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Guide to Building a Pathway with Pavers

Pathways lined with pavers bring a rustic look to any garden. In this article, we take you through the key steps involved in using pavers to build your own pathway.

Mark Out the Pathway

As with laying stone tiles for an indoor surface, marking out the pathway in your garden is important for getting a clear idea of what it will look like and the quantities of materials required. A garden hose, spray paint, or some stakes and string are all great tools for helping you visualise and plan out the pathway.

Materials

Once you’ve marked out the pathway, you can start calculating how large your pathway will be in order to determine how much materials you’ll need. Use the measuring tape to obtain a final figure.

  • It’s a good idea to incorporate 10 per cent extra when ordering your pavers in case of measurement error or wastage.
  • For the sand, keep in mind that the sand bed will be around 1 or 2 inches thick. The larger and heavier your pavers, the thicker your sand base should be. Multiply this figure by the square metre size of your path. You’ll also need a bit of extra sand for levelling the path and filling the gaps between pavers.

If you have any questions about working out how many pavers and sand you’ll need, check with your supplier for assistance.

Digging the Path

Before you start digging, check for any wiring, irrigation, or other piping in the area.

  • Thickness. You’ll need 1 or 2 inches for the sand bed plus the thickness of your chosen pavers. If you’re adding a gravel base, allow extra depth for the gravel.
  • Compacting. Once you’ve completed the digging, compact the ground with a plate compactor.
  • Levelling. Check that the pathway is sloped downward away from your house with a leveller. Allow a quarter inch (0.65 cm) drop for every 30 cm of space.

Laying the Base

Once you’ve removed the topsoil and levelled it with a slight drop from the house where required, you can start laying the foundation for the pavers. Lay down around 1 to 2 inches of sand. If you’re laying a gravel foundation, make sure you’ve dug deeper to accommodate the gravel and lay the gravel before the sand.

For screeding, lay down two pipes on either side of the path in the sand and drag a wooden board over the sand to level it. Compact the sand with a plate compactor.

You may want to use paving edging to hold your pavers in place. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and install the edging before you lay down the pavers.

Laying the Pavers

Lay the pavers directly on to the sand. For pathways, consider using a perimeter of angled pavers along the sides to create striking lines. Unlike stone cladding on walls, pavers should be compacted when used on pathways to ensure that the surface is level.

You can use a plate compactor for larger surfaces. If you’re concerned about scratching your pavers, lay a rubber mat or carpet between the paver and the compactor.

Once you’ve compacted your pavers, apply a good layer of jointing sand over the top, wet the sand, and sweep away excess sand.

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