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How to lay pavers for a walkway?

There are many benefits to a paver walkway installation. They can add an attractive and charming touch to any yard, being one of the most wanted projects when it comes to landscaping. 

Depending on the extent of your paver design, the installation process requires preparation and effort, but the result will be a stunning addition to the exterior of your house. If you wanna know how to lay pavers for a walkway, read more about it below!

How to lay pavers for a walkway?

The first thing you need to do is plan your walkway by mapping out where you want to install it. 

You can start by sketching out your plans on paper considering all the elements of your yard, like trees, sheds, etc. This will help you see better the width, length and how many pavers do you need.

It’s important to also contact your utility companies before digging anything to ensure that you don’t accidentally strike any cables or pipes.

After the planning, you can grab some tools, materials, and equipment to start the installation:

  • Pavers
  • Edge restraints
  • Shovel
  • Rope
  • Strings
  • Wooden stakes 
  • 12” steel spikes
  • Crushed gravel
  • Paver sand (or polymeric sand)
  • 2-by-4
  • Plate compactor (or a rubber mallet)
  • Measuring tape
  • Masonry saw
  • Torpedo level
  • Safety equipment

Once you have everything, it’s time to get to work! Follow the next steps to lay your walkway.

Step 1: Outlining 

With spray paint or stakes and strings, outline the area you want to lay the pavers. If your walkway has curves, mark them with a hose, using a 2-by-4 to keep the width the same. Then, remove the grass from the marked area with a shovel.

Step 2: Excavation

Dig about 4 to 6 inches, and once you’ve removed the grass and dirt, make sure to compact the soil and always check the level with a torpedo level. Don’t forget to excavate 6 to 12 inches beyond the perimeter of the project to install the edge restraints.

Step 3: Scope your slope

Scooping your slope is very important to avoid water pooling on your pavers. Usually, the slopes of walkways should be away from the house, so plan for about a ¼ inch drop per foot (don’t exceed 1/2″ per foot).

Step 4: Spread the base material

Pour the crushed gravel all around the excavated area, until it reaches the depth of 4 to 6 inches, then spread the base material equally and tamp it down with a plate compactor. Don’t forget to always check for the slope.

Step 5: Install the edge restraints

This is a super important step, once the edge restraints prevent your pavers from shifting. Place the edge restraints around the perimeter of your project and fix them into the ground with 12″ spikes. If your walkway has curves, you can cut them to keep the design.

Step 6: Adding paver sand

Pour a layer of paver sand with, at least, 1 to 2 inches, then use a 2-by-4 to spread the sand equally and even. Don’t forget to check for the level and the slope again and adjust if necessary.

Step 7: Laying the pavers

Start by laying your pavers one by one following the desired pattern, make sure you’re tightly placing them. Don’t force the pavers into the sand or apply too much pressure, since this will ruin the bed sand and you might need to redo it the previous step. If there are any spaces that a whole paver doesn’t fit, you can cut them with a diamond saw or a masonry blade.

Step 8: Tamp the pavers into the sand

After all the pavers are set, run a plate compactor over the surface to tamp the pavers into the sand, redo this step at least three times to make sure that the pavers are firm and properly pressed into the sand bed.

Step 9: Sweep sand into the joints

Fill the joints between pavers with dry sand or polymeric sand, they’re going to lock the pavers in place. First, pour some over the surface then with a broom, sweep it into the cracks until they are all filled. 

Hire a pro!

As you could see through this article, there are a lot of details and steps to install a walkway, so there is a high possibility of something going wrong if you do the work by yourself. So, by far, the best thing to do is hire a professional to do the project for you.

You can have a professional contractor install your walkway in a couple of days. S&S Pavers has over 10 years of experience doing that in the counties of Manatee and Sarasota. From the design of your project to its execution, we can handle everything. 

And if you’re worried about the price, you can get a free estimate! If you live in Florida, don’t hesitate to contact us!