- Ideas & How-Tos
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Be the envy of your neighbors, and add beauty and texture to your lawn at the same time. Patience and planning are the most important tools for this project. If you have them, you can install your own loose-laid paver patio.
Use this checklist when you go to the store and purchase your items.
A paver patio is easier than you think, especially when laid on sand. You'll need a helper to complete this project, but you can do it even if you've never laid brick before.
To estimate the amount of material you need for the patio, measure the length and width. Multiply the two numbers together to get the square footage of your patio.
Example: A 10-foot-by-10-foot area is 100 square feet.
For 4 inches of gravel, you'll need to calculate the volume. Length x Width x Height = Volume
Example: For a 10-foot-by-10-foot patio with 4 inches of gravel, you'll need (10 x 10 x .333) = 34 cubic feet or 1.25 cubic yards.
Once you have the amount of gravel needed, calculate the amount of sand. You'll need 1 inch of sand above the gravel base. You must allow for sand to filter into the gravel base and space between bricks.
Example: For a 10-foot-by-10-foot patio, 1.25 cubic yards of gravel is needed. Multiply 1.25 x .333 to calculate the amount of sand needed. You'll need .42 cubic yards or 11 cubic feet of sand.
Standard brick pavers measure 4 inches by 8 inches. To cover 10 square feet, you'll need about 45 pavers. A surplus of 5% to 10% is recommended to allow for breakage and future repairs.
Example: For a 10-foot-by-10-foot patio, the patio is 100 square feet.
45/10 = 4.5 and 4.5 (100) = 450 bricks
Add 5% to 10% for breakage. 450 x .10 = 45. So you'll need 495 bricks to do a 10-foot-by-10-foot patio.
If you're using pavers that aren't the standard size, find out the surface area of your material. Take that number and divide it into the surface area of the patio for the number of units needed.
Edging keeps soil, plants and patio materials within bounds; and presents a finished look; and provides structure. Take the time to install edging properly. The edging can be bricks placed on edge, lumber or preformed plastic or metal. Edging can be added before or after laying the bricks.
Choose the location of your patio. Square the patio. Drive stakes into the ground approximately 1 foot past the proposed patio length and width in each corner. Center the stakes on the left and right edge marks for the patio.
Stretch mason's cord from each corner to the next, tying it to each stake in a crisscross shape.
Dig the patio 7 inches deep. To promote water run-off, the patio needs a slight slope. One-quarter inch of drop per foot of length is usually sufficient. Determine which direction you want the water to drain. Then tie mason's cord to the high-side stake, and run the string across the area and tie it to the stake on the opposite side. Use a line level to check for level between the first and second boards. The bubble in the level should read slightly toward the high side of the pad. Adjust the stakes as needed.
Use a measuring tape to periodically check the depth of the patio.
Line the patio with landscape fabric to keep weeds down.
Cover the landscape fabric with a 4-inch layer of coarse gravel. Rake or walk on the gravel to make the surface as level as possible and then tamp it.
Add a 1-inch layer of sand to the gravel base. Screed the entire surface to level the sand. The sand creates a cushion for the bricks. Check level with a guide string attached to stakes. Tamp the sand to pack it.
Sand filters into the gravel as it's packed. Check to make sure there is a 1-inch layer of packed sand before laying the brick pavers.
Starting at a corner of the patio, lay the bricks according to the pattern you've chosen with a 1/4-inch joint between each brick. To ensure the surface is even, place a carpenter's level on a 2-by-4 laid over the bricks. Check both directions. Tap the bricks with a rubber mallet to set and level them.
Sweep sand over the surface of the bricks, moving the broom in different directions to work the sand into the narrow spaces between the bricks. Add sand until all joints are filled.
Lightly mist the patio with water; be careful not to wash the sand away.
Sweep remaining sand into joints with a broom. Keep adding sand until the joints are filled.
Gently rinse the patio off.
Careful planning can reduce the need to cut brick. But, more than likely you'll to cut a few. Save your cutting for last so you can do it all at one time. If you have a few bricks to cut, use a masonry chisel.
Tap the brick lightly to score a groove across all four sides before cutting.
Set the brick on flat sand and place the brickset (with the bevel facing the waste) along the scored line.
Tap the brickset swiftly with a small sledgehammer. Chip away any rough edges with the brickset.
If you already have an existing concrete patio, you can replace it with a brick one. The best thing to do is remove the concrete and then lay the pavers. If the concrete isn't broken or cracked, lay the pavers on top of the existing concrete.
If you're laying the pavers over an existing concrete pad: