Laying Down Landscape Fabric Under Paver Walkway

Should Landscape Fabric be Installed Under Paver Walkways?

By Mark J. Donovan

QUESTION: I am in the process of installing a paver walkway and my husband and I are debating whether or not we should be installing landscape fabric below the paver walkway to prevent weed growth.

My husband says it is critical that we install landscape fabric under pavers, whereas I am of the mindset that it is really not necessary.

Can you shed some light on whether or not we should laying landscape fabric under our paver walkway bed, prior to placing down the pavers?

ANSWER: A properly constructed walkway bed consists of several inches of compacted gravel material followed by 2-3”s of compacted sand. 

The pavers are then typically placed on top of the sand. 

Laying down landscape fabric under paver walkways may help to reduce some weed growth, however, do not expect it to eliminate the problem altogether. A few years back, I left a wheelbarrow in a poorly lit garage that contained sand and a few grains of grass seed.

Two weeks later when I went into the garage, there was grass sprigs 2″ tall growing from the wheelbarrow.

See my video on how to properly install a paver walkway.

The point of this story is that weeds and grass can grow in almost any soil condition, and they will certainly still grow on top of a weed barrier over time.

Installing landscape fabric can also lead to other problems with your walkway that could be more detrimental to it over time than having to remove a few weeds from it occasionally.

One of the chief reasons sand is used over stone dust in building a paver walkway is that it is porous and will allow for better water drainage. Good drainage is critical for having a long lasting paver walkway.

Over time lawn clippings and other debris work their way down between the pavers to the sand diminishing the drainage capability of the paver bed. 


Get this paver walkway checklist and save time and money on your paver walkway project.

Though landscape fabric is designed to allow water to flow through it, it also negatively impacts normal drainage flow.

Combined, the debris and landscape fabric can quickly cause water to not drain properly from the walkway.

Besides becoming a great environment for growing weeds, this situation can become a particularly big problem in colder climates.

As the trapped water freezes it heaves the concrete pavers.

Yes, there can be some benefits of putting landscape fabric under pavers, however those benefits are usually short lived. 

Stone paver walkway prior to installation of bluestone gravel next to it.

If you and your husband decide to install landscape fabric under your paver walkway, you should put it down between your hard pack and the sand layer. 

The pavers should rest directly on the sand.

However, keep in mind that over time you will still need to occasionally apply a herbicide to your walkway as weeds will eventually take root, even with the landscape fabric.

Also consider using polymeric jointing sand to fill in the cracks, as it can dramatically reduce weeds from working their way into the walkway. 

See my video on Polymeric jointing sand.

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Brick and Paver Walkway Bid Sheet

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