How To Lay 16 Inch Pavers? (Easy Guide)

If you’re looking for a way to add a unique look to your home, but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on new flooring or landscaping, pavers are the perfect solution. 

Pavers are easy to install on your own and they give any space added curb appeal without breaking the bank. 

The only thing standing between you and an amazing new paver installation is learning how it’s done! 

Proper preparation is key to a successful paver installation. Ensure that the area is clear, level, and compacted before starting.
Use a string line and level to ensure that your pavers are installed evenly and with consistent slope.
Cutting pavers to fit your design requires careful measurement and the use of appropriate tools. Wear safety goggles and gloves.
Consider using a sealer on your pavers to protect them from stains, water damage, and UV rays.
Pavers are a versatile and durable material that can be used for a wide range of outdoor features, including patios, walkways, and fire pits.

In this article, we’ll walk through each step of installing 16-inch pavers so that you can get started today.

Clear the Area and Make a Plan

Before you start laying pavers, you should clear the area of rocks and twigs. You may also need to move some leaves, sticks or other debris. 

If your space is on a slope, you will want to make sure it is level before moving forward with the project.

Make sure that all areas are clean before starting work—you don’t want any extra dirt getting tracked into freshly laid pavers later on! Use a rake or broom to sweep away any debris from your paving site. 

Also make sure that the ground is level; if there is too much slant in one direction (especially if it goes downhill), this will cause problems when setting up and could lead to uneven finished surfaces when finished installing your pavers

How to Install Concrete Pavers | Ask This Old House

Designate the Pavers Borders

If you are laying the pavers on an existing concrete surface, first measure the area in which you will be laying your pavers. 

Use a chalk line to mark out the borders for where the 16 inch pavers will be placed. Once this has been done, use a spirit level to ensure that the surface is level and flat before marking it with chalk.

Create an Edge Restraint

You can create an edge restraint using any of the following materials:

Rubber membrane. This is the most economical option and is generally used on small projects. It comes in rolls and can be cut to fit your project’s dimensions.

Concrete curb, which is poured into a trench that you dig along one edge of your project area. This method provides more stability than a rubber membrane, but does require some construction experience and equipment (such as a wheelbarrow or tractor).

Concrete edge restraint—a prefabricated product designed specifically for pavers and available in various styles from most home improvement stores that sell paver materials. You can install this without special tools or experience; however it will cost more than other options listed here ($40-$100 or so).

“Looking for a unique way to upgrade your outdoor living space? Check out our guide on how to make a deck out of pavers and discover the benefits of using pavers for your deck, including durability and easy maintenance.”

Start in an Area Unseen

The first step to laying 16 inch pavers is to start in an area that won’t be visible. This will give you the opportunity to get used to the process and make sure everything is level before you move on. 

Lay a tape measure out along where you want your pavers to go, then use a line level on either side of this tape measure (6 inches from each end) and make sure it’s even with each other. 

Finally, lay a string line down along the area where you’ll be laying your pavers and make sure it’s straight. If not, adjust accordingly so that all three measurements are accurate!

A laser level can also come in handy here—it helps ensure that every paver is laid straight without having to reposition any after they’ve been laid down

Ensure the Area is Level

The first step in laying pavers is to ensure that your base surface is level. Use one of these methods to ensure your area is flat:

Use a laser level or chalk line. These are inexpensive and easy-to-use tools that will help you make sure your area is level and ready for paving. 

Simply draw a line on either side of where you’ll be laying pavers, then use this as a guide when installing them.

Use a spirit level or bubble level. If you already have one of these tools, use it! It’s just as good at making sure an area is flat as any other method listed above; however, if you don’t own one yet I would suggest getting one now so that later on when we get into more advanced stuff like grouting we’re not missing out because we haven’t invested in some basic equipment yet!

“Laying pavers over an existing brick surface can be a great way to enhance your outdoor area. Our guide on how to lay pavers over brick provides step-by-step instructions to help you achieve a professional-looking finish.”

Set the Pavers

To set the pavers, use a level to ensure they’re all level. Then lay them down with a paver-laying tool.

If you don’t have one of these laying tools, you can use a string and pencil to mark the paving stones where they should go. 

This is especially useful if the pavers aren’t perfectly straight or square—you can adjust for that by measuring for each row once installed (as opposed to trying to measure before).

Spread Dry Materials Between the Pavers and Sweep It In with a Push Broom

The next step is to sweep the sand or gravel between the pavers. Be cautious not to damage your pavers or concrete as you sweep. 

