Common Paver Installation Mistakes
The famed American basketball coach, John Wooden, once said, If you dont have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? The truth is, most people jump into paver installation without knowing what theyre getting intothen they make mistakes or take shortcuts that cost them a lot of time
The famed American basketball coach, John Wooden, once said, If you dont have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? The truth is, most people jump into paver installation without knowing what theyre getting intothen they make mistakes or take shortcuts that cost them a lot of time and money down the road. We wrote this article to help save you the headaches most people encounter while youre installing hardscape.
At Western Interlock, we aim to help you take the hard out of hardscaping. Thats why weve put together a series of paver installation video tutorials on almost every aspect of DIY hardscapingfrom How to Build a Circle Patio to How to Build a Retaining Wall and so much more.
Before you kick off your first hardscape project, please take a look at our list below and make sure you avoid any of these all-too-common mistakes.
S To Prepare The Ground And Install Your Paver Patio
- Tamara Thiel
For anyone thinking about upgrading their outdoor living space, a paver patio is an absolute must. These versatile patios add depth to your home, as well as style and creative design. It pushes the property value exponentially, increases the area for entertaining and adds character to your home.
If you are wondering how difficult it is to install a paver patio yourself, we have the steps right here for you.
Improperly Installing The Bedding Sand
Your bedding sand is a crucial aspect of your entire hardscape. Bedding sand helps your stones settle firmly into the base and stay-in-place; it also serves as a leveling layer to even out any minor discrepancies in the gravel base and the manufactured product. However, if you install the bedding sand improperly, youll leave dips or voids that show in the final product.
To properly install bedding sand, you apply a process called screeding where you lay and level your bedding sand. When screeding, youll want to first lay a few 1 outside diameter screed bars down on your compacted base, make sure theyre level and then bring in your sand.
Pro Tip: Its very important that you lay no more than 1 of bedding sand. Any more will promote settling or wobblingtwo things you dont want pavers to do.
Once your sand is in place, youll use a 1012 strike board to screed the sand.;
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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. If you fail to compact, youll experience sunken or raised pavers. In other words, a bumpy, uneven base will produce bumpy, uneven pavers.
The best practice is to compact your gravel base, in both directions, with a steel tamper or a plate compactor 2 at a time until youve achieved the right thickness. Youll want to use a steel tamper for small projects and a gas plate compactor for more extensive patios, driveways, and walkways.
For Added Support Each Bottom Plate Will Have A Patio Block Centered In The Ground Under It Once The Rim Of Your Pool Is In Position You Can Now Tell Where Each Of The 12x 12x 1 Patio Blocks Need To Go
Begin centering the Bottom Plates on patio blocks. The patio block must be placed in the ground under each Bottom Plate. Dig out the area for the block and place each block in the sunken hole so the plate and rails are still laying level with the ground. See the illustration below.
PRO TIP:;Make sure that the top of the block is the only part of the block that can be seen and that it is flush with the top of the ground. Level the block in all directions . Repeat this step around the frame making the tops of all blocks level with the ground.
- Do not install blocks or rails on loose sifted soil or sand.
- There must be no space between the ground and the bottom of the rails.
- All patio blocks must be flush with the ground, solid and level with each other in all directions.
You may remove a bottom rail at this time to cart sifted soil for the cove and sand for the base as long as the rest of your pools ring remains staked in position. Make sure you replace the bottom rail in its proper position and remeasure for an accurate radius. Remove all stakes.
PRO TIP:;A chalk outline of the Bottom Plates on the patio block is an easy and temporary way to ensure that your track does not move throughout the remainder of the installation.;
|If you are installing a main drain, refer to those instructions BEFORE continuing.|
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Laying A Shallow Base
The second most common mistake is not digging a deep enough area for the base. When you read our recommendations for laying a base, you may think to yourself, Thats a lot of digging! The truth is, yes, it certainly is. However, gravel is cheap insurance to protect and preserve your pavers.
We recommend that you excavate enough dirt to lay a proper gravel base; 4 for common foot traffic areas and 610 for driveways and residential parking lots. The general rule is to add an extra 24 to your gravel base if you live in colder climates with continually wet or weak soils.
