The key to a stable yet attractive patio is the combination of quality materials, proper installation, and most importantly a strong foundation. When any of these steps are skipped or done improperly, the integrity and durability of the paver patio is severely compromised. It may look good at first, but just a few years of use will expose serious structural issues. In an attempt to cut costs, many DIY projects will skip these important steps and be disappointed with the final product. These six components will guarantee a stable patio that’s built to last.
MORE THAN JUST A CHERRY ON TOP
Sweeping in the polymeric sand is the last and easiest step, but still extremely important. Polymeric sand once activated by water will bond together with the pavers making a solid surface.
SPANX FOR PATIOS
Steel or plastic edging holds everything in place once installed. Without it, the pavers on the perimeter will easily lift, sink, or become loose.
WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET
Different patio materials all vary in quality and durability, but once they’re laid, no amount of tweaking will change the patio’s appearance. Any crooked, uneven, or misleveled paver will remain an eyesore until replaced. Using a string line and level is highly recommended.
DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
The step often skipped is a smooth and level sand bed. Every clump, pocket, or uneven spot the pavers rest on will be seen and felt on the surface. Low spots will form and create drainage issues and expose edges.
GRAVEL ROCK BASE
THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP
Without a strong rock base and foundation, the integrity of the patio is extremely compromised. It won’t take long for the pavers to shift, sink, and bulge, leading to a very disappointing patio.
OFF TO A GOOD START
Take the finished patio height, then subtract the depth of the pavers, 1” of sand, and 6” of base material. That is the depth of your subbase. A trench that isn’t at the right depth will cause problems when it’s time to lay the pavers.