A Quick Guide to Laying Concrete Pavers

The DIY Home Improvement

Making a paved patio is a surprisingly simple home improvement project that transforms the aesthetic of your house. A little planning can ensure a professional look, whether you’re creating a sidewalk or a whole patio/outdoor area.

Local Council’s Permission

If you’re planning on installing driveway pavers, you’ll need to contact your local council for permission. Certain driveway materials are prohibited in certain modern residential areas due to restrictions. In such cases also, seeking permission is mandatory.

Also, permission of local council is needed if you are constructing in an area where water runoff is a concern.

Although most DIY paving projects don’t require council clearance, it’s important to check with your local authority before getting started.

Paving Patterns

Different types of paving patterns include Herringbone (900 and 450), Stretcher Bond (normal and 450), Diamond, Stack bond and Basketweave.

To lay the concrete pavers in the chosen pattern, one obviously needs desired pavers, at the first place.  The needful safety aids, different construction materials and equipment, are listed below:

Safety aids:

  • Garden Gloves
  • Ear muffs
  • Eye protection spectacles
  • Boots to protect your feet
  • Beware of any electrical wires before you dig.
  • While lifting heavy pavers, remember to bend your knees.

Construction materials:

  • Sand: coarse and fine
  • Cement
  • Road base

Paving equipment:

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Spade
  • Rubber mallet
  • Wacker packer
  • Brick saw
  • Small trowel
  • Spirit level
  • String line
  • Straight edge
  • Broom

Knowing The Number of Pavers, You Require

Calculate the length and breadth of the area to be paved using a pencil, paper, and tape measure. Multiply length and breadth to get the total area in square meters. Landscaping providers will ask for this number to figure out – how many pavers; how much road foundation, and river sand you’ll need.

Use our calculator which help you to figure out how much of that paver you’ll need. Please note that if there will be any curved portions or cuts, you may need to add a few more pavers to compensate – an extra 2-5 percent is usually sufficient.

Steps Involved in Laying Concrete Pavers

Step 1 – Marking and Digging

Mark the area to be paved, leaving some additional room around the boundaries for construction. Make sure you excavate deep enough to accommodate the paver thickness and sub-base structure.

You’ll need to dig 135mm deep if you’re using 40mm thick pavers. This 135mm equates to a road base of 75mm, plus river sand of 20mm, plus concrete paver of 40mm. These are the ideal values for thicknesses.

Step 2 – Preparing a flat and inclined base

A flat and inclined surface is needed for the right alignment and to run off the water to drainage. For this, you’ve to spread the road base uniformly throughout the excavated area, taking care to account for the overall fall.

Compress the road base with a Wacker packer, going over it at least three times. Each time, make sure to use it with changing directions. After compacting the road base, spread the river sand to a 20mm thickness.

Using a straight edge and a timber float, screed the floor, ensuring the surface is flat and had a slight slant. This allows the water to run off without stagnation.

Step 3 – Laying the Pavers

Here are some tips on how to lay the pavers –

  • Make sure there’s a 3mm gap between each paver to allow for adjustments and to prevent breakage.
  • Lay out a header course down one side of the paved area, preferably the longest side.
  • Use a straight edge to make a 90° angle at one end of the paving area, then start laying pavers at this angle.

Step 4 – Lock the Paving

To prevent the pavers from moving over time, the outside course of your paving work should be supported. Use sand and cement mix below the header course and on any pavement edge that is not up against a wall. This provides additional stability and ensures that all pavers are locked in.

Step 5 – Use sand to lock the tiny gaps

Make sure that all the pavers have been set and are completely dry.

Washed beach sand or locking sand in dried form should be swept in and allowed to make its way between the pavers.

A whacker packer with a piece of old piece of carpet below may be used to compress pavers into the sand bed, providing a beautiful finish. Certain locking sands will require a small spray/misting with the water.  This assists the pavers, set in place.

Everything is now set for you to sit back and relax!

Note that, relying on quality materials and qualified professionals always saves time; and money in long-run.