Foam base technology is trending, and its available at Creative Landscape Depot
Foam base technology is trending, and its available at Creative Landscape Depot

Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph & Surrounding Areas in Southern Ontario are considered to be one of the most concentrated hubs for landscaping in North America. We therefore participate in the industries latest trends & designs on a daily basis!

St. Jacobs, and surrounding KW area highly concentrated landscape markets, participating in award-winning landscapes on a daily basis.
St. Jacobs, and surrounding KW area highly concentrated landscape markets, participating in award-winning landscapes on a daily basis.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Creative+Landscape+Depot/@43.5287794,-80.5575288,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x882bf191ff35d195:0x26ed3a64d767e658!8m2!3d43.5287794!4d-80.5553401

Everything you need to know when creating an outdoor living space is available within our product collection, and our team is always available for a full introduction to each product!

Interlocking paving stones layed on Gator Base foam technology.
Interlocking paving stones layed on Gator Base foam technology.

If you’re looking to upgrade your exterior landscape,, and enjoy your space at another level, then let’s talk about your renovation. Our 2019 landscape & veneer product guide are great resources, and our extensive network of professionals area available to quote you on your projects details.

Creative 2019 Product Collection, your guide to value-added landscapes.
Creative 2019 Product Collection, your guide to value-added landscapes.

Let’s review the case study and all relevant information on the Gator Base technology by our partners Alliance. The following section is all quoted from the Alliance blog and available literature online:

https://www.alliancegator.com/

5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT FOAM BASE PAVER INSTALLATIONS

The use of foam base is quickly becoming a popular option for paver installations in North America. Case in point: there’s over 3.5 million square feet of our Gator Base product already in the ground! In today’s post, we’re going to share five things you should know about using foam base as a paver installation method.

Gator Base pad
Gator Base pad


1. Foam base can seriously speed up your installation process
We wanted to see just how much faster using Gator Base was in comparison to installing pavers the traditional way. So we set-up an apples-to-apples, side-by-side comparison test! You can watch the time-lapse video of it here but long story short: the Gator Base project was installed 57% faster than the traditional project.

By the time the Gator Base project was finished, the following items were still yet to be completed in the traditional project:

  • Installation of bedding sand
  • Installation of pavers
  • Installation of edging
  • Compaction of pavers
  • First sweeping of polymeric sand
  • Re-compaction of pavers
  • Second installation of polymeric sand
  • Removal of excess sand
  • Watering

2. Foam base can make the impossible possible
Our Gator Base product can be used in a number of application settings that would be next to impossible to tackle without it. Let’s take a look at some scenarios.

Limited access: Gator Base is a perfect option for job sites that are tucked behind a fence, masonry wall, or gate that can’t be taken down. It’s also perfect for a site that is up or down a steep hill or requires access through a neighbour’s property.

Limited storage: On some job sites, there just isn’t a spot to store the excavation spoils and/or the stone base that’s needed for a traditional job. Gator Base completely eliminates the need for deep excavation and saves six inches of compacted crushed stone!

Root zones: Roots will often be an issue on a job site that has mature trees. With Gator Base, you’ll only have to dig about four inches down … so you won’t have to worry about entering the root zone of the trees!

Underground utilities: Have a job site where underground utilities might compete with your excavation? Gator Base is the answer.

3. Foam base offers a significant savings
While the cost of our Gator Base product will be more than the six inches of crushed stone it will replace, the real savings comes in the form of time and labor. Here’s some food for thought:

Gator Base under Techo-Bloc paving stone, all available at Creative.
Gator Base under Techo-Bloc paving stone, all available at Creative.

How much does the excavation in a traditional job cost you? Or, better yet, how much is over excavating costing you? Remember, with Gator Base, you’re replacing six inches of crushed stone, that will also need to be compacted!

  • How much is the double handling of the excavated material costing you? (Getting it curbside + hauling it off = money you don’t have to spend on a Gator Base job!)
  • What does your stone base cost?
  • What does the installation of the stone base cost? Think about all the labor it takes to lay it out in lifts, compact it, and then repeat the process!

