Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (2022)

Print Brick Paver Installation Guide

Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (2)

Tools Needed

  • Flat Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • String Line
  • Wooden Stakes
  • Spray Paint
  • Garden Hose with Fine Spray Nozzle
  • Push Broom
  • Plate Compactor (rental) or Base Tamper
  • Base Rake (or Hard Garden Rake)
  • Masonry Saw (rental)
  • Level – at least 4 feet long
  • Wood “screed” strip – a 2" x 4" at least 4 feet long
  • Trowel
  • 2 Lengths of 1" Conduit Tubing

Materials Needed

  • Brick Pavers
  • Aggregate Base Material - 919 Screenings
  • Mason Sand
  • Concrete (or other edge restraint)

Planning the Area

Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (3)Proper planning will ensure that your brick paver installation project is a success. When taking measurements, always round up as it is better to overestimate the amount of brick pavers needed than to find yourself near the end of a project and not having enough materials.

Calculating Waste
A 5% waste factor will suffice for most brick paver installations but if your project has more curves you may want to factor up to a 10% waste percentage.

Project Design and Layout
Taking the time to produce a detailed design, whether with pencil and paper or digitally, will assist in foreseeing potential problems as well as aiding in correctly calculating the materials needed.Graph paper is a great choice for producing drawings. Always draw out your project to scale using 1/4 scale for smaller projects and 1/8 scale for larger ones.

Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (4)
Patio Considerations
If you are installing a brick paver patio then you may want to consider how much space you will need for entertaining guests, outdoor cooking, patio furniture, etc.Also consider the orientation of the patio in regards to how much sunlight the patio will receive during the hottest part of the day. Patios facing towards the South will receive direct sunlight and may benefit from the addition of a pergola or some strategically placed shade trees. Also determine where the entry and exit points for the patio will be and plan out enough space to avoid obstacles. A knee high wall around the perimeter of the patio will not only further define the patio area but will also provide additional seating and surface area.

Utility Service Locate

Make sure to contact your local utility companies to locate any underground wires or cables at least 48 hours before digging or excavating. This is usually a free service provided to homeowners and contractors. You can dial 811 from anywhere in the United States to order a locate.

Excavation

Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (5) Excavation & Aggregate Base Depth
Driveways - Minimum of 6 inches
Patios & Walkways - Minimum of 4 inches

* Measurements provided above are considered a minimum for Florida residents. If you live in an area with soft soil then a deeper base is recommended.

Most brick pavers are 2 3/8" thick. Add this measurement to your base depth to calculate how deep you should excavate. For example, for a driveway you should excavate a total of 8 3/8" from where you expect the surface of the pavers to be when the job is complete (assuming that you are using a 6" base depth and using 2 3/8" thick brick pavers).

Using spray paint, mark out the area that you plan to excavate making to to extend outwards approximately 6 inches farther than where you plan for the bricks to end. This will provide a firm foundation for the paver to rest on and allow extra room for any necessary adjustments.

For marking circles, place a stake in the centerpoint of the circle and tie a string to the can of spray paint a few inches longer than the radius of the circle. While keeping the string taught, mark the circumference of the circle to be excavated.

It is important to provide a pitch or slope away from the house or structure to allow the water to properly drain. If using a 4 foot level then approximately a quarter of a bubble should provide adquate pitch, otherwise plan for a 1/8"-1/4" slope per foot.

Place wooden stakes around the perimeter of the area to be excavated and tie a string at the point where the final surface of the pavers should be. Make sure that the string follows the pitch or slope.

Now you are ready to begin excavating. Once the area has been excavated and leveled it is important to compact this subsoil prior to the addition of any base aggregate.

(Video) Installing Brick pavers -start to finish day2

Base Material

Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (6) Once the excavation has been completed, the next step is laying the base material. The most common base material used in florida underneath concrete brick pavers is 919 screenings.

(Video) How to build a backyard paver patio all by yourself!

It is suggested that you compact the base material every 2” for best results. Once the base aggregate is spread evenly, using the compactor, go over the area several times in a circular motion. For small areas and corners, use a hand tamper to compact the soil.

Lightly misting the aggregate with water will aid in the compaction process helping to create a firmer base.

