Learning how to install patio pavers can reward a homeowner with savings, superior job quality, or even an exquisite patio that might be outright cost-prohibitive to have installed by professionals. The following guide lays out the procedure and focuses on being well-prepared. Be sure to read this article in its entirety before getting started
Installing pavers for an professional-looking patio will include the following steps:
- Formulate a plan and acquire your materials (elaborated upon below).
- Prepare the area by marking it, clearing it, and digging it out to the required, level depth.
- Lay down paver base gravel and compact it to a uniform slope.
- Lay down and smooth out a layer of paver sand.
- Place patio pavers, beginning at the edge, leaving a small, consistent gap between each. Cut pavers to size for remaining spaces requiring a custom fit.
- Sweep sand into the joints like tile grout.
- Protect your investment with a paver sealer product.
Common sense and elbow grease go a long way, but having your ducks in a row before you begin is really how to install patio pavers without headaches or delays.
1) Draw Up a Plan
Have a look at your proposed area from different angles, including from windows, inside, to see create an amazing paver design and see how the project will affect your views. Avoid underground utilities and consider tree roots that can be a problem to remove. Draft at least a basic sketch that you can use to map out your dimensions. Take measurements of the perimeter and mark them down.
2) How Many Pavers?
To determine how many pavers you’ll need, calculate the area of your patio in square feet. Patios with complex or irregular shapes can be broken into sections on your blueprint. Area is calculated by multiplying the width by the length of the section:
(Feet Length) x (Feet Width) = Square Footage Area
Determine the square footage of each paver:
(Paver Inches Length) x (Paver Inches Width) ÷ 144 = Square Footage of a Paver
The number of pavers required can be determined by plugging that number into the following equation:
(Patio Square Feet Area) ÷ (Square Footage of a Paver) = Minimum Number of Pavers Required
It is recommended approximately 10% more be added to this number and purchased to cover accidents or minor alterations.
3) How Much Paver Base?
Paver base is a type of gravel that provides adequate support and drainage. A decent rule of thumb for paver base depth is to lay a good 4-inch layer, if not 6. It will be compacted, which is factored into the math below. The following formula will tell you much paver base you’ll require:
(Inches Length) x (Inches Width) x [(Inches Depth) + (Inches Depth x .2)] ÷ 1728 = Cubic Feet Paver Base
4) How Much Sand?
A layer of sand lies atop the paver base gravel, acting as a bed for the pavers. It helps you position and stabilize the pavers. The following formula will let you know how much sand you’ll require, including sand in the joints and loss due to settling:
(Square Feet Area) ÷ 6 = Cubic Feet Paver Sand
5) Edge Restraints
Some installations include a retaining wall, but simple, wooden edge restraints will do. If the edges are left bare and soft they will give way when you compact, allowing too much of your materials to move around. Edge restraints prevent this.
Add up the perimeter of your project to determine how much low-grade lumber you’ll need to keep your edges steady until the job is complete. Do this by adding up the length of each side. Depending on the depth of your foundation, you may stabilize edge restraints by either fastening boards together directly at the ends or by using stakes.
Foresight Beats Hindsight
There are many guides available on the web with helpful tips for the final processes of physically completing the job. Just as you require a firm foundation your pavers, however, you need a firm foundation on paper, beforehand, so you don’t over-spend, run out of materials on the job, or encounter preventable disappointments.
Once you have laid your pavers and sanded them in, give your work the beautifying protection it deserves by applying an industrial-grade paver sealer. Big box stores generally don’t sell the reliable, specially-formulated paver sealers upon which professional installers stake their reputation. Look for a sealer such as those in the Seal n’ Lock line of products.
Use Seal ‘n Lock SealThane Paver Sealer to enhance and increase the longevity of your pavers!