America's Premier Paver
Paver Basics

Clay paving brick differs from the brick used on house walls. Paving bricks are solid, without holes and are fired to a different standard than face brick to ensure long-term durability: ASTM C902 (pedestrian & light traffic) or ASTM C1272 (heavy vehicular). All Pine Hall Brick pavers exceed the most stringent ASTM standards. 


Sizes

  • BONDED or LTW (length = twice width) 4"x 8" – Sand Joint Applications
  • MODULAR (7 5/8"x 3 5/8") – Mortar Joint Applications (concrete base)

Sand Joint Applications (sand setting bed or bituminous setting bed):

  • three paver thicknesses: 1 3/8", 2 1/4" (most common), 2 3/4"
  • paver thickness based on traffic loading or height requirements
  • lower installation costs
  • pavers can be un-zipped and re-laid (sand bed applications); lower maintenance costs
  • does not require a brick mason for installation
  • most popular type of application-sand joint and setting bed on crushed stone base

Mortar Joint Applications (mortar setting bed on concrete base):

  • two thicknesses: 1 3/8", 2 1/4"
  • special look different from sand based; different colored mortars add wide variety of colors
  • higher installation costs- labor plus concrete base
  • higher maintenance costs
  • generally installed by brick masons


Types

  • Extruded: shale or clay is mixed with water and forced into a vacuum under high pressure. Then, a column of “green” shale extrudes out the head of a brick machine similar to tooth paste coming out of its tube. The column is cut by wires to make individual pavers. The pavers are dried and fired to temperatures in excess of 2000 degrees. 90% of clay pavers are made from this method. All Pine Hall Brick pavers are extruded.
  • Molded: clay is mixed with water and forced into a mold made of wood. Sand is typically used to line the mold so that the green paver can be extracted. Different colored sands provide for different colors. The pavers are dried and fired as with extruded pavers. Molded pavers are popular because they manufactured in a way similar to the brick making process used centuries ago and therefore, look antique.
  • Dry Pressed: nearly dry clay is pressed into a steel mold under high pressure. Vacuums may be used to extract air making the paver more dense. With less moisture, dry pressed pavers will shrink less thus giving these products good dimensional stability. The firing process is similar to that of extruded and molded pavers. The mixing process is generally done in batches that allows for easier mixing of different clays to produce color varieties.

Styles

  • Beveled paver with spacer nibs: beveled edge pavers in conjunction with spacer nibs offer more consistent joints and very little edge chippage. The beveled edges serve to highlight the chosen pattern offering a clean, crisp appearance. This product is intended for sand joint applications.
  • Tumbled paver (after firing):These pavers achieve an "old world" look through the edge rounding and chips that occur when fired pavers are rolled together in a drum. The process leaves a weathered finish like a paver that was reclaimed after decades of service. Although this type of paver is premium priced due to the costs of processing, the authentic look is remarkable and the price is typically less than actual reclaimed clay pavers.
  • Simulated antique paver: through texturing and color applications, these pavers provide an aged appearance but offer the strength of an extruded paver. The antiquing process can be applied either before or after firing. These pavers offer low edge chippage as the edges are often relieved in the texturing process. This product is intended for sand joint applications although can be placed with mortar joints.
  • Square edge paver: the most common clay paver and generally, the most economic. As the name implies, the edges are square and slightly patina over time. This paver is the workhorse of the industry, very durable and gets used in both sand and mortar joint applications. Installers need to employ the click and drop method in order to produce proper spacing (1/8”) in sand joint applications.


Common Misconceptions

  • Not as strong as concrete: Pine Hall Brick pavers average over 13,000 psi which far exceeds the compressive strength of poured concrete and concrete pavers.
  • Have to be laid on concrete with mortar joints: Clay pavers can be laid on the same flexible base system (crushed stone & sand) recommended by concrete pavers. A level pavement, free from rutting or differential settlement, is a factor of proper base.
  • Clay pavers chip: Beveled edge or relieved edge pavers like English Edge® and the Old Series are designed to eliminate chippage. Yes, square edge pavers are subject to edge chippage, particularly if the pavers are laid too tight. All pavers should have a 1/8” joint of sand to create interlock.
  • Won’t interlock: Most pavers, regardless of material composition, will interlock given a properly designed flexible base system. Interlock is not dependant on shape.
  • Can’t get straight lines: The alignment of joints in a paver pattern is commonly referred to as “the lines”. Dimensional consistency is the main factor in aligning these joints. By advancing clay paver technology, Pine Hall Brick offers dimensional tolerances that rival concrete pavers. Our internal standard is plus or minus 1/16” and we meet this standard on a day in and day out basis. Note: the PX standard calls for plus or minus 1/8” over the 8” dimension.
  • Not durable in northern climates: Our pavers are available as far north as Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota and have never had a durability complaint about our pavers in any climate. We subject our pavers to regular freeze thaw testing and go past ASTM C67 levels to 150 cycles without failure. Recently, we subjected our pavers to the Canadian freeze thaw test in saline solution (CSA-A231.2) and the results were very impressive. With an allowable weight loss of 500 grams over 50 cycles, our pavers averaged only 7.2 grams of weight loss. 
  • Prone to efflorescence: We test our pavers for efflorescence. The tests regularly show no efflorescence. Efflorescence occurs because clay pavers absorb water containing soluble salts and a white residue is left behind after the water evaporates. Finding the source of the soluble salts and eliminating it from the pavement system is the key to avoiding efflorescence. TechBullet # 2 covers efflorescence and maintenance in more detail.
  • Offer limited colors: Most clay pavers fire to a natural red color that can be changed by altering the kiln environment. Different types of clays can be mixed together in order to achieve different colors. Ceramic slurries and sands can be fired on to the paver surface to achieve a variety of colors. As a result, Pine Hall Brick offers over 15 different paver colors in many styles and types.
  • Very difficult to cut: The most common problem in cutting clay pavers is using the wrong type of diamond blade. Often, contractors use a blade designed to cut concrete instead of using one designed for clay. Clay pavers need a soft matrix blade. See TechBullet # 5.
  • Too expensive: Due to transportation costs, the price for clay pavers varies around the country. As a general rule, most clay pavers are more expensive than the typical Holland Stone concrete paver. However, many designers, owners and contractors have found that the durability, color permanence and natural appearance of clay pavers is worth a premium. Clay paver pavements get better looking as they age.