How Do You Install Rectangle Pavers? (Explained)

If you’re planning on installing a new patio or walkway in your home, you might be wondering how to install rectangular pavers. It’s really not that difficult, and the process can be broken down into several manageable steps. 

The first step is to choose your material: natural stone, concrete pavers, or artificial wood products such as porcelain tiles. While it may seem like installing a concrete paver would require much more effort than laying down natural stone, this is not necessarily true!

Proper ground preparation is essential for a successful paver installation.
Crushed stone or gravel is commonly used as a base material for pavers.
Sand is typically used as a bedding material and to lock pavers in place.
Cutting pavers can be done with a chisel and hammer or a specialized paver saw.
Regular maintenance, such as sweeping and pressure washing, can help prolong the life of your pavers.

Tools Needed

Here’s a list of the tools you’ll need to install your pavers:

Spade: For digging holes and mixing concrete.

Rake: For leveling and smoothing the surface.

Tamper: To compact the concrete once it has set up. This tool is optional, as you can use a sledgehammer in its place if you don’t have one on hand.

How Do You Install Rectangle Pavers? (Explained)

Level: To measure before adding any pavers or concrete to keep everything even throughout your project.

Shovel/Spade/Crowbar: Used for removing dirt from around your foundation, then leveling it out so there are no dips or grooves where water can collect and cause erosion over time; also used for mixing mortar when installing bricks instead of stones (more on this later!).

Select Your Pattern

Once you’ve decided on a pattern, it’s time to select the pavers. You’ll need to choose between two different types of paver: regular and split face. Choosing which type of paver is best for your project will depend on what kind of look you’re going for:

Regular pavers are smooth and flat, but can still have their edges rounded off by being hand-cut or tumbled (like in our example). Split face pavers have a rough texture that creates an aged look when laid out in a pattern or design. 

The split-face option also comes in multiple sizes (4” x 6”, 4” x 8”, etc.) to give more flexibility with different sized projects.

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Once you’ve made this decision and selected your pattern, it’s time to move on!

Planning the Area to be Paved

To make sure that your pavers are installed correctly, you should make a sketch of the area to be paved. The best way to do this is by using a tape measure, ruler and compass. Make sure that your drawing is accurate and to scale.

Once you’ve drawn up your plan, take it into consideration as you install the pavers. You will want each piece fitted tightly together so they appear seamless when finished without any gaps between them or raised edges around the edges of each piece which would give them away as individual pieces rather than one larger surface unit that looks like it was formed from one piece of concrete instead of several smaller ones attached together by mortar between each slab’s joints (which could cause problems with keeping weeds at bay).

Digging Out the Area to be Laid with Rectangle Pavers

You need to dig out the area in which you will be laying your pavers. Make sure you remove all roots, rocks and other debris that could puncture the paver’s surface.

If you are laying rectangular pavers on grass, use a shovel to cut away any turf that is in the way of your patio area. You can also use a pickaxe or sledgehammer to loosen up any soil that is compacted underneath.

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Putting Down the Gravel and Sand Bases

The next step is to prepare the subbase, which is a layer of gravel and sand applied on top of the ground to support your pavers. The subbase should be 6-8 inches deep, compacted with a plate compactor or hand tamp before laying down your paver.

Placing and Spacing the Rectangle Pavers Laying Pavers in a Herringbone Pattern

Placing and spacing the pavers in a herringbone pattern is the most complicated method of laying paver stones. It requires marking each row, connecting the marks with string lines, and then spacing them evenly using spacers.

To start, use a level to make sure that each row of pavers begins at the same height as the previous row. Place chalk lines across each end of your patio to indicate where each row will begin and end (Photo 1). 

To connect these marks seamlessly with string lines, first make sure that both strings are straight by measuring their distance from a wall or other object (Photo 2). Then place another line at right angles to one side of those parallel strings (Photo 3) and connect those two newly added lines with another piece of string (Photo 4). This creates an X-shaped arrangement—referred to as “X marks the spot”—at each end of your patio where all four sides meet evenly.

Now use a straightedge or yardstick along three sides of this X-patterned arrangement until it lines up perfectly on both ends (Photo 5). 

