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Can You Put Pavers on Uneven Ground? (How To)

Most lawns are not on level ground. While sometimes the slope might help with the drainage, it also causes challenges during construction. But are there design techniques to overcome the terrain challenge?

You can put pavers on uneven ground by carefully compacting the ground and adding a base material to make the uneven ground level. You can either use gravel or sand as the base. But concrete would form a firm base if the ground is too uneven.

putting paver rock on the ground

Pavers are a perfect addition to any landscaping. They are durable and pretty easy to maintain. They also go a long way in increasing the value of your home. First, you need to determine the purpose of the pavers so that you can choose the appropriate thickness and aspect ratio. Once you have worked out the technicalities, you can then go ahead and choose paving stones whose style appeals to you.

In today’s market, you can be sure to find something you like. For instance, if you are looking for a rustic feel, consider getting pavers with worn edges. Slate textured paving stones would give your outdoor space the appearance of natural stone. Besides, there is so much room for customization regarding shapes, colors, and patterns.

Should You Put Pavers on Uneven Ground?

Confused man standing

You might have heard complaints from someone you know about their challenges with installing pavers on uneven ground. But these challenges don’t have to happen to you.

When putting pavers on uneven ground, the biggest problem to look out for is your pavers sitting at different heights. This is usually a result of your base not being deep enough or properly evened out.

The type of soil can also make the pavers look uneven. For instance, if the soil is clay, it will hold more water. Come the cold season, and the ground will freeze and push the pavers up. The pavers might not go back to their original position. You can prevent this problem by using processed gravel in the place of stone dust when setting the base.

Another problem to look out for is the pavers along the edge disappearing. This happens when your base has been washed out from beneath the pavers. The solution is always to use landscape fabric under the base and up the sides of your site. If you notice this problem after you’ve installed the pavers, you can always patch in a piece of the landscape fabric and add a new base without redoing the entire project. It is also vital to install edge restraints to prevent the border pavers from looking like they are falling off.

Some people also experience the challenge of water puddling on the pavers. It happens if you don’t level the ground properly. To prevent this from happening, ensure that you put two layers of the base material and be sure to compact it enough.

Be on the lookout for the problem of tipping pavers. Ensure that you fill in the gaps after you have put the pavers in place.

What Tools Do You Need To Put Pavers on Uneven Ground?

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Installing pavers is a perfect DIY project – that you can complete over a single weekend. Your biggest concern would be whether you have all the necessary tools for the job.

Putting pavers on uneven ground doesn’t need sophisticated machinery unless you’re working in a large area. Here is a list of the tools you’ll need: a level, hand tamper, shovel, the base material, landscape fabric, pavers, rubber mallet, polymeric sand, and a 2-by-4 inch board

If you are working in a large area, a shovel might not be the best idea. You might consider renting an excavator. It would be best to know how long you need it, then compare the renting prices. You can then call the rental company to arrange delivery details.

What Preparations Do You Need To Install Pavers on Uneven Ground?

Laying pavers is relatively straightforward. However, it calls for careful planning to ensure you complete the project on time. Taking time to prepare for the project also minimizes the chances of running into problems like the pavers being uneven.

Preparing your uneven ground for paver installation involves activities like measuring the area and clearing out any grass on the ground.

You can use a shovel or an excavator to ensure your ground is free of roots and other stubbles. You also need to determine the number of paver stones you need before getting started on your project. Here are the steps you need to determine how many paver stones you need:

  • Multiply the length of the site by its width in feet
  • Multiply the length of the paving stones by the width in inches
  • Divide the surface area of the paving stones by 144 (to convert to square feet)
  • Divide the surface area of the site by your answer in step 3
  • Add 10% of the number you get in step 4 to account for pavers that get wasted

There are three standard sizes for paving stones. These are 0.2, 1, and 1.71 square feet per stone. However, you can also come across paving stones with uneven shapes. In that case, you must plan carefully to ensure the design works out on the ground.

Besides determining the number of paver stones, you also need to know how much base material you need. Follow these simple steps:

  • Note down the total surface you got from your first calculation
  • Determine the sand depth in inches, then divide by 12 to convert to feet
  • Multiply the total surface area by the depth in feet
  • Divide the answer by 27 ( this converts your answer to cubic yards)
  • Get an extra 10% to account for wastage

Remember that the ideal base depth depends on how you plan to use the paved area. For instance, if you only expect foot traffic in that area, you don’t need that thick of a base. On the other hand, if there is going to be driving on the pavement, you need a thicker base.

How To Install Pavers on Uneven Ground

Confused man standing

Few things can compare to the satisfaction of completing a landscaping project on your own. Not to mention the labor won’t cost you any money. All you have to invest is your time and energy.

Installing pavers on uneven ground is easy. You only need to ensure that you assemble everything before you start, then follow a few simple steps.

Here are the steps for installing pavers on uneven ground:

Step 1: Mark the Area

The first step is marking your working area. Place stakes on the ground, then mark the edges using turf or spray paint.

Step 2: Assess the Ground

Use your level to assess the terrain where the pavers will go. It would help to have a pen and paper to draw a diagram to show which parts of the ground need significant changes.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on September 25, 2022.

Step 3: Dig a Trench

Dig a trench along your marked area. Ensure that the bottom of the trench is level by using a level. You can add or remove dirt to make the ground level. If you are working on a small area, a shovel will work. For a larger area, consider renting an excavator. Once the trench is level, run a plate compactor and test for levelness again. Repair any irregularity with dirt and test again.

Step 4: Add the Base Material

Add a layer of base material – 2 to 3 layers thick. Then compact the material with a plate compactor. Avoid using smooth stones since they don’t lock so well. Add a second layer of the base material and compact it. Ensure that you place the landscape fabric before going in with the gravel.

Step 5: Add the Sand and the Pavers

Finish layering the base by adding a few inches of medium sand. Finally, smooth the sand base by moving your 2-by-4-inch board across it. You can use a spirit level to ensure evenness. Then lay your pavers in the desired pattern. Use a rubber mallet to place the pavers in place. For best results, start laying the pavers at a straight fixed edge. Also, ensure that you leave at least 2mm between pavers to allow for sand filling. This gap allows for expansion and contraction during temperature changes to prevent the pavers from chipping.

Step 6: Compaction and Joint Filling

Once you’ve laid all the pavers, it’s time to compact them using a high-frequency, low amplitude plate compactor. Ensure that the compactor can cover at least 12 paving stones simultaneously. Point to note: You don’t want the compactor’s metal base to come into direct contact with the pavers. You can cover the metal base with a plywood sheet or a thick rubber-backed carpet square.

Fill in the gaps between the pavers by sweeping sand. Polymeric sand has a binder, so it does a better job sealing the joints together after wetting.

Step 7: Add Edge Restraints

Finally, you need to hold the pavers in place by adding edge restraints. Ensure that your barrier is about 20mm from the bottom of the header course.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 25, 2022.

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