Once the area has been dug out for a patio or walkway, and the borders have been installed, you will need to fill the area with a foundation of gravel and sand. In order for the pavers to be installed correctly, the gravel and sand layers must be level. You can create a level surface using a hand tamper and by going over the surface with a board. It is important that the pavers rest evenly on the surface, as uneven pavers can create a hazardous walking surface.
Things You'll Need
- Bow rake
- 2-by-4-inch board, with a length the same as the gravel and sand foundation's width
Fill the first 2 inches of the dug-out area with approximately 2 inches of gravel. Using the bow rake, distribute the gravel evenly over the surface.
Wet the gravel slightly with water. Compact the gravel by striking it evenly over the entire surface with a tamper. Fill in another 2 inches of the area with gravel. Wet it slightly and compact it.
Fill in the remaining dug-out area with sand. Leveling the sand is best done with a helper, who holds one end of the board on one side of the area while you hold the other, then drag the board over the sand to create a level surface.
Compact the sand by striking it evenly with a tamper in an up-and-down motion until the entire surface has been compacted and footprints do not leave an impression in the sand.
Tips & Warnings
- Use an automatic plate compactor to compact the gravel and sand on large landscaping projects.
- Wear work gloves when preparing gravel and sand for landscaping pavers.