Major Tips for Properly Dry Laying Pavers

When it comes to creating a stunning and durable patio or walkway, proper installation is key. One popular method that ensures a solid foundation and allows for maximum flexibility is dry-laying pavers. This technique involves laying the pavers directly on a base of tightly compacted gravel aggregate, without the use of mortar or adhesive. A layer of bedding sand is then added to provide stability and prevent shifting. By laying the pavers "dry," it allows for easier adjustments and repairs in the future, as well as better drainage. To complete the installation, a jointing sand is used to fill in the gaps between the pavers, providing a cohesive finish that locks everything in place. In this article, we will explore some major tips and considerations for properly dry laying pavers, ensuring a successful and long-lasting installation that will enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space.

Can I Just Lay Pavers on Dirt?

Can I just lay pavers on dirt? Properly preparing the ground before laying pavers is essential for a long-lasting and visually appealing result.

Another important tip is to use a geotextile fabric. This fabric acts as a barrier between the dirt and the pavers, preventing weed growth and stabilizing the ground. It also helps to prevent the pavers from sinking or shifting as the fabric provides a solid base.

In addition, it’s crucial to create a proper base for the pavers. This can be achieved by using a combination of crushed stone and sand. The crushed stone provides stability and drainage, while the sand allows for easy leveling and positioning of the pavers. By ensuring a solid and level base, you can prevent any future issues with the pavers shifting or sinking.

Furthermore, it’s recommended to install edging or border restraints around the paver area. This helps to contain the pavers and prevent them from spreading or moving out of place. Edging can be made of various materials, such as plastic, metal, or concrete, and should be installed securely to provide stability and support.

This process, known as sanding, helps to further stabilize the pavers and prevent any potential movement. Regular maintenance, such as checking for weeds and re-sanding, should also be carried out to ensure the longevity and integrity of the paver installation.

Dry-laid brick, also known as the dry-laid method, is a technique that involves directly laying pavers on a bed of compacted sand or crushed stone. The pavers are tightly placed together, and sand is then swept into the joints. One of the advantages of this method is that it allows for easy removal and alteration of the patio if needed.

What Is Dry-Laid Brick?

Dry-laid brick, also known as the dry-laid method, refers to the process of laying pavers directly on a bed of compacted sand or crushed stone without the use of mortar or adhesive. This method is commonly used for creating patios, walkways, driveways, and other outdoor surfaces.

Additionally, the lack of mortar or adhesive means that water can easily drain through the joints between the pavers. This helps to prevent water accumulation and potential damage to the patio or walkway. It also makes maintenance easier, as any weeds or debris that settle between the pavers can be easily swept away.

In order to ensure a successful dry-laid installation, proper preparation is essential. Start by excavating the area to the desired depth, typically around 6-8 inches. Compact the soil to create a stable base, and then add a layer of crushed stone or sand to provide a level surface.

Next, lay the pavers tightly together, ensuring that they’re level and even. Use a rubber mallet or hand tamper to gently tap each paver into place. Once all the pavers are laid, sweep sand between the joints to fill any gaps and lock the pavers in place.

Finally, thoroughly compact the entire surface to ensure stability and prevent shifting. This can be done using a plate compactor or by simply walking over the area with a piece of plywood. Regularly maintain the patio by sweeping away debris and replenishing the sand between the joints if necessary.

By following these major tips for properly dry laying pavers, you can create a beautiful and durable outdoor surface that will enhance your home for years to come. Whether it’s a patio, walkway, or driveway, the dry-laid method offers a versatile and low-maintenance option for any outdoor project.

Different Types of Pavers That Can Be Used for Dry-Laid Brick Installations

  • Clay pavers
  • Concrete pavers
  • Stone pavers
  • Porcelain pavers
  • Interlocking pavers
  • Cobblestone pavers
  • Travertine pavers
  • Flagstone pavers

In addition to keeping the pavers secure, sand also provides stability and allows for proper drainage, preventing water from pooling on the surface. Furthermore, the sand acts as a buffer, reducing the impact of any heavy loads or foot traffic on the pavers. Ultimately, neglecting to use sand as a base for your pavers can lead to a multitude of problems and compromise the longevity and functionality of your outdoor space.

What Happens if You Don’t Put Sand Under Pavers?

When it comes to properly dry laying pavers, one of the major tips is to ensure that you use sand as a crucial component. Sand acts as a stabilizing agent and without it, the pavers are likely to shift and sink over time, leading to an uneven and messy surface.

The role of sand in this process can’t be overstated. It not only keeps the pavers in place but also helps in distributing weight evenly across the surface.

Without the sand, the gaps between pavers may remain open, creating tripping hazards. Additionally, when the pavers shift and sink, it can result in uneven surfaces that increase the risk of accidents. The sand acts as a support system, ensuring the pavers remain in position and eliminating potential dangers.

In addition to the practical benefits, having sand under the pavers also enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of your patio or paved area. The fine texture of the sand adds a polished finish and provides a clean and neat appearance.

The Process of Dry Laying Pavers and Why Sand Is Important in This Process.

