3 KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A GATOR BASE INSTALLATION AND A TRADITIONAL PAVER INSTALLATION
Gator Base is the solution to the three biggest challenges faced by every hardscape installer: excavation, time and labor, and freeze/thaw cycles. And with over 2 million square feet already installed, contractors are clearly seeing the benefits of breaking the mold and trying something new!
So what exactly are the differences between using Gator Base vs. installing pavers the old fashioned way? Keep reading because you’re about to find out! Here are details on the three key differences between a Gator Base installation and a traditional paver installation.
1. Less Excavation
When excavating for a traditional paver installation, it’s customary to reserve six inches for crushed stone. With a Gator Base installation, there’s no need to do this. Here’s why. The interlocking panels distribute all dynamic loads to a very wide area, practically eliminating any pressure on the ground. Essentially, one Gator Base panel is the equivalent to six inches of crushed stone!
Fun fact: A 144 lb. person produces a 1 PSI (pounds per square inch) load on a 12”x12” paver. Gator Base is engineered to support a dynamic load of up to 8 PSI (or 1,152 lbs.) on a 12”x12” paver!
So now you’re probably asking, “but what about drainage?” Contractors commonly believe that the crushed stone in a traditional installation is partly there to allow for water drainage (which ultimately prevents frost from heaving the pavers). Well, Gator Base has got you covered there, too! For proper drainage, each Gator Base panel is equipped with channels for water evacuation along a one degree slope. There are also five drainage holes per every 16 square inch. Properly compacted crushed stone hardly drains at all!
Less excavation is a tremendous benefit offered by a Gator Base installation. Not only will you enjoy a time savings, but a cost savings on …
- Six inches of crushed stone
- A truck and driver on the road
- Dumping fees
- Wear and tear on machinery
2. Reduced Labor
Excavation is one area where labor can be saved on a Gator Base job, however, Gator Base also drastically cuts down on the time it takes to perform an installation. With each panel weighing in at a mere 1.32 lbs., moving them in and setting them down takes a matter of minutes! No more hauling in heavy aggregate material … 28.9 square feet of Gator Base (which weighs only 6.6 lbs.) replaces a whopping 1,440 lbs. of crushed stone (and all of the tedious hours of manual labor that comes along with it)!
We recently filmed a side-by-side Gator Base vs. traditional paver installation. The Gator Base project was completed 57% faster! By the time the crew started installing the polymeric sand on the Gator Base job, the crew working on the traditional job still had to:
- Complete the bedding sand
- Install the pavers
- Install the edging
- Compact the pavers
- And the list goes on!
3. Protection From Freeze/Thaw
One of the most commonly asked questions we get on Gator Base is, “how does it perform in climates that experience freeze/thaw cycles?” As we noted above, crushed stone in a traditional installation really doesn’t allow for water drainage and it is all too common to see frost heaving pavers when the temperatures drop. Well, Gator Base is specifically engineered to protect against the effects of freeze/thaw!
One panel of Gator Base acts like a thermal blanket that insulates as well as 18 inches of crushed stone … making it three times more effective than crushed stone as an insulator! With an R-Value of 3.6 (per inch thickness), Gator Base will significantly reduce the impact of freeze and thaw cycles.
So are you ready to try something new for a change? Try the Gator Base way!
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