Walkways are a classic aspect of landscape design. For years homeowners have been using it as a basis for entire projects. A well-designed walkway can completely change the appearance of an ambient, especially if combined with the elegance and versatility of interlocking pavers. So how can you use that combination and do an interlock walkway?
That’s the question we are aiming to answer in this article. First, we are going to talk about what an interlocking paver actually is and all the benefits it provides. Then we are going to present a simple guide on how to install a set of pavers to create the interlock walkway of your dreams.
How to do an Interlock Walkway: Interlocking Pavers
The idea behind interlocking pavers is very simple. You have small elements (the pavers) that are bind together really close and kept in place. Because they are so closed and so firm in place, they can be seen as one unique structure. The end result is a structure that is internally locked, that where the “interlock” comes from.
This final structure can be incredibly resistant and sturdy, especially if created with concrete pavers, which are a really resistant material. Part of its strength actually comes from the fact that the pavers have a small space to move around. That creates a malleable structure that can withstand heavy weight by adapting to it, making it interlocking pavers ideal for walkways and driveways.
There are a ton of options of pavers to choose from. When it comes to concrete pavers, you have several different colors and designs to choose from in the market. And, although concrete pavers are highly recommended due to their resistance, you can even go for other materials if you want to.
Interlock Walkway: Materials You’re Going to Need
- Small Wooden Posts
- String Line
- Level Line
- Compactor (hand or machine)
- Gravel Base
- Rubber Mallet
- Polymeric Sand
- Hard Bristle Broom
Installing an Interlock Walkway: The Slope
Before anything else, there is a very important aspect of paver installation that we need to talk about right away: the slope.
Another magic of interlocking pavers is that they allow for very good drainage, but only if the installation is done correctly. That’s why this is actually the most important part of the entire project.
To determine the right slope of your project we’re going to use the string line method. This method consists of marking the beginning and the end of your walkway with two wooden posts use a string line to determine the correct slope.
First, place a wooden post at the beginning of your walkway. The beginning is always at the foundation of the house where you are performing the installation. Then place another wooden step, but this time at the end of your walkway.
Following that you will tye one end of the string line to the first post and the other end at the second post, at the end of the installation. Using the level line to make sure everything is leveled, you can now calculate the distance from the foundation of the house to the end of the walkway.
And now we get to the tricky part.
The ideal slope for paver patios and walkways is 1/8 of an inch per foot. That means you are going to measure the distance between the two wooden posts and then multiply that value by 1/8. That will give you the right slope for your project.
So let’s say you end up having a 7ft long walkway to work with. The right calculation would be 7 x 1/8 = 0,86. You can always round that value up but never down.
But what do you do with this value? Simple, that’s the value you must lower the string at the second post, at the end of the installation. This will give you the right slope for the entire project and allow you to move on to the next step.
Installing an Interlock Walkway: The Base
The second step of the process is to create a base for your pavers. That involves excavating the ground where they are going to be placed.
No mystery here. Your base is going to consist of a 6″ layer of gravel base, plus a 1″ layer of sand, plus the height of your pavers of choice. Adding all that up will give you the depth of your excavation.
Once that excavation is done, you’re going to compact the soil. Then add the 6″ layer of gravel and compact it, and then the 1″ inch layer of sand, also compacting it.
With that done, now is finally time to actually put the pavers in place.
Installing an Interlock Walkway: The Pavers
Again starting at the foundation of the house, you’re going to place the pavers one by one, tapping them gently in place with the help of a rubber mallet and cutting them if necessary. Never drag the pavers across the sand, always place them and slow them down in place. Make sure to use the help of a level as you place the pavers to make sure everything is uniform in height.
Once you place all your pavers in place, now it’s time to sand the entire project.
Pour the polymeric sand between each paver and sweep them around with the help of a hard bristle broom. Do this until you feel all the pavers securing into place. For that, you can add more sand and repeat the process as many times as needed.
Interlock Walkway: Professional Help
Interlock walkways are always a good choice. The classical look of a walkway paver will never go out of style and is one of the most reliable central pieces in any hardscape design. As simple as it is to tackle the installation of an interlock walkway from a DIY perspective, there’s always a chance things can get tricky.
Your best bet is still to hire professional help to make that installation for you and help you with the design and development of your project.
We here as S&S Pavers can help you with that and any other paver needs you might have, from installation to maintenance. Give us a call anytime at 941-773-3098 or reach us through our email at email@example.com. We will be happy to hear from you.