Again, all of this labor is saved on a Gator Base project. Not only will you save on excavation and base prep, but you will also be able to install your pavers faster!

4. Foam base is NOT for every job
While there are many applications in which Gator Base will be a great fit, there are some cases in which it wouldn’t. Here are some examples:

  • Vehicular applications (Gator Base is only approved for pedestrian traffic at this point in time)
  • Designs that feature circular or serpentine shapes which would result in excessive waste
  • Projects that involve raised patios or significant grade changes

5. Foam base does require excavation
One of the key benefits of Gator Base is that it saves you from having to excavate the extra six inches you would normally fill with crushed stone. However, if you fail to excavate properly and evenly, your project can be prone to settling in the future.

To calculate the optimal amount of excavation needed, add together the depths of the following four elements:

  • Geotextile fabric (Gator Fabric)
  • Final height of the compacted bedding sand (½”)
  • Gator Base (¾”)
  • Height of the pavers

The total excavation width should be six inches wider on each side than the final paved area, have the same slope as the finished paver surface, and be within ⅜ inches of desired grade.

Installation guide for property Gator Base placement.

10 QUICK FACTS ON GATOR BASE

Gator Base panels can help save time, money and labor on many different types of hardscape applications. Manufactured using lightweight high-density polypropylene, five Gator Base panels will cover 28.9 square feet and weigh only 6.6 lbs! In this post, we’re going to share 10 quick facts that you might find interesting about this product.

  • Saves 6” of excavation
    Gator Base will actually replace the six inches of compacted crushed stone that’s needed in traditional pedestrian hardscape jobs.
  • Provides better protection against freeze/thaw
    Gator Base acts as a thermal blanket. It’s three times more effective than crushed stone as an insulator and significantly reduces freeze/thaw cycles.
Greater protection against freeze / thaw cycles
Greater protection against freeze / thaw cycles
  • Perfect for jobs with tight access
    Because big, heavy pieces of equipment aren’t needed for Gator Base installations, the product proves to be the perfect solution for jobs with limited access.
  • Extremely durable

Gator Base is built to last! With over 3.5 million square feet already installed, this product is proving it can withstand the test of time. It will never leach chemicals or degrade in the native soil.

Durable foam technology, relied upon by professionals
Durable foam technology, relied upon by professionals
  • Offers better load transfer
    Gator Base panels interlock to distribute the static and dynamic loads to a very wide area, a very effective means of spreading out any pressure on the soils below.
  • Features water evacuation channels
    Gator Base has been designed to return water to the native soil through built-in evacuation channels.
  • LOCK-N-GO Technology
    Designed with a tongue and groove system, Gator Base panels quickly and easily lock into place to form a durable monolithic slab.
Tongue and groove-like system / Lock N Go - by Gator Base
Tongue and groove-like system / Lock N Go – by Gator Base
  • No heavy equipment needed
    Did you know that it would take about 1,440 lbs. of crushed stone to fill 28.9 square feet six inches high? That’s a lot of excavating and heavy lifting! Five panels of Gator Base weighs in at 6.6 lbs. and will cover this same exact square footage!
  • 10. 3.5 million square feet installed!
    The number of Gator Base jobs continues to rise in North America … 3.5 million square feet and counting!

4 BENEFITS OF GATOR BASE LOCK-N-GO TECHNOLOGY

Yes, there are other brands of foam base for pavers out on the market but did you know that Alliance Gator Base is the only one that offers LOCK-N-GO Technology? In this section, we’ll explain what LOCK-N-GO is and four very important benefits you should know about.

What is LOCK-N-GO?

Gator Base has been designed with a tongue and groove interlocking system, better known as LOCK-N-GO. Each Gator Base panel locks into the next to form a single and incredibly sturdy base for laying pavers on top of. While there are other brands of foam base available on the market, Gator Base is the only one that features a locking edge system.

