When I bought my new house, I had several projects I really wanted to tackle. That was OK because I am a bit of a project junkie and I love fixing things up. One was what I was going to do with a back patio that was in sorry shape. It was an aggregate concrete patio that was pretty dingy and had a lot of cracks. After some research, I decided on installing Azek Resurfacing Pavers.
So what’s involved in installing Azek Resurfacing Pavers? The process of installing Azek resurfacing pavers is actually pretty easy. Since the pavers are designed to lay on top of an existing solid surface like a wood or concrete deck, there is no base prep necessary. The steps involved consist of measuring the space you need to cover, coming up with a design pattern, and then laying out grids and tiles and cutting as necessary.
When I started watching videos and reading posts about installing Azek resurfacing pavers, I began to wonder if I was bitting off more than I could chew. My concern was that my deck had two straight edges and two curved edges. The longest curved edge butted up against my lawn and I was worried if:
- I could even accomplish this installation
- It would look good in such a visible spot
- It was going to be “restrained” well where it met the edge of the lawn
When I e-mailed the company to ask about all this their response was basically “here is our installation guide, take a look.” I was faced with a dilemma. All the other options to makeover this deck would be some combination of the following:
- Time consuming
- Labor intensive
- Not very attractive
Make no mistake, the Azek pavers were by no means an inexpensive alternative, but given the ease of installation and the look of the finished product, installing Azek resurfacing pavers was the route I chose.
My Foray Into Installing Azek Resurfacing Pavers
Installing Azek resurfacing pavers is not complicated, but it is a fair amount of work. For me there was a lot of hauling pavers and grids from the front of my house to the back of my house where the deck was located.
I was surprised how quickly the process of installing Azek resurfacing paversmoved especially in the center of the deck. In that area there was not a lot of detail work. Because of that the process was simply laying down grids next to each other in the correct pattern and then laying the pavers in the grids.
One note to pay special attention to when installing Azek resurfacing pavers is to make sure you’re laying the pavers correctly based on the pattern you have chosen. As I was working through the process, I kept reminding myself how terrible it would be if I had to go back and pull up hundreds of pavers because I had made a mistake seven or eight rows back and now my whole pattern was off.
Even if you have a perfectly square deck there will be some detail work choices to be made while installing Azek resurfacing pavers when you get to the edges. These choices are equal parts creativity and labor. In fact the edges might be very representative of how the sky is really the limit with these pavers in terms of what looks you can achieve.
Where to Buy When Installing Azek Resurfacing Pavers
The first choice was where to buy the pavers. When you go to the Timber Tech website, the company that makes the pavers, you will soon find they do not sell the pavers to you directly. They simply give you a “where to buy“ option.
I saw that my choices were a local lumber company and then big chains like Home Depot and Lowe’s. When doing a little more digging, I found a company called Decks Direct that offered the product as well.
Since all the options involve the product being shipped to me, I simply chose Decks Direct because this was specifically their business as opposed to the big chain stores. When checking around the prices were pretty much the same everywhere so it really just boiled down to who could get me the product in the quickest fashion.
The Ordering Process For Installing Azek Resurfacing Pavers
Now it is time for a little math and a little creative design. The steps you need to take when installing Azek resurfacing pavers are:
- What layout design will you use
- What color or colors will you use
- How you will handle the edges of your deck
- What the square footage of your deck is
I decided on a running bond pattern with three colors. The best way to approach the math for me was to figure out how many different types of rows of pavers there would be.
In my case they were going to be four. The first would be my primary color, The second would be a 50-50 mix of my primary and secondary color, the third row would be my secondary color in the last row would be a 50-50 mix of my primary color and a tertiary color.
That meant 50% of my tiles need to be the primary color, 37 1/2% needed to be the secondary color and 12 1/2% needed to be the tertiary color. From there you take the square footage of your deck divided by the size of the grids to come up with the number of grids you need. Then multiply that number by the percentages I just outlined to decide how many grids to order and of which color of each.
The tricky part for me of installing Azek resurfacing pavers was that the running bond pattern required me to stagger the grids because of that I ordered a few extra of each color just for safety sake. The truth is if you do your math right you don’t need to order extras, but on the off chance you make some mistakes it can’t hurt to have a few extra if you can afford it.
The other tricky part for me of installing Azek resurfacing pavers was that I do not have a deck with four straight edges. My deck has two straight edges and then two curved edges.
If you’re like me, this starts to involve a lot of geometry that I am both not good at and don’t really want to do. My solution was to measure in straight lines around the edges of my deck and just figure I’ll have some overlap to make sure all the curves are covered.
