How To Lay Concrete Pavers - Quick Guide
17 May 2019
Creating a paved area is a surprisingly manageable home DIY task that makes a big difference to the look of your home, and how you get to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you’re creating a pathway or a whole patio/outdoor room, some simple planning will ensure a professional looking outcome.
Check with the Council
DIY paving can usually be done without council approval, however, if you’re planning on laying driveway pavers or working in an area where water runoff is an issue, you may need to contact your local council. Some newer residential communities also have covenants on the use of driveway materials, which means you’ll need to get authorisation before proceeding.
Paving Equipment List
- Garden Gloves
- Rubber mallet
- Road base
- Coarse sand
- Fine sand / joining sand
- Ear muffs
- Spirit level
- String line
- Whacker packer
- Brick saw
- Straight edge
- Small trowel
How Many Pavers Do You Need?
Grab a pencil, paper and tape measure, then measure the length and width of the area to be paved. Multiply one by the other to determine the total area
in square metres. Landscaping suppliers will usually just ask for this figure to determine how many pavers you need, as well as road base and river
On any paver product page on this site, you will also find a calculator where you can work out the quantity needed of that particular paver. But keep in mind, if there are going to be any curved areas or cuts, you may need to calculate some extra pavers to allow for this – generally an extra 2-5% is workable.
Important Safety Tips
- If there are electrical wires where you're paving, remember to Dial Before You Dig
- Always wear eye protection when splitting or cutting your pavers
- Always wear eye protection when using a whacker packer
- Bend your knees when lifting heavy pavers
- Wear pork boots to protect your feet and gardening gloves to protect your hands
- Slip slop slap if you are working in the sun and keep your fluids up.
How To Lay Pavers – Installation
Step 1 – Excavation
Mark out the area to be paved, allowing a little extra working room at the edges. Remove all loose debris and vegetation. Make sure you excavate deep enough to allow for the selected paver thickness and sub base construction. Ideally you’ll want to lay 75mm of road base and 20mm of river sand. So if you’re using Euro Classic pavers, which are 40mm thick, you’ll need to excavate 135mm deep (75+20+40mm).
Step 2 – Preparing The Base
Distribute the road base evenly over the excavated area, making sure to set up with the general fall in mind. Use a whacker packer to compact the road base, going over it at least three times, changing direction each time. Begin to spread the river sand to a thickness of 20mm. Screed the sane with a timber float and straight edge, utilising a level to ensure the surface is flat. Keep in mind you may need to allow a slight angle for water run off.
Step 3 – Laying The Pavers
Start by setting up a header course off along one side, preferably the longest side of the paved area. Be sure to leave a 3mm gap between each paver to allow for adjustment, as well as reducing potential paver damage. Some Adbri Masonry pavers, such as the Quadro range, have a 3mm nib to help you maintain this gap evenly.
Once this is set up, create a 90° angle at one end of the paved area with a straight edge and set square, then begin to lay pavers, remembering to keep your 3mm gap.
Step 4 – Edging & Locking The Paving
For any paving edge that is not up against a wall you will need to use a sand and cement mix to haunch or lock in the header course. By supporting the outer course of your paving job, it will prevent the rest of the pavers moving over time.
Handy tip: it doesn’t hurt to also add a little sand and cement underneath the outer header course, as this will create a stronger support.
Step 5 - Sand & Settling
Once all the pavers are laid, ensure the pavers are dry and add wither washed beach or locking sand. Sweep this sand in dry and let it work its way between the pavers.
Once settled, you can use a whacker packer with an old piece of carpet beneath to compress and settle the pavers into the sand bed, ensuring a great finish. Some locking sands will require a light spray/misting with the hose to help firm the pavers in place.
Now all that’s left to do is to sit back and enjoy your handy work.
There's a more detailed version of this paving guide that you can download, or take a lesson from Jason Hodges himself below.