How to Install Geopavers

Geopavers are a practical and durable paving option for driveways and parking areas. They allow stormwater to drain through them rather than running off and contributing to problems in areas with poor drainage. While installing them is simple, it is a labor intensive project. Here is a guide to making the project successful.


  1. 1
    Plan your project requirements. If you don't have a set of plans created by a civil engineer, you'll need to design your own project. Consider the following points before you invest your time and money in the project:
    • Soil conditions. Geopavers need a stable subgrade material with at least moderate drainage to be effective and structurally sound.
    • Topography of the location. Geopavers are best suited for fairly level, flat surfaces. Special conditions may require the use of a geotextile fabric to insure the stability of the finished project.
    • Permitting. Local government agencies may have specific permitting and engineering requirements for surface pavements, including geopaver installation.
    • Accessibility. Heavy materials must be installed at the location you choose, so make sure you have a means of handling them safely and effectively.
  2. 2
    Select the geopavers you'll use for your project. They come in various sizes and configurations, so contacting potential suppliers will give you ideas of what is available and what is suitable for your project. Always check the manufacturer's installation instructions, if available; this article details a specific product, and other products may have requirements that differ substantially.
  3. 3
    Determine the size of the area you'll be paving. Geopavers come in a number of configurations, including the 16 inch by 24 inch (40cm by 60.9cm) pavers shown in the illustrations. Multiplying the width times the length of your project area, then dividing the result by the size of the pavers will yield the approximate number of pavers the project will require. In the example in the photographs, an irregularly shaped area about 75 feet by (average width of) 30 feet (22.8 meters by 9.1 meters) meant about 1800 pavers were required. Also consider the following materials you will need:
    • Subgrade fill. This is the additional soil (or a quantity of soil that needs to be removed, if an excess amount is present) to give you a subgrade that is prepared for installing base.
    • Base material. This is a stable material that gives the finished project the desired structural properties. For heavy duty use, like the fire department access ramp in the illustrations, crushed concrete base material was installed over compacted fill to a depth of 8 inches (, then packed to a 95 percent density using a plate compactor.
    • Setting sand. Clean concrete sand is placed on the base material at a thickness of about 1 inch (, to allow the individual pavers to be leveled when they installed.
    • Fill material. Usually, clean sand is used to fill the joints and cells of the pavers, but the engineering requirements for the project in the photos meant filling them with #57 limestone aggregate.
  4. 4
    Order the materials from the appropriate suppliers in your area. Do this after you've calculated the quantities, requested prices, and established the exact materials you'll use to meet your specific needs.
  5. 5
    Clear the area for the installation. Remove plants, large rocks, and other items which will interfere with installing the pavers. Relocate any underground utilities that may be affected, such as phone and cable television lines and lawn sprinkler pipes and heads.
  6. 6
    Grade the subgrade area to a depth of about 12 inches (30.4cm) below the finished elevation of the pavement. This can vary according to the amount of base material you need and the thickness of the geopavers you choose.
  7. 7
    Compact the subgrade material and then add the base material, grading it to the elevation your project requires. Compact the base material with a plate compactor (or even a vibratory roller, for large projects), then recheck the grade.
  8. 8
    Install the setting bed of graded, clean concrete sand. This material should be approximately 1 inch (2.5cm) thick, and must be leveled and compacted so that the pavers will set flatly on it. Using an asphalt rake (or landscape rake) makes leveling the sand easier. If you don't have an experienced eye for leveling the material, use a straightedge and screed the sand flat.
  9. 9
    Set a paver on the edge of the area where your layout begins, and ease it into place. Square it up, using a stringline if no appurtenance is located to that location for you to abut to.
  10. 10
    Tap the paver with a heavy rubber mallet to set it in the sand, then place the next paver on its edge adjacent to the first. Lay it down the same way, making sure it is aligned with and flush to the first paver. Make sure the joint between the two pavers is kept tight, and continue laying pavers along the edge until you come to the end of the pavement area.
  11. 11
    Begin the next row of pavers. Proceed in the same way followed in the previous step, keeping the side joints tight, and the top of the pavers level.
  12. 12
    Cut any pavers that do not fit correctly, so the individual lines of pavers remain true. Geopavers may vary in shape and size significantly depending on the manufacturer, and these differences may result in accumulative gain in individual rows of pavers if not addressed as they're installed.
    • Wear a respirator to protect you from being contaminated by the paver dust.
  13. 13
    Cut any pavers along the edges if they don't accurately fit the footprint of your paving project, or if radius edges or other out-of square shapes are used.
  14. 14
    Inspect the levelness and trueness of the pavers when you've finished laying them. Tap down any pavers that aren't flush to the adjacent pavers with your rubber mallet. If possible, avoid raising low pavers, as the addition of setting sand to accomplish this will not be as stable as it should be.
  15. 15
    Fill the pavers with the material you choose for this purpose. Generally, clean masonry sand or concrete sand is a good choice if no overriding conditions mandate the use of other materials.
  16. 16
    Clean up. Sweep the sand or other fill material into the paver joints and cells with a push broom, allowing plenty of excess so all voids will be filled completely. You may use water to wash the material into the joints, especially if fine sand is used.


  • A backhoe or front-end loader makes hauling the material much easier.
  • Consider renting equipment for clearing or grading large areas, as this can be a back breaking task.
  • Secure the help of friends and family members for this project if possible.


  • Pavers are very heavy, and can be easily broken if handled carelessly.
  • Pavers, such as the ones in the above pictures, frequently have gaps large enough to snare crutches, causing the injured and handicapped to fall. Don't use these types anywhere you think people might want or need to walk.

Things You'll Need

  • Construction materials including base material, fill sand, and pavers.
  • Tools, including shovels, rakes, a rubber mallet, and a concrete saw if cutting is necessary.
  • Safety equipment, including gloves, safety glasses, and boots.
  • Tools and equipment for grading, clearing, and compacting the work area.

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