Large hardscape interlocking patio installation using Gator Base
Large hardscape interlocking patio installation using Gator Base

Benefit #1: Increased Strength
Since the Gator Base panels are designed to lock together, they will essentially form a monolithic slab once installed. In climates that experience freeze and thaw cycles, this is especially significant. The pavers and base form a single unit which is isolated from the ground to a certain degree and will endure natural ground movements as such.

Benefit #2: You Can Walk On It
After the Gator Base panels have been installed, you can feel free to walk all over them! The LOCK-N-GO Technology secures each and every panel together so they won’t shift around once they’re down. Very convenient!

Benefit #3: Paver Staging
Besides being able to walk on the Gator Base panels during an installation, you can also stage your pavers right on top of them. There’s no need to have someone standing off to the side handing off pavers to the person installing them! Pavers can be staged right on the Gator Base and pushed or slid around as needed. This will significantly expedite the installation process.

Beautiful backyard makeovers and installations done using Gator Base
Beautiful backyard makeovers and installations done using Gator Base

Benefit #4: Security
No need to worry about the wind if you’re using Gator Base. Because the panels lock into each other, they will not blow around on a windy day. Also, if rain is forecasted before your paver installation, the installed Gator Base will protect your compacted final grade bedding sand from washing away. Again, it’s another way that LOCK-N-GO Technology eases the installation process.

HOW TO INSTALL GATOR BASE

Gator Base is a foam base product that has been engineered and designed specifically for pedestrian paver installations. The panels are lightweight and incredibly easy to move around and work with. In this blog post, we’re going to outline, step-by-step, what a typical Gator Base installation involves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijmTi9wnLHY
Gator Base Installation Tutorial

1. Excavation

Gator Base eliminates the need for the typical six inches of compacted crushed stone that would be used in a traditional paver installation. In a Gator Base installation, you only need to excavate about four inches down instead of nine to ten inches for a traditional base.

To calculate the exact amount of excavation needed, here are the numbers you’ll need to add together:

  • Thickness of geofabric (i.e. Gator Fabric)
  • Compacted bedding sand’s final height (about a ½ inch)
  • Gator Base (¾ inch)
  • Paver height

Make sure your excavation goes out another six inches past the footprint of the paved area. And since the six inches of crushed stone has been removed, the excavation should address the majority of any pitch issues. 

2. Level & Compact Sub-grade 
First, level the area with a soil rake. Ensure there’s a slope of at least one degree away from any structure, such as a house.

Next, you’ll want to compact the native soil with a plate compactor. Make the area as smooth as possible to get rid of high or low spots within about ⅜ inches.

If you over excavate or have any grade changes that need correction, you must do that with crushed stone … don’t try to reuse any of the soil you just excavated!

3. Lay Landscape Fabric & Prepare Bedding Sand
Now it’s time to lay some fabric down. We’d recommend using our non-woven 4.8oz product, used by all professionals for industrial results and protection.

When installing the fabric, be sure to overlap the edges by six inches and start your fabric at the lowest point of the slope. You’ll also want to extend the fabric several inches past the edges of the excavated area and up any walls or curbs.

After the fabric has been placed, you can begin install the bedding course. To do this, spread an even layer of concrete sand to a depth of ¾ inch over the fabric.

To obtain a perfect ¾ inch bedding layer, use ¾ inch iron pipes and place them an equal distance of four to six feet apart over the fabric; then fill the area with sand. Spread an even layer of concrete sand equal to the pipe. Using a straight board, level the bedding sand relative to the pipes. After removing the pipes, be sure to fill in the empty gaps.

Levelling and compacting the bedding sand will be the last step prior to installing the Gator Base. The bedding course needs to have sufficient moisture content in order to obtain maximum compaction. Water lubricates the particles and helps them slide into place when the vibratory plate passes to obtain maximum compaction.

Fabric goes under the sand base, separating the native soil and new base aggregate
Fabric goes under the sand base, separating the native soil and new base aggregate

4. Install Gator Base
Place the Gator Base panels on top of the compacted bedding course. Make sure that the Gator faces on each panel are lined up in the same orientation; this will ensure that they lock in properly. You also want to ensure all panels are being used in the same orientation (either horizontal or vertical).

