Do you have a walkway or driveway that would need a little uplift to match the standards of today, but don’t know how to do it? Or maybe it’s time to replace the old pavers, but you were not one of the people who laid the old ones and now you would like to learn how to do it?
Whatever the reason you’re searching for this information is, I’ve tried my best to make a guide that would answer basic concrete pavers installing needs. There might be some little variables that aren’t noticed here, but the basic process should be quite close to the truth.
Precast concrete pavers
A concrete paver patio or a sidewalk is a great way to decorate your outdoor space. From small patios to pool decks to lavish outdoor kitchens, concrete pavers can serve a wide variety of uses, suit nearly every design scheme and match any budget.
Perhaps, you have noticed lawn pavers at your local parks or hardware store but are unsure what exactly to do with them? Installing concrete pavers provide you with a quick, simple landscape opportunity. There is no need to tear up your entire lawn to landscape with concrete pavers.
Whether you’re a DIY pro or you’re just starting out in the home improvement field, learning these concrete paver basics will help you to succeed on your next paver project. Here is also a concrete pavers tool list for reference.
These things being said, now you might be wondering what can I do with these things? Remember to estimate how many concrete pavers you will require to complete your project and purchase them ahead of time. You do not want to have to stop your project and drive to your local hardware store to purchase more cement pavers.
5 steps how to lay pavers for walkway or driveway:
Step 1: Excavation
Remove the grass, topsoil, and other debris from the area. Excavate two inches of soil for crushed rock and add the thickness of your concrete pavers. Once you’re down to a suitable level, use a long 2×4 or another straight edge to flatten and level the soil (also known as screeding).
This way you will get a suitable flat ground to start working on. You will be placing gravel on top of this so skip it if you feel like it, but installing borders it will make it a bit easier.
Depending on the size of the project, I’d advise getting some machines to do the job. A small walkway is a shovel and wheelbarrow job, but with a driveway, you want an excavator. Ask around and see what it takes to remove the ground.
Step 2: Installing Borders
If your concrete pavers aren’t right up against the edge of a structure, you’ll need to install borders. There are a number of borders that you can purchase for this task, or create your own by installing a 1×4 board in place using stakes.
Remember to measure a bit. How wide are the pavers, what kind of pattern are you doing. Ideally, you will install the boards so that you will avoid unnecessary cutting of pavers.
It’s important to get them right as when you place the gravel and sand, it will be a lot of work to move these around if you have. This is another situation where planning the job well is having the job half done.
Step 3: Screeding
Next, pour a two-inch layer of crushed concrete, pea gravel, or concrete sand onto the prepped soil. It’s a wise idea to use corrugated drainage pipes every 2-4 feet and embed them flush to the top of the sand.
They not only act as drainage, but they’ll be helpful in guiding the screed and ensuring a level surface is maintained as you install the sand.
You will want the sand a little on top of the pipes. If you leave them too high they might be lifting the pavers up if water eats the sand away from under the pavers at some point. Use them as a guide, but try to get little something on top of them as well.
Step 4: Setting the Pavers
Place pavers one by one in rows from left to right, starting with the longest and straightest edge first. Install a paver border now if it’s part of your paver design.
Use a rubber mallet to pound the raised concrete pavers flush with the other pavers. Be sure to use a long and flat board set carefully on the sand to navigate safely without leaving unwanted footprints in the sand.
It’s important that you check that the pattern of the pavers is going like it should be once in a while and also that the surface of the pavers is sloped in the correct direction. The drainage under it will handle the water surely, but it will be an appearance thing as well.
Step 5: Placing the Sand
Once your pavers are all set, the final step is filling in the cracks and spaces between the concrete pavers with some sand. It’s a wise idea to use finely sifted concrete sand, as these smaller granules help to keep the stones in place while providing adequate drainage.
Broadcast the sand with your hands on top of the bricks. Use a broom to finish sweeping the loose sand in the cracks. Repeat the process until the sand fills every crack to the top. After a few weeks, you’ll need to spread more sand as it compacts.
Alternatively, you can use a garden hose and water to spray the pavers. The water will compact the sand in joints and once it is dry, you can spread more sand. To be extra sure, after a week spread more sand if you feel like you need to.
The compact sand in the joints isn’t only a visual thing. It will stop the plants from growing in it. I mean if you don’t enjoy that kind of look. If there are plants growing in them after some time, they are only on the surface and you should pick them out fast before they take root.
Using concrete pavers is a simple and effective way to decorate outdoors. Simply dig and fill and the best thing is that if you fail, it’s easy to repair. With enough tries, everyone will be a pro eventually. Also if you want to add some finishing touch, try using concrete pavers sealer to prolong the life of your pavers.
Also, for an added decorative touch, if you wish, you may plant small flowers along each side of your sidewalk. This will highlight the beauty in your landscape design. There is also the option to make the pavers yourself for extra uniqueness.
You don’t always have to go the hard way either. You can do a quick surface for your barbeque with big enough concrete pavers just by digging the concrete size holes for them. With time, they won’t look so good, but this is a quick solution. And you will have a hard surface for your barbeque.
You can use the same kind of quick solution around the house for doors and such. The grass will be growing through the joints in no time, but some people enjoy that look. It is just nicer to step on the stone than on grass when you go outside to the back yard.
With some plants and such, these can be quick and dirty solutions for all kinds of backyard problems, if you don’t want to go the proper installation route or have just a small spot where you need them.