Tips for Laying a Better Walkway
Careful base prep is what keeps pavers in place
In this article, editorial adviser Mike Guertin shows step-by-step how to replace a poured concrete walkway with one made of pavers, which can create a more visually interesting surface. Step 1 is to remove the old walkway using a sledgehammer, pry bar, and circular saw. Step 2 is to evaluate the existing soil; soil that holds too much water is not suitable as a subbase and needs to be replaced with gravel or processed stone. Step 3 is to grade the subbase, which is done with a rake, a string, and a level. Step 4 is to compact the subbase with a plate compactor and a hand tamper. After compacting, Guertin likes to put down a layer of landscape fabric to isolate the subbase from the base. Step 5 is to lay the setting base. Because it contains a mix of coarse, medium, and fine particles, Guertin recommends using stone dust instead of sand, which tends to have particles of a uniform size. Step 6 is to set full pavers. Step 7 is to cut joints and edge pieces to fit. For small jobs, a circular saw with a diamond blade will handle this work just fine. Step 8 is to sand the joints. Although washed brick sand or stone dust are fine to use, Guertin says that polymeric sand is best. Because it contains polymer binders that react with water and bond to the sides of the pavers, it will remain in place longer than ordinary sand and will inhibit the growth of weeds.