Install a paver patio or walkway to add both visual appeal and functionality to your landscaping. Pavers help define a garden’s style while also improving access to it and adding outdoor living space. Ready-made pavers, though, can be cost-prohibitive for many homeowners. The solution is to make your own pavers using Quikrete or a similar concrete mix and a mold. A number of manufacturers sell pre-formed molds to make individual pavers and molds to create walkway sections in a variety of patterns resembling cobblestone or brick. Alternatively, you can build your own mold if you prefer.
Purchase the supplies and assemble the tools needed for the task. One 80-pound bag of Quikrete will make pavers to cover an approximately 2-by-2-foot area.
Remove any sod and level the soil first if you are pouring your pavers in place, such as for a walkway. However, if you are making individual pavers to be installed elsewhere, any level area within reach of a garden hose will work.
Pour one bag of Quikrete into the mixing tub or wheelbarrow. If you want to add coloring, now is the time. If using powdered colorant, stir it into the dry concrete mix before adding any water. If using a liquid colorant, mix it with the water first before pouring the water onto the dry concrete.
Gradually add water to the concrete mix according to the instructions on the package. Stir the water into the concrete with the hoe as you go. You want the concrete mix to become thoroughly moist with all the dry powder absorbed. The optimum consistency should be thick like pudding, not runny.
Spray the inside edges of the mold with a mold release spray; a cooking oil spray can work as well. Set the mold in place, and scoop the cement into the mold using a shovel or trowel. Firmly press the concrete into all the corners, and level the top. Tap the sides of the mold to settle the mix and remove air bubbles.
Carefully remove the form by lifting it straight upward. Use the trowel to smooth the surfaces and remove any imperfections. Add any desired imprints or embellishments, such as mosaic tile, right away before the surface begins to set. Using a hose and spray nozzle, clean the concrete residue off the mold before it dries when you are finished using it.
Spray or brush Quikrete E Acrylic Cure & Seal onto the surface of the newly made pavers. Alternatively, water cure the concrete pavers by frequently misting them with a spray nozzle for three to five days. Allowing the concrete to dry slowly helps prevent cracking. Wait a week before moving or walking on the pavers to allow sufficient time for them to cure and harden.
Things You Will Need
- Quikrete concrete mix or crack-resistant concrete mix
- Quikrete E Acrylic Cure and Seal (optional)
- Quikrete E Liquid Cement Color (optional)
- Pre-made or home-built paver mold
- Mold release spray or cooking oil spray
- Plastic mixing tub or wheel barrow
- Mixing hoe
- Garden hose and spray nozzle
- Safety glasses
- Dust mask