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How to Lay Pavers for a DIY Patio

Updated April 23, 2021

Marc M.

By Marc M.

Make a backyard beautiful and extend your living space to the outdoors by learning how to lay patio pavers and create a DIY patio. We'll demonstrate the hardscape project with paver patio ideas to help personalize your new space.

Paver Patterns for Patios

A jack-on-jack paver pattern, running bond pattern, herringbone pattern and pinwheel pattern.

Begin with a plan for a paving pattern. There are many paver pattern designs you can try. Jack-on-jack or running bond patterns are the simplest paver patterns to install. More advanced patterns, like a herringbone pattern or pinwheel, require more cutting. Different paver shapes can give you additional pattern design options. If you want a backyard patio idea that's easy to install, consider stamped pavers that look like stone. Take a look at our Wall Blocks, Pavers and Edging Stones Buying Guide to learn more about pavers and patio stones. See our Paver Calculator and read Planning for a Paver Patio or Walkway to learn how to estimate the materials you need for your project.

  • Make sure your patio is big enough for all of your outdoor furniture and allows enough space to walk around.
  • Use thicker paving stones if you're adding heavy objects like a hot tub or large grill.
  • When planning the location for your patio, consider sight lines from windows and doors, and how your project will affect them.
  • Pavers can be heavy. Enlist a helper and have your materials delivered.

Before you buy materials or begin work on your paving patterns and patio design, check local building codes and your homeowners association regulations to see if there are any restrictions or requirements you need to follow. A permit may be mandatory in some areas.

Good to Know

Many types of pavers and patio stones work for patios and walkways, but if you want to build a driveway or parking area, be sure to use paving stones designed for driveways.

Caution

Before beginning any excavation, call 811 to check for underground utilities.

How Do You Lay Concrete Pavers?

An illustration of paver patio layers.

To lay patio pavers or concrete pavers for a typical patio installation, you need to build up several layers:

  • 6-inch layer of gravel paver base
  • 1-inch layer of sand
  • Pavers
  • Polymeric/jointing sand in the joints between the pavers
Good to Know

An alternative to the gravel base is interlocking paver base panels. They're lightweight, require less digging and the pavers sit right on top. Read How to Design and Build a Paver Walkway to learn how to use paver base panels.

Preparing to Lay Patio Pavers

Like most projects, preparation is critical to success for a hardscape patio.

Instructions

Installing the Patio Foundation

After the area is prepped, it's time to lay the foundation.

Instructions

Laying Patio Pavers

This patio has 6-inch-by-6-inch and 6-inch-by-9-inch stone in a running bond paver pattern, with 6-inch-by-9-inch blocks along the border. The process is similar for paver laying patterns such as pinwheel or herringbone patterns, but laying the pattern may be a bit more complicated. Here's how to lay pavers.

Instructions

Adding Polymeric Sand

Jointing sand or polymeric sand helps keep the pavers in place and weeds from growing between pavers. Take the time to add and finish the process properly.

Instructions

Finishing Touches

A paver patio next to wood steps decorated with container plants.

Add features to make your new patio the highlight of your landscape:

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