How to Install Patio Pavers in 7 Simple Steps

Installing patio pavers is an amazingly simple process. It’s a lot like laying down tiles, but with different materials and slightly different techniques.

You can do it yourself in about the same amount of time that it would take to have someone else do it for you.

There are just seven steps involved starting with measuring and finishing off by adding any decorative elements you want to use around the edges of your new patio project.

Step 1: Measuring

Before you get started, take some measurements of your patio to have a better idea of how much material and tools you will need for the job.

To measure your patio for how much material and tools you will need, make sure to take note of the length and width of the area.

Measure the distance from one side of the patio to another, and include any other areas on your patio like walkways or steps in what you are measuring.

You should also take note of the height at which your patio is situated so that you can adjust this number when you are figuring out what kind of flooring base you will need for laying your pavers.

Step 2: Cutting

You will probably have to cut some pieces of pavers for this project since the patio might not be entirely flat. To do this, just use a simple hand saw and measure each piece carefully before cutting it with a back and forth motion to make sure you get a straight line.

If any edges are going to be visible in the finished product, use a file to smooth them down afterward to avoid having jagged edges sticking up or catching on things when you walk across the patio.

After you cut all your required pieces for this part of the project, write down which ones needed cutting in case you need that information later on.

Step 3: Setting Up Supports       

Before you lay down any paver material, you are going to need some support for it.

First of all, your patio surface should already have a layer of gravel or sand just beneath the top layer that will usually be 3/4″ deep. This is called the sub-base and should have been included when your patio was first built.

If you do not have this, go ahead and place 2″ of gravel or sand across the entire area.

Next, check to see if there are any slopes in your patio’s flooring so that you can compensate for them by shimming up any lower areas. This means placing something under each side of the sloped areas so that they are even with one another.

These materials can be anything like dirt, rocks, bricks, concrete blocks, or building blocks.

If your patio happens to have a lot of curves in it that meet up at odd angles and you do not feel confident about leveling them out yourself using shims, then you can simply put down some chicken wire across the entire area and cover it with landscape fabric before laying the rest of the material down on top.

Step 4: Placing The Pavers

Now we come to actually placing the pavers all over your new patio surface.

The first thing to do is set out any pieces that need cutting so that they are all in order and ready for when they will be needed later on in the process.

Then, starting at the back of your patio and working your way toward the front, lay down a 1″ layer of sand and level it out as you go so that every paver will be seated flatly on top.

After this first layer is in place, set out all the pavers across the entire surface with space between them to leave room for mortar or adhesive under each one.

Pay attention to any gaps that might need extra pavers as well as small sections that may need to be cut in order for everything to fit together perfectly.

On top of this first fine layer, you should place another one made up of 2″ – 3″ thick gravel or sand if your sub-base is not already gravel or sand.

The pavers will rest on top of this layer, which you need to make sure is also level.

Once you are finished with these two layers, your paver patio should be ready for its final layer; adhesive or mortar.  

Step 5: Applying Adhesive Or Mortar To Finished Layer       

To apply the adhesive or mortar under each piece of paver, use a notched trowel and spread it evenly across the entire surface in sections no larger than 4’x4′.

You can go back later and just fill in any gaps with more adhesive if needed after setting down all the pavers.

This comes into play more when working with different edge pieces that have to fit into tight corners.

Also, apply the adhesive or mortar along any gap that you have left between two pieces of pavers, but leave out the gap in between where your patio’s edging will be placed later on after everything is finished drying.  

Step 6: Setting Down Edges and Removing Spacers               

After the adhesive or mortar has completely dried and set overnight, your next step is to set down all your edges and remove all spacers used earlier when laying things out at the beginning.

To start this off, lay down a full-length paver edge piece as flat as possible across one side of where it will finish so that you can mark its length with a pencil line.

After you have measured, cut off any excess with a wet saw and use the same process to mark and fit in any sections where corners meet up at odd angles.

Once all your edges are laid down and fitted into place, lay them on their flat surfaces so that they will also dry and set evenly.  

Step 7: Finishing The Edging               

Once the edgings are in place and completely dried overnight, it is time to go around the entire perimeter of the patio with coarse sandpaper attached to an orbital sander.

This is done for two reasons: one to smooth out the rough edges left by cutting the pieces, and two to remove or dull any shiny spots from adhesive or grout that do not get washed off during heavy rain.

Once the edges are done, you can sweep up all dust and debris from around the patio and enjoy it in its newness for many years to come!


Now that you know how to install pavers, you can create a beautiful new space in your backyard for entertaining, working in the yard, or relaxing to watch the sunset.

Good luck with your project!  …