contractor?

You can request a contractor by filling out the form on our Find a Contractor page. Based on the information you provide, we will match you with a contractor in your area that will help you kick start your outdoor project.

How can I ensure a contractor is part of the Unilock Authorized Contractor program?

There are a few ways to validate that a contractor is certified as a Unilock Authorized Contractor. First, you can call a local Unilock (1-800-UNILOCK) or email customerservice@unilock.com, and someone can validate their information over the phone. You'll be asked to provide the contractor's company name and location. Second, a Unilock Authorized Contractor can provide an up-to-date certificate (dated with the current year). Third, if you are browsing their website, most will include the Unilock Authorized Contractor logo on their website to verify their status.

Where can I get a quote for my landscape project?

Unilock is a manufacturer of paving stone and retaining walls and we do not install our products but rather through a network of vetted Authorized Contractors whose workmanship we back up. For a free estimate, click here.

Do you offer any sort of warranty on your products?

Unilock provides a Transferable Lifetime Guarantee on the structural integrity of our paving stones, slabs and retaining wall units to the original purchaser of the product for residential use.

Are all of your products available in every region?

Products and colors vary by region. When browsing our products online ensure your region is properly saved at the top of your screen so that you are viewing what is available to you locally.

How can I determine which products are available in my region?

At the top of our website is a drop-down menu where you can select the region you live. Our Product page will populate specific products based on the region you live. Certain products that may be available in Toronto, Ontario may not be available in Chicago, Illinois, but may be specially ordered. Check out our Products page to find out what's available in your area.

How can I tell which products are suitable for a driveway or pool deck?

You can filter products by Application using the sidebar on the Products page. Individual product pages provide detailed information on the best application for specific pavers, with products accompanied by an icon located below the product description.

What type of coping is the safest to use around a pool deck?

We recommend choosing pool coping with a non-slip texture, and a smooth rounded edge that won’t scratch your knees when you’re climbing out of the pool. Check out our full list of Coping products to see what’s available in your region.

Can I order pavers in any color?

In some cases, yes, you can request specific products by way of a special order. We offer a range of products in colors that will match what you’re looking for. We encourage clients to choose tones that will complement their home and surrounding landscape. Speak to a Unilock Authorized Contractor for a free design consultation.

What is the difference between a paver and a slab stone?

Pavers are smaller and thicker, much like traditional bricks. Slab stones are typically thinner and wider in size. For a list of our pavers and slabs, click here.

What's the advantage of a permeable paver vs a non-permeable paver?

Permeable pavers have a number of bonus features that make it a more environmentally-friendly alternative, including addressing tricky drainage issues, and greater resilience against the elements as opposed to traditional pavers. If you are considering a permeable paver installation, speak with a Unilock Authorized Contractor to address all of your questions.

What is a retaining wall?

Retaining walls, both structural and non-structural, are manmade vertical structures designed for a variety of uses, such as preventing soil erosion, slope stabilization, property extension and in some cases privacy. Retaining walls can take the form of high walls up to 20 feet high, low garden walls, seat walls, and site amenity structures such as pillars, grill islands, fire and water features.

Can a paver be used as part of a retaining wall?

Some products are designed for multiple applications, whether it be for a retaining wall or as a driveway paver. Our Products page has a list of pavers that features a section that outlines its application, but a Unilock Authorized Contractor can also help address any questions you have about specific products.

Can I use Unilock pavers for a driveway?

Yes, Unilock designs paver products for multiple purposes, not just driveways. Unilock pavers enhance curb appeal and are proven to be more durable than poured-in-place concrete and asphalt. There are many advantages to utilizing Unilock pavers for your driveway project, click here to learn more.

When is a good time of year to do driveway installation?

The best time to install a driveway is anywhere from May 1st until December 1st. In some regions, this could be year-round. Ideally, the ground should not be frozen.

Can I use Unilock pavers around a pool?

Absolutely! Unilock produces a number of unique pavers that will complement your pool project. If you're looking for some unique design ideas, click here.

What type of gravel do I use for the base?

The base material we recommend is a locally approved road base gravel (6″ thick for a patio and/or walkway, 10-12″ thick for a driveway). On top of this compacted gravel a 1″ bedding course of coarse sand is placed prior to laying the pavers.

Can I install pavers over concrete?

If your concrete is in excellent condition (no cracking or deterioration), then yes you can install pavers over concrete. The existing concrete pad must slope away (min 1” of fall for 8 feet of run) from any structures to ensure drainage. Also, you must create a drainage layer (1″ of bedding sand) below the pavers.

