How to Install Patio Pavers
Time Required: Over 1 day
A paver patio can withstand heavy traffic and requires low maintenance. It’s an easy addition to any yard, and laying patio pavers can take about a weekend to complete. This guide will teach you how to lay a patio from preparing the site to the finishing touches.
Tip: The number of stone patio pavers and the amount of paver base and paver sand needed will depend on the size of area where you are laying a patio. 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.
Tools & Materials
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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