Paver edges play a crucial role in the overall appearance and longevity of any hardscaping project. They provide stability, prevent shifting, and enhance the aesthetic appeal of patios, walkways, and driveways. But how to secure paver edges in the long run?
You see, without proper edge restraint, pavers may become susceptible to displacement and erosion over time. To ensure a durable and visually pleasing hardscape, it is essential to secure the edges effectively. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to secure paver edges, including how to install the pavers afterward.
How to secure paver edges
To keep things organized, let’s divide this guide into four sections: preparation, edge restraint installation, paver installation, and final touches.
- Measure and mark the area
Begin by measuring the area where the pavers will be installed. Determine the desired shape and size of the paver patio or pathway. Once you have the dimensions, use stakes and strings to mark the perimeter of the area – this will provide a clear guideline for excavation and edge restraint placement.
With the area marked, it’s time to excavate. Dig a trench along the marked perimeter, ensuring it is deep enough to accommodate both the pavers, the base, and the edge restraint material.
The trench must have a depth of 5 inches plus the thickness of the pavers for foot traffic installations and 7 inches plus the thickness of the pavers for vehicular traffic installations.
Also, don’t forget to slope down your installation at a rate of 1 inch every 4 feet away and remove any vegetation or debris from the excavated trench.
Edge restraint installation
- Base preparation
Before placing the edge restraints, it’s essential to create a solid and stable base for them. This will be achieved by filling the trench you have just dug with gravel or a road base.
Add this gravel or road base at 1-inch increments, compacting it at every layer. The last 1-inch layer consists of sand, which should be screed to keep everything leveled.
- Positioning the restraints
With the base prepared, it’s time to position the edge restraint material. Choose a durable material specifically designed for securing paver edges, such as plastic or metal restraints.
Place the edge restraint snugly against the excavated trench, ensuring it is level and aligned with the desired edge of the pavers. Pay attention to curves and corners, making sure the edge restraints are properly positioned to maintain the intended shape.
- Securing the restraints
To ensure the edge restraints remain in place, they need to be securely anchored. Use stakes or spikes specifically designed for this purpose.
Insert the stakes through the pre-drilled holes in the edge restraint material and drive them into the ground at regular intervals, typically every 2-3 feet. Make sure the stakes are driven deep enough to firmly hold the edge restraints in place.
- Paver laying
Carefully lay the pavers on top of the prepared base, starting from one corner and working your way across the designated area. Take your time to ensure each paver is placed correctly. As you lay the pavers, make sure they fit snugly against the secured edge restraints, maintaining a consistent gap between them. This will help create a uniform and aesthetically pleasing look.
To ensure the pavers are level and aligned with each other, use a rubber mallet or a hand tamper. Gently tap the pavers into place, applying even pressure to avoid damaging them. Check the level periodically using a bubble level or straight edge. Adjust the pavers as necessary to ensure they are at the desired height and have a smooth, even surface.
Pay close attention to the pattern and design of the pavers as you lay them. If you have a specific pattern in mind, refer to your layout plan or design guide to ensure the pavers are installed correctly.
This is especially important for paver projects with intricate patterns or decorative features. By following the design plan, you can achieve the desired visual effect and maintain consistency throughout the installation.
- Joint sand
Once the pavers are in place, sweep joint sand over the surface, filling the gaps between the pavers. The joint sand stabilizes the pavers and prevents weed growth. Use a broom to sweep the sand diagonally across the paver surface, ensuring it fills the joints completely. Repeat the process until all joints are filled evenly.
Finally, backfill the excavated trench behind the edge restraints with soil or gravel. This will provide additional support and prevent erosion around the edges. Use a shovel or rake to fill the trench, ensuring the backfill material is properly compacted to provide a stable base for the edge restraints.
Types of paver edges
There are three reliable paver edging systems you can use: concrete, metal, or plastic.
Keep in mind that, essentially, any type of paver can be used as edging, as long as they are glued or stuck to the ground, somehow. However, using a dedicated system is always better.
Plastic edging, made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), is a cost-effective and widely used option for paver installations. It consists of flexible strips that are installed along the edges of the pavers.
Plastic edging offers several benefits, including ease of installation, versatility, and resistance to weather and corrosion. It helps to contain the pavers, preventing shifting or spreading over time. Plastic edging is commonly employed in residential applications, such as patios and garden paths, where a simple and affordable solution is desired.
Metal edging is a popular choice for both residential and commercial projects due to its strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal. It consists of interlocking aluminum strips that create a sturdy border for paver installations.
Metal edging is highly resistant to weather, corrosion, and UV rays, ensuring longevity. It provides a clean and sleek look, enhancing the overall aesthetics of the design. Its versatility makes it suitable for various applications, including driveways, walkways, and garden beds.
Concrete edging, also known as precast concrete curbing, is a durable and long-lasting option for paver installations. It involves pouring concrete along the edges of the pavers to create a solid and permanent border.
Concrete edging offers excellent strength and stability, preventing the pavers from shifting or spreading. It also provides a clean and polished finish, complementing different architectural styles. Concrete edging is commonly used in commercial projects, such as parking lots and public spaces, where durability and functionality are key considerations.
Professional help to secure paver edges
Properly securing paver edges is vital to ensure the longevity and visual appeal of any hardscape project. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can enhance the durability, stability, and overall aesthetics of your paver installation.
Remember to choose the appropriate edge restraint material that suits your project’s requirements and complements the pavers you’ve selected. Take the time to plan, prepare, and execute the installation process meticulously, paying attention to proper base preparation, alignment, and securing techniques.
By investing in securing paver edges, you’ll not only enjoy a beautiful hardscape but also minimize maintenance efforts and costs in the long run.
To be sure, you should always hire professionals to help you choose the right edge for your project and install it.
Here at S&S Pavers, we have helped countless homeowners make that decision over our 13 years of activity in the hardscape business. So if you happen to be around the Sarasota and Manatee counties, don’t hesitate in giving us a call to help you as well! We’ll be waiting.