Dry laying pavers is a method of installing pavers without using any mortar or adhesive. Instead, the pavers are essentially “floating” on a layer of sand. The sand is crucial in this process as it provides stability, prevents the pavers from shifting, and allows for easy adjustments if necessary. The sand also helps to distribute load evenly across the pavers, reducing the risk of cracking or damage. Additionally, the sand acts as a cushioning layer, absorbing any minor movements or shifts in the ground. Overall, using sand in the dry laying process is essential for a proper and long-lasting paver installation.

Once the bedding sand is properly in place, the next step is to lay down one-inch diameter PVC pipes across the compacted base material. These pipes will serve as a guide to ensure a consistent depth for the pavers, ultimately resulting in a uniform and level surface.

Do You Need to Put Anything Under Pavers?

This will serve as a guide to ensure a consistent base level and proper drainage. Next, spread a layer of bedding sand, typically about an inch in thickness, over the PVC pipes. Use a screed board to level the sand and create a smooth surface.

Before placing the pavers, it’s important to compact the sand bedding. This can be done using a plate compactor or a hand tamper. This step is crucial as it helps to ensure stability and prevent settling of the pavers over time.

Start by selecting the desired pattern and layout for your pavers. Carefully place each paver onto the sand bedding, leaving a small gap, typically about 1/8 inch, between each paver. This gap will be filled with joint sand later on.

Continue placing the pavers until the entire area is covered. Use a rubber mallet or a piece of wood to tap each paver into place, ensuring they’re level and securely set. As you work, periodically check the level of the pavers with a straight edge or a level.

After all the pavers are laid, it’s time to fill the joints with joint sand. This sand helps to lock the pavers in place and prevent shifting. Use a broom or a small brush to sweep the sand into the joints, making sure it’s evenly distributed. Gently water the area to settle the sand and repeat the process if needed.

In summary, properly dry laying pavers involves creating a sand bedding, compacting it, laying the pavers, and filling the joints with sand. Taking the time to follow these major tips will ensure a successful and long-lasting paver installation. Remember to always double-check the level and stability of the pavers to achieve a professional-looking finish.

Proper Materials for Creating a Solid Base for Pavers

When it comes to creating a solid base for pavers, it’s crucial to use the proper materials. The base serves as the foundation for your pavers and ensures their stability and longevity.

Firstly, you’ll need a layer of crushed stone or gravel. This material helps with drainage and prevents the pavers from shifting or sinking. The size of the crushed stone should be between 3/4 inch and 1 inch for optimal results.

Next, you’ll want to add a layer of sand. The sand provides a level surface for the pavers and helps with their stability. It’s recommended to use coarse sand rather than fine sand to prevent it from compacting too tightly.

Lastly, you may consider using landscape fabric as a barrier between the base materials and the soil underneath. This fabric helps to suppress weed growth and keeps the base materials from mixing with the soil over time.

By using these proper materials for your paver base, you can ensure a solid and long-lasting foundation for your pavers.

On the other hand, flagstone offers a more natural and unique look to your outdoor space. The irregular shapes and variety of colors of flagstone can create a visually appealing and rustic aesthetic. However, flagstone may require more regular maintenance to prevent weed growth and to keep the surface clean and free of debris. Ultimately, the choice between flagstone and pavers depends on your personal preferences and the specific needs of your outdoor area.

Which Is Better Flagstone or Pavers?

Flagstone, on the other hand, has a more natural and rustic appearance. It’s often lauded for it’s unique, irregular shapes and earthy hues. Flagstone can create a warm and inviting atmosphere in outdoor spaces. However, it can be more prone to staining and requires regular sealing to maintain it’s beauty.

In terms of durability, pavers tend to be more reliable. They’re manufactured with concrete or clay materials that are designed to withstand heavy traffic and adverse weather conditions. Pavers are less likely to crack or chip compared to flagstone. Additionally, if a paver does become damaged, it can be easily replaced without having to redo the entire surface.

When it comes to installation, pavers offer more flexibility. They’re available in a wide range of sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns. This allows for more creative design options and the ability to customize your outdoor space to your liking.

Maintenance is a major factor to consider as well. Concrete pavers are less porous, so they don’t absorb dirt, water, and debris quite as easily. This makes your patio or walkway easier to keep looking fresh and prevents weeds from growing in between the stones.

Ultimately, the decision between flagstone and pavers depends on personal preference and the specific needs of your outdoor space. It’s recommended to consult with a professional to assist you in making an informed decision that suits your needs and budget.

Aesthetics and Design Options for Flagstone and Pavers

  • Choosing the right flagstone or pavers for your outdoor space
  • Exploring various patterns and arrangements for flagstone and paver installation
  • Considering different colors and finishes to enhance the aesthetic appeal
  • Understanding the benefits of natural flagstone versus concrete pavers
  • Exploring creative design options such as intricate mosaics or unique shapes
  • Utilizing contrasting materials or borders to create visual interest
  • Considering the maintenance and durability of flagstone and pavers
  • Exploring different types of joints and fillers for added design flexibility
  • Considering the surrounding landscape and architecture when choosing flagstone or pavers
  • Exploring additional design elements such as lighting, edging, and seating


By placing the stones on a firm and compacted gravel base, followed by a layer of bedding sand, this technique ensures stability and durability for your patio or walkway. So, whether you're a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, incorporating these major tips into your dry-lay paver installations will undoubtedly yield successful results.

Scroll to Top