How to Interlock Concrete Pavers

The beauty of interlocking concrete pavers is that you can use them for just about any project that requires a pavement-like surface. This kind of project is easier, cleaner, and more simple to complete than one where you need to use mortar. All it takes are the right materials and tools. You can do it over a weekend in 5 simple steps.

Tools and Material You'll Need:

  • Large hammer
  • Square-mouth shovel
  • 12 inch wood stakes
  • String or twine
  • Power tamper
  • Lawn edging
  • Concrete saw
  • Garden hose
  • Concrete mix

Step 1: Prepare Your Project Area

Drive stakes into the ground at the edges of the area you plan to install your pavers, then run a string between each of the stakes. This will mark the edges of your paved area. Remove 8 inches of soil from the top, enough to accommodate your pavers and 6 inches of bedding material such as gravel or crushed stones. Leave an additional 6-inch space along the edges where you'll add a 4-inch concrete barrier. Also, be sure the area's surface is sloped to drain water away from nearby buildings.

Step 2: Create an Edge Barrier

Before positioning your pavers, you'll need an edge barrier to keep them in place and keep gravel and sand from spilling over the edge. You can create a temporary barrier using concrete blocks or lawn edging, or you can create a more permanent barrier by building a 4-inch concrete strip. To build this concrete barrier, first build a 4-inch concrete form. The top should be level with the surface of the pavers. Then mix your concrete, pour it into the forms, and allow the concrete to cure for 48 hours.

Step 3: Fill Your Excavated Area

Once your concrete has cured, you can create your surface base by filling the excavated area with crushed stones or gravel. Once it is leveled, use a tamper to compact it. But be careful not to tamp near the new concrete barrier until it has time to harden further. After tamping the base, spread 2 inches of sand over the surface and continue tamping. When finished filling the excavated area, your surface should be smooth, level, and solid.

Step 4: Laying You Concrete Pavers

One at a time, lay your pavers on the surface in the pattern you've chosen. Check to be sure arrow markers on the pavers line up with paver joint lines, so they will not interlock securely. Where you need irregularly shaped pavers, such as at edges and corners, you will need to cut pavers with a concrete saw that has a diamond blade.

Step 5: Fill Spaces with Sand

When all pavers are in place, fill in gaps between them with sand. This will firm up the surface and make it more water tight. Use a garden hose to wash away excess dirt, debris, or sand left on the paver surface. The water will also help compact the sand to create a more firm surface.

Remove concrete forms, stakes, string, left-over gravel or sand, and soil that was excavated from the paver area, and your new concrete paver surface should be ready for use.