Laying pavers in a circular pattern is more challenging than forming a square or rectangle and requires a different technique. You must gradually curve the pattern of bricks and other straight-edged pavers to form a circle or ring, and there is no squared edge to use as a reference point. If properly executed, however, a circular patio melds form and function for visual effect in a landscape.
Ask your local utility companies to mark the location of their underground cables and pipes before you begin digging. It is dangerous to excavate in an area where you might hit a power or gas line. In the United States, dialling 811 on your phone will connect you with the appropriate local utilities to request this service.
Place a stake in the centre of the area where you want your circle. Attach a rope to the stake measuring half the diameter of the desired size. Stretch the rope to its full length and move around the circle, staking out the shape.
Remove the topsoil within the circle. If you live in an area with regular freeze-thaw cycles, you need at least six inches of crushed stone as a base. Add the height of your pavers, usually between 2 and 3 inches, to determine the total depth of your hole -- probably between 8 and 10 inches. Slope the hole slightly away from nearby buildings at the angle of approximately 1/2 to 1 inch per yard to allow for rain runoff.
Use a plate compactor or rammer to compact the subsoil. Add the crushed rock base 2 to 3 inches at a time, raking smooth and compacting between each layer. Use angular gravel and spray it with water before compacting for better results. Leave room at the top for the pavers.
Add 1/2 inch of loose sand as a bedding layer. Use a string line or screed board to make sure the base is level.
Lay the first set of pavers in the centre of the circle. Work out from the centre, adding one ring at a time. Tap each paver gently into place with a rubber mallet, leaving a space of 1/2 inch or less between slabs. Fill the spaces with polymeric masonry sand after all the pavers are laid.
Cover the pavers with a protective urethane pad to avoid damage to the stones, and compact them with a plate compactor. Remove the pad and sweep any remaining sand into the joints of the pavers. Lightly spray the pavers with water to activate the polymers in the sand.
Some home and garden centres rent equipment. Check into this option to avoid purchasing costly machinery for your paving project.