I have an approximately 1000sqft area I want to put pavers on. I am doing it myself so I was wanting to run my idea by others just to make sure I’m on the right track. About half of the area (~500sqft) is an existing concrete patio.

  • Phoenix, AZ area... little rain and no freezing
  • Tearing up the concrete I think is excessive, especially without a freeze cycle.
  • I need to minimize height since the ground is already level with the concrete slab and I would prefer not to bring in tons of soil to regrade the lawn edge to be even with the pavers. There is also the issue of where this new patio will intercept the garage and I would prefer to minimize the step up. Because of this I was hoping to use thinner pavers.
  • Pedestrian traffic only

This is what I was planning on doing:

  • 4" compacted ABC on non-concrete area, final height will be level with concrete slab. Geotexture fabric under compacted ABC.
  • On the edges where the sand could escape and underneath is the concrete slab, I was going to first mortar the paver down with ~1/2" of mortar to bring it up level with the pavers that will have sand under them. On the edges with the compacted ABC, I was going to put them on top of the screeded sand base and retain them with standard staked paver edging.
  • 3/4" screeded concrete sand over entire concrete and compacted gravel base. After the pavers are compacted, I was hoping this would go down to ~1/2" so they are level with the mortared pavers.
  • Thin pavers... maybe either something ~2" (http://www.belgard.com/products/pavers/lafitt_grana_slab) or 1.25" (http://www.belgard.com/products/pavers/cambridge_paver_tile).

Any obvious glaring errors or bad ideas? Thanks for your time.

  • Tearing up the concrete isn't too big of a project if you can get a few guys in with a skid steer. They can make quick work of it.
    – DA01
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 23:07

1 Answer 1


I know it seems excessive but I would HIGHLY recommend removing the concrete. The reason is that the pavers over the concrete will not settle at all while there will be some settling of the pavers over the compacted ABC. You will end up with a very ridged area and the point where a paver sits partially on the concrete and partially off will become an ugly not to mention hazardous edge.

Body of Knowledge: 5+ years laying pavers, rock walls and sandstone patios.

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