How to Build a Paver Patio Without Gravel

Instead of relying on a traditional gravel base, the key lies in properly compacting the soil and ensuring a level surface. The first step is to thoroughly tamp down the soil using a plate compactor, which will help create a solid foundation for your patio. Once the soil is compacted, it’s essential to lay down a layer of landscape fabric to prevent weeds and ensure long-term stability. Following this, a layer of sand should be meticulously screeded to create a smooth and properly sloped surface. This will provide an ideal base for the paver panels, which can then be carefully laid down over the sand bed.

Can You Lay Pavers Without Gravel?

When it comes to building a paver patio, many people wonder if it’s possible to skip the gravel base layer and rely solely on sand. However, it’s important to note that using sand alone isn’t enough to ensure a stable and durable patio.

The key to a successful paver installation is a solid and stable base. A gravel base layer, typically made of 3/8-inch crushed gravel, is the best and recommended option. This gravel base provides the necessary flexibility to absorb ground tension and prevent issues such as frost heaves, which can damage the patio over time.

Once the excavation is complete, you can proceed with laying the gravel base. Make sure to compact the gravel layer thoroughly, using a plate compactor or hand tamper. This will create a solid and firm base for the pavers.

How to Properly Compact a Gravel Base for Pavers

When building a paver patio without gravel, proper compaction of the base is crucial. Begin by excavating the area to the desired depth, making sure to remove any organic material and roots. Next, spread a layer of sand over the excavated area to create a stable and level surface for the pavers.

To compact the sand base, you can use a hand tamper or a vibrating plate compactor. Start by compacting the entire surface, working from one end to the other in a back-and-forth motion. Apply even pressure to achieve a firm, well-compacted base.

Continue compacting until the sand is thoroughly compacted and reaches the desired depth. It’s important to periodically check the level using a straight edge to ensure an even surface. This will prevent any potential issues such as uneven pavers and sinking over time.

By properly compacting the sand base for your paver patio, you’ll create a sturdy foundation that can withstand the weight of the pavers and provide long-lasting durability.

When it comes to preparing the foundation for a patio, the amount of gravel and sand needed is crucial for stability and durability. For a gravel base, it’s recommended to use around 4-6 inches of ¾ minus crushed gravel. One yard of gravel can cover an area of about 80 square feet. As for the sand layer, you’ll need approximately 1 inch of concrete sand, with one yard of sand covering around 200 square feet. Now that we’ve established the proper quantities, let’s delve into the various aspects of creating a solid foundation for your patio.

How Much Gravel Should Be Under a Patio?

When it comes to building a paver patio without gravel, it’s important to understand the necessary measurements and materials required. Gravel plays a significant role in creating a stable and strong foundation for your patio. To ensure stability and prevent shifting, it’s recommended to have 4 to 6 inches of ¾ minus crushed gravel as the base. This depth provides ample support for the pavers and helps with drainage.

To determine the amount of gravel youll need, measure the square footage of your patio area. On average, one yard of gravel covers approximately 80 square feet. This measurement can vary, so it’s advisable to consult with a professional or refer to the suppliers guidelines for accuracy. Taking into account the dimensions of your patio, you can calculate the exact amount needed.

The sand serves as a leveling agent and provides a smooth surface for the pavers. Concrete sand is recommended, and youll typically need around 1 inch of it for the patio.

To determine the quantity of sand required, measure the dimensions of your patio and calculate the area in square feet. Afterwards, divide this number by 200 to obtain an estimation of the required yards of sand.

Utilizing these guidelines and seeking professional advice when necessary, you can create a beautiful and durable patio for your outdoor space.


By utilizing a plate compactor to compact the soil, followed by the application of landscape fabric and a layer of sand, the necessary foundation can be established. It’s crucial to screed the sand layer to ensure a smooth and adequately sloped surface for the placement of the paver base panels.

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