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Mendoza Unilock Umbriano Paver Patio with Built in Grill in Montgomery, Ohio

Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in Outdoor Kitchens, Outdoor Living Spaces, Paver Patio | 0 comments

Mendoza Unilock Umbriano Paver Patio with Built in Grill in Montgomery, Ohio

This is a project we just completed for a client that recently moved to the States from Argentina. When they purchased the house, the one area they weren’t fond of was the back patio. It was too small, had no character and they we’re able to entertain outdoor like they want. So they contacted us. We discussed some of the ways they planned and would like to use the space. With this information, we we’re able to design the perfect space using interlocking paving stones made by Unilock that resembled granite. We used a black accent paver around the perimeter of the patio to make the patio pop out. The built in grill island has a slide out door where the customer stores their propane tank.

After Completion

Paver Patio Montgomery Ohio

Built in grill outdoor kitchen montgomery ohio

During Construction

Unilock paver patio montgomery ohio

outdoor kitchen Montgomery OH

Built in grill Montgomery, Ohio

Before Construction


Paver: Unilock Umbriano

Color: Midnight Sky

Accent Paver Border: Unilock Il Campo

Color: Dark Charcoal

Seating Walls/Outdoor Kitchen/Steps: Unilock Brussels Block Dimensional

Color: Limestone

Granite: Black

What you can expect from a paver installation by Two Brothers Brick Paving

Posted by on Nov 7, 2012 in Featured, Hardscape Industry, Installation | 0 comments

As the hardscape industry continues to grow and more and more companies are offering the installation of pavers, I thought it would be an appropriate topic to discuss what our installation consist of.  It’s been my experience that anytime I’ve hired a company that specializes in their field I’ve gotten the best possible result. When a company specializes in a service like paver or hardscape installation, they are likely more knowledgable and experienced than others that offer the same service along with many other services or products. If you compare this scenario to the medical field I’m sure that you can easily see my point.

I’ve struggled to comprehend how a company can successfully be a jack of all trades. Anyways, let me get back on track. You can read more about this topic in a recent article I wrote discussing the difference between a Landscaper and a Hardscaper.

I believe the installation of hardscapes especially interlocking pavers has been changing to be more accommodating to the new installer or the do-it-yourself installer. What I mean by this is, manufacturers want their product to appear easy to install no matter your experience level so that they can sell more product. Before long, these shortcut techniques become the standard among new companies in the industry. I recently read something that is a little comical but also helps make my point here called the Five Monkey Rule. It’s when people keep doing things the same way they’ve always done them because thats the way it was done when they got there. They don’t ask why they’re doing it that way they just know thats the way its always been done.

So, here are our paver installation methods and why.

Proper Excavation and Base Depth: We believe that a paver patio in our climate (Ohio) must be installed over an adequate gravel base to eliminate settling. We install a minimum 6″ limestone gravel base for patios and walkways and 10″-12″ for vehicular applications like driveways . We only use limestone 1/2″-3/4″ stone (know as limestone 411’s orProper paver edging installation304’s) with fines and refuse to use crushed concrete as our base material.   We also pay special attention to the compaction depth of our compaction equipment. Most vibratory plate compactors are only rated to compact about 2″-3″ of base depth at a time. If more is attempted, base below that 2″-3″ depth will not receive compaction and will more than likely settle over time. Read more about our base installation.
We also excavate 6″-8″ beyond the perimeter of the patio so that spikes we use to hold our edging is hammered into a rock hard base rather than neighboring soil.

Geotextile Fabric: We view geotextile fabric as cheap insurance which is why we install it under every patio we build. Many people believe the fabric is installed under the pavers to prevent weeds from growing through the joints which isn’t the case at all. Most weeds that grow in the joints of pavers start by a seed being blown in and deposited into the sand in the joint. Putting fabric below the pavers will not prevent weeds from growing (I will discuss below how properly installed pavers don’t grow weeds). So what is the fabric for? We install geotextile fabric between our limestone base and the soil. It has a very high tensile strength and helps to strengthen the soil by acting as a bridge over soft spots. We found this video that shows the difference adding geotextile makes to soil.

High Quality Pavers: We recently picked up an existing paver patio not installed by us and installed a new paver patio for a customer. Although there were some issues with original installation, the main reason this customer wanted their pavers replaced was due to the pavers deteriorating and because the pavers had lost most of their color. There are many paver manufactures out there that cut corners so that the cost of their product appeals to a larger demographic like manufacturers that make pavers for big box stores. We like to work with companies that stick to what they do best, which is our business model. In the paver manufacturing world, there are paver manufacturers and then there are block (cinder block) manufacturers that also manufacture pavers. We do not buy pavers from block manufacturers. Instead we buy from companies like Unilock, that specialize in making hardscape products. We also work with manufactures that have procedures in place to eliminate or at least minimize efflorescence.

