How to lay pavers over a concrete patio

Updated February 21, 2017

Concrete is a sturdy, but rather unattractive, material for patio construction. Over time the surface can become discoloured and pitted. Covering the patio with brick pavers is one way to reuse the existing structure without the added expense and trouble of removing it entirely. Brick pavers are available in a variety of colours. Use pavers hardened for foot traffic and not their more fragile cousin, brick veneer tiles.

Clean the concrete thoroughly with a pressure washer to remove any dirt or oil that might interfere with mortar adhesion. Use a few drops of dish detergent in warm water and a stiff broom to scrub the patio if a pressure washer is not available. Rinse the patio with a garden hose. Allow the patio to dry thoroughly before proceeding.

Combine a small amount of mortar mix and the label-recommended amount of water in a disposable container. Mix only what you can use in 1/3 the recommended drying time to prevent wasting material.

Spread mortar on the back of each paver and use the notch-edged trowel to drag across the surface to ensure an even thickness of mortar. Position the first paver even with the edges of one corner of the patio and press it firmly into place. Mix mortar in small batches as needed.

Install ¼-inch tile spacers at each corner of the first paver to create even spacing. Place the next tile parallel to the longest edge of the patio from the corner.

Position the next two pavers inside the first two to create a square of four pavers. Continue adding pavers in groups of four along the long edge. Add full-size pavers as far they will go. Measure the remaining space to the far edge of the patio, using a tape measure, and mark a tile to fit with a pencil. Mark enough tiles to cover the row along the edge. Clamp the paver to a sturdy work surface with a C-clamp.

Cut along the marked line with an abrasive blade in a circular saw. Make the cut more than halfway through the paver's thickness, typically ½ inch. Use a brick chisel and hammer to cut through the remainder by tapping it along the groove you cut.

Add squares of four pavers across the surface of the patio until the area is filled. Allow the label-recommended drying time for the mortar before adding grout.

Mix the grout according to the label instructions in a disposable container. Spread it over the surface of the pavers with a foam-faced grout trowel. Drag the grout into the spaces between pavers and level it off with the surface of the brick. Keep the trowel wet for best results.

Wash the faces of the pavers with a brick wash solution and a brick sponge. Scrub the grout film from the bricks before it hardens for best results. Rinse the pavers with clear water.

Things You'll Need

  • Disposable containers
  • Mortar
  • Notch-edged trowel
  • Tile spacers
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Abrasive blade
  • Grout
  • Grout trowel
  • Brick wash solution
  • Brick sponge
  • Dish detergent
  • Broom
  • Pressure washer
  • Garden hose
  • Pencil
  • C-clamp
  • Hammer
  • Brick chisel
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About the Author

Mark Morris started writing professionally in 1995. He has published a novel and stage plays with SEEDS studio. Morris specializes in many topics and has 15 years of professional carpentry experience. He is a voice, acting and film teacher. He also teaches stage craft and lectures on playwriting for Oklahoma Christian University.