Can I lay pavers directly on dirt?

No, we don’t recommend laying pavers directly on dirt. Pavers need to be placed on a special base material to allow moisture to drain. Freeze-thaw cycles during the winter will cause pavers laid directly on dirt to shift, creating a potential trip hazard. And without a proper gravel base and jointing material to help bind pavers in place, the risk of weed and moss growth is higher, especially in very wet climate areas.

Can I use porcelain tile in my driveway?

Porcelain is not appropriate for any vehicular applications and can only be utilised in residential or commercial settings. Refer to our Product page for more info.

How do I know if a product is slip-resistant?

Some products, such as Il Campo and Brussels Block, are designed with unique surface textures that make a natural slip resistant paver. Speak with a Unilock Authorized Contractor to discuss slip-resistant paver options for your outdoor project.

Can Unilock install a heated driveway?

Unilock does not sell or manufacture their own heated driveway systems, but if you are concerned about damaging your pavers due to shovelling or plowing your driveway, a Unilock Authorized Contractor can install a driveway heated system as your driveway is being built. Speak with a Unilock Authorized Contractor to learn more.

Are border patterns integral to the design of an outdoor space?

Paver borders provide aesthetic beauty and functionality to the overall design of a space. They should complement the nearby field pavers and fit into the overall scheme of the driveway, patio, or walkway. They provide a purpose by designating an end or transition and by providing structural support for smaller cut pieces of pavers near an edge, or are designed to contrast main paver fields by simply delineating the edge of your space.

Is adding joint sand part of the installation process?

The final part of the installation process is to sweep in sand between the joints. Depending on what type of paver you have installed you could also use a Polymeric Jointing Sand which hardens when wet and prevents weed growth, however this is not recommended for our heavily textured stones (such as Il Campo).

In what order do you apply polymeric sand and sealer?

The order in which you apply sand and sealer definitely matters. You must apply the sand first, sweeping carefully into the joints, ensuring none is left on the surface. Once the sealer is applied, it will trap anything that is left on the surface of the pavers. Make sure the joint sand is dry before sealing.

What do you recommend for an alternative to Polymeric Jointing Sand?

We recommend using a regular jointing sand in combination with a joint sand stabilizing sealer (a one step sealer and joint sand stabilizer). Please note; we recommend waiting a minimum of 3 months after installation before applying a sealer, to allow for the natural efflorescence to dissipate. Before sealing you must clean the surface and wait until it is 100% dry.

Can installed pavers ever separate from each other?

Pavers should not separate from each other, if they do it is an indication of an improper base and/or no edge restraints around the perimeter.

Can I drill clamps into my coping without damaging the wall to install rope lights?

Drilling into the seat wall is no problem. However, we recommend that you do not use over a #8 size concrete screw.

Do walls over 3′ need to be engineered?

Yes, we recommend that walls greater than 3′ (1m) or with a heavy load be engineered by a qualfied civil engineer (some municipalities require even lower heights, such as 2′ (600 mm), to be designed by an engineer). Fencing and railing may also be required. Always check with local building codes.

Can a Unilock Authorized Contractor install lighting into a paver?

Absolutely! We encourage homeowners to consider landscape lighting ideas into their initial design plans, and to discuss it early in the process with their Authorized Contractors. It's important to evaluate where in your outdoor project it makes the most sense to incorporate landscape lighting. Evaluate dark corners, walkways and other areas where illumination is important for safety.

What can I use to protect my paver surface when tamping?

A “Paver Saver” mat (a protective pad bolted to the bottom of the tamper) between the stone and the tamper will protect the surface of your pavers.

If I use a Unilock Authorized Contractor for the installation of my new patio and walkway, what is the guarantee? How does this benefit me?

Unilock Authorized Contractors are required, by Unilock, to offer a minimum 2 year installation guarantee on their workmanship. Having said that, many Authorized Contractors offer guarantees of 5 or more years. We would highly recommend choosing a Unilock Authorized Installer. Their extensive product and installation knowledge will help you get the best design imaginable and a quality installation.

Hiring a Unilock Authorized Contractor can give you peace of mind that lasts long after your project is complete. Unilock provides a Transferable Lifetime Guarantee on the structural integrity of our paving stones, slabs, retaining wall units and natural stone for residential use. Any materials installed and maintained to our guidelines, and subject to normal wear, that prove defective, will be replaced without cost. Registration is required. Read the details at Unilock Quality Commitment.