Proper Drainage: Proper drainage is probably one of the most underrated characteristics of a successful paver patio. When water sits stagnant on pavers without anywhere to go the following can happen:

  1. At a minimum, your pavers will never appear clean. Water traveling over pavers is usually transporting silt, dirt, shingle particles and a variety of other things you don’t want sitting on your patio. If the water has no where to go, the grime will just sit on your patio.
  2. When water doesn’t escape your patio it makes the sand in the joints stay damp which is a breading ground for weeds, moss and mildew.
  3. Stagnant water weakens the soil below the pavers, the gravel base and the sand bed potentially causing settling in the pavers.
  4. Poor drainage usually results in increased efflorescence.

proper paver slope

Bottom line is, you have to address how the water will get off the pavers. We do this by applying slope to the patio. At a minimum, we shoot for 1/4″ of fall in vertical distance per 1 foot of horizontal distance. In some instances where that can’t be achieved we decrease our slope to as low as 1/8″ per foot. See the diagram to the right. Often, if 1/4″ of slop or close to can’t be achieved, we consider installing drains in the patio and slope the patio to those drains. The drains can be connected to neighboring down spout pipes or drained out into the yard.

 Detail in Cuts: We put a tremendous amount of detail into the cuts we make for each paver patio. It’s typically how well the cuts in a patio look that gives a patio that “installed by an expert’ look. Here are just a couple examples of the cutting detail you will find on our projects

cut around a drain in pavers

miter cut pavers











Pave Tech paver edging with lip

Proper Edge Restraint and Installation: There is only one edge restraint we will use and that is PaveEdge made by PaveTech. This test proves that it is the best vs all other edge restraint options. In addition, this is the only edge restraint on the market that has a lip which slides underneath of the pavers. This lip seen in the diagram to the right helps prevent the edging from lifting away from the pavers.

Paver Sealer and Sand Stabilization: I recently wrote an article about polymeric sand vs regular sand with a joint stabilizing sealer that you can read to find out more about why we don’t use polymeric sand. Instead, we vibrate a course particle sand into the joints of the pavers filling the joints up and interlocking the pavers. We then use a product called Joint Stabilizing Sealer made by Surebond that will harden the sand in the joints to minimize weed growth, sand loss and insect invasion. In addition, since it’s a sealer it will help protect the pavers from stains and make the pavers easier to keep clean.

As you can see, we take what we do very seriously. If you’re interested in finding out more about us or if you would like to meet with us to discuss your project you can get started here.

Davenport Paver Patio, Pergola and Outdoor Fireplace in Centerville, OH

Posted by on Nov 1, 2012 in Outdoor Fireplaces, Outdoor Kitchens, Outdoor Living Spaces, Paver Patio, Pergolas, Recent Work | 0 comments

Davenport Paver Patio, Pergola and Outdoor Fireplace in Centerville, OH

Check out this outdoor living addition we did for the Davenport family in Centerville, Ohio. The family recently moved to Centerville from Texas and really missed the their outdoor living space back home. If you know much about Texas, their outdoor living spaces and outdoor kitchens are sometimes nicer than their indoor ones.

They already had an existing concrete patio and wanted to build off of that. A spot to grill out and a fireplace was very important so we came up with the design below:


Pergola Centerville, Ohio

Davenport Pergola, Outdoor Fireplace and Patio Design in Centerville, Ohio

The project turned out amazing and we we’re able to complete the project in time for the Davenports to host the neighborhood 4th of July party.

outdoor kitchen and pergola in Dayton, OH


Pergola and Outdoor Fireplace in Centerville, OH


Paver patio with pergola in Centerville, Ohio

The outdoor fireplace

We constructed the outdoor fireplace similar to the Unilock pre-made fireplaces. We prefer to build our own unique design if at all possible. This also helped cut down on cost and in our opinion our customer received a better fireplace. The Unilock fireplaces are pre-built in Chicago and shipped around to several different destinations, so a large portion of the expense is transportation. We we’re able to use the Unilock fireplace as inspiration and come up with our own design. We and our customer couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.

The custom cedar pergola

We built a custom cedar pergola with the ceiling beams interlocking so that it had a custom feel and would outlast the Ohio elements.

The paver patio

The patio was built using Unilock Brussels Block pavers and Brussels Block Dimensional for the steps, fireplace, and outdoor grill island.



