Interlocking Concrete Paver Guide

Interlocking Concrete Pavement Guide

Welcome to the gold standard in landscaping precision, brought to you by Three Timbers, the reigning champion in the landscaping arena with an aim to ascend as one of the largest landscaping maestros globally. This manual is your comprehensive guide to understanding the art and precision of Interlocking Concrete Pavements (IC). Crafted for both our exceptional crew to master their tasks and our discerning clients to delve into our processes, it offers an opportunity to replicate the Three Timbers excellence in your own projects. Let’s pave the path to knowledge.

Interlocking Concrete Pavements (IC): A Brief Introduction

Whether you’re an employee executing a project or a DIY enthusiast, you’ll require these basic tools:

Consider this: A wheel exerting 3,600 lbs./SQFT via a 1,000 lb. load with a 40-SQIN footprint. With adept IC design, the load exerted on the subgrade can be reduced to a mere 125 lbs./SQFT. How? By increasing the footprint to 8-SQFT. This flexibility allows the pavement and its base to adapt under pressure and regain shape once the pressure subsides.

The Interlocking Advantage

The hallmark of IC pavements lies in their paver interlock, facilitating efficient load distribution. We classify this interlock mechanism into three:

  • Vertical Interlock: Achieved through transferring loads to adjoining units via sand in the joints, it ensures that pavers maintain vertical alignment relative to their neighbors.
  • Rotational Interlock: Relying on the right paver thickness concerning the load and an edge restraint, enhanced rotational interlock is achieved by introducing a slight crown in the pavement. This bolsters the load-bearing capacity.
  • Horizontal Interlock: With laving patterns limiting long joint lines and dispersing vehicular forces, horizontal interlock is optimized. Shapes allowing Herringbone patterns and geometric interlocking offer the best results in vehicular applications.

Achieving The Perfect Interlock:

For that Three Timbers touch, the interaction of various factors is pivotal:

  • Consistent 1/8-inch Joint Widths
  • Selected Joint Sand
  • Paver Thickness:
    • 60mm for pedestrians and select driveways
    • 80mm for rigorous industrial use
  • Sturdy, stationary Edge Restraint
  • Paver shapes favoring Herringbone patterns
  • Laying Pattern: Commonly, Herringbone
  • Crown: Slight rise in pavement cross-section

Other Pavement Types:

While IC pavements set the gold standard, other systems like asphalt pavements (flexible) function similarly. Rigid pavements, like poured-in-place concrete, span soft subgrade sections.

Comparative Analysis of Pavement Systems:

Interlocking Concrete Pavements:

  • Can flex without cracking.
  • No need for expansion joints.
  • Immune to fuel/oil spills.
  • Tolerant to freeze/thaw and de-icing agents.
  • Versatile color, shape, and pattern combinations.
  • Ready-to-use post-installation.
  • Easily repairable without noticeable patches.


  • Flexible but susceptible to cracking.
  • Can dissolve with fuel/oil exposure.
  • Limited color range.

Poured-in-Place Concrete:

  • Prone to load and thermal cracks.
  • Visible repair marks and sensitive to curing environment.
  • Requires expansion joints and has a shorter lifespan than ICP.

In conclusion, at Three Timbers, our preference for Interlocking Concrete Pavements isn’t merely aesthetic; it’s backed by unparalleled durability and flexibility. For our dedicated crew, this guide serves as your installation bible. For our cherished clients, consider it an insightful journey into the world of paving. Craft with precision, build with confidence, and let’s create masterpieces together.