Use a push broom, dustpan and/or broom to sweep out excess materials. You can use a leaf blower as well if it’s available.

“The right preparation is key to ensuring a successful paver installation. Discover the ideal depth of gravel for pavers by checking out our guide on how deep should gravel be for pavers, and make sure your project has a solid foundation.”

Wet It and Compact It Down with a Plate Compactor

Step 1: Wet It and It Down with a Plate Compactor

Use a plate compactor to compress the base material. The plate compactor is like an oversized hand tamp, but it allows you to uniformly pack your base material down so it’s flat and dense. 

Place the edge of the plate against one side of your footing trench, then push down on top of it with as much force as possible until all sides are completely flat. You’ll know when they’re flat because they won’t move or shift when you step on them. 

If you don’t have access to a plate compactor, use heavy objects such as bricks or cinderblocks instead.

Step 2: Lay Pavers in Place

Once your footings are compacted properly, lay each paver into place on top of them—but don’t press too hard! 

Just place each one gently in its final spot; after all 16 pavers are in place (and any cracks between them filled), start tamping down around their edges with your foot or knee until everything is balanced perfectly level and even everywhere along its perimeter

Sweep Out Any Debris and Finishing Grains

If you’re using paving sand, sweep out any debris with a push broom and then put down two to three inches of finishing grains. If you’re using a leveling sand or other product, follow the instructions on how much to apply.

Finishing grains help prevent water from collecting in low spots which can cause sinking or cracking. They also provide some extra cushion for your pavers to rest on so they won’t sink into the ground over time when exposed to moisture in rain or snowfall.

“Adding new pavers to an existing installation can be a great way to revamp your outdoor area without starting from scratch. Our guide on how to add new pavers to existing pavers outlines the steps you need to follow to ensure a seamless transition between the old and new pavers.”

Seal Your Paver Installation

Once your pavers are laid, the next step is to seal the paver installation. This step will help protect against water damage and prolong their life. Here’s how to do it:

Sweep away any loose dirt or debris using a broom.

Sweep sand into the joints using a push broom. Do this in sections so you don’t disturb all of your hard work laying down the pavers evenly across your patio! You want them all to look as one cohesive unit for years to come!

Compact the sand into each joint with a plate compactor, then repeat until all joints are filled up nicely with sand (but not too tightly!). 

Be sure not to compact too much; if air can get into between these joints they will stay stable longer than if they were sealed up too well that no air could escape from them over time when pressure was put on them during expansion due to weather conditions like rainstorms or snow melt occurring where moisture gets trapped underfoot causing cracks which would ruin everything we spent hours creating right now…

“Pavers are incredibly versatile and can be used to create a range of outdoor features, from walkways to patios to fire pits. Our guide on what can I build with pavers provides inspiration and ideas for your next paver project.”


The process of laying 16-inch pavers is not difficult, and can be done by anyone with a little know-how. 

As long as you plan ahead and take your time during the installation process, you will be able to install your paver project without any problems.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about laying pavers, check out these helpful resources:

How to Install Pavers: This comprehensive guide from Oregon State University provides detailed instructions for installing different types of pavers, including concrete, brick, and stone.

How to Install 16-Inch Pavers: This step-by-step guide from Home Guides covers everything you need to know to lay 16-inch pavers for your outdoor project.

How to Lay Pavers: Amber Tiles’ guide provides a thorough explanation of the paver laying process, with tips on preparation, installation, and finishing.


How long does it take to lay pavers?

The time it takes to lay pavers depends on the size of the area, the complexity of the design, and the experience of the installer. However, as a general rule, laying pavers can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

How much do pavers cost?

The cost of pavers varies depending on the material, size, and design. Concrete pavers typically cost between $2 and $5 per square foot, while natural stone pavers can range from $5 to $30 per square foot.

Do I need to use a sealer on my pavers?

Using a sealer on your pavers can help protect them from stains, water damage, and UV rays. However, it’s not always necessary. The decision to use a sealer depends on the type of pavers you have and your personal preferences.

Can I lay pavers over grass?

It’s possible to lay pavers over grass, but it’s not recommended. Grass can create an uneven surface that can lead to shifting and settling of the pavers. It’s best to remove the grass and prepare a solid base before laying pavers.

How do I cut pavers to fit?

To cut pavers to fit your design, you can use a chisel and hammer, a circular saw with a diamond blade, or a wet tile saw. Make sure to measure and mark your pavers carefully before cutting, and wear safety goggles and gloves.