Although no one’s property is perfectly flat, if you live on a hill or a steep slope, you’ve probably questioned whether pavers are even a possibility. After all, it would seem incredibly difficult to create a level surface without some sections sticking out. Fortunately, though, by making a few adjustments to the installation process, you can easily lay pavers on an uneven section of ground.
Before you lay pavers at an incline, you’ll have to level the ground by excavating the area and adding a layer of compacted gravel and sand. This foundation can still be at an incline but it should at least provide a flat and even surface for the pavers. Then, by progressively placing the stones in line with the grade, you can create a perfectly level surface on a slope.
This may sound rather difficult but it’s no more challenging than laying pavers on a flat property. To help you out, we’ve prepared this guide which will walk you through the entire process. If you’re still unsure of how to level the pavers, contact a professional landscaper and
Start by Marking Out a Pathway
The first step is to mark out a clear pathway for the pavers. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally place them in the wrong spot and make it easier to keep track of your progress. Once you’ve decided on the placement of the pavers, use a garden hose or some string and lay it out along the desired path.
If you’re working with a curved pathway, use a garden hose or some string to help you achieve the desired shape. Once you’re happy with the placement, use a shovel to dig out the area along the hose, making sure to remove any grass or weeds in the process.
Next, Excavate the Soil
The next step is to excavate the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches (15-20 cm). This may seem like a lot but it’s necessary to provide enough space for the gravel base and the sand bedding. If the soil is too hard to excavate with a shovel, you can rent a power auger from a local hardware store. This will make the job a lot easier and help you achieve a consistent depth.
Once you’ve excavated the soil, use a rake to level out the area and remove any large stones or roots. Then, use a tamper or a compactor to compact the soil, which will make it easier to work with. Try to make the soil as flat as possible while still maintaining the natural slope of the pathway.
Add a Layer of Gravel
The next step is to add a layer of gravel to the excavated area. This will provide a stable foundation for the pavers and help with drainage. Gravel comes in different sizes but for this project, you’ll want to use 3/4-inch (2 cm) gravel.
Start by spreading the gravel evenly over the entire area with a shovel. Then, use a rake to level it out and remove any large stones. Once you’re happy with the surface, use a compactor to compact the gravel, which will help it settle.
If the pathway is longer than 20 feet (6 m), you may want to consider adding a layer of geotextile fabric to the gravel. This will help prevent the soil from mixing with the gravel and will make the job easier in the long run.
Add a Layer of Sand
After laying the gravel, you’ll then want to add a layer of sand. This will provide a smooth surface for the pavers and help with drainage. For this project, you’ll want to use coarse sand, also known as masonry sand.
Start by shoveling the sand onto the gravel and then, once you have a decent amount on the foundation, use a rake to level it out and create a smooth surface. Using the compactor again, flatten and compact the sand into a firm base.
Place the Pavers
The next step is to start placing the pavers on the sand bedding. For this project, you’ll want to use concrete pavers that are 12-inches (30 cm) square. If you’re working with a curved pathway, you may want to use pavers that are slightly smaller so that they fit together better.
Start by placing the pavers along the edge of the pathway and working your way inward. As you place each paver, make sure to level it with the others. Once you’ve placed all of the pavers, use a rubber mallet to gently tap them into place.
If you’re working with a curved pathway, you may need to cut some of the pavers to fit. To do this, use a masonry saw or a hammer and chisel. First, mark the cutting line on the paver with a pencil. Then, score the line with the saw or chisel to prevent the paver from breaking. Finally, use a masonry saw or a hammer and chisel to cut along the line.
Fill the Joints with Sand
The next step is to fill the joints between the pavers with sand. This will help to lock the pavers in place and prevent them from shifting. For this project, you’ll want to use polymeric sand, which is a type of sand that contains binders that help it to harden.
Start by spreading the sand evenly over the pavers with a shovel. Then, use a broom to sweep the sand into the joints. Once you’ve filled all of the joints, use a garden hose to lightly mist the sand. This will help the binders to harden and lock the pavers in place.
As you can see, it’s not difficult to install pavers on a slope. By following the steps above, you can easily create a level and stable surface that will last for years to come. Just remember to take your time and work slowly to ensure that the pavers are level and even. And, if you need help, you can also contact a landscaper for their advice.