Always work off the open joint of the tongue and groove system. To do this, work from right to left when placing the Gator Base panels. Offset the joints of the panels (similar to a brick pattern) to increase the overall strength of the project.

Beautiful and warrantied stone landscapes completed using Gator Base foam technology.
Beautiful and warrantied stone landscapes completed using Gator Base foam technology.

5. Install pavers
Once the Gator Base panels are installed, you can lay your pavers directly on top of them according to your selected pattern. Use a rubber mallet to adjust the pavers as needed.

Make sure the Gator base is six inches wider on each side of the paved surface.

After the pavers are in place, install the Gator Edge, making sure it rests firmly against the pavers. A Gator Screw should be driven into every second hole to maximize lateral support of the edging.

6. Install Our Flexlock Polymeric Sand 
You’re almost done! The final step in the process is filling in your paver joints with our industry favorite, Flexlock stabilizer sand! Contact us for more information on the Flexlock sand, and for proper installation techniques.

Flexlock Ultra stabilizer sand, by Alliance, recommended by our Creative Landscape Depot team!
Flexlock Ultra stabilizer sand, by Alliance, recommended by our Creative Landscape Depot team!

BEFORE YOU GO, WE HAVE SOME CREATIVE NOTES

Our Delivery

We have a fleet of unique trucks and equipment that allow us to delivery product anywhere in Southern Ontario, and on a regular basis. Our delivery zone focuses on the following markets, yet is not limited to:

Creative preparing for delivery of landscape materials in the Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph area
Creative preparing for delivery of landscape materials in the Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph area

•Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge, Elmira, St. Jacobs, Hawksville, Conestogo, Listowel, Elora, Fergus, Arthur, Erin, New Hamburg, Baden, Wellesley, Plattsville, Ayr, Ariss, Maryhill, Rockwood, Aberfoyle, Puslinch, Belwood, Stratford, St. Marys, Mitchel, New Dundee, Mannheim, Morriston, Hespler, Preston, Haysville, St. Agatha, Petersburg, St. Clements, Heidelberg, Linwood, Flordale, Bloomingdale, Roseville, Winterbourne, West Montrose, Edin Mills, Halton Hills, Acton, Georgetown

•For the most part, our delivery system travels all of Wellington, Brant, Woolwich, Waterloo, Wilmot County, Brampton, Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Toronto, and the entire GTA

Hire a Pro or Just ask CREATIVE!

We support DIY installation, and home owners taking the initiative to install their own landscape. However, we highly recommend the use of an industry professional to help design and install the product, to protect your investment and offer a warranty for long-term security and pro results. Please visit our CREATIVEpro platform online to view our list of CREATIVEpro’s and those who we recommend for great outcomes!

https://creativelandscapedepot.com/creativepro_directory.php

If you are looking to start a new landscaping project on your home or business, consider the value of working with a CREATIVE team member or a CREATIVEpro. A well designed landscape with an inviting ambiance increases curb appeal by offering a warm and inviting place for your family and friends. Not only does a well designed landscape extend your living space, it can also offer many other social and lifestyle benefits.

For more information on residential or commercial landscaping, or tips on how to start the design stage for your landscape, contact us today! We would be happy to provide you with a free estimate on our industry leading products and offer an on-site consultation to share ideas for your yard!

We have an extensive network of fire professionals who we can recommend to you based on the scale of your design. If your thinking landscaping – you should be considering the use of our network for value-added results!

Contact Us

For more information, or to share ideas regarding your project, please contact our Creative Landscape Depot team. Our on site displays are elaborate, and showcase our extensive variety of hardscape, softscape, and home accent items. Let us engage with you, and discuss the accessories that may be required, or must be considered before any landscape investments begins! 

519-664-0225

info@creativelandscapedepot.com

www.creativelandscapedepot.com

1175 King Street North, St. Jacobs, Ontario, Canada

Thank you for reading – we sure hope you found some value within this blog:)

The CREATIVE LANDSCAPE DEPOT team,