I have a very small patch of dirt (maybe 6 ft. X 4 ft.) that I'd like to put
a few paver down on. Can I level off the dirt and simply place the pavers
directly on the dirt or should I put some gravel down first? Thanks.
Sure you can put them down on the dirt, but that is not likely to last
very long and it is likely to end up being muddy.
Like all things, you need a foundation. That means digging out like 6
inches, adding four inches of appropriate gravel and then two inches of
On Tue, 27 Feb 2007 20:42:12 -0500, "Joseph Meehan"
And don't forget to put weed barrier or landscape cloth between the
excavated dirt and the gravel. And most importantly - compact the
gravel every couple of inches.
The difference will be a job that lasts for decades - or a job that
starts to look shabby after the first hard rain.
[The manufacturer of your pavers is bound to have a website- or the
retailer should be able to give you some DIY literature.]
The normal routine is 4 inches of rock dust, 2 inches of sand then pavers.
If you put the pavers on dirt and you don't like them that way,
you can pick them up and set them again.
If your soil is soft and muddy the pavers will sink.
We used pavers - or stepping stones - with river rock for some areas
that don't grow vegetation very well. Thick ones, close to 2", come in
round or square shapes, various sizes. Just flatten the soil and make
sure it slopes the right way if next to the house or a walk. Lay down
landscape cloth, put down the pavers, lay the rock in around the pavers.
An edging is a good idea, to keep the rock out of the grass. River
rock stays in place so you can clean it off with a leaf blower if
needed. There is very little, if any, weed growth unless soil washes
into the stone and stays on top of the landscape cloth. Cloth (not
plastic tarps) allows rain to drain through into the soil. We have an
area next to our patio done this way and keep our grill there.
There are small groundcovers that can be planted between pavers, and you
would not use the landscape cloth in that application. Check with a
Depends on what you're trying to accomplish. You can to a flagstone
walkway with grass growing between the stones just by dropping flat
rocks in the dirt, and lifting and re-setting them every few years.
If you're trying for a more formal weed-free dry pavement, you need
to arrange for drainage, and put down some combination of gravel,
crushed rock, and/or sand.
Speaking of which, is there some industry standard terminology
when you're talking about this stuff? Because different people
seem to mean different things when they say "gravel", and
If you want to slam it in, have it become uneven quickly, and overrun with
weeds, just slam it in. If you want it to be right, and to look good for a
long time, use the right stuff for a bed, compact it, and do it right.
No sense doing it again every few months, or having pavers sink and rise and
PS: "stuff" is the technical term for the proper fill as recommended by the
seller of the pavers. It can be called sand, gravel, or more correctly,
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.