Pavers are a popular landscaping material for construction of patios, driveways and other additions to home outdoors. These flat pieces of concrete, stone or brick are durable, beautiful and easy to install. However, pavers require proper edging to prevent them from shifting, spreading or even sinking.
Is paver edging necessary?
Yes, paver edging is an essential structural element in any paving project. Other than visually defining your patio, walking path or driveway, paver edging ensures that the structure remains strong and stable from any pressure caused by heavy loads such as cars or human traffic.
Pavers are also likely to become loose or sunken if the sand base is weak or when there are large spaces between them. Compacting the sand base, adding joint sand and installation of a proper edging will keep the pavers in place for years to come. Check how to lay pavers on dirt.
Paver edge restraints are high tensile-strength material that are commonly installed around the border of modern paver projects for stability. An edge restraint is made from any rigid material that resists shifting of pavers outside their design perimeter. It can be some kind of troweled concrete or pre-fabricated blocks from stone, wood, PVC, aluminum, or steel.
Patio Paver Edging Ideas
A patios is a great area to relax at or meet with friends and family members. Considering the amount of human traffic and its perceived value, construction of a patio has to be a well-thought about idea. Pavers will undoubtedly make an outstanding addition to a home landscape in form of a patio.
Whether you choose concrete or pre-fabricated paver edge restraints, the following paver border ideas and patterns will make your project to stand the test of time and beauty.
Poured or troweled concrete
Although not a suitable method to use in expanding clay soils and in areas that experience freeze/thaw cycles, troweled concrete is approved by Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute for curbing of pavers. Many contractors opt for concrete toe due to various reasons including:
- Concrete is an affordable and a readily available construction material
- It is stable and can be made more durable with reinforcement of steel
- It take less time to order, prepare and install the concrete
- Concrete can be patterned or textured to resemble your brick or stone pavers
- Concrete can be buried in earth for extra stability
How to install
- After the installation of pavers, take a flat shovel and dig a trench of about 4 inches deep and your preferred width around the perimeter of the pavers. Do it carefully without disturbing the border bricks or stones.
- Mix your concrete as directed by the manufacturer and shovel it into the trench using a trowel. Pack the concrete until it is halfway up the stone. Smooth it at an angle or shape it into a continuous block.
- Hose the concrete as directed for proper curing. In hot sun, rainy or windy weather, cover the fresh concrete with a plastic.
When not done properly, cracking and chipping of concrete is common in harsh weather conditions. Extreme fluctuation of temperature and moisture will cause the concrete to expand and contract which may result into some inconsistencies.
Concrete is also unfriendly to plants and grasses. It is thus not easy to hide it using lawn grass or ground cover plants. All these are causing most homeowners to opt for manufactured edge restraints.
Manufactured Edge Restraints
Edge restraints are made from heavy-duty PVC or a sturdy metal such as steel and aluminum. These L-shaped strips of edging are held in place with support spikes inserted into the base material. Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute and other organizations highly recommend using manufactured edge restraints due to the following reasons:
- Ideal for most climates including the colder regions
- They are considered “hidden” and not visible as concrete
- Grass and other plants can be grown to cover them
- They are flexible and thus great for curved designs
- Connected with spikes that makes them stronger
- A buttress reinforcement provides additional support against pressure
How to install
- Order your paver edge restraints and prepare the area
- Firmly place the restraints against the pavers and flat on the base
- Insert your galvanized spikes after every 8 to 10 inches or in every third hole using a hummer
- Cover the edge restraints using sand, gravel or mulch and plant your grass
Purchase and installation of manufactured edge restraints cost more as compared to concrete. However, the project will be more visually appealing and ready to use after the installation.
Stone borders are long-lasting, require little maintenance and are friendly to your flowers or plants. You can also get them in different shapes and colors. This makes natural stone or cobblestone a perfect choice for your patios, walkways, garden, lawns and other landscape areas. The stones can be arranged in either soldier course or sailor to create a distinct pattern.
Soldier course pattern features vertical stones or bricks lined up in a row with the narrow edge facing outward. Sailor course on the other hand features vertically laid stones with their widest edges facing outwards.
How to install
- Using a shovel, dig a trench along the area you marked. The size of the trench will depend on the size of your edging stone.
- Add some leveling sand into the trench and compact it to form a strong base.
- Place the stone into the trench and add some sand as you level it.
- Fill any left space using soil to secure the stone in place.
Although timeless and easy to install, stone edging can be expensive depending on availability of the material.
Brick paver edging
Bricks are popular edging materials that present a classic appearance. It can easily be installed in a straight or angled pattern. Mortar is usually used when installing the bricks for stability. Bricks are available in variety of colors for distinct patterns and various landscape projects. You can lay your bricks in soldier or sailor pattern.
Wood is naturally attractive and a great option for edging especially on areas not affected by much pressure. Treated wood is required for creating borders, since it is strong, durable and does not rot. Areas you can use wood include around flowerbeds or gardens and walkways.