We like to keep our clients informed. Below is a Free 10-Step Guide to Installing Pavers.

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Whether you plan to install brick, concrete or stone pavers the following paver installation steps should be of help. Even if you are going to have your pavers professionally installed it is a good idea to be familiar with the process.

The following 10-steps will each be discussed in detail:

  1. Planning and Layout
  2. Calculating Amount of Pavers Needed
  3. Excavation
  4. Base Material
  5. Edge Restraints
  6. Sand Bedding
  7. Laying Pavers
  8. Sand Joints
  9. Sealing
  10. Maintenance

1. Planning and Layout

Planning your paved area is your first step. The patio or driveway must be allocated the correct amount of floor space. Decide where your pavers will go and if there is enough space for them. Your plan can be drawn out and measured onto graph paper.

Now you are ready to layout your plan. Using a hose or some wood, form the outline of your paved area. Then mark or spray paint your outline, approximately eight inches outside that outline.

Also remember to consider that the area needs to have gradient or slope, so as water can runoff the pavers to prevent pooling or ponding which could damage the pavement over the long term


2. Calculating Amount of Pavers Needed

First measure the width and the length of the area to be paved. Then you multiply the width and the length together, which will give you the area to be paved, either in square meters or square feet.

Now you should always add 5% to this figure, this is to cover the pavers that will be cut to fit curves and odd spaces. If you feel that you will be cutting a lot of pavers, you should add 10%.

You now know how many square meters of pavers you need to complete your area.

3. Excavation

* Establish the height that the pavers should reach and not exceed.
* Remember: the slab should slope downwards away from the house, to allow water drainage.
* Place stakes around the parameter and mark stakes with slope decline.
* Place string tightly on stakes, to indicate the height level to follow.

Paver Installation – Site Excavation

* Calculate the total depth of excavation needed. Do this by adding together the inches required for the base, the sand bedding and the paver’s thickness. This will give you the total depth at which you should excavate.
* Now you can dig out to this depth, and afterwards compact the ground with a compacting machine.

4. Base Material

Once the excavation is complete, the next step is the laying of the base material.
paver installation base material The base material usually consists of crushed stones, such as limestone or gravel. The crushed stone should have varying sized stones and sharp edges. This is important when compacting the base material, the sharp edges and size variance makes for easy compaction. It is also recommended to use crushed stone that has a little moisture in it, for it will compact together much easier.

The base material should be laid in a thickness, depending upon your sub-base material. If your sub-base is soft clay, then a thicker layer will be required. Just so your base is strong and will make a good foundation

Now spread the crushed stone over the area in an even layer. It is suggested that you divide it into three smaller layers, and compact in between each layer, for best results. Once it’s spread evenly, use a compacting machine, to go over the area several times, in a circular motion.


5. Edge Restraints

Edging is essential in the maintenance of your paved area. If edge restraints are not implemented, your pavers may move and separate. Harsh weather and high traffic usage, along with no edge restraints, will ruin your paved surface. Edge restraints can be made of plastic, pre-cast concrete, steel and aluminum.

6. Sand Bedding

It is now time for the sand to be laid over your base material. This next layer provides the pavers with bedding to set into. The sand bedding will also protect your sand joints from being eroded away.

Spread a layer of sand between one and one and a half inches thick. This layer cannot be too thick. It has to be just enough

Preparing the sand bed
sand to set the pavers into, but not too much so that the sand sinks into the base material.

It is also important to use the right type of sand, one that has the same consistency as your base material. The sand has to be sharp edged and varied in sizes as this will result in greater compaction.


7. Laying Pavers

Now you have reached the easy part of the installation process.
Laying Pavers

Lay the pavers in the pattern and design of your choice. Lay them quite close together. If pavers need to be cut to size, use a saw or mechanical splitter and safety glasses.

Now that all the pavers are laid, use a mechanical compactor to help set in the pavers, into the sand bedding.

8. Sand Joints

This step involves sweeping sand over the surface, while filling up the joints.

It is important to use fine-grained sand, rather than a coarse one. The reason for this is that fine sand will compact much better and fill up joints quicker. However, if the sand is too fine, it will not do the job correctly. This will also be the case if the sand is moist, so be sure to use dry sand.


9. Sealing

Sealing the pavers

First, clean and sweep the newly paved area, in order to remove all materials and debris.

Seal the area with a sand binding sealant, this will ensure that the joint sand will not disappear. This will also prevent the growth of vegetation between the joints.

Sealing your pavers can also help prevent stains from oil, grease, grime, rust, moss, algae, tire markings and day-to-day spills. The sealant
allows you to clean such stains with greater ease.

Sealing your pavers will also improve the brightness of their appearance and sustain it over a long period of time. Not only appearance, but also the durability and longevity of your pavers will increase significantly.


10. Maintenance

Paver Maintenance

Maintenance is not really an issue when it comes to pavers, if they have been laid properly. The overall function and use of your paved surfaces should be stable.

Re-sealing your pavers may be necessary on a regular basis, just to maintain color and appearance. Also, it will help protect your pavers against stains, algae and loss of joint sand.

Regular cleaning and sweeping of your pavers is highly recommended. This is particularly needed if your pavers are in shaded or damp areas, where they are prone to efflorescence (chalky salt deposits) and moss build-up.

There are large ranges of cleaning products available on the market; there is something for all types of situations.