What to Put Under Driveway Pavers: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to installing driveway pavers, one crucial element that shouldn't be overlooked is the sand bedding. This essential layer serves as a foundation for the pavers and ensures proper positioning and stability. Before the pavers are placed, a layer of bedding sand is spread evenly over the already compacted base material. Apart from providing a smooth surface, the sand bedding serves as a protective barrier for the sand joints, preventing erosion and maintaining long-term durability. By incorporating this crucial step into the installation process, homeowners can ensure a visually appealing, structurally sound, and long-lasting driveway pavement.

Do I Need Gravel or Sand Under Pavers?

It also allows for proper drainage to prevent water from pooling underneath the pavers and causing damage. Additionally, the gravel base layer acts as a stabilizer, keeping the pavers in place and preventing shifting or settling over time. Sand, on the other hand, is used as a leveling agent and fine-tuning tool after the gravel base is installed. It helps fill in any small gaps and provides a smooth and even surface for the pavers to be laid on.

When installing pavers, it’s important to have a solid and stable base to ensure the longevity and durability of your project. Without a proper base layer, the pavers may sink or shift, leading to uneven pathways or patios. This can’t only be unsightly but also hazardous to walk on.

If youre unsure about the type of base material to use or how to properly install it, it’s best to consult with a professional or do thorough research before starting your project. They can guide you through the process and provide expert advice based on your specific needs and the layout of your project. Taking the time to properly prepare the base for your pavers will ensure a beautiful and long-lasting result. So, before you embark on your paver installation project, make sure to include a gravel base layer before sand for optimal performance.

The Benefits of Using Gravel or Sand Under Pavers

Using gravel or sand under pavers offers several benefits. First, it provides a stable and level base, helping to prevent the pavers from shifting or sinking over time. Additionally, the layer of gravel or sand allows for proper drainage, preventing water from pooling and damaging the pavers. Moreover, it helps to deter weed growth, as the barrier under the pavers inhibits weed seeds from germinating. Lastly, using gravel or sand under pavers helps to distribute the weight more evenly, reducing the likelihood of cracks or damage to the pavers.

For a paver driveway that can withstand the weight and pressure of vehicles, a durable base is essential. The traditional base for a paver patio typically consists of 4-6 inches of compacted gravel above the existing soil. However, when it comes to driveways or roads that will bear the weight of vehicular traffic, the gravel layer needs to be doubled in thickness. This ensures proper stability and durability, making the driveway capable of withstanding the demands of everyday use.

What Is the Proper Base for a Paver Driveway?

The proper base for a paver driveway is a crucial aspect to consider when planning any paving project. The traditional base for a paver patio typically consists of 4-6 inches of compacted gravel placed on top of the existing soil. However, if your driveway or road is intended for vehicular traffic, it’s recommended to double the thickness of the gravel layer.

The compacted gravel base serves as a solid and stable foundation for the pavers, allowing for proper weight distribution and preventing settling or shifting over time. This base layer helps to distribute the load of vehicles evenly, ensuring that the driveway can withstand the weight and traffic without damage.

A thicker base is essential for driveways due to the increased stress and pressure they incur compared to patio areas. By doubling the thickness, you provide extra stability and durability, ensuring the longevity of your paver driveway. With this added strength, your driveway will be better equipped to handle the constant stress caused by heavy vehicles.

Choosing the appropriate type of gravel is also important when constructing the base. The gravel should be well-graded with a mix of different-sized particles to help with compaction and prevent settling. It’s recommended to use a dense-grade or crushed stone aggregate for the base, as these materials provide excellent stability.

Different Types of Gravel and Their Characteristics for a Paver Driveway Base

  • Crushed stone gravel: This type of gravel is commonly used for paver driveways due to it’s angular shape and good drainage properties.
  • Pea gravel: With it’s small, rounded pebbles, pea gravel is an excellent choice for a decorative paver driveway base. It creates a more natural and rustic look.
  • River rock: River rocks offer a smooth and polished surface, making them an attractive option for paver driveways. They’re available in various sizes and colors.
  • Bank gravel: Bank gravel consists of gravel deposits naturally found in river or creek banks. It’s often used as a base material for driveways due to it’s stability and compaction characteristics.
  • Clean gravel: Clean gravel refers to gravel without any fines or debris. It’s commonly used as a top layer for paver driveways to provide a clean and finished appearance.
  • Crushed granite gravel: Crushed granite gravel is known for it’s durability and strength. It’s a popular choice for paver driveways that require high load-bearing capacity.
  • Marble chips: For a more upscale and elegant driveway, marble chips can be used as a base material. Their white color adds a touch of luxury to the overall design.
  • Shell gravel: Made from crushed sea shells, shell gravel offers a unique and textured surface. It’s commonly used in coastal areas for it’s aesthetic appeal.
  • Recycled gravel: Environmentally conscious homeowners can opt for recycled gravel, which is made from crushed concrete or asphalt. It provides a sustainable solution for paver driveways.
  • Tumbled gravel: Tumbled gravel undergoes a tumbling process to create a smooth and rounded appearance. It’s a popular choice for driveways that prioritize aesthetics.

