How to Set a Herringbone Pattern With Pavers

Written by robert korpella
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How to Set a Herringbone Pattern With Pavers
Herringbone patterns look great and are not as complicated to make as they may seem. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

A herringbone pattern adds visual interest to driveways, patios, sidewalks and other structures built with pavers. Initial set-up and periodic checks are key to getting the pattern laid out correctly. You will get the best results when you put all the whole pavers in place before you make any cuts to the partial bricks.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Edge restraints
  • Carpenter's square
  • Measuring tape
  • Stakes
  • Hammer
  • String
  • Pencil or marking pen
  • Masonry saw

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  1. 1

    Add edge restraints to create the outer edges of the pad to be paved in herringbone style. Use a carpenter's square to make sure the corners are at 90-degree angles.

  2. 2

    Place a row or two of pavers to make a border all along the edge. Butt the ends of pavers against the edge restraints or lay them side-by-side along the edge restraints, whichever pattern you prefer. Use the carpenter's square again to make sure the border is square.

  3. 3

    Measure a line 8 1/2 inches away from and parallel to the inside edge of the paver border. Hammer stakes into the ground outside the area to be paved so that a string can be attached to them. The string will stretch between the stakes at least a paver height above the 8 1/2-inch line. This string is a key layout element that will help define where the pavers need to be set. The measurement is key as well, since it reduces waste on pavers to be cut later.

  4. 4

    Set the first paver at a 45-degree angle to the border so that the inside left corner of the paver is located directly below the string line and the inside right corner extends past the string line. Use the carpenter's square to ensure a 45-degree angle to the border. There's no need to wiggle or push on the paver --- just drop it in place.

  5. 5

    Set a second paver at a 90-degree angle to the first one so that its outside right corner is located directly under the string line and its inside left corner is flush with the first paver's inside edge. The two bricks should look like a chevron, meeting at 90 degrees to each other and 45 degrees to the border.

  6. 6

    Continue to lay pavers in the same manner, two at a time, creating a series of adjoining chevrons once the first course is complete. Move the string to set up the same way for the next course of pavers and repeat the process until all the whole pavers are in place.

  7. 7

    Measure for cuts by lining up a full paver in a gap between the herringbone pattern and the border. Scribe a mark on the paver where you will need to make the cut and use a masonry saw to trim the paver to size, then drop it into place. Save the cut-off piece because it may fit into another gap. Continue until all the gaps are filled.

Tips and warnings

  • Once the herringbone pattern is complete and all the pavers are in place, finish the patio or walk by sweeping sand across the pavers and into the seams between them.

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