How to Install a Circular Paver Patio Part 1 of 2

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Most circular paver patios are made up of a few different paver shapes. The paver manufacturer should supply a detailed drawing showing the paver layout for each ring of the patio. Typically, the joints between pavers are offset with those of neighboring rings. If the pavers have mixed coloring, plan the layout carefully for the desired decorative effect.

 

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Overview

Concrete pavers are available in a range of sizes and shapes, making it easy to create distinctive patterns without a lot of cuts. This circular patio is made with a complete set of shaped concrete pavers. To create a perfect circle, all you have to do is set the pavers following the manufacturer’s installation diagram, and no cuts are needed (although some sets have center pieces that must be cut before installation).
Circular paver sets are commonly sold in fixed starter sizes, and you can add units as needed to enlarge the circle. You may have to purchase additional pavers as complete sets or in full-pallet quantities and use only what you need. Circular pavers are ideal for building freestanding patios because their shape makes for a nice decorative feature.
As a design feature, a circle naturally draws the eye toward its center. This makes a circular patio the perfect setting for a round patio table and chairs or for highlighting a central decorative feature, such as a fountain or statuary. A circle is also the best configuration for creating an intimate seating area surrounding a fire pit. In addition to patio spaces, small circles can be used as landing areas along a curving paver walkway, while an open ring of circular pavers can be used as a border around a planting bed.
The patio in this project follows a standard sandset installation. Mortaring a patio like this would be far more difficult than sandsetting, due to the irregularity of the paver joints. For the sandset process, it’s easiest to lay the pavers first, and then install flexible plastic edging around the perimeter to lock the units in place. If your patio plan calls for numerous cuts, rent a masonry saw, or tub saw, for making the cuts. Otherwise, you can make a few cuts with a circular saw fitted with a masonry blade. Before you get started, it will help to review the detailed information on laying out the project site and preparing the gravel base.
A circular patio is visually dynamic and its shape makes it uniquely suited to intimate outdoor dining and entertaining spaces. When shopping for pavers, ask about color and texture options. Some suppliers may allow you to mix and match finishes for a personalized look.
Most circular paver patios are made up of a few different paver shapes. The paver manufacturer should supply a detailed drawing showing the paver layout for each ring of the patio. Typically, the joints between pavers are offset with those of neighboring rings. If the pavers have mixed coloring, plan the layout carefully for the desired decorative effect.Fan-shaped pavers offer an eye-catching twist on circular patio designs.
Combine paver sets to create intersecting circular patio sections for custom shaping and sizing. Consult the paver distributor to learn about altering standard circular layouts.
From: Complete Guide to Patios & Walkways, 978-1-58923-481-9

What You'll Need

Tools:

Circular saw
Hammer
Drill
Excavation tools
Mason’s string
Line level
Plate compactor
Trowel
Flathead screwdriver
Shovel
Push broom
Circular paver units
16d nails
Duct tape
Lumber (2 x 2, 2 x 4)
Marking paint
21⁄2" drywall screws
Compactable gravel
Landscape fabric
1 or 11⁄2" pipe
Straight 2 x 4
Washed concrete sand
Scrap plywood
Plastic patio edging
Paver joint sand
Eye and ear protection
Work gloves
Tape measure

Materials:

Circular saw
Hammer
Drill
Excavation tools
Mason’s string
Line level
Plate compactor
Trowel
Flathead screwdriver
Shovel
Push broom
Circular paver units
16d nails
Duct tape
Lumber (2 x 2, 2 x 4)
Marking paint
21⁄2" drywall screws
Compactable gravel
Landscape fabric
1 or 11⁄2" pipe
Straight 2 x 4
Washed concrete sand
Scrap plywood
Plastic patio edging
Paver joint sand
Eye and ear protection
Work gloves
Tape measure

 

Step 1

How to Install a Circular Paver Patio - Step 1

. Create a center pivot for defining the patio layout. Drive a stake at the exact center of the desired location for the finished patio. Cut a straight 2 x 2 about 12" longer than the radius of the patio. Drill a large pilot hole at one end of the board, and fasten the board to the center of the stake with a single nail. Note: For large patio areas, use a string tied to a center nail instead of a board (inset).


Step 2

How to Install a Circular Paver Patio - Step 2

Mark the ground for excavation. Measuring out from the nail, mark the board at a distance equal to the radius, plus 6". Tape a can of marking paint to the board so the spray nozzle is centered on the mark (inset). Spray a continuous line onto the ground while pivoting the board to create a complete circle. Set up batterboards and leveled layout strings in a square that’s about 1 ft. larger than the excavated area. Remove all sod and other vegetation inside the marked circle.


Step 3

How to Install a Circular Paver Patio - Step 3

Measure diagonally between opposing corners and adjust the strings as needed until the measurements are equal (the layout is square). Slope two of the parallel layout strings at 1⁄4" per foot using the distance between the batterboards to calculate the drop distance generally dropping away from your house.


Step 4

How to Install a Circular Paver Patio - Step 4

Excavate the site to the depth recommended by the paver manufacturer. Make sure the soil is smooth, well compacted, and properly sloped to 1⁄8" per foot.


Step 5

How to Install a Circular Paver Patio - Step 5

Prepare the subbase with a 4" layer of gravel. Thoroughly compact the gravel with a plate compactor.


Step 6

How to Install a Circular Paver Patio - Step 6

Check the depth with cross strings and a story pole as you work (shown). The completed base must be smooth and flat and follow the slope setting.


Step 7

How to Install a Circular Paver Patio - Step 7

Install landscape fabric over the gravel subbase. Overlap the edges of fabric strips by 6". Trim the fabric as needed, leaving the ends a little long for now. Note: This helps keep the sand base in place longer.


Step 8

How to Install a Circular Paver Patio - Step 8

Set two lengths of 1"-dia. pipe on top of the landscape fabric so that one piece spans the full diameter of the gravel base and the other spans across the base about 1⁄4 of the way in from the side of the circle. Align the pipes parallel to each other. Fill half of the patio site with sand even with the tops of the pipes.


Step 9

How to Install a Circular Paver Patio - Step 9

Use a straight 2 x 4 to screed the sand level with the pipes. Move the short pipe to the opposite side of the site to complete the other half of the sand layer. Remove the pipes and then fill all depressions with sand. Tip: Moisten sand prior to screeding.


Step 10

How to Install a Circular Paver Patio - Step 10

Position the center paver, then measure out to the edge of the site in several places to confirm that it is centered. Tip: Work on top of a piece of plywood to avoid disturbing the sand bed.


 
 

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