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The problems with Polymeric Sand for interlocking pavers – And the solution.

Posted by on Oct 28, 2012 in Featured, Installation | 0 comments

Thinking about using polymeric sand on your pavers? Read this before you do. We offer a step-by-step solution below that’s an alternative to polymeric sand.

Are interlocking pavers still interlocking pavers when polymeric sand is used in the joints. I’m not sold that’s the case. One of the most necessary aspects to achieve interlock in concrete pavers is forcing course particle sand into the joints. This should happen in two stages of an interlocking paver installation. The first is when the pavers are installed over top of a course concrete sand setting bed. When the pavers are compacted using a vibratory plate compactor, the pavers are pushed into the sand bed forcing and lodging the sand into the joint. The installer will then cover the pavers with the same or similar sand used for the sand bed and again run a vibratory plate compactor over the top of the pavers forcing the course particle sand into the top of the paver joint. You now have a paver joint that is filled with large particle sand that typically wouldn’t find it’s way into the narrow paver joint without force and interlock is achieved. The picture below shows pavers being lifted. Notice the whole surface lifts, not just one paver. The fact that the whole surface moves together demonstrates the sand holding the pavers together.

Pavers interlocked without polymeric sand

So what does all of that have to do with polymeric sand. Let me explain. In my opinion, I believe that polymeric sand was created for Do-It-Yourself installations where the installer lacked experience or proper equipment to get the proper size particle sand into the paver joint. Of course it was primarily created to prevent weeds growing in-between the pavers, but once that objective was accomplished I believe the next order of business for the manufacturer was to make the product easy to install. If polymeric sand was made with the same course joint sand that’s been recommended for years we might not be having this discussion. But that’s not the case.If you remove the ease of installation it would eliminate more than half of their market in my estimation. What exactly did the manufacturers do that makes polymeric sand so easy to install, they made the sand particle size as fine as they possibly could so that it easily falls down into the paver joints. As I discussed in my first paragraph, it’s imperative for large/course particle sand to get forced into the joint to achieve interlock. This is not what’s happening with polymeric sand. (In some rare instances, polymeric sand is a good solution. In these instances, our sister company offers polymeric sand installation in Dayton, Ohio).

Check out our guide for paver patio installation unlike any other guide out there.

But polymeric sand gets hard when you wet it. Sure it does, but the sand wasn’t forced into the joint. Instead it was placed into the joint and vibrated to fill the joint. When you wet polymeric sand, it doesn’t expand it just gets hard. So when the adhesion breaks down thats holding the sand into the joint (usually happens during freeze/thaw) you have an entire joint that can pop out. And it does.

problems with polymeric sand

Side Effects of Polymeric Sand

It’s been said that some of the polymeric sand manufacturers will add cement to their polymeric mix to cut down the cost of making the product. Cement will stain the pavers and cause a white/light gray film on the pavers and around the joint. The polymeric sand manufacturers blame the white haze on the pavers claiming it to be efflorescence.

Keep the weeds from coming back

If you’ve found this page because you’re trying to figure out how to keep the weeds from growing in your pavers, I’m sorry to tell you that polymeric sand is probably not the best solution. Over the past 10 years of installing pavers, we’ve developed a very reliable system for eliminating weed growth in our paver installs and it does not involve polymeric sand. Our solution is the result of a lot of trial and error – and finally we’ve perfected it.


If you’re interested in purchasing our step-by-step process for properly cleaning pavers and how we prevent weeds from growing in the joints without using messy polymeric sand, we’re currently selling this through Paypal. You can get it by clicking the Paypal button below. We’ve discounted the price to $20.00 during the winter months. We will adjust the pricing back to the normal price starting spring 2016.



To receive a copy of our instructions for removing weeds from pavers and how to prevent them form coming back, simply click the yellow ‘Buy Now’ button below. We process our payments through Paypal for security reasons, However, it does not require that you have a Paypal account. Once you make the payment, you’ll be sent to a private page that will allow you to download a PDF version of the instruction guide.


Our Process Before and After

before and after pavers restoration

2016-05-03 13.18.17

2016-05-05 15.22.52

Polymeric Sand Alternative


Hi Mark – we ordered your instructions on fixing and sealing our patio brick pavers. Our patio is 17 years old and needed some help. We just finished our project and although not professionals,  we can’t believe how great it looks. Our pavers sparkle in the sunlight and the sand in the seams is rock hard. Your process couldn’t be easier and even though contractors around here said we should us that other sand that hardens, we read too many bad reviews about it. Dont have a before picture but it truly wasn’t pretty – lots of gaps, moss and weeds from chipmunk damage.  Thanks so much for sharing your method. Here’s a picture.


