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How to Install Holland Pavers

border hedges. image by mdb from

Stone or concrete pavers are an increasingly popular alternative to poured concrete and asphalt driveways and walkways. Holland pavers are a rectangular, brick-like variety of paver, and are consequently fairly easy to set. Holland pavers are available in a variety of colors, allowing for the customization of walkway or driveway design, and are more flexible than concrete or asphalt for creating intricate shapes. Holland pavers can also be more durable than poured concrete or asphalt because the gaps between the pavers allow for greater expansion and contraction during hot and cold weather without cracking.

Excavate to a depth of 9 inches over the entire area you want to pave, allowing an extra 12 inches around the outside for edging and repositioning.

Tamp the soil with a plate compactor in the area you have dug out until it is smooth and firm enough that you don't leave noticeable footprints when walking on it.

Cover the entire area in 6 inches of 3/4-inch gravel. Spread the gravel in 2-inch layers, compact and rake smooth, then apply the next layer, until you have about 3 to 3-1/2 inches of space left above the gravel in the area you have excavated. Water the gravel as you compact to help it tamp down even more (not too much, you don't want it to get muddy). The gravel shouldn't move when you walk on it if you have compacted it properly.

Place the 1-inch sections of wood 6 feet apart at one end of your graveled area, and pour a layer of sand in the area between them. Use the 6-foot 2-by-4 to smooth the sand, pulling it along in front of you so that you don't step on the sand you have already smoothed.

Repeat step 4 until you have smoothed sand over all of the graveled area.

Cut and place a section of edge restraint to fit one end of the area you want to pave. The edge restraint should be pressed into the sand, and butt up against the edge of the excavated area, forming a barrier between the pavers and the soil of the edge of the hole.

Start to lay Holland pavers in the pattern you have selected from one end of the edge restraint and work toward the other end. Place the pavers in the sand by hand, as close to one another as you can, but do not hammer or drive them in. Place the next section of edge restraint as you reach each edge with the pavers, so that the pavers keep the edge restraint from falling over.

Use a screwdriver and hammer to adjust the pavers that are crooked or out of place once you have laid them all.

Spread sand over the surface of the pavers and sweep it into the cracks.

Tamp the pavers down with the plate compactor. Compact back and forth in one direction, then turn the compactor 90 degrees and go back and forth that way over the entire area.

Sweep more sand into the cracks over the next few days as the first bit of sand settles.

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