Create Stunning Patterns With Pavers And Grass
While many of the projects featured here focus on the paver patio, we love these pretty patterns created by Stonewood Products. They share some excellent tips for building a paver patio, and they encourage you to consider the design and location of your paver patio before starting the process. Places you could place a patio or walkway include a path leading across your garden, a patio near a pool, or an outdoor kitchen. Wherever you place your new patio, youll find its the perfect spot to enjoy spending time this summer. We always recommend keeping your construction work away from large trees with deep roots or any underground utilities you may have in your garden. The planning of this project is half of the fun, and youll enjoy considering different colors and designs for your new patio before getting started.
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Working With A Larger Space
The bigger the patio is, the more time-consuming and costly the project gets. Theres a detailed description of all the steps and requirements which you can find on younghouselove. It teaches you how to create your own DIY paver patio from scratch and it reveals some of the less-known things related to such a big project. Sure, its all pretty easy when you simplify everything but that leaves you with plenty of details to figure out on the way.
Things To Consider About Rubber Pavers
While there are very little disadvantages or downsides to the use of rubber pavers, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your project.
- Before installation, rubber pavers cannot get wet. Because of their porous nature, they will absorb water and expand making installation very difficult.
- Do not allow your rubber pavers to absorb much sunlight. If your rubber pavers are left out in the sun for too long, it can result in thermal expansion or contraction. This will ultimately lead to the development of gaps within the structure of the pavers.
- If there is additional work nearby your project site, your rubber pavers should be covered with a protective material. They have an open surface that, aside from being absorbent to water, is also absorbent to dust and paint.
If you factor these few considerations into the prep and planning of your project, you should run into little to no issues during the process.
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A Curved Paver Patio For A More Organic Shape
If you want your patio to look natural and to have a more organic shape, it would be nice to make it curve and give it a less geometric shape. That of course presents a challenge on its own and means youll need to add a border around your patio. Check out this tutorial to learn how to prep the area and make your patio look amazing with curves and a border.
Add The Polymeric Sand
Sprinkle the polymeric sand over the top of the patio pavers, alternating by sweeping the sand across the pavers. Keep adding sand and sweeping until the gaps between the pavers are filled.
Before adding water, it is critical that you remove all polymeric sand from the top of the pavers. If not, the sand will bond to the paver faces, marring them. Running a leaf blower is the best way to blow off sand without removing sand from the gaps.
Set your spray nozzle on a light mist and spray your patio paver. Do not drench it with too much water; otherwise, you run the risk of dislodging sand from the gaps.
Wait about 24 hours for the patio pavers to fully set. Cut away the overlapping landscape fabric with the utility knife.
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Learn How To Hardscape
We understand that no matter how beautiful hardscape is to look at, its intimidating to install. Thats why we publish DIY tips, tricks, and step-by-step tutorials at DIYwithWI.com and host a live DIY seminar every month during the summer at one of our manufacturing or distribution facilities.
If you have any questions, please visit our Paving Stone Display at our Manufacturing Facility in Rickreall, OR. Or, give our team of hardscape experts a call at 503-623-9084.
A Simple Stone Paver Patio
A simple stone paver patio may not stand out much but beneath the surface, theres a lot of work to be done. First, theres digging to be done, then you need to layout the landscaping fabric, to level the gravel on top, then to add a layer of sand, and only after all of this you can actually start laying the pavers. All the effort is of course worth it. If you want to find out more about what each of these steps entails, check out the complete tutorial on instructables.
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Lay The Concrete Pavers
Cut your spacer down to the size you have planned for your joint width.
In the photo above, my metal bars are diagonal because I needed to slope my patio in two directions. I thought it would make it easier this way, but I ended up pulling them out and keeping them straight. It was easy enough to follow the slope lines with the strings.
Lay one the first spacer down, and use a squaring tool to lay down a crossing spacer. Then carefully place your first concrete paver against the two spacers.;
Repeat, using the spacers to lay more concrete pavers. Remember, you can walk on these as you lay them.
My metal bars are lying diagonally in the photo above because I needed to slope my patio in two directions.;
I thought it would make it easier this way, but I ended up pulling them out and keeping them straight. It was easy enough to follow the slope lines with the strings.
