How to Install Pavers

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For those tired of asphalt and blacktop, there is an answer. If you're looking to jazz up your driveway, patio or walkway, consider pavers. You can choose from concrete, clay or brick pavers. Whatever your choice, pavers adds a special touch to the landscape. While not a one-day project, you can install pavers with the right mix of creativity, patience and hard work.

Things You'll Need

  • Pavers (brick, concrete or clay)
  • Shovel
  • Processed gravel or crushed stone
  • Edge restraints
  • 12-inch spikes
  • Plastic piping or wood strips
  • 2 by 4 inch board
  • Coarse sand
  • Table saw with diamond blade
  • Plate compactor
  • Broom
  • Excavate the area where you plan to install the pavers to a depth of 7 inches to 9 inches for patios and walkways, and 9 inches to 11 inches for driveways. Dig at least 12 inches wider than the intended paved area.

  • Lay down processed gravel or crushed stone to form a base. Add in layers until the base is 3 inches to 3 1/2 inches from the top of the excavated area-generally 6 inches to 8 inches deep for a walkway or patio, or 8 to 12 inches for a driveway. Slope 1/8 inch for every foot in one direction to allow for water drainage.

  • Install plastic, aluminum or steel edge restraints to shape the area you plan to pave. Secure with 12-inch spikes driven into the ground. Cut restraints as needed in order to create the desired shape of the paved area.

  • Use piping or strips of wood for rails set 6 to 8 feet apart. Adjust height by packing sand underneath, and pack sand around rails to hold into place.

  • Pour sand between rails until sand is slightly higher, then run across with a 2 by 4 inch board to smooth. Fill in low spots, and repeat. Then remove rails and fill in indentations with sand. Trowel smooth.

  • Set pavers in desired pattern of the walkway, patio or driveway. Cut where necessary using a table saw with a diamond blade.

  • Use a plate compactor to press the pavers into the sand bed. Sweep dry sand into gaps between pavers, and compact.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't pound spikes to hold the edge restraints all the way into the ground until you reach the desired shape, in case you need to reset it.
  • Don't walk on or wet the sand level once it's smooth. Don't step on it while laying pavers either. Start at the outer edge and work your way in.

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