Patios are a great way to create an outdoor living space that the whole family can enjoy. They boost your home’s value and can withstand most weather conditions.
And best of all… it’s possible to build a paver patio in a single day with the right materials and proper foundation.
We’ve compiled an easy-to-follow guide with expert tips to help you create the perfect finish for your new paver patio.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Laying Pavers
It’s relatively easy to build a paver patio if you follow the proper technique. What’s great about pavers is that they can be arranged in all sorts of different patterns. It’s up to you to pick out which design works best for you.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a list of the materials and tools you will need to get started:
Step 1: Size It Up
Start by measuring out the length and width of your surface area designated for the patio. Use a garden hose or lay stakes and string on the ground to map out the patio space.
Pro Tip: Before breaking ground, call your local utility company and ask for a “one-call-service”.
Utility companies will provide assistance in marking the buried water, gas, and electrical lines free of charge. Having marked indicators will let you know where NOT to dig.
Step 2: Prepare the Area
Once the area has been defined, remove any stumps, shrubs, and roots near the worksite. Dig up 6 inches of soil for the base and pavers using a spade shovel. Rake the ground and tamp the soil to create a firm and even bed.
One way to prevent weeds from sprouting between patio pavers is to lay out landscape fabric over the bed. Make sure you cut the edges to fit the fabric in place. Landscape fabric is an inexpensive weed control method. It’s made of porous material that allows water to flow through.
Step 3: Lay the Foundation
Fill the entire area with gravel to make a foundation for your paver patio. Add in a 2-inch-layer of crushed gravel and spread it evenly over the landscape fabric. Level it off with a rake to ensure the patio slope is consistent.
Then tamp the crushed gravel until the base is firm. This ensures a patio paver settles evenly on the base. Add 2 more inches of gravel and tamp the area again.
Step 4: Level the Area
Use a level attached to a long, straight board to ensure the patio pavers are equal.
Then move the board across the grave bed. This ensures the entire area is evened out and you make adjustments where necessary.
Step 5: Add a Layer of Sand
Adding a second layer of sand will offer support beneath the paver patio. Add 1-½ – 2 inches of sand over the gravel.
Use a straight, long board to smoothen out the sand along the base of the house. Use another longboard with a notch on both ends.
Shimmy it along the walk whilst the other board smoothes out the surface.
Step 6: Add Pavers to the Area
There are three ways you can keep your pavers straight or well-balanced:
- Use chalk lines along patio edges to ensure the pavers fall in a row.
- Use the edge of the walkway or house as a guide for straight lines.
- Use a mason’s line between two stakes to keep the lines in order.
Patio pavers should be spaced ⅛ inches apart and tapped into place with a rubber mallet.
Keep adding pavers to fill up your designated patio space. Once you get the hang of it, your patio will be done in no time.
Step 7: Cut Pavers and Add Plastic Edging
This step might be unnecessary depending on your patio layout and design. If you need to cut pavers to fit the edges or certain spaces, use a specialty saw. This machine can either be rented or you can make a trip to your local home improvement store for more help.
Step 8: Add Sand, Tamp and Rinse
Spread a layer of sand on the pavers when they are all in place. Use a hose to wet the area and use a push broom to force the sand into all the crevices. When it dries off, tamp the pavers again to settle them down.
What Paver Design is Best?
Now that you know how to lay your pavers, let’s take a look at great paver patterns to inspire you.
The following design is called a jack-on-jack or stacked bond. It features pavers stacked in even rows and columns. This design works well in contemporary spaces and makes small spaces seem larger.
If you’d like something more formal, one classic design is the herringbone. It is a traditional staple with zigzags that cover irregular spaces well.
Another popular pattern is the running bond. It’s versatile, simple, and ideal for covering small areas.
The basketweave pattern is reminiscent of cottage-like designs. The idea is to have Pavel ‘tile’ pairs laid vertically and horizontally against each other. This pattern can be used alone or fused with another design.
What are the Best Pavers for a Patio?
When selecting pavers for your patio, consider costs, climate, and aesthetics for your floor material. The main goal when selecting pavers is to consider the surface texture that complements other materials or accessories in the landscape.
Brick pavers come in many colors and finishes. They blend in easily with most settings and can be arranged in a variety of patterns.
Outdoor tiles come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Besides being versatile, they are smooth and easy to clean.
Stone pieces can be used as pavers and create an antique finish and rugged aesthetic to any outdoor space. The best part about stone pieces is that they can vary in design and color, even when cut from the same big boulder.
Concrete pavers form interlocking surfaces and are stronger than brick. They come in many styles, including those that can simulate natural stone. Individual concrete pavers can also be removed and replaced if need be. They are great for DIY tasks because they are small and don’t need heavy equipment to install.
Another idea is to add in pavers in the patio retaining wall to demarcate the patio area for friends and family to enjoy.
Make an Informed Decision with Gardening Channel
Now that you’re equipped with the right information, laying your patio pavers should be a piece of cake! Browse through online retailers for pavers to find something that suits your preference.
When you’re ready to buy, be sure to look at customer reviews first. Each customer review provides a useful insight into the product and its seller. Bookmark our Gardening Channel blog for regular, informative articles on all things gardening.
Here at Gardening Channel, our aim is to help you create the home you’ve always wanted.
So catch up on the latest techniques, product reviews, and innovative ways to improve your outdoor living spaces!
Take a deeper dive:
- Starting a Garden on Your Patio or Deck
- Best Types of Gravel for Patios
- Gardening Myth: Don’t Add Gravel to Your Garden Containers
- Patio Garden: Create Your Own Oasis