Laying down pathway pavers can be a weekend project that you can work on to rejuvenate your patio and yard. One of the things a lot of people ask when laying out pavers is how much space they'll need while installing them. Fortunately, we've looked into this topic and in this post, we'll be sharing ways how to space your pavers during installation.
There is no standard spacing for pavers because they can be laid out in many different ways. However, a standard rule for small brick or concrete pavers for patios is to space them about 1/8 to 1/4-inch from each other. If you are using them for walkways, a 1/2-inch space is recommended. Larger pavers can be spaced far from each other, especially if used as stepping stones.
We know that there are a lot of possibilities that you can do with spacing your pavers. In this post, we will be tackling the topic of spacing the pavers depending on their size, as well as other tips and tricks you can use during installation. Keep reading as we also discuss the materials you can use for your paving projects and more information you may need.
How Much Space Between Pavers?
Pavers are a great way to add beauty and design to your yard and patio. They can be made of concrete, bricks, or rocks, and they come in various sizes and thicknesses. Depending on where you will be using these pavers, you can generally find a good set of pavers that will last you for a long time if they are properly installed.
Ideally, paver installation should be professionally done to ensure that they are laid out properly in your yard. However, with enough hands and the right tools, you can definitely do a paving project over the course of a weekend.
Pavers come in many different sizes. For this article, we'll be focusing on brick and concrete pavers, and how much space you have to put in between them depending on their size.
Brick pavers come in standard sizes of 3 5/8" x 7 5/8", 3" x 7", and 4" x 8". These paver sizes are used for patios or walkways. However, you can also get large brick pavers for bigger areas that have more foot traffic. You can get them in sizes of 8" x 5", 12" x 2", or 24" x 5.08".
The size of the brick pavers does not necessarily state how far apart they should be spaced from each other. Generally, you should space brick pavers 1/8 inches from each other, allowing the bricks to have very little space to move around. You'll be filling these gaps in with polymeric sand or jointing sand later on.
Concrete pavers, on the other hand, come in a bigger variety of sizes. You'll generally find rectangular pavers ranging in size from 8" x 16", 12" x 24", 18" x 24" or 18" x 36". You can also find square concrete pavers from 8" x 8", 12" x 12", 18" x 18" or 24" x 24".
When it comes to concrete pavers, the spacing depends on the type of paving project you will be doing. Smaller pavers used for walkways should be spaced around 1/2 inches from each other. Bigger pavers used for stepping stones in the garden or for decorative purposes can be spaced farther apart.
In general, if you are using these pavers for stepping stones, you should measure the spacing equal to the typical gait of a person, about 3 to 6 inches away from each other. For other decorative purposes, you can space out your concrete pavers anywhere from 1 to 8 inches away from each other. You can then fill wider gaps with other materials like stone or gravel.
What Are The Dos and Don'ts Of Paver Installation?
Before diving headfirst and laying out those pavers, make sure to know the dos and don'ts of paver installation. Knowing these tips and tricks will make it easier for you to install the pavers without any issues.
DO make plans
If you're planning to put down your own pavers in your yard, make sure to make plans and measure everything correctly. You can use design software to help you create a mock-up of the area you will be working on. It can give you better estimates on the materials and other necessary plans you should have before starting the project.
DON'T "guesstimate" your project area
Don't try to guess and eyeball the dimensions of your project area. You'll have to accurately measure the space because this measurement will dictate how much material you should need and the area you'll be covering after you've spaced out your pavers.
DO get a reputable supplier
Remember that the quality and durability of your project are also dependent on the materials you will be using. Get a reputable supplier for your pavers and gap fillers to ensure that they are of excellent quality and they will last for a very long time.
DON'T rush your paving project
Don't try to cut corners by skipping necessary tasks like marking out utilities on the ground and other similar processes. You should also take your time in setting up the project area so that you'll know where to excavate and put in your base preparation.
DO have precision in laying out and spacing pavers
Make sure that you are precise in laying out and spacing your pavers because it will affect the edges of your project. This will also determine the stability of your paving project, so if you need spacers to help you be more precise when doing this step, don't hesitate to do so!
DON'T forget to clean up before filling the gaps
If you're using polymeric sand or DIY cement and sand mixture to fill in the gaps, don't forget to clean up before filling! Make sure to sweep the area thoroughly and keep the pavers dry before putting in the material between the gaps. This is to make sure that no other material like small rocks or twigs gets into these spaces and ruins the bonding power of your fillers.
What Do I Fill The Gaps Of The Pavers?
After you've laid out and spaced your pavers individually, it's time to fill in the gaps to stabilize the pavers and prevent them from wobbling out of place. There are a number of materials that you can use to fill in the gaps of your pavers, but many professionals prefer the use of polymeric sand, a mixture of sand and concrete, or jointing sand.
Polymeric sand is a combination of finely graded sand and a mixture of additives like polymers to create a sturdy, bonding joint filler for your pavers. It's a fairly new material that hasn't gained popularity with some professional contractors, but polymeric sand has been used to fill paver joints and they've lasted for years.
Polymeric sand works best for paver joints that are about 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch wide. This amount of spacing is good for polymeric sand to compact itself and harden properly. Smaller spaces between the pavers (around 1/8-inch wide) are not beneficial to polymeric sand so you'll have to use a different material for those pavers.
Similar to regular sand, polymeric sand is applied to the pavers by pouring it over the surface and sweeping them towards the cracks to get them filled. The difference, however, is that you need to wet polymeric sand to activate it. Once the water reaches the sand, it activates the polymers and you'll simply have to wait until it dries and cures.
If you have pavers laid out close together, roughly 1/8-inches away from each other, then your pavers will do well with regular jointing sand. Do not confuse this with polymeric sand (although sometimes it is also called with the same name). For most construction supply stores, jointing sand is simply regular sand that you can use to fill up paver spaces.
A DIY version of polymeric sand can also be done using 4 parts sand and 1 part cement, without any water. Mix these solids together and test them out by squeezing a small lump together and it forms a solid ball. It should be firm, but it will still break apart.
Using a trowel, pack this mixture onto the spaces in between your pavers. Make sure to get it all down to the nooks and crannies, packing it down with whatever tool to get them deep into the spaces in between your pavers. Afterward, brush the excess off and water the surface lightly. Leave and stay off of it for about two days, or until it completely cures.
Redesigning your home's exterior can be done by simply adding pavers to your yard or garden. These pavers are great at adding value and beauty to your home, and they can be easy to install by yourselves. Just make sure to choose pavers that suit your home and install them correctly so they'll last for decades.
Are you looking to redesign your home with some pavers? We've got some great articles that might interest you: