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Old 05-05-2006, 05:40 PM
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Polymeric advice

We're poised to give polymeric sand a go for the first time on a job coming up in a couple weeks. 450 sq. ft. snapped edge flag patio -- thumb joints.

So, previously I have been doing this kind of thing with a mix of crushed limestone and portland, with the limestone as the levelling base. Can I still use that as my base or do I need to use sand?

I understand that making sure everything is totally dry is important and proper cleanup is essential, but what tricks have you found to doing this. On hands and knees with a whisk broom, or what?

I'm excited to give this a try.

The client wants more of a mortared joint look, and this seems like the best option available, so let's make this into a primer for newbies (like me) to polymeric sand.
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Old 05-05-2006, 08:09 PM
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when we use the sand, we'll just use push brooms and sweep into cracks. After that we'll run the compactor over the area, that settles the sand into the cracks. sweep alittle more, then lightly blow to get excess off the surface. then you lightly spray to dampen the sand. wait until its dry then spray again. make sure no sand is left on the surface because its a pain in the rear to scrape off.


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Old 05-05-2006, 08:16 PM
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Pay attention to the weather forecast that day - 2 minutes of ill-timed rain can really screw things up. And if you start sweeping in and it looks like the skies will open up, crack the whip like you're going to the glue factory w/ your horse if you lose.

When wetting down - use a very light mist - just enough to wet the sand and take the poly dust off the stones themselves - but this is a very, very light mist. Think of the hose nozzle/gun thingies that have 7 different settings you can rotate through, and the fine mist you get on the "Mist" setting. That's what you want.

As for base prep - do as you normally do.


This discussion has been included in the site beginner's polymeric sand page.

Last edited by Stonehenge; 08-22-2007 at 12:06 PM..
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Old 06-28-2006, 04:22 PM
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Just thought I'd give an update here. Turned out great & the poly sand was all that was advertised. Thanks for the advice. I can see where if it wasn't cleanup up properly that stuff could be a real nightmare. I don't think I'll be using anything else!
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Old 06-28-2006, 04:48 PM
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Jesse - That is some very nice work. The variation in stone color is great - did you mix different types into the patio?

How do your guys approach making consistent joint sizes?
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Old 06-28-2006, 05:06 PM
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We used both a full range bluestone and a sandstone flag for that patio. The colors really played off each other well.

Each stone was cut to provide the consistent joints. Takes a hell of a lot longer, but so long as you charge enough for it, it's worth it in the long run.

This job was a bit of a nightmare to finish. My foreman lost both his helpers (I had to fire them) during this job, and he'd never done a cut stone patio before. Luckily, he has an amazing capacity for attention to detail and did a fantastic job. I only had to be with him for one full day before I was able to turn him loose with only minimal oversight. He got a big, hefty raise after showing me these chops.

Like I said before, I'm a poly sand convert after this...
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Old 06-28-2006, 08:17 PM
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Trees, you have some real talent! Glad I saw your post because I am about to use 'poly' on my driveway. Just wondering if you agree with doing small sections at a time, maybe, 10' x 10'. I am the homeowner so I am not concerned with doing the entire job at once. With all the care and prep needed to do it right, I think I might be overwhelmed if I tried to do the entire 2100 sq. ft. at once.
By the way, I want to do this because I am tired of the weeds that grow in the cracks, the ants, and the tracking of slag sand into the house damaging our wood floors. I predict more and more people will get into this as the word gets out. The samples I have seen looked really good for preventing the problems I mentioned.
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:27 PM
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Fine Edge is just really nice Fine Edge is just really nice Fine Edge is just really nice Fine Edge is just really nice Fine Edge is just really nice
That's some awesome work. I know it had to take a long time to get those joints looking like they do!
What tool was used to cut those big pieces? Or should I ask what tools?
I'm guessing cut-off saw and grinder?
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Old 06-29-2006, 03:29 PM
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Circular saw and grinder were used to cut the stones. Seems like a cut-off would work better, but the manuverability of the circular saw was great and it really didn't take too long to make the cuts. Ran through about 4 diamond blades!
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:38 PM
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Wow....that's beautiful.
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Old 06-29-2006, 09:47 PM
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nice work trees!
now I'm going to feel more comfortable using the sand on the flag walk that I'm doing.
How wide are your gaps-- less than a 1/4?

thanks
bruce
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:17 PM
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Question about poly sand to the pros :

I was wondering in an application like this when you have a freeze thaw cycle you pour a reinforced concrete slab then lay your stones in grout , then mortar your joints so they wont crack. Why cant you do a crusher run base like a normal paver install then lay stones and grout the top joints with poly sand since it flexes ? Thus eliminating the need for a concrete slab. ??? Just a thought because alot of customers get taked out of natural stone because it is so costly of an install .

--Josh
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:15 PM
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Bruce--
The joints are all "thumb joints", in other words, the width of your thumb, give or take (what's that -- about an inch?).

J--
Exactly... Flexible paving is the way to go, IMHO. Make sure you get the sand that's engineered for wider joints. Comes in both a buff sand color and in gray (like in this case).

Thanks to everyone for the kind remarks!
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Old 06-30-2006, 07:14 PM
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Trees, maybe you missed my post above...still looking for your advice
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Old 06-30-2006, 09:05 PM
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if you want to do small areas thats up to you ,the sand goes in pretty fast.
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