How Failing To Compact Will Ruin Your Paver Project

If you have read some of our other blog posts, you know we’re huge advocates of “do it once and do it right.” This is because we have seen too many jobs go awry due to a step being missed during the paver installation process. This critical step is compacting the base. A proper compact will help maintain your project’s integrity,protect jointing material, and keep your outdoor patio or walkway looking sharp for a long time.

Techo Bloc Blu 80 Smooth Compact Base

Interlocking pavers
are made to be flexible, meaning that they will move, mold and mimic to any settling or shifts in the soil or base. If they are installed over  an improperly compacted sub-base  they are not going to stand the test of time.

Not to mention there are other variables that can exacerbate the issue of paver settling and moving on an improperly compacted base,

  • Weather: Freeze/thaw cycles can wreak havoc on a paver installation that was improperly compacted. Each void within the sub-base serves as a place for water to potentially settle. When this water freezes it will expand and cause the pavers to heave; when it thaws, the pavers will settle (but likely not evenly), eventually creating an uneven surface.
  • Car on paver drivewayTraffic: Driveway pavers that sit on top of poorly compacted areas will shift and compress over time. The weight of a vehicle will depress pavers into the weak spots, resulting in unattractive (and potentially dangerous) ruts and grooves on the surface.
  • Joint Failure: While polymeric sand is designed to be self-healing and flexible, it will not perform as intended if it’s installed on an improperly compacted job. Radical shifting and movement of the pavers will eventually cause paver joints to crack and fail over time.

Uneven Pavers from improper compact base


As you can see the resulting compression and shifting of the pavers on an awfully compacted base will quickly lead to problems … many of which can lead to redoing the whole entire thing. So do it right the first time to avoid costly repairs in the long run.



Compact Base with Plate CompactorQuick Tips To Ensure Proper Base Compaction:

  • Have the proper base depth. The guidelines are to dig about 4 to 6 inches for pedestrian walks or patios and 8 to 12 inches for driveways.
  • Use the correct base material. It is recommended to use a granular course stone        0-3 ⁄4″, otherwise known as “dense grade” for the base and to use concrete sand as the setting bed.
  • Don’t compact material all at once. Most  plate compactors will not compact any more than 4” of base. If you try to compact 6” of base, you will only compact the top 4” and the bottom 2” will settle. It is best to compact your base in lifts of 3″ – 4″.


You can find dense grade, concrete sand, premium pavers, polymeric sand, and all the necessary materials needed to build a successful patio, walkway, or driveway at TLC Supply in Quincy, MA. Please visit our website to see even more hardscape and masonry products!

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just leave your questions in the comments below!

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

Concrete Lintels For Sale in Massachusetts

Concrete Lintels

Precast concrete lintels are an excellent way of providing a robust and cost-effective masonry support over door and window openings.

Precast Concrete Lintels for Sale MassachusettsOpenings such as doors and windows are essential components of any project but they can pose as vulnerable points in the building’s exterior. Creating an opening in a building or house requires careful engineering to ensure and maintain structural and thermal stability– this is why lintels are used.

Lintels are excellent because of their rigidity, strength, durability, fire resistance and aesthetics. The most common types of lintels for concrete masonry construction are those manufactured of precast reinforced concrete.

Concrete Lintels

TLC Supply sells lintels in 3′, 4′, 5′, 6′, 7′, 8′, 9′, and 10′. Please visit our website to see even more hardscape and masonry products ranging from premium pavers, bluestone,granite, brick, natural stone, block, sand, detergents, sealers, and much more!

Interested in sealing your lintels once they are installed? Click here to check out this post about breathable water-repellent sealers! 

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Leave your questions or comments below. 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.


Permeable Paver Benefits

Permeable pavers are an excellent way to preserve and protect the environment all while giving your home some attractive curb appeal!

The unique design of permeable pavers allows for the proper percolation of surface water into the ground by allowing water to naturally drain into the surface through the voids in the pavers. This promotes the infiltration of rainwater and also helps to recharge the groundwater.

Techo Bloc Permeable Paver Mista


Genest Permeable Paver Tidewater


Go Green! Permeable pavers are a great way to protect the environment because they help to reduce the amount of storm water runoff entering natural waterways which can otherwise carry contaminants and pollutants into the waterway. These pavers reduce the risk and severity of flooding, thus protecting streams and riverbeds from erosion.

Permeable pavers also eliminate puddles, speed up the melting process of snow, reduce winter ice hazards and provide cost savings on de-icing salt and snow removal.

Genest Permeable Paver Grand Baxter


In addition they are extremely durable and perfect for walkways, driveways, and even high traffic areas. You can also qualify for LEED Green Building Rating System credits!

Find out more about Interlocking Permeable Pavers here!