When it comes to laying pea gravel and pavers together, proper preparation is key. To ensure stability and longevity, it’s recommended to dig the area 2-3 inches deep before laying the pavers. In this article, we will discuss the necessary steps to properly install pavers on top of pea gravel while maintaining a consistent depth.

Can I Put Pavers on Pea Gravel?

Once you’ve dug out the desired depth, it’s recommended to use landscape fabric to prevent weed growth. This fabric will also help to stabilize the pea gravel and prevent it from shifting under the pavers. It’s important to evenly distribute the fabric and to secure it in place.

Next, you can start laying your pavers on top of the pea gravel. Make sure to choose pavers that are suitable for outdoor use and are durable enough to withstand foot traffic. Begin by placing the pavers in a pattern or design of your choice, ensuring they fit snugly together.

As you lay each paver, use a level to ensure that they’re all at the same height. This will prevent any potential tripping hazards and create a smooth and even surface. It’s also important to regularly check that the pavers are aligned correctly and adjust as necessary.

To secure the pavers in place, you can use a combination of sand and gravel. This will help to prevent movement and ensure that the pavers stay in place.

This combination can create a visually appealing and functional outdoor space, whether it’s a patio, walkway, or driveway. Enjoy the process and the final result of your hard work!

How to Calculate the Amount of Pea Gravel and Pavers Needed for Your Project

  • Measure the length and width of the area where you plan to install the pea gravel and pavers.
  • Multiply the length by the width to determine the total square footage of the area.
  • Decide on the desired thickness of the pea gravel layer. This will depend on the project and your personal preference.
  • Multiply the square footage by the desired thickness to calculate the volume of pea gravel needed.
  • Consult a chart or calculate the weight of the pea gravel in pounds per cubic yard.
  • Divide the volume of pea gravel by the weight per cubic yard to determine the total number of cubic yards needed.
  • For the pavers, measure the length and width of each paver and multiply the two measurements to get the square footage of each individual paver.
  • Add up the square footage of all the pavers you plan to use to determine the total square footage.
  • Account for any additional pavers needed for cuts or waste.
  • Consider adding an additional 10% to your total square footage to account for any mistakes or extra fill needed.
  • Consult the packaging or supplier for the recommended spacing between pavers and use this to determine how many pavers will fit in your total square footage.
  • Plan the layout of your pavers, accounting for any patterns or designs you want to create.
  • Remember to factor in any border pavers or edging materials.

Source: Building the Paver Patio – Ashley Brooke Designs

Can pavers be set in pea gravel? The answer is yes, and the process for how to set pea gravel into TRUEGRID pavers is simple. First, the desired paved area is excavated to a depth of about 1 inch. Next, it’s filled to the top with pea gravel and compacted. Then, the empty pavers are snapped into place over the top of the filled pit.

Can Pavers Be Set in Pea Gravel?

Pea gravel is a popular choice for landscaping projects due to it’s versatility and aesthetic appeal. Many homeowners are now wondering if it’s possible to set pavers in pea gravel.

The process of setting pea gravel into TRUEGRID pavers involves several simple steps. Firstly, the area where the pavers will be set needs to be excavated to a depth of about 1 inch. This will allow enough space for the pea gravel to be evenly distributed. Once the excavation is complete, the area is filled to the top with pea gravel.

After the pea gravel is in place, it’s then compacted. This step is crucial as it ensures that the gravel is stable and provides a solid foundation for the pavers.

TRUEGRID pavers are an eco-friendly and permeable paving alternative to traditional concrete and asphalt. They provide stability and stormwater detention while also reducing flooding and erosion. These pavers are super durable and allow water to penetrate through and into the ground, preventing rutting and erosion by providing structure for ground stabilization.


By preventing erosion, the sand bedding ensures the longevity and stability of the driveway.

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