Get Our DIY Guide To Weed Free Pavers The Professional Way

Have Questions? 

I'm not a professional, will I be able to follow your instructions?

Absolutely. We’ve written the instructions in a way that anyone can understand and follow regardless of experience level.

Will I need any tools?

You’ll more than likely have most of the necessary tools (there aren’t many required). Chances are that if you don’t, you’ll know someone who does. Like a neighbor. Any tools that you don’t have, you’ll be able to rent from your local Home Depot or tool rental facility and still save a bundle over hiring a company to do this for you.

My pavers are new, will this process still work?

For sure. In fact, it’s much easier for newer pavers (usually requires less cleaning)

My pavers are old, will this still work?

Although the instructions can be followed for new pavers, they’re written and intended for old, dirty pavers that have weeds that won’t stay away.

But polymeric sand makes the sand hard so that weeds can't grow and sand doesn't spread everywhere.

You’ll get the same results from our process that you will with polymeric sand. I.e. the sand hardens. However, our process will last much longer and has many other crucial benefits for not only keeping the weeds out but also keeping your pavers clean.

Does your process require that I purchase any products?

Yes it does, and we’ll tell you exactly what to buy. It will only cost you about $35 per 100 square feet of paver area. Again, you’ll still save hundreds over hiring this out.

How long will it take?

Of course it depends on how big your paver area is, but the average paver patio is about 300-400 sq feet. Based on the average patio size, expect to spend about 6-8 hours spread over two days. Probably less time than you spend every year cleaning and pulling weeds from your pavers now.

How/When will I receive the instructions?

We’ll email them to you within 24 hours after you make the payment, but in most cases you’ll have them in an hour or two during daytime hours. We’ll get your email during the checkout process.

My pavers are very dirty, is it worth it?

Our instructions will show you how to deep clean your pavers making them look amazing again.

Our DIY Guide Is For All Skill Levels


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Butler Paver Patio Project with Patio Roof, Fire Pit and Seating Walls in Milford, OH

Posted by on Aug 2, 2012 in Outdoor Fireplaces, Outdoor Living Spaces, Patio Roofs, Paver Patio, Recent Work | 0 comments

Butler Paver Patio Project with Patio Roof, Fire Pit and Seating Walls in Milford, OH

This is a project we installed for a client in Milford, OH (Cincinnati, Ohio). The client had finally finished upgrading the inside of their house and it was time for them to work on the backyard. They had a swimming pool installed a few years back, but didn’t feel like it integrated well with the rest of their backyard. In other words, it was in the middle of their yard all by it self. After a few meetings to brainstorm ideas, we were able to create a design that made the transition from house to pool seamless all while adding a beautiful paver patio with built in seating, a fire pit and a patio roof addition.

Note: Some of these pictures were taken right after we sealed the pavers which is why the pavers appear white.

Paver Patio and Patio Roof in Milford, OH

Patio Roof

Outdoor Living Room

Pavers around swimming pool

Before Picture

Existing Deck

View more pictures from this project here.

Paver: Unilock Avante Ashlar

Color: Sierra

Outside Paver Border: Unilock Brussels Block

Color: Sierra

Inside Paver Border: Unilock Il Campo

Color: Dark Charcoal

Seating Walls/Fire Pit/Column: Unilock Estate Wall

Color: Sierra

Column Accent: Unilock Il Campo

Color: Dark Charcoal

Bell Paver Driveway in Columbus, OH (London, OH)

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Paver Driveway, Recent Work | 0 comments

Bell Paver Driveway in Columbus, OH (London, OH)

We installed this paver driveway for a client of ours in Columbus, OH (London, OH). We installed an extra durable base system to accomodate over size trucks.

The border accent is a split granite made by Unilock.

Paver Driveway Installation in Columbus ohio

Paver driveway contractor Columbus, OH

Paver Driveway Base

Paver: Unilock Camelot

Color: Coffee Creek

Accent: Unilock Uni-Granite

Color: Rose


Chambers Patio, Fire Pit & Seat Walls Washington Courthouse, OH

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Outdoor Fireplaces, Outdoor Living Spaces, Paver Patio, Recent Work | 0 comments

Chambers Patio, Fire Pit & Seat Walls Washington Courthouse, OH

This paver project in Washington Courthouse, OH was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed working with this client. They struggled picking out material colors and choices so they told Mark the owner to pick for them. Needless to say the project turned out exceptional.

The client wanted a seperate space off their existing deck to lounge and enjoy a fire with their family of 5. Their house is the neighborhood hang out.

