One way for homeowners to add some character to their landscaping is through lining their walkway, patio, or driveway with interlocking concrete pavers. These pavers are easy to install as they interlock together for a stronger bond. Interlocking concrete pavers are quite popular today because of the wide variety of colors, ease of installation, and durable quality. The process of installing interlocking concrete pavers is straightfoward, but does involve several steps that must be done in order.
Step 1: Plan for Pavers
Start with a blank piece of paper and plan out how you would like the patio or walkway to look. Besides just the general shape of the area, plan on how you want to lay out the interlocking concrete pavers. By doing so you will be able to visualize how the pavers will look and give you an idea of how to place them on the ground.
Step 2: Dig for Pavers
After the plan has been drawn, you can start to dig the outline of the area where the pavers will go. Before doing so, make sure you get a check by the local utility company for any underground hazards. Stake out the area where the pavers will go. This area should be 12 inches larger than the actual outline.
Start the digging at the very corner of the area and make sure that it is at a 90-degree angle. To do so, measure three feet along the base and four feet up the side. The distance between these two points should be 5 feet. Dig out the area and go to a depth of 7 inches for areas where there will be light traffic. For heavier trafficked areas, dig to a depth of 11 inches.
It is important to also build in a slope away from your home, garage, or other building where the pavers will be going. This will allow for drainage of any water that can build up after a rain or snow melt.
Step 3: Lay Gravel Base
Once the area is dug out, you can begin to install the base of the pavers. This should be a coarse gravel that is poured out and raked smooth. For light areas, this base should be at least 5 inches deep. For heavier trafficked areas, such as patios, the base should be at least 10 inches in depth.
Step 4: Install Edging
To keep the pavers from "walking" you will need to install a 2 x 4 treated edging all the way around the area of the walkway.
Step 5: Lay Sand Footing
Once the edging is laid down, fill in the space in between with a 1-inch in diameter sand. Level it out with a rake and then scree it with a piece of lumber. Compact it with a rented compactor and make sure that it is level throughout.
Step 6: Install Pavers
Start at the corner of the walkway and start to lay out the interlocking concrete pavers in the pattern you have chosen. Continue working until you have finished the project. Once the pavers are completed, spread out masonry sand over the surface and sweep it into the cracks between the pavers. Remove the excess and then compact the concrete pavers into place.