Homeowners | Cambridge Pavingstones
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From adding curb appeal to a backyard sanctuary...

By insisting on Cambridge Pavingstone with ArmorTec, your patio, pool deck, walkway and driveway will be the envy of your neighbors. Expand your living space to the great outdoors with hundreds of shape, color, texture and pattern combinations to choose from... the creativity is unlimited.

Add landscape walls, a barbeque and fire pit, decorative and functional columns and more. Cambridge Segmental Wall Systems offer a variety of face styles and colors that match or complement Cambridge Pavingstones with ArmorTec®.

In addition to increasing the appraised value of your home without the expense and real estate taxes associated with putting an addition onto your home.

Content found in the Homeowner Resource Center area of our Web site will assist you in everything from product selection, design and installation alerting you about Cambridge-sponsored events that are specially prepared for the homeowner.

Homeowner Guide

There is more to know when choosing a pavement than simply meets the eye. As a conscientious homeowner, you want assurance that the pavement for your walkway, driveway, patio or pool deck will look beautiful for a long time, require little maintenance, stand up to the weather and return its cost to you. It should also be easy to clean or repair as well as complement the style of your home.

The beauty of your completed projects—well designed, properly installed with the right materials—will make you feel your research was worthwhile.

Refer to the chart for comparisons of types of pavements to make the best choice. See a Comparison Guide of interlocking concrete pavingstones to other pavement materials.
Most interlocking concrete pavements are installed by professional contractors who specialize in their construction. They can complete a high-quality job quickly and safely because they have the right equipment and materials.

To assist in choosing a contractor, ICPI offers a free Consumer Guide to assist you in the selection process. The ICPI recommends using distributors who sell ICPI-certified concrete pavers. The entire Cambridge Pavingstones product line is ICPI–certified.

A contractor can show you the range of paver colors, shapes and patterns available, or use those you've selected.

For further information on concrete pavers, installation, and contractors, contact your local Authorized Cambridge Distributor.

Find a Professional Installer
Just knowing something about a contractor isn't enough. In order to ensure a quality installation, you should ask questions of the contractor such as:
  • How long have they been installing pavers?
  • Have they been trained by a manufacturer or by the ICPI?
  • Do they have written certificate of completion?
  • What percentage of their total business consists of installing concrete pavers?
  • Will they provide you with three references, not only recent ones, but from past jobs?
  • Can you contact their reference and inspect the jobs?
  • Do they have a portfolio of photos and letters to qualify themselves?
  • Are they in good credit standing?
  • Do they have a current liability insurance certificate?
  • While the contractor is on your property, they should be insured for any damage and injuries that may occur. Check your homeowner’s insurance policy for coverage of the contractor while on your property.
  • Can the contractor provide proof that Workmens Compensation insurance covers all on the job?
  • Do they install the job per ICPI specifications? Can they supply a copy?
  • Do they provide a written, itemized proposal outlining the scope of work and terms of payment? It should include starting and completion dates, demolition and excavation paving and base materials, and taxes.
  • Do they guarantee their work for one year?
  • Will they return in a year to inspect it?
  • Are they members of the ICPI or other associations?
  • Is your contractor licensed by your state and municipality if required?
With answers for these questions and others you might have, plus answers on how to know when the installation is being done right, you should be able to select a competent contractor.

Select a Pavement Type:

Concrete Pavers (Best Buy)
Appearance A wide range of surface finishes - smooth to textured. Many available colors, shapes, and laying patterns can complement the architectural style of your home.
Initial Cost and Installation Moderate - Tightly fitted, uniform units are placed over a sand bed and a compacted aggregate base. Immediately ready for use. Can be installed by homeowner. Factory-made pavers last for decades.
Maintenance Low-Stained or broken pavers can be easily replaced without patches. Dark colored pavers can help hide stains. Ants and weeds in joints can be prevented with sealers or herbicides.
Winter Durability High-Small, high density units resist cracking as well as damage from freeze-thaw and salts. Pavers are stronger than ordinary or stamped concrete.
Snow Removal Smooth surface allows for easy snow removal. Pavers can be colored dark to help melt snow faster. Snow-melt systems can be installed to eliminate snow and ice removal.
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Cobble Stone
Appearance Gives elegant, permanent, yet informal "Old World" feel.
Initial Cost and Installation Very High-Each unit must be fitted together by hand.
Maintenance Low-High quality stone lasts for decades. Wide joints may encourage weeds and ants. Rough surface makes walking and driving difficult.
Winter Durability High-High density stone resists cracking and salts.
Snow Removal Rough surface makes plowing difficult.
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Stamped Concrete
Appearance Surface is usually colored. Patterns look good from a distance, but close up surface looks artificial.
Initial Cost and Installation High-Difficult for homeowner to install. Requires special equipment to stamp stone or paver patterns into surface. Surface sealer often used.
Maintenance Moderate-Cracking will likely develop. Difficult to match original color or pattern in repaired areas. Repairs leave unattractive patch.
Winter Durability Low-Subject to deterioration from de-icing salts. Surface sealer may provide some protection from salt attack.
Snow Removal Uneven surface of some patterns and textures can make plowing difficult.
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Clay Pavers
Appearance Mostly shades of red and red-brown. Limited number of shapes available.
Initial Cost and Installation High-Concrete base often required which increases cost. Inconsistent dimensions make units slow to install and difficult to maintain straight pattern lines.
Maintenance Low-Irregularities in surface make them prone to damage, especially edge chipping.
Winter Durability Moderate-Salts can attack and deteriorate some clay pavers.
Snow Removal Rough surface can make snow removal difficult.
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Ordinary Concrete
Appearance Grey or light brown. Can be colored throughout or on surface only.
Initial Cost and Installation Moderate-Difficult for homeowner to install. Must wait 5 to 7 days for hardening before use. Surface quality depends on weather at time of pour and expertise of installers.
Maintenance Moderate-Cracking will likely develop. Repairs and replaced sections leave unsightly patches. Oil stains difficult to remove.
Winter Durability Low-Cracks from freeze-thaw, settlement and deterioration from salts.
Snow Removal Smooth surface allows for easy removal. Light colored surface may not melt snow rapidly.
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Appearance Limited color options. Difficult to get neat looking edges. Cracks will likely develop. Stamped and colored asphalt looks fake.
Initial Cost and Installation Low-Goes in quickly over compacted aggregate base. Can't be installed by homeowner.
Maintenance High-Wear and weather will break down surface. Black seal coat required every 2-3 years. Ruts or pothole repairs make ugly patches. Subject to erosion from oil drippings.
Winter Durability Low-Cracks from freeze-thaw, settlement and deterioration from de-icing salts.
Snow Removal Smooth surface allows for easy removal. Dark surface accelerates snow melting.
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Crushed Stone or Gravel
Appearance Typically a rustic look. Appearance varies with color and shape of stones.
Initial Cost and Installation Low-Dumped and spread over soil (no base required).
Maintenance High-Scattered stone must be replaced and releveled regularly. Ruts from tires will likely develop.
Winter Durability High-Stones resist freeze-thaw cycles and salts.
Snow Removal Stones will scatter when plowing snow.
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As a conscientious homeowner, you want assurance that the contractor you hire will do a quality job. Asking questions can help. It is important that you take time to ask questions about all aspects of your project with a qualified contractor.

Several are listed here for your convenience.

Q. Will the excavated area be a minimum of 6" (150 mm) wider than the actual paved area?
A. Yes, when the aggregate base is placed in the excavated area, the extra width will help ensure stability of the base at the edges, and provide space for the required edge restraints.

Q. How will the contractor grade the paver installation for drainage?
By sloping the paved area away from the house at a minimum of 2%.

Q. Will the aggregate base absorb or hold water?
No, when compacted properly, its density will minimize deformation and/or heaving of the paved surface during freezing or thawing.

Q. Will the base be aggregate, ranging in size from approximately 3/4" (20 mm) to sand?
Yes, this facilitates compaction to a required density while allowing proper water drainage.

Q. How will the aggregate base be compacted?
In 4" (200 mm) layers to achieve the maximum density and load bearing capacity. Each layer will require several passes of a compactor to achieve this.

Q. Will the bedding sand be loosely screeded to a depth of 1" (25 mm), but no thicker than 1 1/2" (40 mm) thick?
Yes, the loosely placed, even layer of washed, coarse sand provides a setting bed for the pavers. When the pavers are placed on the sand and compacted, the sand moves up into the joints. This causes the pavers to interlock and become level after compaction. Note: limestone screenings and stone dust should not be used for bedding sand.

Q. How will the contractor assure an even color mix of the paver?
By taking pavers from several bundles or pallets at a time.

Q. Will an edge restraint be installed?
Yes, an edge restraint around the perimeter of the pavers is essential for eliminating horizontal creeping of the pavers and loss of bedding sand.

Q. Are joints filled between the pavers?
Yes, with clean, fine sand. The sand should be dry sand so it will flow freely into the joints. The pavers are compacted during and after filling to begin interlock of the units and prevent sand from washing from the joints.

Q. Should there be inspection of the pavers after their compaction?
Yes, the owner and the contractor should inspect the pavement together and confirm the owner’s satisfaction.

Q. Do I need to seal the pavers?
No, pavers are extremely durable. Sealing, however, may enhance the colors and may prevent staining. Allow a minimum of 60-90 days after completion of the installation before sealing. Consult your supplier for recommendations on cleaning and sealing.