When planning how to prepare the ground for pavers it’s best to consider a few key elements such as, slope, thickness of pavers, thickness of base and sand.
For this paver patio we excavated 6″ for the base material, 1″ for the sand and 2″ for the depth of the pavers.
Does A Paver Patio Need To Be Sloped?
When designing a paver patio be sure to account for proper drainage across the entire surface. Building the patio with a 1-2″ slope away from the home will ensure all water drains away from the foundation. You don’t want to have any water pool up under the pavers and soak into the basement!
Making the patio flat is not the same as making it level. To prevent any areas where water may pool, the surface shouldn’t have any dips or bumps.
The area should drop 1/2″ for every 4′. An easy way to check the slope is to lay a 4-foot level on the ground and raise one end up 1/2″. Mark the bubble location of the level and use it as a guide on the patio surface. From there it’s easy to fill in or remove gravel from areas to adjust the slope.
Is Paver Base Necessary?
Installing pavers directly over dirt for stepping stones will hold up fine. But it’s best to assess the condition of the base and make it as solid as possible before laying pavers to create a patio.
This is the 3rd paver patio my parents have installed between each of their homes. They’ve progressively learned what techniques and products work best (each patio has improved and is better than the previous one).
A sand base was laid for a previous paver patio. After time, some settling occurred and created a tripping hazard. After time, it needed repair. The pavers were removed, additional sand added and the the pavers reinstalled.
This time they opted to use a road base. Depending on your location and building supplies, it may be called Class 5, crusher rock, road bed gravel or 3/4 minus gravel. Road base compacts better than a general gravel base. This will prevent any settling in the pavers and keep the paver patio free from pooling water.
A base depth of 4 to 6 inches is recommended to provide a sturdy and stable foundation for many types of paver installation.