Bedding Sand & Screeding

Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (7) Once the base aggregate has been laid and thoroughly compacted, it is time to apply a layer of fine bedding sand. This layer provides the pavers a nice base for easier compaction and a sturdy surface.

Spread a 0.5" to 1" layer of fine sand (such as mason sand) and spread evenly. Use the 2 lengths of 1" diameter conduit tubing as screeding guides running parallel to each other. Screeding is the process of leveling the bedding sand by dragging a wooded board, such as a 2"x4", across the screed guides creating a level surface by eliminating any high spots and helping to distribute the sand evenly.

The screeding process is complete when a brick paver is laid on the surface and sits approximately 1/4" above the string line. Once the compactor is ran over the pavers, the brick pavers should settle and sit level with the string line.

The most important part of any brick paver installation is the compacting and preparation of the base aggregate and bedding sand. Any mistakes made here could result in issues later on down the road such as uneven pavers or dips in the paver surface or possibly even a compromise in the structural integrity of the project.

Once the bedding sand has been screeded, do not walk on it or disturb it in any way.

Laying the Brick Pavers

Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (8) You may find it helpful to pop some chalk lines to use as guides and ensure that the pavers are square in relation to the house..

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When laying the pavers stand on the pavers that have already been installed and work your way out. Do not stand on the leveled base material while installing the pavers. This will disrupt the levels you have just perfected.

A common technique used by hardscapers to lay brick pavers called the "click-click-drop" method. Quite simply what this means is, as you are laying a paver into your pattern, holding the paver an inch or so above the base, you bring the paver so that one side contacts the side of a paver you have already laid. "Click." Then you slide the paver along until a second side makes contact with another paver adjacent to the first. "Click." With these two pavers now serving as a guide, you lower the paver onto the base. "Drop."

The reason for this method is to prevent any sand or base materials from getting inbetween the paver joints preventing the brick pavers from making full contact with each other.

Cutting Brick Pavers

Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (9) For rounded edges, you can use a flexible piece of small diameter pvc or a garden hose as a guide to mark the pavers where they need to be cut. Make sure to account for the soldier row or border when determining where to make your cuts.

After determining the pavers that need to be cut, you can draw a line on them or use a chalk line to see where each paver needs to be cut. Please use caution when cutting the concrete pavers.

Concrete Edge Restraint Installation

Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (10) Using concrete is a very popular and cost effective choice for an edge restraint. Other choices exist such as plastic or aluminum edge restraints that use spikes to hold them in place.

Using a flat shovel, dig straight down the edge of the brick pavers a minimum of 6 inches deep. Continue to dig a trench pulling the soil away from the edge of the pavers while being cautious not to disturb the base aggregate, bedding sand, or the pavers.

Using a trowel, apply the concrete into the trench being sure to press it in place to avoid any air getting trapped and to ensure that the concrete is pressed firmly against the pavers and base materials. Do not come more than halfway up the paver with the concrete.

(Video) How To Lay a Paver Patio the Easy Way - Build With Roman

Slope the concrete downard away from the pavers so that grass or sod grass will be able to grow up to the edge of your paver project. This will also help keep the pavers stabilized.

Sanding the Joints

Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (11) Use mason sand or concrete sand for sanding the joints between the brick pavers. Make sure that the sand is dry otherwise it will be difficult to get the sand to settle between the joints properly.

If using polymeric sand, be sure to closely follow the instructions on the bag. Failure to do so may damage the surface of your brick pavers.

Pour or shovel the sand onto the brick pavers and sweep into the joints using a push broom. Run the compactor over the surface of the pavers. Sweep more sand into the joints and repeat running the compactor over the pavers.

If using polymeric sand, use a leaf blower to blow off any excess polymeric sand from the surface of the pavers. Failure to ensure that the surface of the pavers is free from polymeric sand may cause damage to the pavers. Apply a fine mist of water to the polymeric sand to activate the binder. Follow the instructions on the bag and repeat if necessary. Do not apply polymeric sand if rain is in the forecast!

Compacting the Brick Pavers

Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (12)After the installation is complete, including the edge restrains, run the plate compactor over the pavers.

