How to Install Concrete Patio Pavers

How to Install Concrete Patio Pavers

Now that it’s outdoor DIY season, the weather’s nice and you’re wishing that you had a patio to sit out and enjoy the summer evenings, book in hand and feet kicked up.

We have the perfect solution for you: concrete patio pavers. It’s an easy project that requires low maintenance, can withstand heavy traffic, and can be completed in about a weekend. Today, we’re here to guide you through the process of laying the patio from preparing the area to putting on the finishing touches.

Step 1: Prepare the Patio Area

Before you start an excavation project, contact local utility companies to come out and identify gas and water lines for you. This is an important step and one that should not be skipped.

Next, mark the area that you want to be the patio using marking paint. Marking paint is good for use on grass, gravel, dirt, wood, concrete, and asphalt and is by nature not permanent.

You’ll then want to drive wooden stakes into the ground outside the perimeter of the area you marked and attach a mason line around them. Now, as you determine what height you want your patio to be, start at the house and work outward so that they’ll slope and aid in water drainage. There should be a drop of about 1 inch every 8 feet. Mark the height on the wooden stakes that you placed in the ground and adjust the mason line to be that height.

Step 2: Clear Away the Grass and Soil

Using a spade and shovel, clear out the grass and soil that fills your work area. Keep the height of your patio in mind as you’re digging as you’ll be adding about 4 inches of paver base, 1 inch of paver sand, and of course the concrete pavers themselves. Check the depth as you dig against the mason line using a measuring tape to make sure you’re constantly maintaining the proper depth and slope.

Step 3: Add in Your Paver Base

Add the paver base overtop of the work area to be about 4 inches deep and spreading it evenly over the surface with a rake and compacting it to create a firm base. Lightly wet the paver base to make it more solid.

Step 4: Layer Over with Paver Sand

Using electrical conduits, form lanes on top of the base to help guide you as your leveling off the paver sand. Pour the sand between the conduits then use a plate compactor – which you can rent from Home Depot – to level the sand layer. Lift the conduits out and fill in those spaces with more paver sand, leveling those before you move on.

Keep in mind that areas you’ve leveled shouldn’t be stepped on or they’ll need to be reworked. Make sure you don’t work yourself into a corner with this process.

Step 5: Place the Concrete Pavers

Starting at a corner, lay the paver stones one by one, placing them straight down into the sand and making sure they fit snugly together. Be careful not to drag the paver across the sand or stomp the paver into place. Continue until you’ve placed all of the pavers.

If you need to cut the pavers to fit your design, mark it with a straight edge and cut them with a masonry saw to get a clean cut. Make sure you’re wearing eye protection and gloves when using a saw.

Place and secure edging stones along the exposed patio edges using landscaping nails.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Add a light layer of paver sand over the entire area of concrete pavers using a push broom to sweep the sand into the gaps between the stones. Next, run the plate compactor across the patio surface, add another layer of sand, brushing it evenly across, and run the plate compactor over the area one last time.  

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