Frequently Asked Questions

Brick Paving Process

The concrete paving stones are purchased at the Paveloc Industries, Inc. factory in Marengo, Illinois. Nearly half of the pavers are hand sculpted to fit the intricate design before they are shipped to the installation site.

 

The concrete containment ring is constructed at the installation site. First, the entire area for the labyrinth is excavated 15 inches deep from finished grade. Then the containment ring is poured, using some steel rebar to provide extra support. The containment ring should be 4 to 6 inches wide and 12 to 15 inches deep. (If cost reduction is a major concern, we recommend using a local contractor and volunteers for this part of the process.)

 

Approximately 50 percent of the paving stones are hand sculpted for a labyrinth installation. Pencil lines are drawn on the pavers to mark the precision cuts for the intricate design.

 

Marty  travels an average of 1,000 miles to each installation site.

Marty and the paving stones are scheduled to arrive at the installation site about the same time. LIS purchases base material from a local supplier to fill the containment ring. A quality foundation consists of 10 to 12 inches of base material, which is compacted in 4-inch lifts until they reach a perfect grade. When all is set and compacted, a 3⁄4-inch bed of sand is then added. The labyrinth is now ready to be installed on an extremely sturdy and stable foundation.

 

The complex process of labyrinth installation begins in earnest. Marty determines the placement of the labyrinth components (e.g., quadrants, entrance, lunations, trefoils). The concrete paving stones are then laid out in the design.

 

Sand is swept into the joints, and the process of compaction is completed. Compaction locks the pavers permanently into place, ensuring the durability of the labyrinth for generations to come. The surface is then thoroughly swept and cleaned, revealing the labyrinth’s stunning artistry.


 

General Questions

 

What kind of color fading do the pavers experience?

Under normal conditions, concrete paving stones fade very little. They are even more resistant to color fading when coated with a high-quality sealer. Good examples of typical wear are the Grace Brethern Labyrinth and St. Luke’s Methodist Church Labyrinth featured on this website. Some fading can occur with heavy usage, however. The Naperville Millennium Labyrinth along the Riverwalk, for example, has faded over the years. The muted contrast between line and path was a conscious decision in construction. The floor of the amphitheatre where the labyrinth is located serves the community with varied purposes. Among these are multi-denominational church services, community services and children’s story times sponsored by a local library. Plus, the site is heavily used by families of all kinds – mothers and their toddlers, hens and their ducklings – so the labyrinth has also been “sealed” with several coats of juice and other fare, not to mention duck scat. During the summer months, in fact, the site averages 3,000 visitors per day. Budget cuts have forced the City’s park district maintenance crews to focus their energies elsewhere, so the labyrinth receives no special care. Even with heavy foot traffic, however, occasional upkeep will keep the pavers lustrous for years to come.

What kind of maintenance is required?

That is the beauty: there really is none! Depending on the foot traffic, a thorough once-a-year cleaning should be sufficient. A dandelion seed might find its way into the sand joint between the pavers and need to be pulled at some point, but weeds cannot grow up through the dense 10- to 12-inch limestone base. Once again, a thorough application of sealer helps to prevent the growth of even the most tenacious weeds.

Can you use a shovel to remove snow without harming the pavers?

Yes, you can. In fact, a shovel will glide effortlessly across the labyrinth as if it were a wooden gym floor without snagging a single brick. The only time we have seen any damage from winter cleaning was when someone repeatedly stabbed at the ice with what appeared to be the corner of a shovel or a steel bar. No paved surface that we know of could have held up to that kind of abuse. For virtually effortless and safe ice removal, you might want to consider using a salt-type product sold by Paveloc for such purposes. For further information about this product, please visit the Paveloc Industries website.

Do you use concrete or brick pavers?

We can use natural stone, clay pavers, or concrete paving stones. Natural stone is very beautiful, but it is also the most expensive. Clay pavers come in beautiful colors, and are more saturated with color.  Most of our labyrinths to date have utilized concrete paving stones manufactured by Paveloc Industries. They are the most cost-effective option. Plus, they are durable. Their comprehensive strength measures in excess of 9,200 PSI, and their absorption rates below 3.5 percent. Moreover, Paveloc pavers are warranted to maintain their structural integrity for a lifetime. For more information on the quality of these materials, we encourage you to check out the Paveloc Industries website at www.paveloc.com. We have found Paveloc pavers to be the most durable materials available, and therefore longer lasting. Like you, we want our creations to endure for generations.

What about sealing vs. not sealing?

As noted below, pavers come with a lifetime guarantee from the factory. We suggest applying a thorough coat of high-quality sealer every two or three years. The benefits of sealing include color enhancement, resistance to fading, maintenance of a like-new paver surface texture, and stabilization of the sand joint between the pavers. Plus, a high-quality sealer resists staining from things such as grease, decaying leaves, gum, and animal scat.

What material is used underneath the pavers?

We have learned over the years as we travel across the country that it is necessary to be flexible and use whatever granular material is used in the region for highway construction. (A reputable supplier’s phone number always comes in handy during this part of the process.) In Chicagoland, for example, we use crushed limestone.