When are distressed/tumbled patio pavers considered defective?

Jackie Dalseme
3 days ago

I love the look of old, distressed, multi-shaped, cobble pavers for a backyard patio. I also prefer to spend more money for higher quality products and labor when doing home improvements. That's why I chose System Pavers to install Belgard Dublin Cobble pavers for my patio. Overall, after spending $20k, I am very pleased with the installation by System Pavers, but I question the quality of the Belgard pavers.

The Belgard description of this Dublin Cobble product is "Its gently distressed surface and antiqued edges give Dublin Cobble pavers a quiet sophistication.....a casually elegant, timeworn look recalling the hand-laid cobblestone of centuries old Mediterranean villas". The photos I was shown during the sales consultation depicted 4 sizes of pavers, all with uniform distressed edges/corners and small gaps between pavers. Attached you will see photos directly taken from the Belgard website of the Dublin Cobble. Take particular note of the size of space between pavers, especially at the corners.

My final project is just under 900 square feet and has approximately 30 large pavers that have holes/gaps at the corner that is much too large for my liking. The gaps are triangular in shape, filled with sand, and can measure up to 3" x 1" x 1". The reason this is happening is because many (but not all) of the large square pavers have one of its corners tumbled too heavily. So heavy, that it looks like the corner was chiseled off. Also, on a side issue, why just one corner heavily rounded and not all four corners?

So, the question becomes, when is a tumbled/distressed paver tumbled too much and should be considered defective?

I called Belgard and sent them photos of my project to see if they would help with the cost in getting these problem pavers replaced. Surely a company like Belgard, who is know to have the highest quality and be the best in the industry, will back up their product warranties and want their customers to be satisfied. Right? Not! I was shocked at the reply and attitude of the local representative. I was told that gaps this large is normal for the Dublin Cobble and all products that leave the factory have been inspected to meet specs so that installers don't have to weed through bad batches. He said that it is the nature of the largest pavers to be more heavily tumbled in the production because of the weight (again why just 1 of 4 corners?) The worst part is that he had no concern that I was extremely unhappy with their product and that the Belgard catalog and online photos do not show any of the pavers with one corner being considerably rounder than the other 3 corners. He also was not interested in coming out to take a look at my project.

Attached I have posted photos of a few pavers that are representative of the quality issue. The photo with my feet shows a higher viewpoint of my patio and I have placed pennies on three of the problem pavers. Compare my patio photos with the Belgard photos and let me know what you think? Do you think my complaint is justified or am I being too picky? What if this was your patio and you just spent $20k for it? Who do you think is responsible, System Pavers or Belgard? I would love to hear your opinion.

Fortunately for me, there is a happy ending. System Pavers has agreed to replace the problem pavers because they want me to be 100% satisfied with my patio. I am grateful that they have been so nice and more than happy to make things right. However, I wish they didn't have to fix what I feel should be a Belgard warranty issue.

My purpose in posting this message is to help other home owners ask the right questions when shopping brands of stone pavers and choosing their installation company. Plus, I would like your opinion. Thank you for reading.

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