If you’re ready to upgrade your concrete patio or driveway but don’t want to tear up the entire foundation, you’ve probably considered laying pavers over the top to add some aesthetic appeal. This is fairly common and shouldn’t be a problem as long as you use the proper technique. By first applying a layer of mortar, you can be sure that your pavers will stay in place.
To lay pavers over concrete, first mix water, sand, and Portland cement in a wheelbarrow. Then, spread mortar over the concrete with a trowel and use a level to distribute it evenly. Next, lay the pavers starting from one end and work your way to the other. Once the pavers are in place, tap them into the mortar with a mallet and tidy the joints with a stiff-bristled brush.
Although it may seem labor-intensive, laying pavers over concrete using mortar is far less involved than removing an entire concrete patio or driveway. If this is your first time laying pavers with mortar, continue reading to learn the exact technique, and rest assured that you’ll be done in no time.
Start By Cleaning the Cement
Before you can lay any mortar or pavers, it’s important to prepare the area by cleaning the existing concrete foundation with a deck brush, some soap, and some water. Any dirt, grease, or debris will prevent the mortar from bonding correctly and could affect the overall stability of your new pavers. Fortunately, you don’t need any special equipment to prepare the concrete.
Simply mix some dish soap with water in a bucket and use a deck brush to scrub away any dirt or debris on the surface. Once you’ve given the area a good cleaning, rinse it off with a hose to remove any soap residue. If you’re working on a larger area, you may need to repeat this process a few times to make sure the surface is completely clean.
Let the Cement Dry
After you’ve cleaned the concrete, it’s important to let it dry completely before proceeding. If there’s any moisture remaining on the surface, it could prevent the mortar from bonding correctly and cause your pavers to shift or settle over time.
Depending on the weather and the temperature of the concrete, this could take anywhere from a few hours to a full day. If you’re in a hurry, you can speed up the drying process by using a leaf blower or a fan to circulate the air around the concrete. Just be sure not to use too much force, as this could damage the surface.
Mix the Mortar
While the concrete is drying, you can start mixing the mortar in a wheelbarrow. To do this, add 3 parts sand, 1 part Portland cement, and a ½-part of water to the wheelbarrow and mix everything together with a shovel until it’s the consistency of peanut butter. It’s important to use the proper ratio of ingredients to ensure that the mortar is strong enough to support the pavers.
If you’re working with a small area, you can mix the mortar by hand in a bucket. Just be sure to mix it thoroughly to avoid any pockets of dry ingredients. Once the mortar is thoroughly combined, use a trowel to spread it over the concrete surface. Start in one corner and work your way across the area, using a level to make sure the mortar is evenly distributed.
Lay the Pavers in Place
Now that the mortar is spread, you can start laying the pavers in place. Begin in one corner and work your way across the area, using a level to make sure each paver is level with the others. If you’re using a concrete paver, you may need to tap it into place with a rubber mallet.
Once all of the pavers are in place, use a stiff-bristled brush to tidy the joints and remove any excess mortar. If any mortar gets on the surface of the pavers, you can clean it off with a wet rag. Let the mortar dry for at least one full day before you walk on the pavers or place any patio furniture.
Add Some Polymeric Jointing Sand
After the mortar has dried, you can add some polymeric sand to the joints to help keep the pavers in place and prevent weeds from growing. To do this, simply sweep the sand into the joints with a broom or deck brush and mist it with water. The water will activate the polymers in the sand and cause it to harden, creating a secure bond between the pavers.
Seal the Pavers for a Professional Finish
As durable as brick, stone, and concrete may be, they’re still susceptible to staining from dirt, grease, and other debris. To keep your new pavers looking their best, it’s a good idea to seal them with a high-quality sealer. This will also help to prevent weeds from growing in the joints and will make it easier to clean the surface in the future.
To apply the sealer, first, make sure the pavers are completely dry. Then, pour the sealer into a bucket and use a paint roller or a garden pump sprayer to apply it to the surface. Start in one corner and work your way across the area, being sure to cover all of the joints and crevices.
Again, once you’ve finished applying the sealer, leave it to dry for at least 24 hours before walking on the surface or placing any patio furniture. If you place furniture on wet sealant, it could damage the material and affect the surface of your pavers.
Laying pavers over concrete is a great way to upgrade your patio or driveway without having to remove the existing foundation. By following the proper technique and using the right materials, you can be sure that your new pavers will stay in place and last for years to come. If you need help, though, be sure to contact a professional contractor for assistance.