If you have a deck with nothing but straight edges, it probably does not matter which corner you start the installation. For me with the deck with two curved edges, it was vital that I start in the corner made up by the two straight edges when installing Azek resurfacing pavers.
My first thought was to try to put grids in all the way around the edge of my deck. I soon realized that with curved edges trying to do this was going to be next to impossible.
The reason was that trying to keep all of the grids square to each other with two straight edges and two curved edges and no point of reference between the grids on the edge was going to be next to impossible for me. I was also hindered by the fact that one of the curved edges ran up against a rock wall so it meant that I could not lay grids flush against that and keep them square with the other grids.
What I did instead was to simply just start laying out the grids from the straight edged corner until I had covered the entire deck. This meant I had some grids that laid over the curved edges that would need to be cut to fit.
Once I laid out as many full grids as my deck space would allow, I then began to start cutting grids to fit all the spaces around the edges. Once my deck was completely covered by grid material, I then began laying the tiles.
The process of laying the tiles when installing Azek resurfacing pavers could not be simpler. The tiles come with rubber feet in each corner and then 2 feet in the center of the tile. These feet fit perfectly into the grids. The only thing you really need to keep in mind is what color should go where.
Just as with the grids as I got to the edges of the deck I had to start making cuts to the tiles. This was especially tricky around the rock wall I mentioned. Unless you’re going for absolute perfection, all that you’re really going to need for this is just a tape measure to calculate what type cuts to make to your tiles. So I had some tiny gaps between the tiles in the rock wall, but it looked perfectly fine to me.
One of the straight edges of my deck contained the sliding glass door to enter the deck. On this edge outside the door I used some of the Azek transition pavers.
The rest of the way around I just cut the pavers to fit the edges. I had one straight edge and one curved edge that did not go up against either the house or the rock wall.
For both of these I simply use a jigsaw to cut the pavers and the grids to match the shape of the deck that was below. I applied landscape adhesive under all of these edge pavers to hold them in place. I also used a paver restraint along the curve edge where it met the lawn.
After this method of installing Azek resurfacing pavers, my impression is that I am going to have no problem with the pavers staying in place. They all seem to fit together quite snuggly and because all the grids are attached to all the other grids by at least one paver there simply is not a lot of room for any of the pavers or grids to move around.
The result is a deck that looks far better now than it did before. On top of that it would certainly seem that this deck would be very functional and will last for quite a while.
One place where I did not follow directions precisely was in placing the grids around the edges. Azek suggests that you don’t have less than half a grid anywhere on your layout.
So if you’re going to need to make a cut to a grid to make it fit along the edge you may have to cut the adjacent grid just so each are about the same width rather than having a full grid and then a very thin grid at the edge.
This is precisely what I did just for ease of installation and a lot less math! There’s no telling if that will stand the test of time compared to the way Azek recommends you do it, but again as I have looked over the deck and walked on it it sure has a very solid feel to it.
Gluing and Edging
I made the choice to glue every edge paver to the grid below it. This was especially important for pavers that I had cut to maintain an edge.
I also installed paver restraints along the edge that met my back lawn. I did this even though it seemed the pavers would stay in place because the edge pavers were glued. I did it more for aesthetics but it would also serve the purpose of holding the pavers in place beyond just the glue.
If there was one drawback to my installing Azek resurfacing pavers, it was that this edge along the lawn did not look very attractive. It was simply an edge of cut grids and pavers so it looked a little bit ragged. The paver restraints help to smooth out that look. Of course this goes back to the question of edging and maybe using some of the specialty pavers to create your edge and give it a more finished look.
The Finished Product
I really could not be happier with the end result after installing Azek resurfacing pavers. The deck looks substantially better aesthetically. The process of planning, ordering, and installation was pretty simple and straightforward.
Of course my deck is only been in for a few days so only time will tell how well the deck holds up. My hunch is that because of the way the materials are made there’s really not much reason to believe there will be much deterioration and it should continue to look good and function well over time.
Are there any drawbacks to installing Azek pavers?
My biggest gripe about installing Azek resurfacing pavers was having the smell of tires fill my face for a couple of days. The pavers installed don’t really give off that smell, however when you are constantly cutting the grids and the pavers the smell can be quite overwhelming. Maybe just a minor pet peeve, but it was something I really did not enjoy.
Would you use Azek pavers to build a new deck?
Azek also makes the same paver for a new deck installation. Given the fact that you have so many choices with building a deck from scratch, I’m not sure if I would use these pavers. It’s not that I don’t like the result I got, but given the limited options of resurfacing the deck I thought they were a great choice. I’m just not sure I would feel the same way when I had the option of building a deck out of a nice wood or a more traditional paver.