How to install Paving Stones?

Here you can find our step by step process to install paving stones for a longer lasting result. This tried and tested method stands up over time. Creative By Design Landscaping is your local trusted residential paving contractor in Nanaimo, we only want the best results for our clients.

Many people install paving stones on a 6-8 inch base of compacted gravel and then set on a 1″ plus base of sand. This method was how I installed paving stones for years until a paving stone installer from Vancouver showed me another way and explained what made his way superior. His way was to use the usual base of 6-8 inches, but instead of putting it all down and compacting it in layers and setting grades with a laser level. His method was the following:

9 step guide to the perfect Paving Stone Installation:

1. Install paving stones roadbase in layers with water and compaction, until you’re approximately the thickness of your screed bars away from the desired finished height.

2. Once your base is tamped, set screed bars on the new base and set to final height, slope etc. using extra crush to hold them in position. (you may need to firmly pack roadbasearound screed bars to hold in place, until step 3)

3.Once done, add enough crush so you can use a straight edge to screed it, as you would if you were screeding sand.

4. With the area now screeded, soak area moderately and tamp (making sure NOT to hit the screed bars which are still set in base!!)

5. Repeat step 4 if any areas compacted more than others. Once the whole area is compacted properly and evenly, the grade should now be approximately 1/4inch lower than the top of the screed bars.

6. Add sand and screed once more, and remove screed bars. Trowel in the sand, to fill where screed bars were. Now you have an area ready to install paving stones

7. Once the paving stones are laid and cut in, go around the edge of patio/driveway etc and use a trowel to cut away any excess sand down to the base. Add a bead of concrete all around the area and smooth. this will setup and keep area tight and prevent any movement in the paving stones.

8. Once the concrete has set, add polymeric sand to fill all gaps and sweep in. Plate tamper the entire area and sweep off any excess sand.

9. Wash paver area as to polymeric sand directions, and let dry.

Installation complete!

The paving stone installer from Vancouver explained that when you install paving stones this way, you have less sand and more roadbase and therefore less chance of movement. I have used this method for the last 15 years, and all my patio’s and driveway’s look as good as the day they were installed.

The Answer: Less Sand = longer and stronger patio/driveway lifespan.