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How to Install Landscape Pavers

Updated on February 4, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Planning Your Walkway or Patio

Putting in a brick, or paver walkway is something almost anyone can do with a little time and effort. For best results keep your plan simple. Once you get some experience you may even want to design a garden patio.

Straight lines tend to give a formal feel to gardens, while curvy lines are more informal and cottagey. Think about the style of your home and garden when you plant the shape of your walkway. Consider your existing garden area, and where the walkway will ultimately lead. Keep your budget in mind as well. The more material you need the more the project will ultimately cost.

In order to plan what you want you should search the internet, magazines, and even homes in your neighborhood for ideas. Look again at your own garden and make a rough sketch of how you want you walkway and patio to fit in.

How to Estimate Materials

The next step, after planning, is to estimate the amounts of materials you will need. In order to do this you will estimate the square feet of your walkway. The walkway should be between 32" and 36" wide. Measure your width and multiply it times your length to determine square footage.

If your walkway will be curved the easiest way to measure length is to use a length of rope to create the shape of the walkway. After you have the shape the way you like it straighten the rope out, measure it, and you will have your length.

Next, measure the edging by figuring the linear feet of the open edges of the patio or walkway.

Now you can buy pavers. The size of the pavers will determine the number you will need. Plan on adding 5% to the total number of pavers you need to cover any broken or chipped pavers, or problems that may occur.

You will also need gravel and cushioning sand for the base. You will need approximately a 4" depth of gravel with a 1" layer of sand over the top. Your home improvement store should be able to help you figure how much you will need, but here is the equation you will use for each:

  • Gravel- Length x Width x Height = Volume Example: For a 10' X 10' patio with 4" of gravel, you will need (10 X 10 X .333)= 34 cubic feet or 1.25 cubic yards. (.333 is the same as 1/3 of a foot, or 4 inches.)
  • Sand-You need 1" of sand above the gravel base but also must take into account the sand that will fall down into the gravel. Use the cubic yards that you came up with in the equation above and multiply that by .333. So in our pretend 10x10 patio we need .42 cu yards of sand. 1.25 x .333=.42.

Got that? Good.

Make A Stone Walkway in a Weekend

Create Your Patio or Walkway

Grade the area where your pavers will be, and build in the edging. Edging can be done in one of several ways, it is up to you and your budget how you do it. remember that the pathway should be graded approximately 7" below the level of the surrounding yard to allow for the gravel and cushioning sand, and the pavers.

  • Plastic or metal edging: You will install plastic edging after you dig out the area but before you put down your cushioning materials. Lay the edging along the pathway or patio. Now, hammer the stakes through the bottom of the plastic strip to hold it down firmly.The edging stip should not be more thanone inch above the lawn level.

  • Wood edging: Dig a trench along the pathway or patio that is deep enough so that the edging rests 1" to 2" above the level of the ground. Add sand to the trench to level the edging, and set the boards in place.
  • Brick edging: Dig a trench along the pathway or the patio so that the edging rests 1" to 2" above the ground. Add sand to the trench to make the edging level. Set each brick in place. Check to make sure that the bricks are level with each other. Tap carefully with a rubber mallet to set them.

Now you can lay the base. Add the gravel evenly along the graded area. Use a rake to get it as even as possible. Now lay on the cushioning sand, using the rake again to keep it level and even.

Using a Mason's line or other guide, set the pavers by working form a corner outward. Tap them into place with a mallet. Check the level as you go with a carpenter's level.

Once your surface is finished pour more sand over the walkway or patio and sweep the sand into the areas between the bricks. Use as much as you need to fill the areas between the bricks with the sand.

Spray a fine mist of water over your new path or patio to help settle the sand. Allow it to dry and then repeat sweeping sand into the areas between the pavers until the joints are filled. Spray again and allow to dry.


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    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 6 years ago from Winnipeg

      This is something i would do for sure, nicely illustrated! I especially like the pathway picture. I would love a back yard like that!

    • KyleBear profile image

      KyleBear 6 years ago

      Awesome hub hands down. Might actually install one myself ;)

    • profile image

      Pas Lode 6 years ago

      Great hub,

      Back breaking work but such a fantastic look to have a well constructed path in your garden.

    • WillGrander profile image

      WillGrander 7 years ago from New York

      Great hub. I write about paving stone sometimes, and this is good stuff.

    • profile image

      Marietta Ga Landscape 7 years ago

      I agree. Very comprehensive content. I am getting ready to install one myself. Thanks,

    • profile image

      Arvon 7 years ago

      That first image is so rustic - and a lot of work I'm guessing:) Very informative and detailed Hub.

    • Install Flagstone profile image

      Install Flagstone 7 years ago

      Very informative Hub! I enjoy how in-depth you go with your content, and the quality of it... There are various flagstone pavers you can use, such as bluestone or sandstone for landscaping.

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      I love the look of curvy lined paths! Such a useful hub!

    • profile image

      Brisbane Landscaping 8 years ago

      The pathway is adding glamor to the landscape. Its really a sight to the eye and owners pride.

    • hypnosis4u2 profile image

      hypnosis4u2 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      I left this hub with a ton of ideas for our backyard and maybe some ways of getting it done without a hone equity line.

    • gr8archer45 profile image

      gr8archer45 8 years ago from Pakistan

      Very informative hub with easy to follow steps. I linked your hub with mine about landscaping Marye. I hope ur cool with that :)

    • SteveSnedeker profile image

      SteveSnedeker 9 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Excellent and very complete advice. Very cool!

    • drummer boy profile image

      drummer boy 9 years ago from Kirksville,MO

      nice quick guide on how to do the walkway. thumbs up.

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 9 years ago from Texas

      I wish I was handy enough to get that pathway built in the back yard. I would be a real hero around the house.

    • crazycat profile image

      crazycat 9 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you for this. No need to hire someone to install it.

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 9 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      I want my outdoor kitchenw it the brick, woodburning bread over first. Then you can have your forge.

    • gspyda profile image

      gspyda 9 years ago

      alright, so where is the info to build that forge pit out back? we could put a stone walkway to it. then the horses will make great clip-clop sounds travelling from the home to the forge!!

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 9 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Steph between this and the comment on the fireplace hub you made me laugh!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      This is wonderful - and just perfect! I am emailing to my husband right now. Thanks (now an outdoor fireplace - that sounds nice too!)