Paver Installation Instructions

The following are standard installation guidelines for a typical sand-set paver application. Please refer to the individual tech sheets for more specific information and installation instructions*.

IMPORTANT: Vehicular applications, such as a driveway or parking lot, require separate guidelines and one should consult a Mutual Materials representative, contractor, or engineer before installing pavers for these purposes. For help locating a contractor, please contact Mutual Materials.

Step 1: Excavation

Mark area to be paved with stakes and string lines at the desired finished elevation. Locate stakes outside the project area by a minimum of 12″. This will allow room for the edge restraint system.

Excavate a minimum of 7″ below final paver elevation. Allow 1⁄8″ to 1⁄4″ per foot slope for correct water runoff. Slope can be in more than one direction depending on jobsite circumstances. Water will not penetrate joints unless it is allowed to puddle or remain in an area. Remove any loose soils after excavation is complete.

Step 2: Base Preparation

Add a dusting of 3⁄4″ minus rock to the excavated area. This will allow the plate compactor to glide across area without sticking to sub grade. Compact the entire subgrade soils with a plate compactor.
After compacting subgrade soils, add 1″– 2″ of 3⁄4″ minus rock, rake smooth and compact. Base rock should have a certain amount of moisture content. Repeat steps until final base elevation is achieved.

For a standard 2 3⁄8″ concrete paver, the final base elevation should be 3″ below final paver elevation. Remember, the final product will mirror the base elevation. Any deviation in base should be corrected at this time with base rock (not sand).

Step 3: Edge Restraint

Any edge not retained by a solid, rigid structure (i.e. concrete, asphalt, etc) should be contained with a plastic edge restraint system. These are easier to install after the pavers are laid.

With spray nozzle, carefully moisten sand bed around perimeter of paver area. Remove excess sand around the perimeter with a trowel without disturbing the base. Place edge restraint system against paver/bedding sand and on top of compacted base rock.

Install 10″ spikes every 8″–12″. Make sure that all edges are contained before compaction of pavers.

Step 4: Bedding Sand

Bedding sand should be screeded at a depth of 1″.

Place 1″ rigid pipes below elevation lines and measure down 2″ to top of pipe. Place pipes parallel to each other and almost as wide as the strike board (2 x 4). Place sand in between pipes and pull strike board across both pipes. This will allow approximately 1″ of sand screeded between the two pipes.

Pull pipes out of sand; fill pipe voids with sand and trowel smooth. Do not compact
sand bed.

Step 5: Install Pavers **

Depending on the type of paver and pattern, starting points and direction of installation will vary. More times then not, opt for the easiest access with the longest run where no cutting will be made. Also consider more visual areas (i.e. in line with windows, doors,
water features, etc).

Pavers should be placed gently onto the sand bed and not pushed into it. Do not hammer-set pavers. Setting a string line 3″ above setting bed will allow the installer to maintain straight pattern lines.

After installing a larger area, place plywood on top of pavers to walk around on. This will distribute weight so individual pavers will not get embedded into sand before adjustments and final compaction is done. Slight adjusting can be accomplished
by moving pavers to desired spot by inserting a flat head screwdriver in between pavers and pushing them.

Cut pavers can be used to fill any voids in the pattern along the edges. Be sure to mix pavers from multiple pallets as you lay your design to achieve a consistent color blend.
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Step 6: Compaction

Compact first to achieve proper interlock and then sweep joint sand over entire area to fill paver joints and lock up pattern lines. Sweep excess joint sand off of paver surface.

Place plate compactor on pavers and run compactor around perimeter. Then make back and forth runs, slightly overlapping the previous run. Sweep joint sand into joints again. Compact pavers in perpendicular runs to first compaction.

When finished, sweep joint sand into paver joints until they are completely full. Plate compactors can be rented at most hardware stores.

*Special design is required with permeable paving systems. Please contact a Mutual Materials branch or salesperson.

**To achieve a consistent color blend, it is important that you mix pavers from multiple pallets together as you lay your design.

Still Need To Make Some Calculations?

Do you still need to figure out the square footage for your project? Estimate the amount of pavers you’ll need for your project with our project estimator tool.