Compacting the pavers helps settle the pavers into the bedding sand and creates a flat surface. It is recommended to use a minimum of three passes with the plate compactor going in different directions.

Applying the Finishing Touches

Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions (13)Now that your paver project is complete you may use it immediately. For driveways it is recommended that you wait at least 24 hours to drive on the driveway if concrete edge restraints were used.

You may want to mist the top of the pavers to wash the extra sand into the joints of the pavers.

(Video) How to Build a Brick Patio | This Old House

FAQs

Do it yourself pavers installation? ›

  1. Prepare the Patio Area. Laying pavers is a DIY project that takes about one weekend to complete. ...
  2. Clear Out Grass and Soil. ...
  3. Add Paver Base. ...
  4. Add and Level the Paver Sand. ...
  5. Place the Paver Stones. ...
  6. Cut Pavers. ...
  7. Add Edging Stones or Paver Edging. ...
  8. Finish the Patio.

What is the easiest paver pattern to lay? ›

Interlocked concrete pavers are, for sure, the easiest ones to install, regardless of the pattern. They come with ready-made layouts ready to be placed following a simple set of instructions. Other than those, if you go for a single sized paver, the classic stack bond is the easiest pattern you can go for.

Can you lay brick pavers on dirt? ›

Lots of questions come up regarding how to lay pavers on dirt, however, it is not recommended to lay pavers directly on dirt or any unprepared ground. In order for pavers to look and perform their best in a permanent situation, the ground needs to be levelled, excavated and hard compacted.

How thick should sand be under pavers? ›

Estimating the Paver Sand

Paver sand holds the pavers in place and allows you to adjust them. The final paver sand depth needs to be 1 inch and you need to account for sand filtering into the paver base and into the joints between the pavers. Make your calculations using a sand depth of 2 inches or 0.1667 feet.

Do I need sand under pavers? ›

Do I need sand under pavers? Installing driveway or patio pavers without sand is not a good idea because the sand base serves as the main stabilizing material for your pavers. Without sand, the pavers are likely to shift and sink over time, resulting in an uneven and messy surface.

What should I put down before pavers? ›

Sand Bedding

Before laying the pavers, a layer of bedding sand is placed over the compacted base material. This layer provides a bed into which the pavers are set. The sand bedding also helps to protect the sand joints from being eroded away. Lay down one inch diameter PVC pipe across the bass material.

Do you tamp pavers after installation? ›

Brick Paver Installation - Part 3 - YouTube

Do you leave a gap between pavers? ›

Laying the pavers too tightly can actually cause some issues in the future. The recommended space between the pavers is 3 mm (⅛”).

What is the strongest paver pattern? ›

The strongest and most traditional option is a herringbone pattern set at a 45-degree angle to the garage. This laying pattern provides the best interlock to prevent the pavers from shifting, especially for higher traffic areas.

Which paver laying pattern will give you the most strength? ›

With this in mind, you should consider the herringbone pattern. This design pattern is the strong paver pattern that you can lay. Its strength and reliability make it the perfect choice for a variety of driveways, both for your home or in commercial settings.

How do you cut pavers without a saw? ›

Basically, there are two way to cut pavers without a saw: using a hammer and chisel, and using a brick splitter. Pavers, specially the ones made out of concrete, are one of the best options in the market for your hardscaping needs. They come in a wild variety of colors, shapes and sizes.

Can you lay pavers without a base? ›

Pavers can be laid down over plain dirt, in mortar or on top of a bed made of sand and gravel. It is not always necessary to put down a foundation, but it is generally recommended, especially if the ground is not solid or even.

How do you compact pavers without a plate compactor? ›

Use a rubber mallet and tart working on the outer perimeter of your area moving your way to the center. As you lay your pavers, start tamping from the edges and gradually towards the middle. Avoid puddle as they may sink over time. Don't forget to provide a small gap between the pavers.

What sand do you use under pavers? ›

Concrete sand is the best sand for this purpose as it helps set the pavers in place and makes for the best base which is durable and gives a smooth finish.

Should I tamp sand before laying pavers? ›

3. Not compacting the base. Before laying bedding sand or pavers, your gravel base needs to be flat and firm, without any bellies or rises of more than 1/8″. You accomplish this kind of precision by properly compacting your base and your pavers.

