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How to Install Patio Pavers

Get expert guidance on installing patio pavers with this DIY Basic.

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Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Lay a Base

Once you have your patio design down on paper, the first step is to mark it off with stakes and string. Before you dig, have your utility company check for buried cables or pipes in the patio area.

Lay PVC or metal pipes down on the prepped area before adding the base sand. A board can then be placed on the pipes and the sand can be screeted and made level. Dig a base 8 inches deep and lay 1 to 2 inches of masonry sand on top of the gravel and compact it. Make sure the base is level (Image 1). For drainage, the base should slope away from the house a 1/4 inch for every running foot. If the patio is next to a lawn; lay the patio surface even with the grass to make mowing easier (Image 2)

Step 3: Vary the Patio's Texture

If your pavers come in a variety of stone textures, mix the textures and try different layouts ahead of time. Mixing different textures will result in a more natural looking patio. Occasionally use a half row to vary the pattern.

To save time, mark off any pavers you need to cut for the edge as you go. Then use a circular saw fitted with a diamond blade to cut them all at once. Edge the patio with a row of "soldier" pavers perpendicular to the pattern and to stabilize the patio; cement the soldier row in place.

Step 4: Seat the Pavers With a Tamper

Use a plate tamper to seat the pavers and sweep sand into the joints to lock them in place. A plate tamper is available at most equipment-rental companies.