I would like to incorporate channel drains into my outdoor design. Can my Authorized Contractor help me with this?

Yes, provided you inform your Authorized Contractor of this plan during the initial design phase. We recommend having a drainage plan that will allow your contractor to take proper measurements of the space, and determine whether they will need to cut pavers to accommodate the channel drains during installation.

How long can a Unilock paver stone last?

Unilock stones are designed under extreme pressure in order to create a product with lifetime durability and strength. If your paver is not up to Unilock quality standards, we offer a Transferable Lifetime Guarantee that will cover the cost of replacing any damaged stones during installation.

What happens when a stone chips or cracks during installation? Am I covered under warranty?

Unilock offers a Lifetime Guarantee for products used on residential installations that are installed according to our guidelines. Click here to learn more.

Where do weeds come from? How do I prevent them?

Weeds do not come from underneath the pavers, they come from seeds that blow in from adjecent properties and fall into the joints and germinate. The best way to prevent weed growth is to put Polymeric Sand into the joints between pavers. Never put plastic underneath the pavers, this will keep the joints wet and only make weeds grow faster.

How can I prevent weeds growing from the fill joints between the permeable pavers?

A graded stone chip (ASTM No. 9) is used to fill the joints of permeable paver systems. This allows rapid infiltration of water. Over time, leaves, dirt and debris can build up in the joints reducing the permeability of the surface. Keeping the joints unclogged is the key. For small areas, this is done with a stiff broom, leaf blower and/or pressure washer. This type of maintenance is typically performed once every ten years to maintain optimal premeability.

How do I get rid of moss between my pavers?

Moss generally develops in the shaded areas that are slow to dry up after rain. If you want to remove it, it is recommended that you simply pressure wash the surface after applying a solution of 20% dish soap and 80% water to the surface. It is important to remember to not use the pressure washer on high power or too close to the surface when rinsing, or you risk damaging the surface. Always keep the nozzle at a 30° angle, 12’’ away from the surface and use the fanned nozzle setting.

What is Efflorescence?

Efflorescence is a powdery white deposit that may appear on the surface of your pavers after installation. Typically, efflorescence fades away with time after a season of rainfall. However if you wish to clear the efflorescence yourself, you can use a soap and water solution and a stiff plastic scrub brush. More stubborn efflorescence may require the use of a specialized paver cleaning product which is readily available from most Unilock dealers.

I have Natural Stone pavers installed in my backyard. Is there an easy method to cleaning them?

The type of stains you have will determine the cleaning techniques you choose. Typically, cleaning with soap and water and a soft scrub brush is effective. On surfaces that are sensitive to acid, Unilock offers PowerClean, a concentrated, high-alkaline cleaner and degreaser that works quickly to remove most grease, food stains, general debris, and mild cement contamination. Find out more about natural stone cleaning solutions, speak with an Authorized Contractor.

What should I clean my pavers with?

All Unilock Dealers carry general cleaning solutions and specialized ones designed for oil and grease, efflorescence, etc. Many customers simply use regular dish soap & water. The main thing is not to use a wire brush (the pieces of wire can become dislodged and promote rust) and to be gentle with the sand.

I am planning to power wash my Unilock pavers, do you have any pointers before I do it?

There are a few general guidelines when power washing your pavers. Do not use the pressure washer on high power when rinsing, or you risk damaging the surface. Always keep the nozzle at a 30° angle 12″ away from the surface and use the fanned nozzle setting. If some jointing sand washes out, you may need to sweep in some new sand.

Should I seal my Unilock pavers? If so, how soon after installation should I apply the sealer?

Sealing is a personal preference as it is generally used to enhance or deepen the color of the pavers and to protect the surface from staining materials. If you do choose to seal, you must ensure the pavers are completely clean and free of any efflorescence (a whitish haze caused by naturally occurring salts used in both the base materials and/or aggregates used to manufacture the stone, that goes away with time). We recommend that you wait approximately 2-3 months prior to sealing to ensure no efflorescence shows up.

If I choose to seal my pavers, will I ever have to re-seal?

If you do decide to seal we typically recommend reapplying the sealer every 3-5 years as it does wear with time.

Can a Unilock Authorized Contractor seal my pavers for me?

In most cases yes, if they offer that service. Make sure when to speak with your Authorized Contractor early on in the installation process about your intention to have your pavers sealed once the project is completed, as the application process can be tricky when you factor in the maintenance and weather patterns.

