How To Lay Patio Pavers

Image: tapping pavers into place with a rubber mallet.

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Homeowners are always looking for way to not only increase home value but to create a space that their whole family can enjoy. Patio pavers are great way to accomplish both! Not only is it a durable option, it's easy to clean and can withstand most weather conditions. Follow these step by step directions and please practice safety when doing so.

Project Metrics

  • Working Time: 1 to 2 days pending project size 
  • Total Time: 1 to 2 days pending project size 
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

What You'll Need

Equipment/Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Hand Tamper tool or compactor 
  • Water hose 
  • Shovels
  • Saw for pavers (optional)

Materials

  • Pavers 
  • Gravel paver base
  • Paver sand 
  • Wooden stakes 
  • Chalk line
  • 2x4 board 

Instructions

  1. Measure the Space

    Taking time to correctly measure the space will help prevent any issues like not having enough material to complete the project. Depending on the space, you can use a tape measure and measure the length and width in inches. A good base to follow is for 60 square feet of patio, you will need around 30 12- x 12-inch paver stones, 40 bags of paver base and about 12 bags of paver leveling sand. When in doubt, talk to your local home improvement!

  2. Clear the Area

    Next, clear the area that you will be paving with grading shovels by removing all weeds and grass. You will want to remove that top layer of greenery to create a smooth space.

  3. Lay Paver Base

    The best kind of paver base is made up of crushed stone and will lay about three to four inches thick. To ensure an even lay, use rakes to help smooth the process. Once laid, spray and spritz with water.

  4. Compact the Paver Base

    If you have access or the option to rent a commercial compactor from your local home improvement, we highly recommend doing so. This will save you time and sweat, just follow the manufactures instructions. If not, you can compact the paver base by using hand tamper tool. This process is tedious and requires a lot of labor, but can be done. Press firmly into the ground, pounding the over base. To help this process, lightly spray the area with water between each break. Allow to settle and dry completely.

  5. Add Sand

    Spread one half to one and a half inches of sand over the compacted paver base. Once the sand is evenly poured, moisten it and tamp it into place so it won't settle further. Once dry, use a 2x4 board on its side, to do one last grading and leveling.

  6. Create the Frame

    Using a chalk line and small wooden stakes, mark your patio border by snapping the chalk line for the border. Then replace the chalk lines with bender board to help keep your pavers in place during the process.

  7. Place the Pavers

    Using a large level, scuff up the first inch of paver base to create a loose top surface so that pavers can settle in nicely and firmly. Place pavers down the pattern that you want. Repeat this step until all pavers are down.

  8. Add Edging and Cut Pavers

    Depending on your design and your patio layout, you may need to add this extra step. Cutting the pavers to fit the edges or in certain spaces by using a specialty saw. You can either rent this machine or visit your local home improvement store for help. Please take extreme caution when using a saw.

  9. Add More Sand, Tamper and Rinse

When all pavers are down, spread a light layer of sand over it. Wet the area and using a large push broom, push the sand into the joints. Once dry, use the tamper again on top of the pavers to settle them down. Then finally remove the bender board and stakes.