Next measure diagonally across from one side until you reach its opposite point on another side; repeat this process for every new row until all rows have been laid out properly in their respective locations (Photo 6). 

Finally space apart every other stone so that there’s approximately ⅛ inch between them when working down one entire length before moving on and repeating this process again across from where you started

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Joining the Pavers in a Herringbone Pattern

To install pavers in a herringbone pattern, start by laying the first paver. Then lay the next row perpendicular to it. Make sure there is space at each end of these two rows so that you can fit them together later on. 

Sand should be used as a joint filler between each paver in order to ensure stability and prevent water from seeping underneath the pavement and causing erosion or mold growth. Don’t forget to cover all joints with a rubber membrane before adding more pavers!

Laying Staggering or Basketweave Patterns with Rectangle Pavers

Staggering or basketweave patterns are a popular choice for patio and walkway projects. It creates a more random look than a running bond pattern, but installation is similar to laying a running bond pattern. 

Use the same basic steps, but since your pavers won’t be laid in perfectly straight lines, use a level to keep them straight instead of trying to line them up with one another.

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Laying Stack Bond and Running Bond Patterns with Square Pavers

To lay a stack bond pattern, start by laying the first two pavers parallel to each other in the same direction. Then, align the next two pavers so their edges are perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to those of the first two. 

The second line should be offset from the first by half its width; for example, if you’re working with 20-inch squares, then move over ten inches between them. Repeat this process until you’ve installed all your pavers in one row along an area that needs coverage.

Next, install another layer of square pavers along this same path but at right angles (or “through” alignment) to those already installed that is: with their long sides facing away from each other instead of toward each other as before—and continue doing so until all areas have been covered up with new materials..

Finishing the Edges of Your Rectangle Paver Project

You can finish the edges of your rectangle paver project using a trowel or a float to spread the cement, and then clean up any excess with a sponge or brush. You can also use a broom to remove dust from the pavers. After your project is dry, you can use a garden hose to clean the pavers.

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Filling the Joints and Helping Your Rectangle Pavers Set Firmly in Place

Now that you have installed your pavers, it’s time to fill the joints with sand or pea gravel. This will help ensure your pavers set firmly in place and provide a smooth finish.

  • If necessary, lift or move your pavers to ensure they are level.
  • Use a wet blade to clean up any excess mortar from within the joint areas of the paver surface, then let dry before walking on them.

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And you’ve done it! You now have a beautiful new patio, driveway or path that will last for decades to come. If you want to take this project even further and make sure it lasts, we recommend sealing it with an epoxy sealer. 

This will protect the pavers from moisture damage and make them more resistant to stains and dirt buildup so they stay looking like new longer.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you learn more about installing pavers:

How to Install Pavers: This video from Lowe’s provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to install pavers for a patio, walkway, or driveway.

Installing Pavers: This guide from Oregon State University Extension provides detailed instructions on how to install pavers, including information on planning, excavation, base preparation, and more.

How to Install Pavers: This wikiHow article offers a comprehensive guide on how to install pavers for a variety of outdoor projects.

How to Lay Paver Pattern: Western Interlock offers a guide on how to lay paver patterns that are both attractive and durable.


How do I prepare the ground for pavers?

To prepare the ground for pavers, you’ll need to remove any existing grass, weeds, or debris from the area. Then, you’ll need to excavate the area to a depth of at least 6 inches to make room for the base material and pavers. Finally, you’ll need to level the area and compact the soil before adding the base material.

What type of base material should I use for pavers?

The base material you use for pavers will depend on your specific project, but generally, a 4-6 inch layer of crushed stone or gravel is recommended. This provides a stable base for the pavers and helps with drainage.

Do I need to use sand when installing pavers?

Yes, sand is typically used when installing pavers. It is used as a bedding material to create a level surface for the pavers and to lock them in place.

How do I cut pavers to fit my project?

To cut pavers to fit your project, you can use a chisel and hammer or a specialized paver saw. Measure and mark the area where the paver needs to be cut, then use the chisel and hammer or saw to make the cut.

How do I maintain my pavers?

To maintain your pavers, it is important to keep them clean and free of debris. Regular sweeping and occasional pressure washing can help keep them looking their best. Additionally, you may need to refill any joints between the pavers with sand as needed.