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How to Install Concrete Pavers Over Asphalt or an Existing Concrete Base

July 11th, 2024

Installing concrete pavers over an existing asphalt or concrete base can transform your outdoor space into a beautiful and durable area. Whether it’s for a driveway, walkway, or patio, following these steps will help you achieve a professional finish.

Materials You’ll Need:

1. Concrete pavers
2. Bedding sand
3. Joint sand
4. Geotextiles (if needed)
5. Edge restraints (plastic, concrete, aluminum, or steel)
6. Tools: plate compactor, rubber hammer, masonry saw, broom, screed rails

Unfamiliar with some of these terms? Check out our hardscaping glossary.

Step-by-Step Paver Installation Overview:

1. Prepare the Area:
– Clean the Surface: Ensure the existing asphalt or concrete is clean and free of debris.
– Check the Base: Make sure the base is dry and in good condition. If necessary, repair any significant cracks or holes.

2. Set Up Edge Restraints
– Install Edge Restraints: Place edge restraints around the perimeter to hold the pavers in place. They can be made of plastic, concrete, aluminum, or steel. Ensure they are secured properly to the base.

3. Lay the Geotextile:
– Apply Geotextile: If needed, place a geotextile fabric over the base to prevent weed growth and to stabilize the sand bedding layer.

4. Spread Bedding Sand:
– Add Bedding Sand: Spread a layer of bedding sand evenly over the base. Aim for about 1 inch (25 mm) in thickness.
– Level the Sand: Use screed rails to level the sand. Ensure the surface is smooth and even.

5. Place the Pavers:
– Lay the Pavers: Start placing the pavers in your desired pattern. Lay them hand-tight without using hammers. If adjustments are needed, use a rubber hammer.
– Maintain Straight Lines: Keep the pavers aligned by using string lines. Ensure the joints between pavers are between 1/16 inch and 3/16 inch (2-5 mm) wide.

6. Cut Pavers to Fit:
– Cut Edges: For areas where full pavers don’t fit, cut them to size using a masonry saw. Ensure the cut pavers fit snugly against the edge restraints.

7. Compact the Pavers:
– Initial Compaction: Once the pavers are laid, use a plate compactor to vibrate and settle them into the sand. This step helps to lock them in place.
– Fill Joints with Sand: Spread joint sand over the pavers and sweep it into the joints. Compact the pavers again to ensure the joints are fully filled.

8. Final Steps:
– Clean Up: Sweep any excess sand off the surface of the pavers.
– Inspect and Adjust: Check the surface for any uneven areas and make necessary adjustments. The final surface should be smooth, with no paver more than 1/8 inch (3 mm) higher than its neighbor.

9. Maintenance:
– Extra Materials: Keep a few extra pavers and some joint sand for future repairs.
– Regular Checks: Periodically check the pavers for any shifting or settling and refill joints with sand as needed.

Looking for More Detailed Paver Installation Instructions?

Following these basic steps will ensure a strong and attractive paver surface that enhances your outdoor space. Remember, the key to a successful installation is careful preparation and attention to detail. For more detailed installation information, download this helpful guide from Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute.