Pavers are a relatively low-maintenance way to cover a patio, driveway, walkway, or pool deck with a variety of colors, shapes, textures, and patterns. They’re easy to install and they can be repaired or replaced if damaged. But, to create a professional-looking pavement, you’ll have to use the right materials and the right methods to get the job done.
It should only take a weekend to lay pavers on dirt if you know what you’re doing. By taking time to level the ground, adding a layer of paving sand, and then laying the pavers in a pattern, you can achieve a beautiful and functional outdoor space. And, with a plate compactor, lawn rake, and a few basic leveling tools, you’ll be done in no time.
If you’ve never attempted to lay pavers on dirt, continue reading to learn everything you’ll need to know. This guide will explain which materials you’ll need, guide you through the process of leveling and preparing the ground, and give a few key tips to help you get that professional-quality look.
Tools and Materials You’ll Need to Lay Pavers on Dirt
Before you get started, we recommend heading to your nearest hardware store to pick up a few key items. These tools will help you lay the pavers evenly and compact them properly.
- A plate compactor: Using a plate compactor to compress the ground is key to getting a durable and long-lasting pavement.
- A lawn rake: You’ll need a lawn rake to level out the ground and remove any large stones or debris.
- A spade: A spade will come in handy when you’re excavating the area where you’ll be laying the pavers.
- A level: A level is essential for ensuring that your pavers are laid on a flat and even surface.
- A measuring tape: A measuring tape will help you determine the size of the area you’re working with and make sure that the pavers are laid in a symmetrical pattern.
- Pavers: Of course, you’ll need pavers! You can choose from a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes to create a unique pavement. We recommend measuring the space ahead of time and having the pavers cut to fit your pavement perfectly.
- Polymeric Sand: Polymeric sand is a type of sand that hardens when it’s wet, making it ideal for use between pavers.
- Jointing Sand: Jointing sand is used to fill in the joints between pavers.
- Landscape fabric: Landscape fabric helps to prevent weed growth and provides a barrier between the ground and the pavers.
- Edging: Edging is used to create a clean and finished look around the perimeter of the pavement.
Once you’ve assembled the necessary equipment, you can get started laying your pavers.
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Step One: Excavate the Area
The first step is to excavate the area where you’ll be laying the pavers. Remove any grass, weeds, or other vegetation from the ground. Then, using a spade, dig down about six inches to create a level surface. Once you’ve excavated the area, use a lawn rake to remove any debris, stones, or roots from the ground. Then, use the plate compactor to compress the ground.
Step Two: Add Landscape Fabric
Next, you’ll need to add a layer of landscape fabric to the ground. This will help to prevent weed growth and provide a barrier between the ground and the pavers. To add the landscape fabric, simply unroll it over the excavated area and cut it to size with a utility knife. Then, spray it with water to help it better adhere to the dirt underneath.
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Step Three: Add a Layer of Paving Sand
Now, add a layer of paving sand to the ground. This sand will provide a level surface for the pavers and help to keep them in place. To add the sand, simply spread it over the landscape fabric with a shovel. Then, use a rake to smooth it out and check that it’s level using a leveling tool. Be sure to avoid stepping on your work as you go.
Step Four: Add the Pavers
Once the sand is in place, you can start adding the pavers. Start by placing the pavers along the perimeter of the area. Then, continue filling in the rest of the space with pavers, working in a symmetrical pattern.
If you’re using pavers of different sizes, we recommend laying them in a staggered pattern. This will give the pavement a more natural look. Once the pavers are in place, use a level to make sure that they’re even and avoid stomping them into the ground.
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Step Five: Add Polymeric Sand
After the pavers are compacted, you can add a layer of polymeric sand to the joints. This sand will harden when it’s wet, helping to keep the pavers in place. To add the polymeric sand, simply spread it over the joints with a shovel. Then, use a brush to work it into the joints and spray the area with water using a hose.
Step Six: Add Jointing Sand
Once the polymeric sand has hardened, you can add a layer of jointing sand to the joints. This sand will help to fill in any gaps and give the pavement a finished look. To add the jointing sand, simply spread it over the joints with a shovel and brush away any excess sand.
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Step Seven: Add Edging
Finally, you can add edging around the perimeter of the pavement. This will give the pavement a clean and finished look. To add the edging, simply place it around the perimeter of the pavement. Then, use a mallet to pound it into the ground.
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Now that you know how to lay pavers on dirt, you’re ready to get started on your own pavement project. Just be sure to use the right tools, follow the steps outlined above, and take your time to create a beautiful and durable outdoor space. With a bit of patience and some hard work, your new pavement will be ready in no time.