How to lay pavers

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How to lay pavers

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Project Overview

A paved area is a great spot for entertaining in any backyard. If you’d like a versatile and natural stone, then bluestone pavers might be what you’re looking for. They’re easy to lay, cost effective and hard-wearing. We’ll show you how to lay bluestone pavers in an even, straight line using a stretcher bond pattern. 

Continue to step-by-step instructions
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How To Lay Pavers

Step by Step Instructions

1 Run a string line
2 Lay the first paver
3 Make the paver level
4 Clean up as you go
5 Lay the second paver
6 Lay the rest of the first row
7 Start the second row of pavers
8 Check the edge of your row
9 Measure pavers for cutting
10 Cut the pavers
11 Lay the cut paver
12 Lay the rest of the pavers
  • Step 1. Run a string line

    To lay pavers in a straight line, start by running a string line along your edge, one paver in distance from the wall. Hammer in a nail at that point and tie string around it. Then measure the distance from the wall to that string line point. Mark this distance out on the opposite side of your paver area. Hammer in a nail and run the string line from the other nail to it and tighten the string.

  • Step 2. Lay the first paver

    Spread out about 30mm of mortar where you’re going to lay the first pavers. Put the paver on top or the mortar, flush with the string line. Use a rubber mallet to gently knock the paver into place.
  • Step 3. Make the paver level

    Use the spirit level across the length of the paver to make sure it’s level. Give it a tap with the mallet to even if out if you need to. Use a spirit level to check it diagonally as well. After making it level, just make sure the paver is still flush with the string line.

  • Step 4. Clean up as you go

    A good tip after laying a paver is to wipe the top of it with a damp sponge to clean off any mortar. It’s much easier to clean now than later when all the pavers are laid.

  • Step 5. Lay the second paver

    For the second paver, spread out the 30mm of mortar needed to lay the paver on. You can use a trowel to help you do this evenly. Lay the next paver on the mortar 5mm gap from the first paver. Then use the spirit level and the mallet to make the paver level like before.

  • Step 6. Lay the rest of the first row

    Continue laying a bed of mortar down and placing pavers on top in line with the stringline. Make sure you keep a 5mm gap between each paver, and that you use the spirit level and mallet to make sure every paver is level.

  • Step 7. Start the second row of pavers

    If you’d like to lay pavers in a stretcher bond pattern, mark out the middle of the paver you’ll lay. Then lay the paver so that its middle is aligned with the 5mm gap between the first and second pavers in the row. Keep a 5mm gap between the first and second rows.

  • Step 8. Check the edge of your row

    As you lay your pavers out, it’s a good idea to always make sure that the row is straight. You can do this by running a straight edge along the pavers. This will ensure that you’re laying them down in a straight line. If necessary, adjust the pavers with the rubber mallet to straighten them.

  • Step 9. Measure pavers for cutting

    Often you will need to fit pavers at the start and end of each row. To do this, measure the distance between the end paver and the end of the paving area. Deduct 5mm from this distance to take into account the gap between the pavers. Then mark out the measurements onto a paver.

  • Step 10. Cut the pavers

    Using saw horses and clamps to secure the paver, use an angle grinder with a diamond blade to cut the paver where you’ve marked.
  • Step 11. Lay the cut paver

    When laying the end pavers down, lay the end you’ve cut facing the other pavers. This will mean that the smooth, uncut end is visible at the end of the row. Just remember to leave a 5mm gap between the pavers.
  • Step 12. Lay the rest of the pavers

    Continue measuring, cutting, laying and cleaning the pavers until you’ve paved your whole area. Just make sure that every paver is level and each row is straight, and that you’ve kept a 5mm gap between all of the pavers. Then give the pavers at least 24 hours to set before you walk on them.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Angle grinder
  • Bucket
  • Clamps
  • Float
  • Hammer
  • Knee pads
  • Rubber mallet
  • Safety equipment
  • Saw horses
  • Shovel
  • Spirit level
  • Sponge
  • Straight edge
  • String line
  • Tape measure
  • Trowel
  • Wheelbarrow

Materials

  • String line
  • Spirit level
  • Straight edge
  • Tape measure
  • Rubber mallet
  • Trowel
  • Float
  • Bluestone pavers
  • Cement mix
  • Angle grinder Dwith diamond blade
  • Hammer Nand nails
  • Sand
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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