How to Install Patio Pavers


Use pavers to create a durable, low-maintenance patio custom-built for outdoor entertaining

A paver patio can withstand heavy traffic and requires low maintenance. It’s a great addition to any yard, and takes about a weekend to complete.

Download a PDF of this project, and visit the Garden Club for more outdoor living projects.

Tip: The number of paver stones and the amount of paver base and paver sand needed will depend on the size of your patio area. For 60 square feet, you’ll need about 30 12 x 12-inch paver stones, 40 bags of paver base, and 12 bags of paver leveling sand.



Prepare the patio area

• Mark the perimeter of the patio area with marking paint.
• Drive wooden stakes into the ground just outside of the perimeter markings and attach mason line.
• When determining the height of your patio, work from the house outward since you will want the pavers to slope away from the house to aid with water drainage.
• Mark the height on the stakes and adjust the mason line. Remember to slope the area away from your home with a drop-off of about 1 inch every 8 feet.

Clear grass and soil

• When digging, remember that you will be adding 4 inches of paver base and about 1 inch of paver sand before adding the paver stones.
• Use a spade and shovel to clear grass and soil from the work area.
• Check your depth against the mason line with a measuring tape to make sure you maintain both the proper depth and slope.

Add paver base

Tip: Renting a plate compactor will save you time when working with larger areas.

• Spread the paver base to a depth of 4 inches throughout the work area.
• Use a rake to help spread the paver base.
• Compact the area until you have a firm base.
• Lightly wet the paver base to make it more solid.

Add and level paver sand

Tip: Stay aware of the work area when leveling, as stepping into an already level area will require you to rework that spot. Make sure not to work yourself into a corner.

• Place the electrical conduit on top of the base. The conduit will form “tracks” to help guide you when leveling off the paver sand.
• Pour the sand across and between the conduits, then drag the 2 x 4 across the conduit to level the sand layer.
• Lift the conduit out and fill the voids with more paver sand. Level these voids before moving on.
• Continue this process until the entire patio area is covered with level paver sand.

Place the paver stones

• Starting at a patio corner, lay out the paver stones one by one. Work in an outward manner – like starting at the tip of a triangle and working outward.
• When setting the stones, place them straight down into the sand and keep them fitted snuggly together. Make sure you are not dragging the pavers across the sand, and never stomp a paver into place.
• Continue until all pavers have been placed.

Cut pavers, if necessary

• If you need to cut pavers to fit your design, place the paver over the void in your pattern and use a straight edge and marker to trace the cut line onto the paver.
• A masonry saw is the quickest way to get a clean cut. Remember to wear gloves and eye protection when using the saw.

Add edging stones

Place and secure edging stones along all exposed patio edges using landscape nails.

Finish your patio

• Spread a light layer of paver sand over the entire area.
• Use a push broom to sweep the sand into the gaps between the stones and run the plate compactor across the patio surface.
• Add another thin layer of sand, and use the push broom to spread it across the patio.
• Run the plate compactor over the area one last time.