Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Pavers
Covered in this guide are the 10 steps involved in installing pavers:
STEP 1 – PLANNING AND LAYOUT
The planning stage is a crucial one when installing pavers. You have to decide first where you want to place your pavers, and you should make sure also that there is enough space for them. You may use a graph paper where you can draw out and specify the measurements in your plan.
When laying out your planned area for the pavers, use some wood or a hose perhaps to form the outline of the area to be paved. Then, spray paint or mark the outline, which should have a gap of around 8 inches outside the outline.
Keep in mind that the area to be paved has to have slope so that water can run off the pavers. This will protect the pavers from damage caused by pooling or ponding.
STEP 2 – CALCULATING THE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF PAVERS
You should first measure the length and width of the area you will pave. Multiply the length and the width so you can get the square footage of the area. Don’t forget to add 5% to this figure so that there will be some sort of allowance for the pavers that have to be cut for curves. Next, you should multiply the square footage of the area to be paved by the paver coverage rate (you may ask your supplier for this).
STEP 3 – EXCAVATION
Determine the height that has to be reached by the pavers. Keep in mind that the slab has to slope downwards away from your house so that water will not accumulate in it. Ideally, you should slope down an inch for every 4 feet.
Put stakes around the parameter and mark them with the slope decline. Also, put a string on the stakes to show what height level must be followed.
Calculate what the required depth of excavation is. You can do this by summing up the inches required for the sand bedding, the base, and the thickness of the paver. Add them all up and you will get the total depth of the required excavation.
STEP 4 – BASE MATERIAL
After the completion of the excavation, the next step is to lay the base material, which usually consists of crushed rock. Crushed rock is ideal because of the varied sized of stones and the sharp edges, which make compaction easier.
The thickness of the base material to be used should depend on the sub-base material as well as the weight that will be put on the paved area. If, for example, the sub-base is soft clay, a thicker layer of base material is necessary.
Evenly scatter the crushed gravel over the area to be paved. Ideally, you should divide it into three smaller layers and compact in between each layer. After it is spread evenly, go over the area a few more times using a plate compactor.
STEP 5 – EDGE RESTRAINTS
In order to maintain your paved area, it needs edge restraints. Without edging, the pavers will move and eventually separate. Your edge restraints can be anything from pre-cast concrete, plastic, wood, to metal.
STEP 6 – SAND BEDDING
Before the pavers are placed on the area, there has to be a layer of bedding sand over the compacted base material, and this is where the pavers are to be set. This sand bedding will also prevent the sand joints from getting washed away.
Lay down 1” diameter PVC pipe across the base material, and then spread a layer of sand between 1 ½” thick. Then use a 2X4 screed across the sand for the PVC piping to be visible. Remove the PVC pipe carefully. This is an important process as it ensures the layers of sand are uniform in thickness.
STEP 7 – LAYING PAVERS
Lay the pavers according to the design and pattern you’ve chosen. Make sure they are laid close together. Once all pavers are placed, set them into the sand bedding using a mechanical plate compactor.
STEP 9 – SEALING
Remove all debris and materials on the paved area by cleaning and sweeping it. You should then seal the area using a sand binding sealant to make sure the joint sand won’t disappear. This will also keep any vegetation from growing in between the joints.
STEP 10 – MAINTENANCE
Typically, pavers do not require much for maintenance, especially when they are properly laid. However, it may still be necessary for you to re-seal your pavers on a regular basis so that the color and appearance will be maintained. It is also recommended that your pavers be regularly cleaned and swept to avoid moss buildup.
STEP 8 – SAND JOINTS
In this step, you will be sweeping sand over the surface to fill up the joints to ensure the pavers are locked into place. Use fin-grained sand or paver sand as it will compact a lot better and can fill up joints much faster.