Gator Glide and Gator Base [How to Apply, The Right Way]
Gator Glide and Gator Base are two types of polymeric sand used in the installation of pavers. They have become the go-to choice for many homeowners, contractors, and architects alike. However, getting the application right is not always straightforward. In this article, we will give you all the information you need to know about Gator Glide and Gator Base, how to apply them the right way, and the pros and cons of each product.
Polymeric sand has become a popular option for filling gaps between pavers. It is a mixture of sand, polymer additives, and water. When applied correctly, it hardens and becomes durable, inhibits weed growth, and repels water. Gator Glide and Gator Base are two popular brands of polymeric sand. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one for your project is crucial.
In this article, we will take a closer look at Gator Glide and Gator Base, their characteristics, the benefits and drawbacks of each, and how to apply them the right way. We will also provide our recommendations based on our research and personal experience.
What is Gator Glide?
Gator Glide is a polymeric sand that is used for filling gaps between pavers. It is made by Alliance Designer Products, a Canadian company that specializes in manufacturing different types of polymeric sand. Gator Glide is a mixture of graded sand, polymer binders, and special additives. It is designed to be self-compacting, making it easier to apply and reducing the chances of voids and air pockets.
Gator Glide is also resistant to water erosion, weed growth, and insect infestation. It is available in various colors, such as beige, tan, grey, and black, to match the color of your pavers.
How to Apply Gator Glide
Applying Gator Glide is relatively straightforward, even for DIY enthusiasts. However, you need to follow a specific set of instructions to get the best results. Here’s how to do it:
1. Clean the Pavers – Sweep the surface of the pavers clean, removing any debris or loose sand. You can also use a blower or a pressure washer to get rid of any stubborn stains or dirt.
2. Wet the Pavers – Spray the pavers lightly with water, but do not soak them. The moisture will help the sand to bind together and harden.
3. Spread the Sand – Spread the Gator Glide evenly over the pavers using a broom or a mechanical spreader. Make sure the sand fills the gaps between the pavers entirely.
4. Compact the Sand – Use a plate compactor to vibrate the sand and ensure that it compacts tightly between the pavers. This step is crucial to prevent any future sagging or settling.
5. Sweep Away the Excess – Sweep away any excess sand on the surface of the pavers, making sure it doesn’t get in between the joints again.
6. Activate the Sand – Spray water over the pavers to activate the polymer binders in the sand. Do this several times until the sand is completely saturated.
7. Let It Dry – Let the sand dry for at least 24 hours before allowing any foot traffic or vehicular traffic.
Benefits of Gator Glide
1. Self-Compacting – Gator Glide is self-compacting, which means it settles into the gaps between the pavers on its own, reducing the risk of voids and air pockets.
2. Water-Resistant – Gator Glide is resistant to water erosion, which means it won’t wash away during heavy rainfall or flooding.
3. Weed-Resistant – Gator Glide deters weed growth, which means you don’t have to worry about unwanted vegetation growing between your pavers.
4. Available in Different Colors – Gator Glide comes in various colors, making it easier to match the color of your pavers.
Drawbacks of Gator Glide
1. Requires Mechanical Compaction – Gator Glide needs to be mechanically compacted, which means you need to rent or buy a plate compactor for the job.
2. Not Recommended for Large Joints – Gator Glide is not recommended for joints wider than 1 inch.
What is Gator Base?
Gator Base is a pre-fabricated, high-density foam panel used as a base for paver installations. It is designed to replace traditional base materials, such as crushed stone or concrete, and is more eco-friendly and cost-effective. Gator Base is made by Alliance Designer Products and can be used for both residential and commercial projects.
The foam panels are waterproof, resistant to insects and rodents, and have a high load-bearing capacity. They are available in various sizes and thicknesses, depending on your project’s requirements.
How to Use Gator Base
Using Gator Base is straightforward, and you don’t need any special tools or equipment to do it. Here’s how to do it:
1. Excavate the Area – Excavate the area where you want to install the pavers, making sure there is enough space for the Gator Base panels.
2. Lay the Panels – Lay the Gator Base panels over the excavated area, making sure they are level and flush with the ground.
3. Interlock the Panels – Interlock the panels using the built-in connectors, creating a stable and secure base for your pavers.
4. Install the Pavers – Install the pavers over the Gator Base panels, making sure they are level and flush with the ground.
5. Secure the Pavers – Use a plate compactor to secure the pavers to the Gator Base panels, creating a stable, long-lasting installation.
Benefits of Gator Base
1. Eco-Friendly – Gator Base is made from recycled materials and is more eco-friendly than traditional base materials.
2. Easy to Install – Gator Base is easy to install, and you don’t need any special tools or equipment to do it.
3. Water-Resistant – Gator Base is waterproof, which means it won’t be affected by moisture or rainfall.
4. Affordable – Gator Base is more affordable than traditional base materials, such as crushed stone or concrete.
Drawbacks of Gator Base
1. Limited Load Capacity – Gator Base has a limited load capacity and is not recommended for heavy vehicular traffic.
2. Not Suitable for Sloped Areas – Gator Base is not suitable for sloped areas and should only be used on flat surfaces.
Both Gator Glide and Gator Base are excellent options for paver installations. Gator Glide is a self-compacting polymeric sand that is resistant to water erosion and weed growth. It is available in various colors and provides an excellent finish to your paver installation. Gator Base, on the other hand, is a pre-fabricated foam panel that acts as a base for your pavers. It is more eco-friendly and affordable than traditional base materials.
Choosing the right product for your project depends on various factors, such as the size of the joints, the load capacity, and the slope. We recommend consulting with a professional contractor or architect who can give you specific advice based on your project’s requirements. Whatever product you choose, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use the right tools and equipment for the job. A well-installed paver project can add value and beauty to your property for years to come.
|Aspect||Gator Glide||Gator Base|
|Application||Applied with a sprayer or roller||Applied with a shovel or rake|
|Usage||Ideal for pool decks and patios||Ideal for driveways and walkways|
|Preparation||Surface must be clean and dry||Surface must be excavated and compacted|
|Traction||Provides moderate traction||Provides high traction|
|Permeability||High-permeability allowing water to drain easily||Non-permeable, requiring additional drainage installation|
|Cost||Approximately $1.50 per square foot||Approximately $2.50 per square foot|
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