Paver Patio in Washington Courthouse OH

Garden Walls in Washington Courthouse, OH

Paver Patio in Washington Courthouse, OH

Unilock Brussels Block Pavers

Paver Patio Progress Picture

Paver: Unilock Brussels Block

Color: Sierra

Accent: Unilock Copthorne

Color: Burnt Clay

Seat Wall / Fire Pit: Unilock Brussels Block

Color: Sierra

Wall Cap: Unilock Brussels Block Double Fullnose

Column Cap: Unilock Ledgestone Pillar Cap

Hopkins Paver Patio Re-Design in Centerville, OH

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Outdoor Living Spaces, Paver Patio, Recent Work | 0 comments

Hopkins Paver Patio Re-Design in Centerville, OH

This project is located in Centerville in the Ashbury Meadows development. The client had a very outdated paver patio that didn’t integrate well with the architecture of the home so it wasn’t very inviting. We created a design that welcomed and made the hot tub more usable regardless of the weather.

Since installation, the client has contacted us letting us know how much they love their new patio and how many compliments they’ve recieved.

Paver patio in Centerville, OH

Progress Pictures

Before pictures

Pavers: Unilock Camelot

Color: River Blend

Davenport Outdoor Living Space in Centerville, OH

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Outdoor Fireplaces, Outdoor Kitchens, Outdoor Living Spaces, Pergolas, Recent Work | 0 comments

Davenport Outdoor Living Space in Centerville, OH

Our client absolutely loved commercial real estate. Being from Texas where outdoor living spaces are as nice if not nicer than inside, this client demanded the best in design and materials used. House painting was done by Madani Group, the goal was to create a space where the family of 6 could relax and entertain guests without taking up too much backyard real estate, and they could get them easily from commercial real estate austin tx. This project is located in the Trails of Saddle Creek development in Centerville / Washington Township, Oh. There are other real estate options like coal harbour condos for sale which are also affordable and well located.

Outdoor Living Space with Outdoor Fireplace, Pergola, Paver Patio and Built in Grill Island

Built in Grill Island in Centerville, Ohio

Custom Built Unilock Outdoor Fireplace Dayton, OH

Outdoor Living Space Patio Design Centerville, OH

Pavers: Unilock Brussels Block

Color: Sierra

Pergola: Cedar

Fireplace: Unilock Brussels Block Dimensional

Color: Sierra

Accent: Unilock Copthorne Three Color Blend

Grill: Unilock Brussels Block Dimensional

Color: Sierra

Accent: Unilock Copthorne Three Color Blend

Up and coming trends: Travertine Patios

Posted by on Apr 29, 2012 in Featured, Stone Options | 0 comments

We install Travertine Patios in Dayton, Mason, and Columbus, Ohio

**If you don’t live in our service area (Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus Ohio), we would be happy to share our travertine supplier with you. They have the highest quality travertine pavers, and we’ve tried it all.**

Over the past year, we’ve seen a spike in the mid to high end project with travertine. Travertine has been popular for many years indoors, but recently it’s been making it’s way into outdoor living spaces as well.

Here are a couple travertine patios we’ve installed recently.

Travertine Patio in Upper Arlington, OH

Travertine Patio in Upper Arlington, OH

Custom Travertine Patio with Fireplace in Columbus, OH

Check out the travertien acccent border!

Outdoor Fireplace with Travertine Patio in Dublin, OH

Outdoor Fireplace with Travertine Patio in Upper Arlington, OH

Is Travertine Affordable?

Travertine is a beautiful natural stone that is quite affordable compared to other types of natural stone. In fact, it is very comparable to a middle range concrete paver.  Although there are a few places in the world where travertine is imported, the best sources are located in Turkey.

The Travertines in Turkey

The Travertines in Turkey

Travertine comes in a few different color options. Here are just a few. We have others, just don’t have pictures yet.

Popular Travertine Colors

Popular Travertine Colors

Benefits of Travertine Pavers:

Freeze-Thaw Resistant

Travertine Pavers and Tile allow moisture to migrate vertically through the stone, making them ideal for exterior installations in all types of climates.

Strength & Durability

More than twice the strength of concrete.

Cool Under Foot

Even in direct sunlight, Travertine Pavers and Tile stay cooler than other types of man-made and stone paver materials.

No Efflorescence

Unlike cementitious products, Travertine Pavers and Tile are not subject to efflorescence.


Since Travertine is a natural stone, it is not subject to color fading inherent in other types of man-made pavers.

If you would like to explore the idea of a travertine patio with us, we’re ready.


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