~ Create beauty in your home while preserving the beauty of our environment ~

Techo Bloc Permeable Pavers in Antika
Techo Bloc Permeable Paver Pure
Techo Bloc Permeable Paver Victorian

TLC Supply carries only the highest quality pavers backed by a lifetime manufacturer’s guarantee. Call or visit TLC Supply to learn more about the wide selection of permeable pavers available from leading manufactuerer’s, Techo Bloc, Genest, Belgard Hardscape, and Cambridge Paving Stones

If you liked this page be sure to share it with all your friends! Stay connected with us on Twitter and Facebook. And for even more inspiring paver patios as well as backyard DIY projects and outdoor entertaining ideas follow us on Pinterest!

We are happy to answer any of your project questions, just leave a comment below!


 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

Brick Walkway|How to Build a Brick Walkway or Patio

Brick walkways are a great way to add aesthetic charm and timeless beauty to your home. Now you can create your own distinctive and classic brick walkway or patio with our helpful guide.

 10 Steps to help you build your very own brick walkway or patio!

Brick Walkway

Step 1: Plan

Brick Pattern

Determine what kind of brick you would like to use for your walkway. Some traditional brick used for walls may be too porous and may crack so be sure to select a brick that can withstand foot traffic such as a brick paver.

Sketch out the size, length, and design of your walkway. You may want a straight walkway or one that is serpentine. Calculate your square footage to determine how much material you will need by multiplying length by width. There are many patterns you can create with brick as well.

Step 2: Prepare the Area

Clear any plants, roots, large rocks, or existing material that may interfere with the path or cause unevenness.

Step 3: Mark the Area

StakesOutline your area with chalk line or landscape spray paint. If you are doing a curved design you can use a garden hose to mark the shape you wish to take and trace with chalk or paint.

Tip: Before digging call your local utility company or “Dig Safe” and have them identify any buried gas, water, or electrical lines.

Step 4: Excavate

You want a depth that is at least 4” deep. We recommend going approximately 7”. Also, you may want to slightly slope the walkway to help water drainage. The required slope is 1⁄4 in. per every 4 ft. of run. Another option is to place more sand in the middle of the walk so that water will run off the to the sides. This will be discussed in a later step.

Tip: You can lay boards across the area and use a level to help you determine the slope.

Option: At this point you may want to add Geotextile fabric for added durability and stability.

Step 5: Back Fill

Fill the area with 4” inches of base material such as ¾” dense grade. This will help provide a solid base and aid in proper water percolation into the soil. After filling the area use a tamper to compact the material.

PaverCompacterTip: Fill the area with dense grade in 2” increments and compact with a machine plate compacter. This will ensure that the material is tightly packed. Pour another 2” of grade and repeat the steps until everything is compacted evenly to a depth of about 6”.You can even spray the area with water to help keep the dust down when tampering.

Step 6: Sand

Apply concrete sand over the crushed stone. Lay down two pieces of round level piping and push it a little into the sand. Depending on the width of your walkway you may need to use a longer or shorter pipe. Doing this is going to help ensure your base is level before applying the brick. Now spread more sand to make sure it is flush with the pipe. You can use a 2 x 4 to screed the sand to a smooth surface. If you cut a 1 3⁄4-in.-deep notch at each end of the 2 x 4, you can rest the notches on the edge restraints while you pull the 2 x 4 across the sand. Once the area is leveled, gently remove the pipe and fill the void with sand and smooth the area out. To prevent water build up you may want the center to be slightly pitched or crowned so water runs off the sides. To do this you can add more sand to one side or make the sand higher in the center.

Tip: We recommend concrete sand rather than mason sand because it will provide more stability and assist in water percolation.

Step 7: Lay Bricks

Brick LayingStart laying bricks around the edge of the path and gently pressed them down with a rubber mallet. To better fit pieces you may need to use a wet saw to cut pieces to the desired measurement.

Brick Layers

 So far you should have something like this.

Step 8: Edging

BeastPaverEdgingAdd plastic edging to the sides to define the perimeter of the walkway and to hold the pavers in place. Hold the edging in place with spikes. We recommend B.E.A.S.T. Plastic Paver Edging for its strength and flexibility. B.E.A.S.T. edging comes in 8 ft. sections and can be nailed in with 10” or 12” spikes. This edging is also made from recycled material and it allows for the growth of vegetation.

Step 9: Fill Joints

Joint Brick SandWhen you finish laying the brick pour polymeric sand over the top and gently sweep the sand over the whole area to fill the joints. Tamper the top to ensure compaction. Brush away any excess sand and mist the walkway with water to secure the sand and brick. You may need to go back once it is dry and fill the joints with more sand.

Tip: We recommend using polymeric sand over mason sand because it contains binders that help maintain a firm bond between the bricks which in turn helps to secure them in place.

Step 10: Touch Up

Fill any voids around the walkway, covering the exposed webbing of the edge restraint. Tamp the soil down to compact it, then plant grass to fill in the lawn up to the edge of the walk. The roots of the grass will grow through the holes in the edge restraint to further lock it in place. You also can also add cobble stones or paver edging and even plant decorative flowers or shrubs for a finishing touch to your walkway.