Can I shovel my Unilock driveway without damaging the pavers?

When shovelling, use a plastic shovel or when plowing use plastic blade protectors. Metal blades on plows can scratch the surface and ruin the appearance.

What can I use for de-icing my Unilock pavers?

When applying de-icing salts to your driveway we recommend the following: Caution should be used when applying any de-icing chemicals and always avoid excessive use. Calcium based products or rock salt (sodium Chloride) are both safe as de-icing chemicals. We recommend that you avoid using magnesium based products as they are very aggressive de-icing salts that cause damage to the surface.

What is a Classic paver?

Classic (or thru-mix) pavers utilize a traditional mix of small and large aggregates that is consistent from top to bottom, with color mixed throughout. They are manufactured to exceed ASTM standards for quality and strength. Popular Classic pavers include Brussels Block®, Hollandstone™ and Pisa™.

What is EnduraColor?

EnduraColor products feature a refined surface that is achieved with a special two-step manufacturing process that protects the surface from the appearance of fading over time. EnduraColor products have a combined base of strong, coarse aggregates, with concentrated color and wear-resistant finer aggregates on top. Popular EnduraColor pavers include Umbriano®, Il Campo® and Series™.

What is ColorFusion?

ColorFusion technology randomly disperses color and granite particles in order to achieve a unique mottled surface that resembles natural granite. (eg. Umbriano®)

What is Elegance?

Elegance is the peak of aesthetic beauty and long-lasting durability. Our top-of-the-line collection brings together a combination of distinct Reala™ surface textures with the strength of Ultima™ concrete. Popular Elegance™ pavers include Courtstone®, Richcliff® and Copthorne®.

What does it mean when a paver is permeable?

Permeable pavers are designed with special spacer bars that allow rainwater to flow back into the ground rather than into storm drains. This effectively mitigates the risk of carrying pollutants back into the environment. Permeable pavers are a more sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to traditional pavers while still maintaining a similar appearance to traditional pavers.

What is EasyClean technology?

EasyClean is a proprietary technology that involves the application of a specially designed coating to the pavers during the manufacturing process. This superior sealant, applied in a controlled environment, effectively protects Unilock pavers from stains, making them easier to clean than traditional pavers. EasyClean is proven to protect against the deep penetration of common stains including ketchup, mustard, wine, as well as typical organic stains resulting from leaves, dirt, and moss.

What is Reala technology?

Reala™ technology employs a multitude of authentic surface textures, such as natural stone, brick and cobblestone, to create distinct Unilock products.

What is Ultima Concrete?

Ultima™ Concrete is a proprietary technology, exclusive to Unilock, which enables us to design pavers and walls with up to four times the strength of poured-in-place concrete.

What is Artista?

Artista is a proprietary technology, exclusive to Unilock and our Granito™ paver. Color flecks are randomly dispersed which makes for a visually pleasing appearance that is both unique, and beautiful.

How can I determine which pavers work for specific applications?

Our website product pages feature one or more symbols depicting the most suitible application(s) for that particular product. It is recommended that you only use the product for the noted application. This is particularly important as some pavers may only be suitable for patios and walkways but not driveways.

Do you list paver prices anywhere on the website?

Paver prices are not listed on the Unilock website, but there are two ways to find prices. You can speak directly with an Authorized Contractor, who may be able to provide an estimate for their services, or go directly to one of our landscape Dealers. For a list of available Dealers near you, click here.

Is it cheaper to install large format pavers as opposed to small brick pavers?

The size of your space may influence to the size of pavers you choose. Driveway or pool deck projects are more commonly considered to use large format pavers, however smaller pavers offer a more flexible and durable surface, making them a more practical choice for driveways. A Unilock Authorized Contractor can help you choose the most ideal paver format for your project.

Will my pavers last through the winter months?

Unilock pavers can be used in any climate. In fact, that is why the northern cities in Canada have so many paved streets and sidewalks.

Can I use any brand of sealer or sand on my pavers?

Check with your Unilock Dealer for preferred sealing products and sands on Unilock products. Brands vary by Unilock region.

Can I use concrete adhesive on block that are moist?

No, your concrete surfaces should be dry prior to gluing.

Are Unilock wall products safe to use for a fire pit?

Our wall products can been used to build fire pits but our stones are not fire rated. If you choose to build a fire pit with our stones you would need to line it with fire brick to withstand the high heat.

