- Prepare your area. For patios, excavate dirt deep enough for the pavers, a base of compacted gravel and several inches of sand. For a deck, make sure the structure is sturdy enough for the weight of the pavers and a 1-inch layer of sand. A deck may require computer calculations or professional help to determine weight loads. Both patio and deck need slight slopes for drainage.
- Install a foundation for the pavers. For a patio, this is a layer of gravel, compacted with a hand or mechanical tamper. For a deck, lay decking, usually oriented strand board (OSB). Both need edge treatments. For a patio, put down your gravel first, then border the area with metal or plastic edging. A deck will need curbing around the sides and flashing where it abuts a house wall.
- Lay down an EPDM membrane. Spread the membrane over the entire area, overlapping at the edges. Overlap seams and seal them with EPDM tape or contact cement. In a patio, let the membrane curl up the edging. On a deck, pull it down over the edge and secure it with some metal edging; at a wall, run the EPDM up under the house sheeting, then cover it with metal flashing. It should be water-tight.
- Spread polymeric sand and lay the pavers. Use 3 to 5 inches for a patio and 1 inch for a deck. Level the sand with a 2-by-4-inch board pulled across it. Lay the pavers, starting at the high end and working across and downward. Use a string guide or level to make sure you maintain the proper depth and angle. Leave slight gaps between pavers.
- Finish with sand. Complete the project by sweeping polymeric sand in the paver gaps. On a deck, install some drain ports, where curbing is removed to permit water to flow out; the curbing is replaced with a geotextile material to hold the sand.
Things You Will Need
- EPDM material
- Shears or cutting tools
- 2-by-4-inch board
- Tamper, hand or mechanical
- Polymeric sand
- If you are not confident about installing EPDM on a deck, hire a roofing contractor to insure a water-tight seal.