Project Guide

How to Install Patio Pavers

Prepare the Patio Area
A section of pavers from a finished patio.
  • Mark the perimeter of the patio area with marking paint. 
  • Drive wooden stakes into the ground just outside of the perimeter markings and attach a 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
A person marking off the area to be cleared for a patio.
  • 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
A base of sand for a paver patio.
  • 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.

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

Add and Level Paver Sand
A person using a plate compactor to level a sand base for a paver patio.
  • 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. 

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 Paver Stones
A person laying out paver stones for a paver patio.
  • Starting at a patio corner, lay out the paver stones one by one. Work in an outward manner as though you are starting at the tip of a triangle and working out. 
  • 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)
A person placing a cut paver stone.
  • 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
A person placing edging stones around a paver patio.

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

Finish Your Patio
A finished paver 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

Once you’ve learned how to lay patio pavers, you might be inspired to try new outdoor DIY projects. Check out more of our guides and learn how to build a block wall, how to build a walkway and even how to build a fire pit to add more interest and beauty to your outdoor areas.