How to Lay Sidewalk Pavers

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Sidewalks are an important part of an overall landscape scheme. They can showcase your home or lead to gardens and outdoor rooms. Sidewalks are most often poured concrete. Laying sidewalk pavers is another way to install a sidewalk,however. Sidewalk pavers come in many colors and styles. Laying sidewalk pavers is something most homeowners can do with materials purchased at any home store.

Things You'll Need

  • Sidewalk pavers
  • Measuring tape
  • Crushed stone
  • Cardboard
  • Masonry sand
  • Shop broom
  • Plastic edge restraints
  • 10-inch spike nails
  • Shovel
  • Hammer
  • Hose and water source
  • Spray paint
  • String
  • Landscape tamper
  • Wood 2-by-4
  • Lay out the sidewalk. Measure the width and length of the sidewalk area using the measuring tape. Use the spray paint on the ground to mark each corner of the sidewalk. Place a 10" spike nail at each one of these marks. Attach string between the spike nails to identify the sidewalk area.

  • Purchase pavers and base material. Pavers come in different shapes and sizes. Home store salespeople will recommend how many pavers are needed for the square footage of the project. Purchase one and a half yards of crushed stone for every 100 square feet of sidewalk. Purchase one-quarter the amount of masonry sand as crushed stone.

  • Excavate the sidewalk area. Use the shovel to clear away sod and soil from the sidewalk area to a depth of 8". Use the tamper to compact the area so it is level.

  • Lay a base of crushed stone and masonry sand in the excavated sidewalk area. Compact the entire area with the tamper. Continue to lay additional crushed stone until there is a 4-inch compacted base. Place a layer of masonry sand on top of the crushed stone. Tamp this layer until it is compact. Use the 2-by-4 to level the compacted sand to a depth of 2 inches. There will now be a compacted base of crushed stone and masonry sand ready to accept pavers.

  • Lay the pavers on top of the level compacted base. Pavers can be laid in any pattern desired. Lay cardboard on top of the pavers and use a landscape tamper to compact the pavers tightly to the sand. The cardboard will protect the pavers from damage from the tamper. Lay the plastic edge restraints tightly beside the outer edges of the papers. Drive the 10-inch spike nails into the edges of the restraints with the hammer to keep the restraints tightly in place.

  • Place masonry sand on top of the pavers. Sweep the sand over the pavers with the shop broom. Continue sweeping sand over the pavers until all cracks and seams are filled with sand. Backfill any gaps extending outside the sidewalk area with soil.

  • Connect the hose to the water source. Use the hose to clean sand and soil from the sidewalk area. Clean up the work area of tools and leftover materials.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rain showers will further settle the sand in the cracks between the papers. Additional sand may needed after the first several rain showers on a new sidewalk.
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