Lay one the first spacer down, and use a squaring tool to lay down a crossing spacer. Then go ahead and carefully place your first concrete paver against the two spacers.;
Repeat using the spacers to lay more pavers. Remember, you can walk on these as you lay them.
Pouring Your Own Concrete Pavers
Pouring your own concrete pavers can turn out to be a great solution, especially if youre looking to create a custom design for your patio or garden pathway. You can use custom molds which you can build yourself out of wood or you can get some predefined mold designs if you prefer a more standardized look. If you decide to follow the custom route, check out this great tutorial from overondover. It describes all the steps you need to take if you want to pour your own concrete pavers.
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How To Lay Patio Pavers On Dirt
A simple paver patio adds usable living space to the garden. While a permanent installation requires excavating soil and a compacted base of gravel and sand to ensure a long-lasting, level patio, you may only need the space for a season or two. A temporary installation of patio pavers on dirt may suffice until you’re ready to install the hardscape in a long-range landscape plan.
How To Install A Paver Patio
Is a paver patio one of those ideas you are considering to spruce up the rear yard? If so, not only do;you need to know how to install a paver patio, but there are a few other items you need to know. Pavers are available in a wide range of shapes, styles, sizes and color blends. Depending on the sizes you choose for your paver patio, there are large variety of patterns you can lay them in; herringbone pattern, running bond pattern, basket weave pattern, etc. View these and more paver patterns.How much does a paver patio cost? If you contract a professional paver installer, you should plan on spending $15 – $20 per square foot, depending on paver type and where you live. This would include all materials and labor. If you are thinking of installing your paver patio yourself, you could expect to save approximately 50%.Now that you have some basic information, let’s learn how to install a paver patio. Note: If you are have an existing concrete patio you may want to read our step-by-step instructions on “How to Install Pavers Over Your Existing Concrete Patio”.
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Roll Out Landscape Fabric
- Add a layer of landscape fabric over the tamped soil.
- Note: The purpose of the landscape fabric is to prevent the sand from mixing in with the soil. But its important to use a non-woven fabric, as woven landscape fabric isnt very permeable and can trap water under your patio. Look for fabric with at least a 20-year life span.
A Simple Rectangle Paver Patio
Since you can basically build your backyard patio in any size or shape you want to, its easy to get distracted by all the different possibilities. However, the best option is most often the simplest and most obvious one. A simple rectangle might not seem very exciting but can end up looking amazing once all the pavers are in place. We really like how this design turned out and if you want to find out more about the process theres a video on that you can check out.
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Secure The Concrete Pavers In Place And Fill The Gaps
Once you have finished each section and the pavers have all been laid, make sure none of the paver stones wobble. Youll want to check this before filling the joints.
I had about five that had some wobble and just about every time, the culprit was a raised bit of larger gravel that had been pulled near the surface. The concrete paver stone was resting awkwardly on the raised gravel.
The way to fix this is to gently remove the paver and check for the larger gravel that is raised. Remove it and fill in the hole with sand. Carefully place the paver back down into position.;
If you dont see any gravel, then something in that spot isnt level. It could be that theres a bit of a bump, or just one edge needs a little more sand. Use the float to level it and place the paver back into place.
With all the pavers set as you need them, you can start filling in the gaps. Use the square nosed shovel to scoop the sand or paver dust and place it into the joints, but only add about ½- ¾ of the paver dust/sand.;
Try to distribute it evenly between them. You can use a hand spade and/or a broom to help with this.
Now finish filling in the gaps with your decorative top layer. I used marble chips.
Spread these evenly throughout, but be sure to leave them recessed about ¼ from the top so you dont end up with a big mess of overflowing joint filler.
Those are all the steps! Now youll be ready to entertain on your new concrete paver patio!
Enjoy Relaxing On Your Paver Patio
After following our thirty tips to ensure the success of your DIY paver patio, its time to sit back and relax. Bob Vila shares how to create an outdoor patio that even a completely inexperienced DIYer will enjoy creating. Youll create professional results that will make the perfect space that youll enjoy spending time with your family and friends in this summer. Whether you just want a sun-soaked spot to read a book or somewhere to entertain your family and friends, its the perfect option for your next garden makeover.