Installing Concrete Pavers
Concrete Pavers Installation Overview
Listed below are 10 steps for paver installation, followed by a link to paver contractors who professionally install concrete pavers.
- Utility Service Inspection- Before any work starts have the utility company check for underground pipes and wires. Stake out location and depth of pipes and wires.
- Excavation- Removal of the existing pavement, turf, or existing soil to the proper depth. The proper depth will be finish surface, less paver thickness, setting bed depth, and base material. The amount of base material is often determined by a soil engineer and depends on the propensity of the soil to expand, saturate, or hold water. (Which would then cause the pavers to move.) Base thickness normally ranges from 6-inches to 12-inches. A base for vehicular traffic is typically 10-inches to 12-inches. In extreme soil or other conditions, the base can be up to 18-inches deep. See "Vital Factor in Paver Installation"
Note: Conditions are substantially different on the East Coast versus the West Coast. On the West, many jobs are done with 4-6" base material. It is critical you learn what works best in your area. Soils engineers can provide guidance in this area.
Compact Subgrade- After the grade is down to the proper level (see "Excavation" above), and before the geotextile fabric is installed, the subgrade must be compacted.
- If the subgrade is clay, compaction must be done with a roller or rammer so the subgrade is fully compacted.
- If sandy soils, a vibraplate is often sufficient for subgrade compaction.
- Install "Geotextile Fabric"- In moist or wet areas, and where the soil is expansive, geotextile fabric should be installed to separate (and keep separated) virgin soil from the base.
- Install Base Material- Base material is installed in "lifts" no more than 4-inches at a time. A compactor is used to compact the material. The base material itself should be a granular type that compacts easily
- Install Edge Restraints- The border "edge restraints" are now laid on the base material and secured with steel spikes which hold the edge restraints in place. Edge restraints are an important part of interlocking concrete pavements. By providing lateral resistance to loads, they maintain continuity and interlock among the paving units.
- Spread the Setting Bed- A 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch setting bed is spread on top of the compacted base material. Concrete sand, coarse washed concrete sand, or granite stone dust can be used.
Installing Pavers- Pavers are installed in the desired pattern. See "Designing with Concrete Pavers". Pavers should be taken from several pallets or bundles at a time to assure an even color mix.
- Compacting and Sweeping- Spread and sweep sand over the top of the pavers. Then the compactor is used over the top of the pavers. The sand will vibrate from below and above into the joints. Add more sand on top and continue the process—which will make for a solid paver surface. (See Compaction Requirements for Proctor Density Requirements).
- Sealing- Sealing will accentuate the paver colors and help protect them from staining. Sealing does require reapplication periodically.
Find a Concrete Pavers Contractor
Return to Concrete Pavers