HomeownerHelpful Info: Outdoor Projects

Paver Installation

Paver Installation Educational Content

Pavers are bricks of high-density concrete. They are popular for patios, walkways, and driveways. Unlike standard masonry, pavers are not mortared in place.Paver patios, walkways, and driveways are a step up from plain concrete. The size and shape of each paver is controlled by the manufacturing process. This means that a paver surface is neat and uniform in appearance. Another bonus is that paver surfaces don’t crack like concrete slabs. Paver installations are more expensive than poured concrete slabs of similar size. They are, however, less costly than a surface paved with brick or natural stone.

Some companies also offer permeable pavers. Permeable pavers can reduce runoff from walkways, patios, and driveways. Surfaces paved with permeable pavers have joints filled with small stones. This feature lets water flow into the bedding underneath. That runoff water can either go back into the soil or be collected for later use.

Once you and your contractor have finalized the layout for the pavers, the crew will excavate the area. If you’re installing a paver driveway, the base layer will be thicker than it would be for a walkway. This ensures that the finished surface can handle the weight of multiple vehicles.

Once excavation is complete, the crew will tamp down the dirt with a compaction machine. Next, they’ll put down a foundation of crushed stone. The crushed stone is installed in layers so that each layer can be firmly compacted. After the final layer of crushed stone is in place, a layer of granite sand is put down and compacted. This step fills the gaps between the crushed stone and creates a smooth surface for the pavers. Once the base is fully prepared, the crew will lay the pavers in the design you chose. They’ll use spacers to help the installer maintain straighter lines. After the pavers are laid, they are tapped firmly into place with the compaction machine.

Finally, the installers spread a layer of polymeric or regular sand on top of the pavers and sweep it into the cracks between them. Polymeric sand is more expensive than regular sand, but it has a unique benefit. Polymeric sand binds together when it’s sprayed with water, which makes the sand permanent.

A penetrating sealer protects the pavers from stains from motor oil, tire marks, or grease. It can also make the pavers look deeper and richer in color. Penetrating sealer prevents water from entering the pavers. This is important because water that freezes inside a paver or any kind of concrete can break or weaken it over time.