Paver Installation

Basics for building patios, walkways, and driveways

The installation of brick paver products requires some design skills and attention to detail. The beauty of the product is often judged by the quality of the installation. Brick pavers and walls are best installed by trained, experienced professionals. They also have the tools and equipment necessary to complete the project.

Step 1: Planning

Draw a plan showing measurements and grade elevations. Calculate the amount of materials and estimate the cost of the project.

Step 2: Preparation

Mark out the location of the patio, walkway, or driveway. Call local utilities and cable companies to mark out wire locations.

Step 3: Excavation

Excavate the minimum required depth depending on your application. For walkways, excavate a minimum of 3 inches wider than the area for pavers. For driveways excavate a minimum of 6 inches wider than the area that you are paving. Please note: when figuring the depth to excavate, keep in mind that you will need 4 – 6 inches of base gravel, 1- inch of leveling sand and the depth of the brick pavers.

Step 4: Base

Fill the area with gravel in increments of 1 to 2 inches at a time followed by compacting after each layer. This will allow maximum density of the gravel. Then grade the base as closely as possible to the final contour of the finished job. Slope all installations away from the house or building for drainage purposes (minimum of 8’ slope over every 10’.)

Step 5: Screening

Pavers are laid on a 1” bed of coarse sand, placed directly on the compacted base. (See cross section in our paver installation guide book available in our retail store.) Use a 1” diameter pipe as a screening guide on top of the gravel. Set up the guides so that your pavers are ¾” above the finished level to allow for compacting. Level the sand evenly by pulling a board along the pipes. Once you have completed the area, remove the guides and fill in the grooves with sand. Do not walk on the screened surface. Copyright© 2011 Beauchamp Lawn & Landscaping. All Rights Reserved.

Step 6: Laying the Pavers

Place the pavers directly on the screened bed of sand. Start lying along the longest straight side. Keep lines straight by using string lines. This will minimize the cutting required. It is important that the lines of your pavers are square, 90° to each other, to fit properly. If you are installing circles, fans or soldier courses (a border of pavers around the perimeter of your area) you will want to place these first before installing the rest of the pattern.

Step 7: Cutting

You man need to cut pavers that don’t fit along the edges or around objects. Mark the pavers and cut with either a guillotine cutter or a masonry saw. A guillotine cutter is the easiest method of cutting but for and exact cut, “dry cut” masonry saw or tub style “wet saw” works best. These can be rented at your local rental outlet (The Rental Store, 1100 N Old US 23, Howell, MI 810-632-RENT (make this clickable to the TRS website))

Step 8: Edging

Edge restraints are a critical element to the durability of a paver installation. They prevent pavers from moving and shifting over time

Step 9: Compacting

After the installation is complete, including edge restraints, the pavers must be swept clean and then compacted with a plate compactor (TRS address and phone number and website link.) This helps settle the pavers into the bedding sand and creates a flat surface. For patterns such as circles, you may want to put some jointing sand in first to stabilize the smaller pieces. We recommend a minimum of three passes with the compactor going in different directions.

Step 10: Finishing

Sweep specifically graded Jointing sand or Polymeric sand into the joints of the pavers. This locks the pavers together creating a very durable surface and adds additional protection from the penetration of weeds and insects.

Please Note: When working with areas where there are poor soil conditions (e.g. heavy clay or disturbed soils) there is potential for settlement. An increase in depth of the gravel base will provide more stability.

Tools that you will need:

  • Wheel Barrow
  • Rake
  • Level
  • String Line
  • Tape Measure
  • Shovel
  • Plate Compactor
  • Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Guillotine and/or Masonry Saw