Is it cheaper to purchase a fire pit kit than to build a fire pit from scratch using pavers?

Purchasing a fire pit kit is more cost-efficient as it comes complete with a metal insert and grill. The metal insert helps protect the structural integrity of your fire pit, ensuring your wall does not dry out or crack from extended heat exposure. That being said, you can still build a fire pit from scratch using our wall products, as long as you choose products that are recommended for that application.

Do tumbled pavers offer the same stain resistance as Unilock EnduraColor or Elegance pavers?

No, tumbled products do not offer the same stain resistance. Many of our Unilock EnduraColor or Elegance products are manufactured using a proprietary process that forms a higher density paver with surfaces that are extremely hard to permanently stain.

Are the dimensions advertised in the catalog the best dimensions to use? I do understand that these are nominal dimensions. Do these dimensions include the edge spacing tabs?

Our measurements are nominal because there can be small variances in dimensions when forming concrete pavers. Our recommendation is to measure several sample pavers and work from those measurements. One way to confirm measurements is to measure an area of the product laid out at a local Unilock Dealer or Unilock Idea Center. The dimensions do include spacing tabs but we would not use them as a definitive measurement. Areas can also vary due to installation. The size of an area is also dependent on how tightly the pavers are laid.

Do you have any information on how to get my landscape project started?

We suggest you visit one of our Idea Centers and speak to our knowledgeable and helpful sales staff before starting your project.

Do you have any helpful hints for finding a contractor?

We recommend reading the How to Choose a Contractor page. It addresses some questions you should ask and what to look for when you’re hiring a contractor.

How will I know how much paver/wall product I will need for my outdoor project?

Unilock Authorized Contractors can access Speed-Calc™, our Paver and Wall Calculator, a free and easy-to-use tool to help you determine how many bundles and partial bundles you will need for your outdoor project.

Where can I find sample products?

Visit a Unilock Outdoor Idea Center or Dealer to and speak to one of our staff on site to find samples.

I have a hard time visualizing my finished project. How can Unilock help in designing my vision?

Our Unilock Renoworks design visualizer allows you to design your outdoor space the way you want. Work within a Sample Project, or upload an image of your own outdoor space and then choose from a variety of products and colors to help visualize what they would look like in your outdoor space.

Do you have a selection of past projects on your website?

Unilock keeps an extensive list of projects that use our product. On our "Dream" section of the website you can find a number of examples. We would also recommend going through our most recent catalog for fresh ideas.

What's the difference between an EnduraColor and Elegance product?

EnduraColor technology uses a two-step manufacturing method to produce pavers that are smoother resulting in a surface finish that is more resistant to wear or the appearance of fading. Elegance products use Ultima concrete to ensure pavers are up to four times stronger comparted to poured-in-place concrete and incorporate Reala Technology to create authentic looking surfaces cast from natural flagstone, brick, and cobblestone molds. Both EnduraColor and Elegance products bring distinctive style and long-lasting durability to your hardscape project.

Where can I order a copy of the Design Idea Catalog?

At the bottom of the home page is the “Order a Catalog” section. From there, you can download a PDF version of the Design Idea Catalog based on your region, or fill out the request form to have a copy mailed to your home address.

Can a Unilock Authorized Contractor offer a monthly payment plan or deferrals?

In some cases, yes, your Authorized Contractor may offer the Unilock Do-It-Now Payment plan. Exclusive to U.S. clients, this plan allows you to make incremental payments toward completing your design project. Your contractor may also offer a number of payment options, including payment deferrals or monthly payment plans, and you can continue to make payments after your project has been completed.

How can I determine if the color of a Unilock paver will last?

While traditional pavers do fade over time due to wear and tear and the elements, Unilock has manufactured a variety of exclusive proprietary technologies, including EnduraColor, which will help retain color for years after installation.

Is color fade on pavers guaranteed coverage under the Lifetime Guarantee?

Paver color is not guaranteed under the Unilock Lifetime Guarantee. Over time, with weathering and wear, colors may lighten or change. However, Unilock manufactures many of our products with EnduraColor technology, which helps protect the surface of pavers from fading over time. A Unilock Authorized Contractor can help you determine which paver is best suited for your outdoor project.

How should I make the final selection of a paver color?

Preliminary color selection starts with visiting unilock.com. Once you narrow down your options we suggest you get physical samples from our Unilock Idea Center or from your contractor. This is best, so you can see the pavers outdoor in natural light.

Skip to content