Easy Paver Installation

Updated November 21, 2016

Installing pavers can be tough work. Between making cuts, dealing with messy mortar and spending time allowing things to set, it can be a laborious and time-consuming effort. However, you can install your own paver area easily by taking a couple "short-cuts." Use the dry installation method, where you lay your pavers on a bed of compacted base material and sand rather than using messy mortar. You can also choose a paver pattern that does not require you to make any difficult cuts to your pavers.

Plan your layout. Planning can help cut down on the time it takes to install your pavers. Decide on the size of your paver job, and measure to make sure there is enough space for them. Outline your installation area by setting down two-by-fours or a hose.

Excavate the paving area. Dig out a hole that is around eight inches deep. When digging, ensure the slope runs away from your house slightly. You will use a level in a later step to be sure.

Add a layer of base material, which usually consists of crushed stone or gravel. The amount of base material you should add will vary, so follow the instructions on the package. Plan on anywhere from two to four inches.

Compact the base material with a hand tamper or a plate compactor. Start at the perimeter and work your way toward the centre, until you have compacted the entire base.

Set a level on top of the compacted base material, and ensure the slope runs away from your house. If not, add more base material and repeat the compacting step.

Install the edge restraints on the two longest sides of your paver area. Pound spikes down through the edge restraint and into the ground to secure it.

Add a 1-inch bed of sand on top of the layer of compacted base material. Smooth out the sand by setting two screen rails along each the two longest sides of the paver area, and dragging a two-by-four piece of wood across it.

Lay the pavers down in the pattern and design of your choice. Fit the pavers tightly against one another, and tap each of them into place with a rubber mallet.

Fill the joints between each paving stone with bonding sand. Spread the sand around thoroughly with a broom, ensuring it fills each of the joints. Sweep the surface of the pavers off completely before proceeding.

Rinse the sand between each joint with a fine mist of water. Allow the pavers to set for one day before putting weight on them.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Hose
  • Base material
  • Plate compactor or hand tamper
  • Level
  • Edge restraints
  • Hammer
  • Bedding sand
  • Two-by-four board
  • Two screed rails
  • Pavers
  • Rubber mallet
  • Bonding sand
  • Broom
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