FAQs on Paver Installation, Maintenance and More | Unilock

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Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

How can I prevent weeds or moss 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 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.

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.

Can I use concrete adhesive on block that are moist?

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 hiring 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 should I make a 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.

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. For a list of product technologies, click here.

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.

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 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. Click here to find a location near you.

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 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.

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.

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.

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