How to Lay Landscaping Pavers

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If you want to add a patio or walkway to your outdoor space, consider using landscaping pavers. You can use landscaping pavers to fill an area of any size or shape. With such a wide variety of styles available, you are sure to find the perfect landscaping pavers for your project. You can even combine different pavers to create interesting artistic effects. You can lay your own pavers with basic tools and supplies available at your local home improvement store.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Stakes
  • String
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Gravel
  • Rake
  • Straight 2x4 board
  • Hand tamper
  • 1-inch PVC pipe pieces
  • Sand
  • Putty knife
  • Pavers
  • Masonry saw
  • Hammer and chisel
  • Plastic edging
  • Edging stakes
  • Broom
  • Use the measuring tape to measure the area for the landscaping pavers and add a few inches to each side. If the area will be square or rectangular, make sure the corners are all 90 degrees. If the edges will be curved, outline the area with a hose. Mark the edges and corners of the area with stakes and string.

  • Remove the dirt from the area with the shovel to a depth of 7 inches. This depth will allow for 4 inches of gravel, 1 inch of sand and 2-inch-high pavers. If your pavers are taller or shorter than 2 inches, adjust the depth accordingly. Lay the 2x4 board across the hole and use a measuring tape to make sure the center is at the correct depth. If the 2x4 is not long enough, use string. Also, use the level to make sure the bottom of the hole slopes away from the foundation of any buildings at a rate of 1 inch for every 8 feet to allow for water drainage.

  • Add gravel to the hole and spread it out with the rake. Move the edge of the 2x4 board across the gravel with a gentle back-and-forth motion to smooth out any bumps. Make sure the gravel is 4 inches deep across the entire area and check the slope. Use a hand tamper to compact the gravel so it doesn't settle.

  • Lay the 1-inch PVC pipe pieces on the gravel several feet apart to make screed rails. If the area is very large, you may need several pieces of PVC pipe. Spread the sand across the gravel and around the pipes. Lay the 2x4 across two of the pipes at one end of the area. Slowly slide the 2x4 along the pipes with a gentle back-and-forth motion to smooth out the sand.

  • Lay the first row of landscaping pavers down along the longest or most prominent straight edge. If you want a centered pattern, carefully measure and lay your first paver in the center of the area. Make sure the paver is lined up correctly with the outer edges. When you get to a screed rail, remove it and add sand to fill the trench. Use a putty knife to smooth out the sand. If necessary, use a masonry saw or hammer and chisel to cut the last row of pavers to fit.

  • Place plastic edging along the outside edges of the landscaping pavers to keep them from moving. Drive a stake into the edging every 2 feet to hold it in place. Backfill around the edging to cover it.

  • Sweep sand over the landscaping pavers to fill the cracks. Use the hand tamper to gently settle the pavers and help the sand fall into the cracks. Continue adding sand until the cracks are full.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lightly moisten the gravel to help it compact tighter.
  • Make sure the sand you are working with is completely dry or you will not be able to make a smooth sand bed.

References

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