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Hardscaping with Pavers

Well-groomed trees and plants may boost curb appeal, but hardscape elements such as patios and walkways are often the missing pieces of the landscaping puzzle.

Pavers are among the most popular materials for constructing hardscape projects; they require little maintenance and come in different shapes, styles and colours. Other common hardscaping projects include: raised garden beds, retaining walls, driveways and pool decks.


Types of Pavers and Their Uses

Stone products such as flagstone or fieldstone lend a natural look to garden landscape. At The Home Depot, you’ll find concrete pavers, wall stones, patio stones and edgers that mimic the textures and shapes of natural stone designed to be DIY-friendly and easy to install without the hefty price tag.

Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers offer timeless design appeal and stately elegance. The appearance of concrete pavers can vary from rustic to classic clay brick. The cement and aggregate composition of concrete pavers make them incredibly durable and easy to maintain.

Concrete Wall Stones

Construct straight or curved walls with nature-inspired concrete wall stones. Some wall stones can be laid front to back to eliminate gaps and create a seamless pattern, while others can be installed with matching wall stone caps to craft a finished look.

Wall stones laid side by side
Side by Side
Wall stones laid front to back
Front to Back

Concrete Patio Stones

Concrete patio stones vary in design and texture. Characteristics of more decorative patio stones include faux joints and uniquely shaped slabs that enhance the natural-stone appearance and feel. Patio stones of a more utilitarian nature are generally known for their strength and have crisp clean edges.

Concrete Edgers

Concrete edgers complement most patio and paving stone patterns while distinguishing between two landscapes. Depending on the style and colour of the edger, the separation between the two areas can range from subtle to prominent.


Paver Types Uses
Concrete Pavers
  • Patios
  • Walkways
  • Driveways
  • Overlays, pool decks, and porches
Concrete Wall Stones
  • Retaining walls
  • Raised flower beds
  • Garden walls
Concrete Patio Stones
  • Patios
  • Walkways
  • Stepping stones
  • Shed base*
Concrete Edgers
  • Garden edge
  • Borders

*Applies to concrete patio stones that have been hydraulically pressed for superior strength and durability.


Paver Tips

  • When buying pavers, don’t forget to account for cuts and waste when you are building. 5% is a good rule of thumb for the average job.
  • For patios, walkways, overlays, pool decks and porches, use a polymeric sand to fill the joints to prevent wash-out and to reduce bugs and weeds.
  • If your wall has curves, use a garden hose to help visualize the layout, mark where you need to dig and estimate the total length of your project.
  • When constructing walls, don’t forget to bury at least half of the first course for strength and stability. Maximum wall height varies with the kind of concrete wall stone used.
  • Colours can vary. Work using pavers from as many pallets as possible at the same time.


Paver FAQs

What do I need to consider when building my patio, retaining wall or walkway?
  • Some basic considerations when buying and installing pavers are warranty, quantity and degree of maintenance. Be sure to check your local building codes before beginning your hardscape project.

Do I need to put down crushed rock as a base before laying pavers?
  • It would be a good idea to put four inches of crushed rock down as a base once you’ve finished digging. Then you’ll want to compact the crushed rock using a compactor and rake until smooth and graded properly (remember to slope the project away from foundation and structures). Bedding sand should be placed on top to ensure a smooth base for the pavers. This procedure provides the foundation on which the pavers are laid and will help with any heavy rains and provide a good surface for installing them. Compactors are available for rental from The Home Depot’s Tool Rental Centre.

Do I need to install a drainage system for a retaining wall?
  • Yes — proper drainage is crucial to the structural integrity of a retaining wall. Without a good drainage system, the pressure from wet and heavy soil can cause a retaining wall to buckle or lean. One method for creating drainage is laying a perforated drainpipe along the back of the wall and backfilling the trench with gravel. Another method is placing filter fabric directly behind the wall and adding drainage aggregate such as gravel, crushed stone or recycled concrete as you build each course; aggregate must extend at least six inches behind the wall to ensure sufficient drainage.

Do pavers need to be mortared into place?
  • In pedestrian traffic areas, use a coarse granular sand to secure your pavers; this will bind the pavers together with a friction joint, while still allowing them to flex with ground movement. For driveways, mortar is not necessary however a joint or polymeric sand is recommended.

How do I prevent grass and weeds from growing between pavers?
  • Make sure you fill the joints between your pavers with jointing sand. An annual reapplication of this sand will ensure successful limitation of weed and grass growth. A lower maintenance solution is to use a polymeric-based sand, which is specifically designed to inhibit weeds.


Do-it-Yourself Projects for Pavers

Expand your outdoor living space by following our step-by-step instructions from our do-it-yourself projects for Laying a Paver Patio for a square patio or Laying a Curved Edge for a round paver patio.


Calculating Your Paver Project


Estimate the number of courses (rows) of block in your finished wall.
For walls 24 in. or less in height, bury half of the first course. For walls over 24 in. high, bury the first full course.
Number of layers of block = desired wall height ÷ block height


Determine the number of blocks needed by multiplying the total number of blocks per course times the number of courses.
Length of wall in inches × height of wall in inches = total square inches
Total square inches divided by 144 = square feet of wall


Determine the total cubic feet of paver base needed by multiplying the number of linear feet of wall by 0.2 cubic foot (1 cubic foot = 120 lbs).
This will give you a 2 in. deep base, 16 in. wide. Please refer to specific product information for recommended base depth.
Total linear feet of wall × 0.2 cubic foot = total cubic feet of paver base needed
Example: 10 linear feet of wall × 0.2 cubic foot = 2 cubic feet of paver base needed.


Calculate the amount of drainage aggregate that you’ll need to extend 6 inches from behind the wall.
Total number of blocks × 0.2 cubic foot = total cubic feet of drainage aggregate needed.
Example: 35 total blocks × 0.2 cubic foot = 7 cubic feet of drainage needed behind the wall.


Select a shape for your paving stone project.


Plan the dimensions of your finished project, accurate to one inch.


Calculate the area (total square feet) of your project.
This will determine the total amount of paving stones, base material and paver sand that you will need.
For a rectangular patio or walkway: length × width = total square footage
Example: 12'× 8'= 96 square feet


Add up the lengths of all sides to calculate the perimeter. You’ll need this to determine the amount of edging required.
For a rectangular patio or walkway: Side 1 + Side 2 + Side 3 + Side 4 = perimeter
Example: 12'+ 8'+ 12'+ 8'= 40 linear feet


Select your paving stone or patio stone product and pattern then calculate the number of pavers needed using the dimensions provided.


Determine the amount of paver base material necessary (minimum 4 in. deep for paths and patios and 8 in. deep for driveways.)


Calculate the amount of paver sand needed to cover the base and between the joints.
Square feet of project × 0.083 = cubic feet of sand (add approximately 1/2 cu. ft. per 100 sq. ft. of paving stones for joints.)