Both natural stone and manufactured brick or concrete pavers create a simple and affordable means of giving your landscape a face lift. Whether they are natural cut or irregular, pavers add to the beauty, visual intrigue and overall esthetic of your entire property which works to increase the value of your home.
Once installed, pavers are durable and long-lasting. Because they can endure for so long while playing such a vital role in your home’s appearance, it’s very important that you take the time to choose and install your pavers with care.
A proper installation will ensure that you’re fully satisfied with the work in the many years to come. This post will highlight the steps that need to be taken when laying pavers.
Step 1: Mark off your project area
Before the actual process of laying pavers can commence, you must first determine the location and size of your project area and how it will work within the scope of your landscape. We recommend that you make use of landscaping chalk or paint, or stakes and twine.
This will give you a better visual representation of the scale of your project area and will help to reveal any potential issues such as being required to build around utilities or landscaping features.
Step 2: Carefully plan your layout
It’s never a good idea to simply set about laying pavers as you go, without having any plan of action. Play around with the pavers prior to actually working with them in order to get a feel for how they best align together and what types of designs, layouts and specific patterns you enjoy.
Some homeowners prefer to hire a professional landscaping designer to assist them with the process of creating an agreeable layout.
Step 3: Excavate the project area
In most cases, homeowners are constructing a patio or other project involving pavers entirely from scratch. Unless you are going to be laying pavers on top of an existing surface, such as concrete, you will need to carefully excavate the area to a depth of several inches.
For smaller project areas you may be able to get away with performing this task with a spade and wheelbarrow, but for larger areas you may need to rent special excavation tools and equipment.
Step 4: Prepare a solid base
A solid, level and stable base is absolutely essential to the long-term functionality and beauty of your project with pavers. After excavating the project area you will need to take the time to remove any rocks, roots, sticks or other debris which could create an uneven base.
Next, you’ll need to compact the soil so that it won’t move, shift or settle over time. Finally, you’ll need to pour crushed stone or quarry process into the excavated area as a sub base material and compact or tamp it down. A sub base depth of 3″- 4″ is recommended.
Step 5: Establish the borders
From here, you’ll need to lay down the stones or pavers that will act as the outside borders for the entire project area. This will further establish the boundaries and will help you to keep the sand and pavers in place as you introduce them.
Step 6: Pour and rake sand
Sand is a very important component when laying pavers. The sand helps to hold the pavers in place both as they are laid and for the long haul. You will need to pour sand over the entire project area to a depth of approximately 1/2″.
If you have any doubt about how much sand to pour, be sure to talk with a trusted professional. From here you will need to rake out the sand so that it is evenly distributed across the entire coverage area and is ready for the introduction of pavers.
Step 7: Set about laying pavers
From this point on you will set about laying pavers carefully and deliberately. It’s important that you work from the outside edges inward in order to ensure that all of the pavers are evenly spaced and will fit properly within the scope of the design.
For a more cobbled look, you might want to place pavers of different shapes and sizes next to one another instead of sticking with a traditional geometrical or symmetrical type pattern. Make sure that each paver laid down is pressed firmly into the sand and that all pavers have equal spacing for the joints. There should be enough space between each paver to introduce polymeric sand.
Step 8: Sweep the surface
After all of the pavers have been laid, you’ll need to take a broom and sweep off all of the remaining sand.
Step 9: Introduce polymeric sand or adhesive
It’s extremely common for most NJ homeowners and contractors to make use of polymeric sand as an adhesive for pavers after they have been laid out, but other adhesive materials are available. For the purpose of this post, however, we will assume that you are working with polymeric sand.
This particular material is an excellent binding agent and will help to keep your pavers looking and functioning perfectly for a very long time. Pour the sand over the surface of the project area. Next, use a push broom to carefully work the sand into the joints between each paver.
The joints should be completely filled with the polymeric sand in order to work properly. Remove any loose sand from on top of the pavers to prevent hardening or problems.
Once finished, attach a spray nozzle to a hose and apply a mist of water to the polymeric sand in order to activate it. This process is what allows the polymers mixed in with the sand to harden and add to the overall strength and integrity of both your pavers and the joints between them.
Step 10: Maintain your pavers with care
After laying pavers, it’s important that you take certain steps to ensure that they continue to look and function as desired for the long haul. We recommend that you seal your pavers in order to protect their beauty and prevent any discoloration.
It’s also important to regularly sweep dirt, leaves and other debris away from the pavers so that they don’t become stained or exposed to mold and mildew. You should always follow manufacturer specifications when it comes to scrubbing and stain removal, although this generally consists of using a diluted solution of water and mild detergent with a soft cloth or brush. Take care when using any ice melting materials.
Where to Buy Pavers in NJ
Braen Supply can meet all of your needs for purchasing pavers in NJ and NY. We carry a wide variety of natural stone, brick and manufactured concrete pavers so that you can find the perfect stone for your unique needs and desires.
We’re happy to work with you in order to plan out your project, your budget and to determine how much material to purchase. We can also provide you with valuable tips for laying pavers and getting the most satisfaction out of your completed project. Our pavers are available at competitive prices and can be picked up or bulk delivered to areas throughout NJ, NY, PA and CT.