How much will pavers settle after compacting? ›

How Much Will Pavers Sink When Compacted. This depends on your bedding layer and the depth of your bedding layer. This layer should not exceed one inch. When using concrete sand as your bedding layer at 1 inch, you can expect as much as 1/4 inch settlement.

How much base do you need for pavers? ›

Paver thickness is generally about 3- to 3 1/2-inches. Therefore, you need to dig a paver patio base depth of about 9 inches (22.86 cm) to accommodate any kind of paver. 5 inches (12.7 cm) of the hole will be filled with the base material for the base such sand or gravel.

Do you put cement under pavers? ›

You Can Usually Put Pavers Over Concrete

While mortar is preferable when installing pavers, it's possible to put in the pavers without mortar (although it puts you at risk of drainage issues and cracking).

How do you prepare area for pavers? ›

Prepare a Paver Base - How To - Menards - YouTube

How many bags of sand do I need for 12x12 patio? ›

For a 12×12 or 144 square foot of patio base, you will need 12 cubic feet, 0.45 cubic yards, or 24 bags of 50- pound paver sand quantity with a recommended depth of 1 inch.

What is the best base for brick pavers? ›

A sand-set paver base is the traditional way to install pavers. This method uses a layer of sand as a bed between the base and pavers. After installing sand, the pavers are laid on top and pressed into place.

What to put under pavers to prevent weeds? ›

Polymeric sand can help prevent weeds with pavers.

How do you keep pavers from moving? ›

Prevent the pavers from shifting around by adding a solid edge to your patio. You can use a cement lip, plastic or metal edging. When you're finished, spread fine sand over the patio and sweep it into the cracks to help hold the bricks in place. You might consider using polymeric sand for increased longevity.

Should you compact on top of pavers? ›

Importance of Compacting Pavers After Laying - YouTube

Can I hand tamp pavers? ›

We searched things about this tool and here is what we learned. You can use a hand tamper to compact your paver base. Not only that, you can also use it to push the pavers down into place.

Do pavers need expansion joints? ›

Possibly the most important detail to include when designing and constructing an exterior paver application are the expansion joints. Due to the demanding nature of these projects, exterior installations will require more frequent and wider expansion joint placement.

How deep do I dig for pavers? ›

There is no absolute rule to determine how required depth, however recommendations vary by use. The guidelines are 4 to 6 inches for pedestrian walkways and 8 to 12 inches for driveways. Local soil conditions also impact depth needs. Generally, clay bases need to be dug deeper to facilitate drainage.

Should patio go right up to house? ›

When it comes to building a patio, it should always slope away from the house. The reason why you don't want it to slope inward is that it can collect an excessive amount of water and direct it towards your property. Whenever there's too much water around your foundation, problems are bound to arise.

How do you lay pavers in a straight line? ›

As you lay your pavers out, it's a good idea to always make sure that the row is straight. You can do this by running a straight edge along the pavers. This will ensure that you're laying them down in a straight line. If necessary, adjust the pavers with the rubber mallet to straighten them.

Are there different grades of pavers? ›

It's just the nature of the stone. Both types of pavers will make a lovely addition to your newly revamped outdoor space, however depending on your circumstances, one grade of paver may be more appropriate than the other.

How do you lay different size pavers? ›

How to Lay a Perfect Paver Pattern - YouTube

How do you pattern paving stones? ›

DIY Paving Patterns | Adbri Masonry - YouTube

What size are pavers? ›

The most commonly used paver brick size is 4" x 8" (10cm x 20cm in the metric system). However, other sizes are not rare at all. If you happen to need to calculate a brick's volume, the thickness is usually 2" (5 cm). The only exceptions are the 14" x 14" and the 12" x 18" bricks.

How do you cut brick pavers by hand? ›

Cut brick pavers by hand with the swing of a hammer - YouTube

How do you cut bricks by hand? ›

How to Cut a Brick - YouTube

Can you just lay pavers on grass? ›

Installation – Over Grass

Porcelain pavers can be laid directly over existing grass or lawn as 'stepping stones' or to create a pathway, but for better stability of the pavers, the grass beneath the pavers should first be removed, together with a shallow layer of the topsoil.

