I was told blue dense styrofoam that they use for housing walls would work the same as the expensive EZ Base. Thoughts?
Who told you that? I'm sure it wasn't a professional! If that was the case, don't you think everyone would use Styrofoam? Sure you can use Styrofoam (polystyrene) but the pavers will be uneven in no time since Styrofoam is fairly soft. Does it get cold where you live? Styrofoam won't get rid of water which will freeze up and heave up your pavers. Plus it will probably void any warranty the pavers might have or installation warranty.
Paver panels (ez base as you call it) are made specifically for pavers. They are made from polypropylene (a dense plastic) which distribute the weight of each Paver and each step you take. They have channels in the surface to help drain the water away.
The only issue would be drainage but they bury styrofoam all the time under highways. It’s not going anywhere and is structurally sound. Of course it’s 3 feet thick, but you can’t drive on those paver panels either. Look close at those paver panels. It’s black styrofoam. You could even take a router and cut your own water channels in styrofoam. I agree at $13 a panel it’s too expensive.
This isn’t rocket science folks. It’s a brick patio. Worst case you have to take it up but it won’t be because the foam broke down. That stuff will last a million years.
One more thing. You want polystyrene not styrofoam. They sell those and you can router it.
Insulfoam R-1.9 0.5-in x 4-ft x 8-ft 1 Faced Polystyrene = $8
Brock 2-ft x 3-ft Polypropylene Paver Base Panel = $13
Do the math => Spend $8 per 32 SF Insulfoam or $70.
I'm doing a 20ftx8Ft (160 SF) paver patio, need (5) 4x8 Insulfoam = $40 Brock Panel 2x3 would require 27 x $13 = $340
As an architect, thsi is a not brainer! It supports you and som pavers, NOT a car or elephant! Rigid foam is used in ground on concrete foundations so it's durable, even in wet and freezing conditions! Don't be so anal-retentive and believe the fancy marketing! It's just som effing pavers to lay down fabric, spread som sand, slap som cheap pavers on top!
Think I'm gonna save $300 to do my paver patio!