"Brilliant, Modern, Unparalleled," this is how Unilock describes Belpasso paver, with TitanTec and HD-Brilliance. It's a great choice for areas where potential staining is a real issue. Belpasso is "virtually indestructible", with it's deep colours and protective surface it's well suited for many residential and commercial applications. It's subtle but if you look at the stones long enough there are brushed irregular lines etched across surface. What's not to like? This surface treatment is not a sealer, this is mechanically bonded during the manufacturing process. This is a very secret process and exclusive to Unilock.

On this particular project the homeowner was in full renovation mode. First on the list was the basement, than the kitchen. After these interior projects, it was time to do something about the exterior. The homeowner wanted to get rid of the deck. There were several problems with the deck, first, it's just not large enough to accommodate a table and chairs. This yard has a pool and this area right off the back door is prime real estate. The deck was consuming too much space and it had to go. The deck was replaced with wood with steps exiting the back door, freeing up space to accommodate what I would call a patio nook.

With the demolition of the deck, the fence was also upgraded. A privacy screen was installed on one side of the patio. There is a basement walkout on the other side of this screen, either a screen like this or a railing had to be installed , a screen was chosen. This created a really nice private space to have nice summer evening entertaining with family and friends.

Upon presenting the homeowner with many samples of various pavers they fell in love with Belpasso. The dark brown colour mix, Castano was chosen. The pattern for the pavers would be stack bond. This is a very modern and clean pattern, current design trends favor plank style pavers. The size chosen would be all 8"x16". A border stone for Umbriano 8"x16" frames the project nicely.

After the deck was removed, the base was installed, 4"-6" of Granular 'A' was compacted and leveled. 1" of sharp sand was screeded level and paver installation proceeded. I placed the order with my dealer where I buy all my materials, they informed I would have to wait a few weeks as this would be a special order. This is where things get interesting. I received the call that my order was ready for pickup. I went in to pickup my order but upon loading up the bundle didn't look the right size, that's because they only had available a half bundle. This is all the stock that was available? I later found out that a large order was sent to New York and Ontario's inventory was next to nothing. Manufacturing new Belpasso stock wouldn't start for a few weeks. Georgetown doesn't produce any products over the winter.

I picked up the phone and called around town to see if any other dealers had any stock. If I could get a few stones here and a few stones there it would be enough to compete this patio. I finally found someone that had some stock so I went out to pickup the needed materials. Upon loading the materials I noticed some stones had white stains. This can happen with concrete pavers, it's a condition known as 'Efflorescence' . I picked through the pile and loaded as many good stones as I could. Now back to the job site.

These stones were installed but as we were working through the bundle I noticed many had a white haze, it was very noticeable around the edge. This had me concerned. Did I get a bad batch of paving stones? We finished installing the patio, I took a step back and had a look. I wasn't jumping for joy after installing this patio. Why were there so many stones with white edges? I called my Territory Manager and he came out to inspect the job the next day.

This is the point that separates great companies from average companies. My Territory Manager told me Unilock would supply me with as many stones as I needed to correct the problem. The only problem was that production was still 2 weeks off. Remember they sent truckload after truckload to New York over the winter for a large commercial project. Decision time. Ontario had no inventory.

I decided to compact and sand the patio so that the homeowner could use their patio. As soon as stones would come available I would return and swap out any white edged stones. Fast forward a few weeks. My Territory manager personally dropped off some pavers so I could swap out the white ones. I even made a second call for more stones, no problem and they were dropped off.

I also washed the area with Efflorescence cleaner and that helped quite a bit. I swapped out some more pavers. The white stones in the pictures below were removed.

This is what Terraform Contracting does for their clients to make things right. There were no additional costs to the homeowner. There was a ton of additional time put into this patio but it takes what it takes to make it right.  As part of the Unilock Authorized Contractor , Code of Ethics. "An authorized contractor will not compromise any aspect of their business practice that may jeopardize the project, their own reputation, or the reputation of Unilock."

Stay tuned for an update and final pictures. I will be returning to this site for an inspection, Spring 2013.

Materials Used on this project:

Patio: Unilock, Belpasso, Castano

Edge: Unilock, Umbriano, Summer Wheat

The old Deck, It's just not very useable The old Deck, It's just not very useable Goodbye Deck Base work complete Something doesn't look quite right Stones with that white haze Looking a little better Looking a little better Final pictures, Spring inspection 2013

About the Author

Garry Reisky

Garry Reisky is the owner of Terraform Contracting. A landscaping and hardscaping contractor located in Toronto, Ontario. Terraform designs and installs residential hardscape and landscapes. Garry is a hardscape expert with extensive installation and product knowledge. Garry is an unofficial Rock(et) Scientest and self proclaimed guru of everything Enduracolor. Find Garry on Google+. Tired of dealing with inexperienced contractors, Contact Garry for a free estimate.