Paving Pedestals: Should You Use Them?

2 December 2020


Using pedestal support which raises the tiles or pavers off the existing surface is becoming more popular because of the long term benefits this system provides.

Using pedestal support which raises the tiles or pavers off the existing surface is becoming more popular because of the long term benefits this system provides. What are the reasons to use them and what are the things you need to keep in mind and consider?

What Are Paving Pedestals?

This term usually refers to structural strength pavers that are laid over some pedestal support which raises the tiles or pavers off the existing surface. They create a void between the paving and the membrane encouraging constant air circulation as well as providing additional benefits.

In recent years, this trend has become more and more popular and because of the long-term benefits of this system such as extending the life of waterproofing, and reducing the remedial costs, architects keep asking for pedestals to be used more often.

And because they also remove the weight load from the given area, in New Zealand, it has recently become mandatory to use on all balconies.

If the trend keeps going in this direction, are paving pedestals going to become mandatory to use in Australia too? And even if they don’t, what are some of the key benefits and things to consider when wanting to use them? And what are the possible issues that may arise?

Today, we will give you a complete rundown of everything you need to know when considering using paving pedestals.

Why Use Pedestals?

Reduce the Remedial Costs

One of the key reasons why using paving pedestals appeals to architects is the reduced remedial cost. With installed pedestals, there is no need to redo and replace the whole job if something goes wrong underneath your tiles. Hence making most of the maintenance challenges more manageable.

Similarly, when a leak happens, there is no need to rip off the whole surface just to find where the problem is located as it is with traditional laying methods. With pedestals, it’s easy to only repair the tiles that need redoing, massively reducing the cost of the repair.

Alleviated Efflorescence and No Grouting

Choosing the installation with pedestals eliminates efflorescence and removes the need for grouting. With no grout lines deteriorating, the surface will keep looking clean and new.

And when you’re already spending a lot of money on natural stone, adding pedestals is a worthwhile investment that prolongs the life of the installation.

Decreased Price, Increased Versatility

With the increasing popularity, the cost of the pedestals is going down quickly, and they now cost a lot less than they did even a couple of years ago. When you compare the installation cost with pedestals and without them, now the cost is almost identical. And when you add the amount of money you save on subsequent repairs, it is a worthwhile investment.

The Versipave paving pedestals, compared to other ones on the market, are versatile, easily adjustable, and can be halved or split to fit in unconventional shapes and corners.

Better Water Drainage

The open joints and supports promote adequate and quick water drainage of any water pooling on the surface of natural stone pavers. They can easily conceal the plumbing and wiring underneath your tiles as well as allow access to these systems more easily if they need attention.

polypads terrace

Things You Need to Know

Do You Need Specific Tiles If You Want to Use Pedestals?

Pedestals can be used on any kind of membrane as they are designed to be completely smooth

With stone pavers with dimensions of 400x400mm or bigger, you would need additional pedestals for support, and we recommend that you consult an expert before installation.

Porcelain is generally safe to use but in the outdoor areas, it can trap water because of the surface tension. In comparison, the natural stone can absorb a little water.

Thicker pavers are generally better suited to be used with pedestals, but it is important to be mindful of what you’re planning to put on top since they can’t handle heavy point loads.

Not All Pedestals Are Created the Same

The reason some people might have reservations about using pedestals is the bad reputation built by low-quality pedestals.

If you’re considering pedestals, select ones of the highest quality. The various pedestals on the market come with a substantial difference in comprehensive strength and warranty.

Before choosing your pedestal please ensure that you obtain a test report from the manufacturer showing the compressive strength of the pedestal.

VersiPave 24P is extremely strong and has a compressive strength of 3.2 Tonnes

Quality Installation Is Key

Alongside selecting quality polypods, it is just as important to focus on quality installation. While extra effort is needed for installation in the first place, it pays off in the long run and when installed properly, the pedestals shouldn’t move at all and should feel like concrete

On the other hand, when the installation is performed poorly, it will create problems later down the line.

pedestals installation

Long Term Benefits

The main reason to choose the installation with pedestals are the long-term benefits these will provide. Some of the most crucial ones include access to your waterproof membrane, no need for grouting, less deterioration, a better drainage system, and fewer problems when solving maintenance issues underneath the installation.

The VersiPave comes with a 20-year warranty and they are guaranteed to provide these benefits.

Possible Issues

Even though many benefits come with installing the pedestals, they are not suitable for every type of job and you need to be aware of the possible issues that may arise.

As mentioned, the stone pavers need to be at least 30-40mm thick, if you have any doubts about whether your pavers are thick enough please consult your paver supplier or Elmich on 02 96482073.

The Verdict

The use of paving pedestals is becoming more popular as well as more affordable. The main benefits include reduced repair costs, better water drainage, and no efflorescence.

It is important to ensure that the paver you select is suitable to be used with the Versipave pedestal.

If you decide to opt for the installation with the pedestals, make sure you choose the ones of the best quality as well as ensure expert installation. And if you tick all those boxes, the installation with pedestals will no doubt pay off in the long run.

Want to know more about the products in this article or discuss your project requirements?
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