How to Install Landscape Pavers

Overview

To combine aesthetic appeal with practical purpose in your yard, you can use landscape pavers (also called paver bricks or paver blocks) to build patios and pathways in your garden, and to create decorative borders around plant beds and trees. Walking or driving surfaces made with paver bricks are more visually appealing than simple poured concrete. Anyone can easily install pavers with a few simple tools. Landscape pavers come in a wide variety of colors and finishes; you can mix and match them to create patterns or unique designs.

Step 1

Sketch out the a plan for how you plan to use the pavers. Measure the area to estimate how many pavers and other supplies you'll need to buy.

Step 2

Call your utility companies to make sure there are no buried wires where you plan to work. Doing so could save your life.

Step 3

Excavate the area with a shovel. Dig to a depth of approximately seven to nine inches for areas with foot traffic only, and nine to 11 inches for driveways. Excavate a slightly larger area than you plan to pave to allow room for edge restraints.

Step 4

Use a level to check the surface of the site. If you are installing paver bricks near your home or garage, make sure that the area with pavers will slope away from the building to allow water to run away from the building. Aim for a slope of 3/16 of an inch for every foot.

Step 5

Flatten and compact the area with a tamper. For very large areas you can use a plate compactor, available for rent at some home improvement or hardware stores.

Step 6

Spread a layer of gravel or crushed sand over the compacted soil. Use four to six inches of gravel for patios and pathways, and six to eight inches for areas that will receive vehicular traffic. Lay the gravel down an inch or two at a time, then tamp it down to compact it. Wetting the gravel slightly may aid in compacting.

Step 7

Install the edge restraints. You can use ready made curbs made from concrete, aluminum, PVC or pressure-treated wood. Follow any instructions that come with your edge restraints.

Step 8

Spread coarse sand over the gravel to a depth of one inch. To accurately measure the depth of the sand, place two lengths of one-inch-wide electrical conduit over the gravel and spread the coarse sand around it, then use a board or yardstick to swipe over the tops of the conduit to level the sand. Carefully remove the conduit and fill in the grooves with sand. Do not compact the sand and avoid stepping on it until you lay down the paver bricks.

Step 9

Lay the paver bricks over the bed of sand. Begin in a corner and work your way outward, double-checking angles and regularly referencing your sketch as you go. Continue laying paver bricks until the site is filled.

Step 10

Toss handfuls of sand over the top of the pavers and sweep it into the cracks between the bricks with a broom. The sand helps to cushion the bricks against movement and temperature fluctuation. Continue sweeping sand in until all the cracks are full.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper and pencil
  • Ruler
  • Level
  • Landscape pavers
  • Tamper or plate compactor
  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • Edge restraints
  • Sand
  • Electrical conduit
  • Board or yardstick
  • Broom

References

  • Belgard Hardscapes: How To Install Concrete Pavers
  • Grounds Maintenance: How To: Install Concrete Pavers
  • Ron Hazelton's House Calls: How to Lay Backyard Pavers
Keywords: install a patio, landscape pavers, paver bricks, paver blocks, DIY yard projects

About this Author

Sonya Welter graduated cum laude from Northland College in 2002, and has worked in the natural foods industry for nearly seven years. As a freelance writer, she specializes in food, health, nature, gardening and green living. She has been published on Ecovian.com, LIVESTRONG.com and several local print publications in Duluth, Minn.