Build a Paver Path

R. L. Rhodes
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Difficulty: Beginner
Duration: 2 hours

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Introduction

The instructions here are for laying a path 20′ long and 3′ wide, but can be easily scaled up or down depending on your space. If you know the length and width of the path you’re creating, finding the square footage is a simple matter of multiplying the length by the width—in this case, 20′ long by 3′ wide, giving us a total area of 60 square feet.

To cover that space, we’ve used a total of twenty-eight 12″ x 12″ paver stones. We’ve laid the pavers in pairs of two, leaving a 6″ gap between each pair. Between the pavers and the walkway edge, that leaves a gap of 3″ on one side and 6″ on the other, which we’ve alternated for a staggered effect.

Step 1

Before laying the pavers, prepare the area by plotting out the path and clearing away any grass to a depth of around 4 to 6 inches. Use stakes and string to mark out the course and finished elevation of the path. Then use a shovel or tiller to clear the area.

Step 2

Fill in the path with paver base at a depth of about 4 inches. About 40 bags of paver base were required to cover the 60 square feet at this site.

With the paver base in place, use a tamper to level out and settle the base. For larger areas, you may want to consider a powered tamper.

Step 3

After finishing off the paver base, apply a layer of leveling sand to a depth of about 1 inch. Twelve bags of leveling sand were needed for this path. Just as before, tamp the leveling sand into place.

Step 4

Sketch the pattern for your stones, if possible. Using the measuring tape, begin laying out your paver stones, double-checking distances as you go along.

Step 5

Now that all the pavers are in place, take any remaining sand and spread it across the pavers. Use a push broom to sweep it in between the pavers.

Step 6

You can fill the space between the pavers with a material of your choice. Pea pebbles work great and can create some interesting contrast depending on the color of your pavers. Mulches help paths blend in with surrounding plant beds and vegetation. Using additional bags of sand between pavers is also an option, though it typically works best with pavers that have closer spacing.

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