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PR Release: Basalite Concrete Products is pleased to announce the acquisition of Eastside Masonry Products located in Redmond Washington.





Top Ten Tips and Tricks for your new Paver Project



  1. Choose your Paver Type: Paver manufacturers are capable of manufacturing wide variety pavers. Pavers range in small 3 X 3 squares to large 12 X 12 squares; the types vary from a rectangle to a large unit, with 6 to 8 different sizes. When you choose your paver take into consideration the complete scope of your project. How big is your area? A large area allows you to use multiple sizes of pavers. Multiple sizes allow you to choose a pattern which will break up the seams and lines. In a smaller area, utilizing one or two different paver sizes will keep the area neat and uncluttered in appearance.
  2. Choose your Color: Manufacturers are coming up with a vast number of blended color pavers. They range from a through mix (which means the color is blended throughout the complete paver), to a face mix, meaning the color is in the tops (face) of the paver only. Which one is better for you all depends on your budget and project. When choosing the paver color, look at your house color, the color of your roof, the color of your backyard, and other colors in the natural landscaping. Take all of these into consideration and decide if you want to compliment those colors or if you want to contrast those colors. You can also ask the dealer for samples that you can take home, or see if you can purchase some and return them after you have made a decision. A 4 X 4 sample area will give you a good visual.
  3. Choose your Pattern: Most pavers offer multiple patterns to choose from. Check the dealer or manufacturer websites, or obtain brochures from local dealers. The easiest and most efficient way to select your pattern is to choose something simple that can be repeated easily. Random patterns are more difficult to lay and will take more time to implement.
  4. Consider what’s out your window: Often, homeowners consider only the appearance of their new outdoor space when taking on a paver project. We recommend that a homeowner goes inside the home and look out the windows and sliders. As you sit in your favorite spots, look at the patio and the potential lines or pattern. How will your pavers look from that spot? Set up the 4 X 4 sample area so you can see if from those locations. Determining this before you start will be easier than rearranging your living space later.
  5. Slope away from structures: You need to slope the patio away from the house to prevent rainwater from entering the basement or seeping into the foundation causing moisture problems. This slope is normally a 1-2% drop away from the house or structure. This normally equals a ¼ inch drop per 4 feet. If your paver area is 12 feet long then your drop would be ¾ inch.
  6. Vary the color: For the best color variegation in your project, you need to take pavers from the sides of all of the pallets do not take them solely from the top of the pallet. You also need to remove pavers from multiple pallets mixing them as you work. This will give you the best color mix available. Removing pavers from the top layer of the pallet will give you a checker board color pattern



S’more are best served…well, anytime.


Why not enjoy your Necessories fire pit all year long as well? Basalite offers some of the best outdoor products and accessories for your Necessories products.

If you are looking for an easy to install project, check out The Stonewall II Fire Pit Kit. It includes all of the materials you will need to build your own intimate campground.

This Pot of S’mores recipe is one of our personal favorites!  Try it out and let us know what you think.



When is wood shake not wood shake?


When is wood shake not wood shake? #basalite

When is wood shake not wood shake?

When it’s concrete!

Introducing the all new “Ship Lap” Concrete Masonry Unit from Basalite Concrete Products. 




Northern California Home & Landscape Expo 2015


Basalite is excited to participate in Northern California’s largest Home and Landscape Expo!

Come join us and get ready to transform your outdoor living area to a backyard destination with our Necessories Outdoor Living Kits.

From January 23rd-25th, Basalite Representatives will be showcasing our full Necessories Outdoor Living Kits featuring our Grand Island Bar/Grill and our Grand Fireplace. Not only are these luxury kits affordable, they come ready to assemble by you or your local contractor.

Each Necessories outdoor living kit comes packaged with everything you need to build, including pre-cut block, adhesive, and easy to read course-by-course assembly instructions.

All kits are available from your local Basalite dealer and/or local contractor. Valley Redwood, A&A Stepping Stone and The Brickyard will be participating in the show as well as several Basalite friendly contractors.

Did we mention when you purchase your new Necessories Outdoor Kit you are eligible for a factory rebate up to $350 from Basalite Concrete Products?

Still not convinced? We are giving away a compact fireplace kit at the expo! This kit is valued at $3200.00!  Stop by our booth to be entered into the drawing!





Rebate Link:

Event Link:


What Should I Use to Improve my Driveway?

driveway pavers

Italian Renaissance Paver Driveway

Have you been “stalling” on a driveway fix?  Not sure what materials make the best “cents”?  Let’s compare some driveway finish options.



Many homeowners choose gravel for an easy, DIY installation. Gravel comes in a variety of colors and weights, and can be visually attractive. However, gravel does have many negatives. It can be very difficult to maintain. If you have a lot of trees with falling leaves, or if you live in an area where winter snows hit, it’s fairly impossible to sweep or shovel across gravel. Gravel can lodge in between tire treads, is hard to walk on, and it is not ADA compliant. While gravel appears to be a low-maintenance option, it typically needs to be refreshed annually, which adds to the cost.



Hot, ugly and smelly, plus you have to perform crack repair and reseal every few years.


Poured Concrete:

Although pouring concrete seems to be an easy, do-it-yourself project, it is not.  Slab concrete should be poured at the same time and from the same mix to avoid differentials in color and finish from different batches.  Mixing and placing by yourself, without the help of plant mixed and truck delivered concrete is back breaking and slow, which in most cases leads to cold joints, blotchy colors and low strength concrete.   Weather conditions can also affect results, so in hot and cold climates, most of the day is unsuitable for pouring concrete in some seasons, which lessen your time to mix, pour and place concrete. Poured concrete can succumb to “spalling” (top layer peeling off), if temperatures are low or there is too much moisture in the mix. Poured concrete is prone to cracking, especially where driveways are uneven or tree roots are present. Visually, poured concrete is often considered a “low end” approach, which doesn’t help with resale. Today’s home buyer is typically seeking visual appeal and since a driveway is often the first visual when guests arrive, most home buyers are seeking a higher end alternative.