What do you put under pavers? ›

Materials to put under pavers might include mortar, sand, bituminous material or pedestals. Should I Lay Pavers on Sand or Mortar? Again, it will depend on several factors. The mortar set method is most popular and is typically used in pedestrian or vehicular areas where a rigid system is required.

Is it cheaper to lay concrete or pavers? ›

As far as installation costs and concrete costs go, poured concrete is technically the most affordable per square foot. However, even though the upfront cost of pavers is higher, concrete pavers offer greater value and durability than poured concrete and stamped concrete.

How deep should I dig for pavers? ›

There is no absolute rule to determine how required depth, however recommendations vary by use. The guidelines are 4 to 6 inches for pedestrian walkways and 8 to 12 inches for driveways. Local soil conditions also impact depth needs. Generally, clay bases need to be dug deeper to facilitate drainage.

Do you need drainage under pavers? ›

A paver patio that does not have proper drainage could result in erosion, foundation damage to your home, and a risk of insect proliferation.

Can you lay pavers without a base? ›

Pavers can be laid down over plain dirt, in mortar or on top of a bed made of sand and gravel. It is not always necessary to put down a foundation, but it is generally recommended, especially if the ground is not solid or even.

What do you call pavers with grass in between? ›

Grass block pavers—also known as turf block pavers or grow-through pavers—are an alternative to asphalt, concrete, and traditional pavers. They're made of concrete or recycled plastic with open cells that allow grass to grow through them. They're a porous, eco-friendly option for driveways and parking areas.

What to put down before laying pavers? ›

Before laying the pavers, a layer of bedding sand is placed over the compacted base material. This layer provides a bed into which the pavers are set. The sand bedding also helps to protect the sand joints from being eroded away. Lay down one inch diameter PVC pipe across the bass material.

How do you prepare the ground before laying pavers? ›

Prepare a Paver Base - How To - Menards - YouTube

What is the best base for brick pavers? ›

A sand-set paver base is the traditional way to install pavers. This method uses a layer of sand as a bed between the base and pavers. After installing sand, the pavers are laid on top and pressed into place.

How thick should pavers be to drive on? ›

Traditionally, driveways have been constructed using 80mm (3 inch) pavers with a standard 6″ base. However, it is becoming more common practice to use a lighter 60mm (2-3/8 inch) paver with a thicker base.

Do weeds grow between pavers? ›

To prevent and remove weeds between pavers, it's important to understand where they come from and how they grow. Weeds don't grow from beneath the stones. They grow between the stones when the jointing sand washes away leaving space for the seedlings to fall in.

How much does a 20x20 paver patio cost? ›

A 20x20 brick paver patio costs $3,800 to $6,800. The average cost of pavers and base materials is $4 to $6 per square foot, while labor runs $6 to $11 per square foot. Get free estimates from masonry contractors near you or view our cost guide below. How much will your paver patio cost?

Do you tamp sand before laying pavers? ›

Before you begin laying pavers, prepare the ground. Ensure you have a root and rubble free compatible sand sub-base of at least 50mm thick. The sub-base should be roughly levelled and damped down before tamping down firmly with a hand or mechanical compactor.

How much base do you need for pavers? ›

Paver thickness is generally about 3- to 3 1/2-inches. Therefore, you need to dig a paver patio base depth of about 9 inches (22.86 cm) to accommodate any kind of paver. 5 inches (12.7 cm) of the hole will be filled with the base material for the base such sand or gravel.

What sand do you use under pavers? ›

The best sand to use between pavers is crushed rock or coarse, washed river sand. Pour the sand over the paved area and sweep it into every space between the pavers. Take the time to do a thorough job for long-lasting results.

Videos

1. How to Install Concrete Pavers | Ask This Old House
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2. How to Lay a Paver Patio (Like a Pro!)
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3. How To Prepare And Lay A Base For Pavers - DIY At Bunnings
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4. How To Use Polymeric Sand for Pavers & Interlocking Joints. Easy Install Procedure.
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5. How to Lay a New Brick Patio | This Old House
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