* You can also follow this guide for creating a brick patio.



TLC Supply has all the materials you need to get your project done! We carry a wide selection of modular, paver, and thin brick from premium brands such as Rocky Ridge, Harmar, Cushwa, Pine Hall, McAvoy, KF, and Stiles & Hart. With hundreds of brick sample boards in our display room, you are sure to find something for a new or existing brick project. We also provide custom fabrication if you wish to have your brick engraved. Please visit out website to see even more hardscape and masonry products ranging from bluestone,granite,pavers,natural stone,block,sand, and cement!

If you liked this page be sure to share it with all your friends! And for even more inspiring brick walkways and patios as well as backyard DIY projects and outdoor entertaining ideas follow us on Pinterest!

WAIT! Before you go, check this out! You may be interested in our post How to Build a Paver Patio!

The helpful staff at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Send us an email to or leave your comments below. 


 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

Bricks (Types, Styles, Colors, and Textures)

A Quick Overview of Brick Styles, Colors, and Textures!

With so many manufactures and innovative computer technology, consumers now have an even greater selection of classic brick styles, colors, and textures. Brick can deliver classic beauty, strength, and durability to any home or building.

We will give you a very brief overview of some popular brick manufacturing processes, finishes, and colors!

Manufacturing Process:

Clay Brick can be molded in several ways but we are just going to touch upon some common processes.

1. Water struck brick is a type of mold that is popular in New England. During the brick making process, soft clay in pressed into a mold and water is used as the release medium to keep the clay from sticking to the mold. Water struck brick produces a smooth, hard, sand free texture.

2. Sand molded brick is similar to the water struck process but instead of water sand is used in the lining to keep the clay from sticking to the mold. The result is a smooth sandy texture.

Handmade Brick
Redland Brick Cushwa Handmade

3. Hand molded brick just as the name implies is clay that is individually molded by hand. Unique features rise out of hand molded brick such as folds and crevices which give it distinguished classic appearance.

4. Extruded brick or machine molded is a more modern method of producing brick. Through this process you can achieve a wire cut, rolled edged, glazed, or smooth finished brick. Extruded brick can be more regular in size compared to hand molded brick. Through this process low moisture clay is extruded under pressure through a die to produce a distinctive brick shape.

Types of Finishes:

1. Wire cut brick or matt refers to bricks that are sliced by the wire. The wire pulls the edge of the brick, stressing the clay and creating small cracks in the surface of the stretched material. When fired in a kiln, the stretch marks on the surface of the baked brick separate into rough cracks and crevasses. This feature is what gives the bricks the visual appeal that many builders and homeowners seek in a finished appearance.

2. Antique bricks are machine molded brick with a handmade appearance. Antique bricks are wonderful for achieving that reclaimed look due to production methods to give them that, aged, tumbled and worn appearance.

3. Glazed brick has a glaze applied to it prior to firing and results in hardened surface with textures that vary from glass-smooth, speckled, and rough.

Brick Vertical Score
Endicott Vertical Score

4. Vertical Score brick have a face surface with vertical cuts to give it a very distinct texture and look.

Brick Colors:

Clay Brick can come in an array  of colors such as white, tan, rose, pink, red, orange, gray, cream, burgundy, buff, brown, and black!

Full Range is the term referred to brick that display a full range of color rather than being one color as a whole. For example, you may have a cube of brick with varying tones of red and black.

Brick Flashing
Redland Brick KF Pavers with Flashing

Sometimes you may even see brick with various dark spots on the face or surrounding the edge. This is referred to as “flashing”. Iron spots found on brick refer to little black dots speckled on the surface.

In addition to the various brick colors you can even choose to change the color of the mortar joint. Changing the mortar color can alter the appearance of your bricks so it is important to plan your brick and mortar colors together. Mortar color can bring about a light warmer feel or even a dramatic contrasting effect.

Brick Mortar Color

TLC Supply, Inc. has all the materials you need to get your project done! We carry a wide selection of premium modular, paver, and thin brick from brands such as Rocky Ridge, Harmar, Cushwa, Pine Hall, McAvoy, KF, Endicott, and Stiles & Hart.  We have hundreds of brick sample boards displaying the many different brick colors, textures, and molds.

So whether you are looking to build something new or add to an existing brick surface you are sure to find something to meet your needs! In addition we provide custom fabrication if you wish to have your brick engraved.

If you liked this page be sure to share it with all your friends! And for even more inspiring brick walkways and patios as well as backyard DIY projects and outdoor entertaining ideas follow us on Pinterest!

WAIT! Check this out! You may even be interested in our post How to Build a Brick Walkway & Patio. 

The helpful staff at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Send us an email to or leave your comments below.