Concrete pavers come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. While initially it may seem daunting to lay your own pavers, installation is not technical and the low upkeep may be worth the initial effort. Pavers are long lasting and you can easily replace a paver here and there, if needed, without having to rip up your entire driveway.  If repairs are required, or additions need to be added, the pavers can be picked up, repairs/additions performed and the original pavers replaced without additional material cost and since it’s the original paving material, it will match the rest of the pavement exactly. Pavers are easy to clean, and, if sealed correctly on installation, can maintain their beauty for many years. Studies have shown a paver driveway and or paver patio can increase to a home’s value by as much as 15 to 20 percent. Pavers are considered an “upscale” feature and are attractive to home buyers.


Get ready for a DIY paver project? Get helpful hints on how to do the job right the first time. Click here for paver tips and tricks!

DIY Paver Help


How to Mix Concrete in a Wheelbarrow


Want to learn how to mix concrete in a wheelbarrow? We’ll show you how in our YouTube video below!

For more DIY, help with concrete projects, and inspirational home photos, check out our Homeowner Section here:


Tree Roots and Your Retaining Wall


retaining wall tree

Engineers and Contractors frequently drive around to check the retaining walls they designed and/or built, to make sure they are performing as designed. When designing and installing retaining walls, professionals take into consideration potential hazards. The list of potential hazards is extensive, but for now,we are going to concentrate on TREES.

So, you moved into your new house and want some shade in your backyard, or you want to add some value and luxury to your existing backyard. A beautiful Maple or fast-growing Fruitless Mulberry are just two of the many trees that do well in Northern California. But how close to the retaining wall can you plant this tree? Take into consideration a trees root system when planning out where to plant your tree. A tree will send down a “tap root”, which is a root that extends down as far as it can obtain oxygen. Once it has reached that point, it sends out shooter roots that grow horizontally. The myth out there is that the shooter roots will only grow out as far as the canopy extends. While this may be true for some trees, it is not true for most trees. Your best bet is to contact the tree professional at the nursery you are purchasing your tree from, or contact an arborist and consult with them. This is important because over time- if you plant a tree too close to a retaining wall- the potential for the roots to push the wall over is in direct proportion to the height your tree will grow to.

Now don’t get me wrong- there are trees planted close to retaining walls that  have been there for years and will probably be there for years to come. But you should have that tree periodically inspected to make sure it is healthy and not pushing on the retaining wall, potentially turning into a problem.


When planting a new tree near a retaining wall, the tree should be a minimum of 2 feet away from the face of the wall plus the diameter of the root ball, i.e. a tree with a 5 five-foot root ball should be planted a minimum of 7 feet away from the face of the retaining wall. While a tree can bring comfort from its shade and beauty from its structure you need to remember to consult with a tree expert or an engineer before planting your tree.

Happy Planting!

Mike Blumenstein, Basalite Product Manager
: (707)678-1901


How to Build a Concrete Bench


DIY Concrete Stone Bench

Want to add an impressive seating area to your backyard? Build a stone bench to enhance your outdoor space, by following these easy instructions. In just a few hours, you will have a unique and attractive new backyard feature! The addition of this DIY stone bench can add a unique esthetic element to your garden, patio, or any landscaped area.

This project measurements reference Stonewall II Concrete Blocks. Other block products may be utilized. Contact your dealer for more information on products that would complement a bench).



Four, 12” stakes
marking paint
rubber mallet
wheel barrow
knee pads
safety equipment
hand tamper
caulking gun
SRW adhesive
string line
tape measure

STEP 1, PREPARE THE SITE   Step 1 Concrete Bench DIY

Stake out a 2’ x 9’ rectangle. Use one of your stakes as your starting point and hammer it into the ground. Measure 9’ in the long direction and hammer in another stake. Measure 2’ at a 90 degree angle from the two stakes already hammered in the ground. Set both stakes and make sure they are 9’ in between. To check for square, measure diagonally from stake to stake until the two measurements are the same.



STEP 2, COMPACT AND LEVEL  Step 2concrete Bench DIY

Once you have your area marked out, dig approximately 4” into the soil. Place and compact 3” of 3/4″ Minus Gravel as a leveling
pad for the base course of your bench.



To set your base course, lay your first stone 1” below finished grade, and level front to back and side to side. Start with a large and small and large and small, side by side to make a 20” x 20” column base. Measure 5.5″ in from one side, and place a large stone, then a small stone, alternating until your bench is 5′ 2.25″. Then, build another 20″ by 20″ column base. Fit for alignment and check for level.


Place a continuous bead of caulking on the blocks below. Stack additional courses, ensuring you have a running bond, so the block lines do not match the lines below. Check for level and adjust as necessary. Stack additional rows on the square to a maximum of five rows high.
Stack additional rows on the bench to a maximum of three rows high.


STEP 5, SECURE THE TOP COURSE  DIY Bench final step - glue  

Secure the capstones. Use a generous amount of SRW adhesive to glue the top caps and five bench caps.
Questions about this project? Contact Basalite and we’d be glad to help you with your project!




Why Use Sand with Pavers?


DIY pavers and edger

Author: Mike Blumenstein

Sand is the glue that holds pavers tightly together. Whether constructing a patio with pavers or a driveway, it is important to construct a paver base. This paver base should be a minimum of 4 inches of a class 2 road base (available at a landscape yard), compacted to 95% Standard Proctor Density (or compacted until you are not able to make a dent in the road base with the back of your foot). (more…)